Ciudad Rodrigo is a fantastic, historic metropolis in Salamanca with lots to supply guests. From food and drinks to sightseeing alternatives, there are lots of issues to do whereas visiting this small metropolis.
On this submit I’ll share with you a few of my favorite issues to ess and do in Cuidad Rodrigo in addition to a few my favorite locations to eat and a few lodging strategies, so strap in.
I’m fortunate that I get to go to Ciudad Rodrigo usually. I spend most of my summers within the close by Sierra de Francia mountains after I’m not travelling. With so many villages to discover, the entire area is a hidden gem of Spain. However the one factor they share is that Ciudad Rodrigo is their go-to “huge city”.
The town’s coronary heart is surrounded by some stunning partitions breached within the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, certainly one of many battles within the Napoleonic struggle that performs heavy into this space’s historical past. Nowadays they’re a beautiful backdrop for footage and make nice views.
The primary avenue in metropolis is named Calle Mayor, which I’m advised was once comparatively slim because it was designed with horses and carriages in thoughts. Nowadays it’s a bit wider however nonetheless charming. Within the centre, you’ll discover Plaza Mayor with its many streetside cafes serving up sizzling chocolate and pastries for many who cease to get pleasure from their drinks outdoors within the solar! Oh, and a incredible place for ice cream (extra on that in a bit).
One of the best ways of getting across the metropolis partitions is by strolling together with them or taking certainly one of their guided excursions. It would take round an hour to finish all the circuit with beautiful views over the river and in direction of the mountains. Nonetheless, what you see alongside the partitions is all a prelude to what’s inside – so let’s check out a few of the finest issues to do in Ciudad Rodrigo.
1. Go to the Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral
As you strategy Ciudad Rodrigo, from nearly any course, you might be unlikely to overlook the tower of the Cathedral of Santa María.
The Cathedral is likely one of the principal points of interest in Ciudad Rodrigo. It was constructed within the twelfth century. It additionally served as one of many final defensive constructions when Napoleon invaded through the early 1800s. Building of this constructing started when King Fernando II was in energy (1157-1188).
It’s made up of a Latin cross ground-plan with three naves and modified from what it as soon as seemed like. Three principal façades give entry to the constructing and a cloister on the north facet.
The one factor that stands out to me is the superb element within the stone carvings across the door. You’ll be able to go to the Cathedral and enter for a small price. Nonetheless, even if you happen to don’t plan on entering into, a wander across the outdoors is unquestionably really useful.
Discover out extra details about the opening occasions on their web site.
2. Go potty on the urinal museum
No, I’m not taking the piss. Situated subsequent to the Cathedral is the Museo del Orinal, a small museum devoted to going potty. Chamber pots, to be actual.
Whereas it isn’t an enormous museum, it’s price paying the small variety of Euros it prices to go inside, simply to say you will have been. Spent a penny, you would say.
Greater than 1300 chamber pots and commodes are displayed within the museum from 27 international locations. To be sincere, a few of them impressed me, particularly the one designed for journey.
There are a few issues I believed had been missing. First, other than the date and nation of origin, there isn’t way more info on the reveals. Nonetheless, there was an enthusiastic man on the door who appeared blissful to speak us by any questions we had.
It could even have been good in the event that they had been organized in a extra storytelling approach. These pottys have seen many bums from the Romans to Asian dynasties, Royalty to peasants; one constant all through historical past is the necessity to poop. I felt extra organisation to inform these tales would have been good.
Butt, that mentioned, it’s a enjoyable solution to spend 30 minutes to an hour or so and escape the warmth.
Take a look at their web site for extra particulars.
3. Wander alongside the town partitions
As I discussed within the introduction, Ciudad Rodrigo is a walled metropolis with all of the partitions both nonetheless intact or reconstructed. Due to this you possibly can simply stroll an entire lap of the town.
The partitions had been constructed through the twelfth century with bastions, ravelins, and artillery batteries added to the defences through the Seventeenth century.
You’ll get some stunning views right down to the river and the encompassing mountains and plains from the partitions.
On common, it will take round an hour to finish the circuit and is definitely worth the effort.
4. Tapas with the toros
OK, there are not any precise bulls right here, however the avenue I’m speaking about is Calle Toro.
Again on the flip of the century, this tiny avenue with excessive partitions on both facet was once the epicentre of the town’s nightlife. Bars on both facet had been buzzing with the sound of locals and guests mingling, munching on some farinato (native sausage) and sharing a couple of beers.
