Vibrant, historic, bubbly, beautiful and utterly infectious – Gay Salamanca is quickly becoming one of the most popular under-the-radar gay tourist destinations.
While the UNESCO Listed Old Town and centuries of history have their appeal, it’s the burgeoning arts scene, designer cocktail bars, student vibes from the University of Salamanca and laid-back lifestyle in Gay Salamanca that is drawing in the all crowds. Spain is one of the world’s most gay-friendly country in southern Europe and while the Catholic Church still holds a lot of sways here, LGBT acceptance in Salamanca and other urban centers is very high.
All this is to say you will find plenty of gay couples wandering the street, posing for photos next to colorful doorways or getting cozy in any one of this city many curbside cafes and no one will bat an eyelash.
If you want a bit more – Salamanca has a small but vibrant gay nightlife scene, but often we found ourselves heading to bigger parties at mixed venues, normally with plenty of hot students who seem to never actually study.
There is a small Salamance Pride festival and Parade organized annually Iguales E Iguales Usal – but for most travelers, it won’t be worth planning your trip around. Throw into the mix all those gorgeous tanned bodies that match the golden sandstone buildings, boutique museums and art galleries,day-trips to nearby vineyards plus plenty of sunshine and you begin to understand why so many gays are flocking to Gay Salamanca.
Whether it’s for a night, a week or to live full-time – You will not be dissapointed!
Gay Salamanca Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Salamanca Spain
Obviously being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see in each city and most queer travelers will simply want to check out the top things to see in Salamanca during the day! Salamanca is a very safe city but still, all travelers should take caution crowded areas or at night in bars with valuables.
There is so much to do here – but we found our favorite memories were just sitting, drinking wine on a gorgeous street-side table, getting lost and finding beauty in the strangest places or hiring a car and exploring the rest of the breath-taking Duero Valley. You can’t throw a stone in this town without hitting something baroque and historic – but still, it helps to have some kind of idea what is going on, so here are our just a few of our favorite buildings in Salamanca that you should not miss!
New Cathedral of Salamanca – We love everything grand and gothic (what – you came to Spain just for the sun and boys?) and this Cathedral has that is spaces. Check out the ornate carvings and look out for the more recently added astronaut!
Plaza Mayor – A 18th-century Spanish Baroque public plaza, this is the center of town and the best place to hang out for people watching and locals pop in and out of the shops, restaurants & city hall.
Convento de San Esteban – A quiet Dominican convent with an interesting presentation on the missionaries of the New World.
The University – Salamanca is a university town so be sure to explore this historic campus spread throughout the center of town including the Fonseca College and Anaya Palace buildings. Maybe find a cute student to give you a special tour?
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Spain is a world-leader in LGBT tourism and nowadays pretty much every hotel and hostel in Salamanca can be considered gay-friendly – after all being gay-friendly it not all about upscale luxury, but about providing friendly and open service and welcoming everyone with open arms!
Having said that, everyone likes to be surrounded by people with common interests, and as such a there a few well-known hotels in Salamanca that are known hot spots for gay travelers to stay – close to all the attractions of Salamanca by day and night, and one fabulous wine-therapy retreat!
Grand Hotel Don Gregorio ☆☆☆☆☆ – Your chance to live like a Spanish King. Stay in this renovated 15th-century palace right in the center of town and enjoy elegant rooms and marble bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and rainfall showerheads. If you manage to leave your room the Grand Hotel Don Gregorio also hosts a trendy restaurant with live piano music, a spa features hot tubs, mist and cyclonic showers and free parking – A rarity in Salamanca and perfect for making Salamanca a stop on your Spanish road-trip.
Palacio de San Esteban ☆☆☆☆☆ – If you’re a bit more pious, perhaps a 16th-century, convent-turned-hotel is more your style. Modern design meets stone walls and original archways with luxurious rooms and a relaxed terrace bar with Cathedral views. Perfect for a romantic getaway or to get down on your knees and pray…
Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & Spa ☆☆☆☆☆ – Ok, you have to head 15 minutes out of Salamanca to get here but this gay-friendly wine hotel and spa has us gagging! Offering 5-Star luxury this splendid estate is a relaxing hideaway specializing in wine-therapy (and the closest things to a gay hotel in Salamanca). Full of hidden spots and private plunge pools – oh and did we mention Christopher Columbus even stayed here as a guest! For wine and nature lover who want to experience delectable gastronomy, beautiful interiors and fun-in-the-Spanish-sun we just can’t recommend anything other than Hacienda Zorita
Hotel Rector ☆☆☆☆ – An exceptional hotel housed in a former aristocratic Neo-Renaissance house Charming, quiet with 13 beautifully designed rooms that take on a deeply human character. European sophistication complete with Bulgaria toiletries, evening turndown service and a magnificent location opposite the old Walls and Cathedrals.
