A safe city

The city is extremely well looked after and, unlike some of Spain’s larger cities, practically free of crime. Parents of younger students can be reassured that their children will be able to walk around, after dark as well, and feel relaxed and confident. There is no need for cabs or public transport as nothing is more than 20 minutes walking distance away.

A city where they speak excellent Spanish

The Spanish that Salamancans speak is accent-free making its people a bit easier to understand than those from other regions with strong inflections or even competing local languages.

A city of learning

Hosting visiting students is somehow in Salamanca’s blood as scholars have flocked to its famous university since its founding in the 13th century. Today students feel part of this long tradition and revel in the atmosphere of this ancient city.

A beautiful city

Salamanca, picture postcard on every corner, is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. In the old city, where ISLA is located, churches, palaces and cathedrals jostle for space and the jewel in the crown, the Plaza Mayor, is considered the finest square in the Spanish speaking world. Students quickly become fond of it as a meeting place and the focus of Salamancan life. Surprisingly, however, Salamanca is not touristy. It is quite easy to get to, but far enough away from the capital to put day trippers off. This means the city’s character is preserved intact.

  • Region: Castile-Léon
  • Altitude: 802 m
  • Cultural Capital of Europe 2002 World Heritage City
  • Temperature: From 8º (January ) to 30º (Summer)
  • Average Days of rainfall: 7 (Winter) 2 (Summer)
  • Principal Monuments: Plaza Mayor, Cathedrals, old University buildings, San Esteban Church, Roman Bridge
  • Name of people: Salmantinos, Charros.
  • The University is the oldest in Spain and the 4th oldest in Europe.
  • It is the designated site of the Civil War archive.


By Bus from Madrid



Distance from Portugal

30 000

Student Population

160 000


In Salamanca

  • 1492: Colombus signed his agreement with the Catholic kings to embark on his voyage of discovery to the Americas in San Esteban (viewed from ISLA).
  • 1493: Antonio de Nebrija published the first Castilian grammar.
  • San Juan de la Cruz, Miguel de Cervantes, Fernando de Rojas, Juan Meléndez Valdés and Hernán Cortes were all students of the University of Salamanca.
  • Miguel de Unamuno, Fray Luis de León were teachers.
  • Diego de Torres Villarroel, José de Espronceda, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Carmen Martín Gaite were Salamancan citizens.

Cost of living in Salamanca

Zara or Prada? Steak or sausage? What you spend will depend more on you than on than anything else. Salamanca is an inexpensive city by Spanish standards and Spain is an averagely expensive country by world standards. Food and drink will munch and slurp through most of your budget so if you are living in a full board scenario you'll save a lot, at least on the first. Students have been known to survive on 10 euros a day if they are on all inclusive schemes but we suggest 15 euros as being more comfortable so there is some money aside for a trip or a treat. If you are self-catering then you'll need between 10 and 15 euros more to cover one warm meal and one sandwich type supper.

Eating and drinking out

Coffee: 1,20 euros
Beer/wine with a tapa: 1,60 -2.50 euros
Pans&Company sandwich: 4 euros
Beer in a bar: 1,60 -2.50 euros
Student refectory: 5 euros
Mixed drink Gin Tonic, Wodka Lemon, Cuba Libre : 4-6 euros
Big Mac: 3.75 euros
Medium Pizza Telepizza: 6 euros
Sangría in a bar: 2.50 euros
Coca-Cola en un bar: 2 euros
Scoop of icecream: 1 euros
Set lunch in a restaurant (3 courses): 9-12 euros


Transport....Usually not necessary (you can walk practically everywhere)
Bus ticket: 1.40 euros
Car rental: 30-50 euros per day (plus petrol but divisible between friends)
Litre of petrol: 1.30 euros (changes all the time)
Train Ticket to Madrid: 24 euros/one way
Bus Ticket to Madrid: 29 euros
Taxi in Salamanca: 5-8 euros


Aspirin: 5 euros
Tampons: 3.50 euros
Toothpaste: 1.50 euros
Sun cream: 5 euros
Shampoo: 3 euros
Shower Gel: 2-3 euros
Shaving Cream: 2.50 euros
Deodorant: 3 euros

Presents for your family

Very good bottle of wine: 8-20 euros
Salamanca canvas bags: from 3,50 euros
Flamenco dancer apron: 7 euros
300g vacuum packed Jamón ibérico: 7 euros
Cheap "bota" (suede wine flask): 7 euros
Genuine calf hide "bota": from 50 euros
Botón charro jewellery: from 10 euros
Skull and Frog keyring: 2 euros
I Love ISLA badge: free
Special Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 8 euros
ISLA T-Shirts: 9.90 euros
ISLA hooddie: 19.90 euros
ISLA Wine Yummy: 3.90 euros
ISLA Poster Dalí and Almodóvar: 24.90 euros


Pen: 50 cents
Notepad: 2 euros
Stamp for Europe: 90 cents
Newspaper: 1 euro

Free Time

Cinema: 6 euros
Entrance Swimming pool: 3 euros
Museum entrance: 2-4 euros (there are several free slots)
ISLA Segovia day trip: 30-35 euros
Dieter’s Drive: 19 euros
Monthly gym membership (some even with a spa): 30-40 euros
Bike hire (half day): 8 euros
Pedalos: 3 euros
Horse Riding: 11 euros + transport
Paint Ball: 15 euros + transport
Tapas Tour with ISLA: 10 euros
Club entrance: free


Baguette: 40-80 cents
Joghurt 8 units: 2 euros
Litre of milk: 1 euro
Litre of water: 20 cents
Litre of beer: 1.20 euros
Litre of fruit juice: 1 euro
Bottle of cheap wine: 2 euros
Home made baguette sandwich: 1,50-2.00 euros
Pack of biscuits: 1,50 euros
Pack of crisps: 80 cents
Chocolate bar: 1 euro
Magnum Icecream: 2 euros
" ...in my opinion, Salamanca has a perfect combination of the relaxed Spanish attitude and the buzzing student night-life of a university town. Amongst the beautiful sandstone buildings, churches and monuments, there are hundreds of bars and cafés" Lucy Merson, UK

Free Time in Salamanca

Pool and a book, drink and a chum, pasta for flatmates or a new top for YOU! These are all things students enjoy doing and fix for themselves.

ISLA organizes the things you might need more help with: tours of Salamanca's main sights and museums with our friendly guides. Sangria parties, pot luck dinners and paella at ISLA. Movie nights and conferences, too. The team gets students together to play tennis, go to Salsa lessons a concert or to party nights at a local nightspot.

And ISLA excursions like our cultural trips to Segovia and Madrid or ISLA events to the spectacular countryside near Salamanca for hiking, river bathing, kayaking and cocktails. All these provide a framework in which students can make friends and have fun and mean the school has an inclusive atmosphere so no one needs to worry about coming to study Spanish at ISLA on their own. And as most of our activities involve speaking or listening to Spanish, ISLA activities offer a good chance for extra Spanish exposure.