As the town grew and extra decisions had been accessible, the road slowly fell out of trend. Lastly, nevertheless, it’s beginning to make a welcome come again.
A few bars are reopening alongside there now, and I’ve discovered a brand new favorite, Cafe Bar La Tertulia. We visited as a household and loved some scrumptious tapas. Nonetheless, greater than that, the homeowners had been one other degree of pleasant. I’ll have extra on this later on this article within the the place to eat part; I’ll even let you know concerning the magic!
Except for La Tertulia, there are a couple of different choices because the ambiance is admittedly returning to this little avenue.
5. Eat ice cream and people-watch within the Plaza Mayor
As with most Spanish cities, there’s a beautiful sq. within the metropolis’s centre referred to as Plaza Mayor. Right here you will see that a great deal of streetside eating cafes and eating places, and it’s the good spot to sit back and do a spot of individuals watching.
Suppose you go to on a sizzling day (or chilly as ice cream’s all the time good). In that case, I might extremely advocate an ice cream bar referred to as Heladeria Mentha Y Limon. They’ve an unlimited array of selfmade ice cream accessible to eat streetside or takeaway. Whereas I might fortunately advocate any of them, my private favorite is the one made with speculoos biscuits.
The marginally spicy flavours of the biscuit, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and ginger, simply go so effectively in ice cream; it’s borderline life-changing.
6. Ciudad Rodrigo Metropolis Corridor
The Ciudad Rodrigo Metropolis Corridor is positioned proper within the coronary heart of the town in direction of the highest finish of the Plaza Mayor. This putting Sixteenth-century constructing was constructed on a nook with two towers hovering over it and a good-looking bell tower on the longer facet.
It seems equally stunning if visiting Cuidad Rodrigo through the day or after the solar has set and the lights illuminate the facade.
Relying on once you go to, you could possibly enter. Inside is a small tourism workplace in addition to non permanent reveals and galleries.
Simply bear in mind, there may be unlikely to be any assist with translation. Many of the info shall be in Spanish, so if you happen to’re not a Spanish speaker, have your cellphone battery charged and Google Translated bookmarked! Nonetheless, even if you happen to don’t perceive any of the phrases, it’s nonetheless price popping your head in to have a nostril round.
7. Take within the historical past by monitoring down a few of the palaces and mansions
Not removed from Plaza Mayor, you’ll discover Plaza Conde. Right here you will see that a few of the most well-known buildings in Ciudad Rodrigo.
Palacio de los Castro
The identify of this Palace, which dates from the mid-18th century, comes from Don Tomás de Castro, to whom it was previously owned. It comprises a number of works by distinguished Spanish Baroque painters resembling Juan del Castillo and Francisco Bayeu. The entrance is notable for the principle coat of arms.
Palacio Alba de Yelles
The Palace of the Depend of Alba de Yeltes was constructed upon an earlier one erected by the Nieto de Silva within the mid-sixteenth century. The shields of Nieto, Silva, Pacheco and Guzmán stand out towards the magnificent baroque doorway with a semicircular arch between two columns and a triangular pediment.
The Palace was rebuilt originally of the eighteenth century. Throughout the early nineteenth century, it turned a barracks and has been used for numerous functions (invalids’ barracks; provide depot…).
Palacio de Moctezuma
The Palacio de Moctezuma bought its identify as a result of it was constructed by descendants of Moctezuma. Since 1984, it has served because the Municipal Home of Tradition.
It’s a large house with minimal ornamental ornamentation on the skin; most building occurred within the Sixteenth century.
The stand-out characteristic is a bust of King Juan Carlos I made by the native sculptor José Martínez.
Some extra fascinating structure
Away from the plazas are another notable buildings worthy of investigation.
Palacio de los Águila
The Palacio de los Águila, also referred to as the Casa del Príncipe or the Marqués de Los Altares, is a late-Sixteenth to early-Seventeenth-century palace. It’s the metropolis’s largest constructing. It covers a whole block with out having any related constructions.
It has a backyard, two inside patios, and a non-public chapel inside its enclosure.
The palace usually holds artwork reveals and exhibitions primarily based on the native historical past. Yow will discover extra about what’s on and when to go to right here.
