In Salamanca's urban center, old and new, culture and work, blend together seamlessly, allowing visitors and residents alike to enjoy the city fully. Endless reforms and alterations are adopting older styles to fit contemporary tastes in order to create a city that is truly enviable in all its districts: Barrio Pizarrales, Campus Universitario, Barrio Garrido, as well as the modern part of the city and the tourist district.
The tourist district stretches from San Marcos Church, in Zamora Street, to the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge). It is essentially a circular area, full of shops and businesses, especially in streets such as Zamora, Toro and Rúa Mayor. Art galleries, museums, exhibition halls, cinemas, theaters, auditoriums, places full of history and tons of tourist sights abound here. You can find, for example, the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), the Clerecía (also known as Espíritu Santo Church), the Catedral Vieja (Old Cathedral), the Catedral Nueva (New Cathedral) and the Universidad de Salamanca all in this small area. There are also numerous tapas bars, cafés, pubs and discos to be found, mainly along Gran Vía and Crespo Rascón.
The more modern part of town, which is also starting to become the most central area, starts at Mirat Avenue and Aladedilla Park and carries on to the Vidal neighborhood and Santísima Trinidad Hospital. This district is full of bars, shops, offices and art galleries, and also has the San Juan Market, libraries (such as Vidal and the municipal library), the Van Dyck Cinema, the Plaza de Toros La Glorieta (bullring) and several health centers.
Pizarrales is more uptown, and is one of Salamanca's oldest quarters. Very nearby is the Pryca area, which is of recent construction and lies beside Barrio Blanco. You can get to Pizarrales from Italia Avenue, Portugal Avenue or the Ledesma Road. This once working-class neighborhood has become more gentrified recently and is now quite popular among young newlyweds.
Barrio Garrido is the city's most densely populated district. It starts in the Federico Anaya area and ends in Cipreses Avenue. People tend to divide it into Garrido Norte and Garrido Sur (North and South Garrido, respectively). Many streets here are named after conquistadores as well as flowers. The end of Paseo de la Estación leads to a bridge that takes you to another modern quarter, Puente Ladrillo, where the streets are named after Borneo and New Zealand, for example.
The Campus Universitario area is exceedingly popular, and extends from the hospital to the cemetery, where the famous scholar, writer and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno is buried. Some of the buildings here boast amazing views of the river and of the city's tallest sights; the view from Paseo de San Vicente is particularly worth mentioning.
On the other side of the Tormes River lies a long stretch of land that includes several quarters (La Vega, San José, Chamberí, Tejares, Buenos Aires and El Zurguén). You can reach these areas by crossing any one of the following bridges: Romano (which is pedestrianized), Enrique Estevan, Rodríguez Fabrés, Campus and Príncipe de Asturias. Some parts of this outer area are quite charming, as they have low, whitewashed houses rather than the more typical tall blocks of flats found in central areas. But no matter what part of Salamanca you visit, you'll find that Salamanca is a welcoming city with plenty to offer visitors. Come soak up the atmosphere and see what we mean.