How to Travel From Madrid to Salamanca by Train, Bus, and Car

Plaza Mayor, the main public square in Salamanca, Spain.
Antonio Luis Martinez Cano / Getty Images

Northwest of Madrid by 133 miles (214 kilometers), Salamanca is the capital of the Spanish region of Castile and León. If you want to take a day trip from Madrid to see see the city's famous Salamanca University and historic cathedrals, you'll find that it's easy to travel between the two cities by bus, train, or car. Whichever way you choose to go, you should count on spending, on average, two hours in transit. There are many other famous stops along the way to Salamanca, such as Segovia and Ávila, so you may want to extend your route to include a visit to one or both of these historic Spanish cities.

  Time Cost Best For
Train 1 hour, 30 minutes from $19 The quickest route
Bus 2 hours, 30 minutes from $17 Traveling on a budget
Car 2 hours, 15 minutes 133 miles (214 kilometers) Sightseeing along the way

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Madrid to Salamanca?

On average, the bus offers the cheapest fares to travel between Madrid and Salamanca. One-way ticket prices start at about $17 and only occasionally exceed $24. There are regular buses offered throughout the day between Madrid and Salamanca by Avanza Bus and ALSA. Travel time on the bus takes two and a half to three and a half hours, depending on how many stops are made along the way. Try to avoid buses that estimate over five hours of travel time. These bus routes likely require a transfer in a faraway city like León, which is 339 miles (546 kilometers) north of Salamanca.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Madrid to Salamanca?

If you leave early in the morning, between 8 and 9 a.m., you may be able to catch the fastest train to Salamanca, which will only take one hour, 30 minutes. Even if you don't catch the high-speed train, the train is generally still the quickest option. However, some trains are scheduled to make multiple stops, which could mean a trip that takes as long as three hours, 30 minutes. If time is of the essence, double-check how long your journey will be before booking.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

If you don't hit any traffic and don't make any stops along the way, it would only take you about two hours, 15 minutes to reach Salamanca from Madrid along the AP-6, AP-51, and AP-50 highways. You can expect tolls on this route and once you get to Salamanca, all the main attractions are within the same area so you only need to park once. Free parking is available near the Roman Bridge or by the University's campus.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Salamanca?

Although the winters can get cold, the weather in Salamanca is nearly perfect year-round. However, if you want to visit Salamanca at a special time, plan a trip for September when the university welcomes back its students and throws a fiesta in honor of its patron saint, the Virgin de la Vega. At the fair, you'll find locals in traditional dress, fireworks, concerts, and bullfights.

What's the Most Scenic Route to Salamanca?

Between Madrid and Salamanca, there are many lovely cities worthy of a day trip in their own right. First, you could go see El Escorial, 37 miles (60 kilometers) from Madrid, an enormous renaissance palace. Then, you could stop in Segovia, 58 miles (94 kilometers) from Madrid, for lunch with a view of a Roman aqueduct. You could also visit Ávila, 70 miles (112 kilometers) from Madrid, to see the best-preserved medieval walls in all of Spain.

What Is There to Do in Salamanca?

Home to one of the best and most historic universities in Spain, Salamanca is a youthful city with old charm. You can start your trip by walking around the campus of the university, which was founded in 1218 and happens to be a great place to learn Spanish, and then go sightseeing at the main tourist points like the main square Plaza Mayor. This is a great spot to have lunch and do a little people watching. Other popular sites for tourists are the Old and New Cathedrals and Casa Lis, a museum dedicated to the design styles of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Casa de las Conchas, a former palace turned public library, is another landmark worth seeking out to see its unique facade, which is covered in scallop shells.

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