Casa de Los Vázquez
Casa de Los Vázquez is a fantastic palace with a Gothic doorway within the nook with a powerful coat of arms hanging over it. It’s broadly thought to be among the many most stunning buildings in Ciudad Rodrigo and was Constructed within the Sixteenth century.
Since 1944, it’s has operated as a submit workplace and could be visited for a go searching throughout enterprise hours. There isn’t a admission price, however don’t plan on spending too lengthy inside.
8. Go to the Castillo Alcazar de Enrique II
The Alcázar of Enrique II de Trastamara was inbuilt 1372 by Lope or Gonzalo Arias by order of King Enrique II.
The three-story preserve with pointed home windows stands towards a wall bristling with defensive towers.
Till 1928 it was house to the regional museum earlier than changing into a Vacationer Lodge, and it stays to at the present time.
9. Saturday is a procuring day
If you’re round on the weekend, one thing to not miss is the huge weekly flea market. Situated simply outdoors the jap wall, you’ll discover many stalls promoting something you would need, from trend and underwear to frying pans and epilators. It truly is somewhat treasure trove of offers available. Simply bear in mind to put on your finest bargaining hat and take a look at a little bit of negotiation.
10. Depart the town partitions behind
All the suggestions thus far have been inside the metropolis partitions. However, there are some things to find out about outdoors.
Las Tres Columnas de Ciudad Rodrigo
If you happen to pop your head into any memento store, you’ll undoubtedly see a reproduction of Las Tres Columnas. This interprets to The Three Columns in English. They’ve turn into an emblem of the town and even seem on the coat of arms.
However except you will have a automotive, you might be unlikely to see them.
The columns now website fairly a good distance out of the town centre on a roundabout in an space often called Campo de Toledo.
It truly took me a number of visits to search out them myself, and I questioned why one thing the locals maintain so expensive is so out the way in which.
Apparently, the columns are authentic components of a Roman Temple that used to exist the place Plaza Mayor is now and act as a robust illustration of the town’s historical past with its roots again within the Roman days.
They’d been standing in Plaza Mayor for almost 350 years when it was determined they’d be eliminated, I can solely assume for constructing works. A lot to the locals’ discontent, in 1903, the columns had been faraway from the sq. and relegated to a forgotten nook of the town.
Nonetheless, the difficulty was by no means forgotten. Lastly, in 1922, the town’s then-mayor agreed to re-locate them someplace extra distinguished. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be again within the Plaza. In order that they ended up being rebuilt the place they’re immediately in the principle entrance to the town.
Like I discussed originally of this little part, I discover it unusual that one thing so necessary to the town and the image of just about any memento you discover ought to sit thus far out of the way in which. After all, in case you have a automotive, by all means, go and see them, however there isn’t actually a lot else on the market.
Seize a drink and calm down by the river
Considered one of my favorite Spanish phrases I learnt just lately is chiringuito. Not solely is it satisfying to say “cheer-in-gee-toe”, it means a small hut that sells refreshments (often beer) by a river or seaside. So after I discovered there may be such a spot in Ciudad, I needed to test it out, and I used to be not dissatisfied.
The Rio Águeda is a couple of 15-minute stroll down from the historic core. It has a couple of locations you possibly can sit out within the inexperienced riverside grass and calm down with views of the river and Roman Bridge.
There’s a small space the place you possibly can dip your toes in, but it surely’s extra for having fun with a drink than going for a swim.
I might say I wouldn’t advocate crossing the bridge. I did that to get some photographs, and I believe I by chance discovered the worst a part of the town and didn’t really feel too snug being there alone. All cities have these little areas, so it’s higher to know the place they’re reasonably than ending up in them by chance as I often do.
Discover somewhat additional afield within the villages of the Sierra Francia
Not removed from Ciudad Rodrigo you will have the Sierra Francia mountains and Las Batuecas Natual Park. Right here, you will see that some stunning villages and websites to discover, resembling La Alberca or La Peña de Francia. Make sure to learn my different posts on the villages of the Sierra Francia for extra on these and why it is best to contemplate paying them a go to.
The picture above is of the Meandro Del Melero positioned near the village of Riomalo.
The place to eat in Cuidad Rodrigo
That is my favorite tapas spot within the historic centre. It’s a family-owned place the place the husband and spouse, Joaquin and Lucia, run it and mum cooks the meals.
On the within, it’s a cosy place full with a fire and a library impressed take a look at the again. You too can eat outdoors within the shaded avenue of Calle Toro.
Whereas that’s all nice, what is healthier is the meals. They serve a fantastic number of conventional Spanish toastadas and raciones (plates to share) made with native produce.
We liked the huevos rotos con farinato (eggs with chips and an area chorizo fashion sausage), in addition to the toasts with goat’s cheese and caramelised onions.
One closing level to make was the service. The homeowners had been simply so pleasant, they usually even supplied to control our boisterous little son so we might get pleasure from a second of peace whereas consuming. It actually was going above and past.
And, simply once you didn’t assume it will get any higher, Joaquin is a magician, so we even bought some free magic methods thrown in!
I’ve been again a couple of occasions now, and it by no means fails to please.
They don’t at the moment have a web site, however you possibly can see extra on their Fb web page.
Normally, I might attempt to discover native meals, however as I stay in Spain, I typically like to search out an Irish Bar for one thing that offers me somewhat style of house. Pub Yoanna is outdoors the town partitions, however it’s definitely worth the journey if you’d like burgers.
The proprietor is associates with an area farmer who provides the meat, and the selfmade burgers are one other degree of mmmmmm.
Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo
In order for you one thing a bit extra stylish, the Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo is the place to be seen. Whereas I haven’t eaten right here myself but (saving it for an anniversary), it’s a historic place with stunning views and a very good repute.
The place to remain in Ciudad Rodrigo
The town is just not wanting lodging, they usually have one thing to go well with each price range. If you happen to keep in a single day, I’d advocate staying inside the metropolis partitions. Nonetheless, you could find higher offers in case you are blissful on the skin.
The town itself is fairly compact, so there isn’t actually a selected location to advocate over one other.
Please be aware, the hyperlinks to the inns are to Reserving.com with whim I’ve an affiliate relationship with. If you happen to reserve a room after clicking the hyperlink, I make a small fee to assist fund The Journey Blogs.
Luxurious selection – Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo
A picturesque citadel with dramatic views throughout the valley of the River Águeda and Campo Charro countryside, courting from the 14th century. It’s a fantastic place to unwind in an atmospheric, historic ambiance.
The traditional stone constructions of the meticulously reconstructed citadel are complemented by beautiful gardens. The magnificent inside is stuffed with conventional Castillian antiques, charming interval options, sunny courtyard areas, and welcoming sofas.
Mid-range – Lodge Arcos Catedral
The Cathedral and principal sq. are each inside strolling distance of Lodge Arcos Catedral, positioned within the coronary heart of Ciudad Rodrigo. The rooms embody free WiFi, heating, a TV, and a complimentary toiletry equipment.
Funds choose – Lodge La Bodega
Lodge La Bodega presents snug rooms with en-suite bogs, televisions, and an web connection. They supply a fantastic worth place to unwind after an extended day’s journey or sightseeing.
The above three picks all fall inside the historic core, however as talked about, if you happen to keep on the skin, you could find some nice offers. Check out the map under:
Learn how to get to Ciudad Rodrigo
By automotive from Madrid
One of the best ways to get to Ciudad Rodrigo is by automotive. All the main rental businesses can be found throughout Spain.
It’s a couple of three-hour drive from Madrid, passing Ávila and Salamanca on the way in which. The primary street that takes you out of Madrid to Ávila is a toll street that fees round €10.
The drive is simple, and as soon as you might be outdoors of Madrid, the site visitors is sort of non-existent.
If you happen to plan a street journey from Madrid to Porto, it is a superb cease to interrupt up the journey, with the town being simply 31 km from the Portuguese border.
Practice > Bus
If you happen to don’t have entry to a automotive, the next finest approach is to take a prepare to Salamanca after which a bus to Cuidad Rodrigo, which ought to take round an hour.
You will get buses from Madrid that take round 4 and a half hours and price about €25.
There are not any handy airports for Cuidad Rodrigo. The closest is Salamanca, though this can be a small regional airport. Round 185kms away is the marginally bigger Valladolid Airport. Nonetheless, realistically you would need to use Madrid Airport, about 250kms in distance.
I hope you possibly can see by studying this submit that I’m a fan of this historic little metropolis, hidden within the west of Spain.
Not many international guests to Spain make it out this far. Nonetheless, if you happen to get the possibility and actually wish to uncover some genuine, Spanish hidden gems, I extremely advocate visiting Ciudad Rodrigo and exploring the neighbouring villages.