Catalonia Plaza Mayor Salamanca ☆☆☆ – Smack bang in the middle of two next to Plaza Mayor we loved the modern rooms, roof-top swimming pool, English-speaking staff and that the hotel’s underground carparks were only a 5-minute walk away (super-useful if you have hired a car in Spain).
Room Mate Vega ☆☆☆ – A stylish hotel in a heritage building near the center of Salamanca. Contemporary decor, comfortable beds and full of cute surprised like chocolates as gifts to really make you feel welcome. Everything is perfect here – which explains why this is our most booked hotel in Salamanca by gay travelers.
Hotel Emperatriz I ☆☆☆ – A cheap, chic hotel in the middle of the town, this is the cheapest private room we could find in Salamanca – but we really can’t fault it. Clean rooms, helpful staff and surprisingly spacious.
Hotel San Polo ☆☆ – Another cheap hotel in town which is immaculately kept and LGBT-popular – plus they have an outdoor terrace views of the Cathedral. Sure, its a bit awkward to find but if you’re not planning to spend much time at the hotel there is nothing else to complain about!
Erasmus Home ☆☆ – A colorful, bright hostel in the heart of town – This is by far the Ost popular place to stay if you’re on a budget and just want a cheap bed. Young, sociable crowds to join and go out to find the nightlife – We recommend Erasmus Home if your budget is tight and you don’t want to hit the bars up by yourself.
Gay-Friendly / Gay Bars in Salamanca
Salamanca is one of our favorite under-the-radar gay destinations in Europe – in part due to the small but vibrant gay nightlife scene here, as well as an abundance of intriguing queer-friendly venues! Anyone who knows anything about the Spanish knows they love a good party, and while Salamanca might be laid back and chilled by day, it’s nightlife is anything but!
New bars and club events are taking place consistently here so it pays to ask around when you arrive (hotel staff are a good bet) but at the moment here are the most popular nightlife spots, gay bars and gay clubs in Salamanca for travelers and locals. Things will get crazy – but just go with it!
CarMen – The most famous gay bar in Salamanca which is a great place for both a relaxing afternoon coffee or partying until the sun rises. Live music normally on Saturday nights. The owners Carmen and Inna are sure to make you feel right at home. A more mature crowd with fabulous music and a large dance floor – what more could you want!
De Laval Genovés Submarino – A LGBT popular bar which has been blaring electronic and pop music for over 2 decades. Plenty of cute gays and lesbians hang out at this nautically themed bar which feels like being inside a wrecked submarine…And yes, things do go down here (we couldn’t help ourselves).
Cafe Niebla Bar – Located a bit out of town, Cafe Niebla Bar is a high-end cocktail bar serving delicious and innovative drinks. LGBT popular with a social atmosphere and cheaper prices than in the city. Industrial-chic interiors with highly Instagrammable cocktails that taste just as good as they look.
Camelot– A mixed but gay-popular dance club which can get packed in the weekends. The bizarro Knights of the Roundtable theme just add to the revelry and the G&Ts are pretty good – what are can you ask for really!
La Chica de Ayer– A newly-opened fun 80’s throwback cocktail bar with bottle-top seats, nostalgic logo’s covering the wall and fun mood lighting. We loved the gummy bear snacks and cute bartenders – plus they frequently host live music events. Always a fun, frivolous vibe (and aren’t we all a bit sick of cocktail bars trying too hard these days!).
Kandhavia – If you’re in a large group and want cheap, student fun head to this wild bar. Drinks specials galore, packed to the rafters and a mechanical bull (please show all those heteros how to really ride it). Sure, you’re going to have a bit more of a challenge picking the gay here – but its worth it when the crowd is this young and beautiful.
The Doctor Cocktail– Hands down the absolute best-dedicated cocktail bar in Salamanca, possibly in Spain. The owner will happily tell you about his time at the Spanish Bartender Championships. Every drink here is perfectly mixed – but we loved the Zombie and our Moscow Mule. Nice outdoor seating to relax and watch the world go by.
Sadly the popular gay bar in Salamanca – Sarao – is permanently closed.
Gay Saunas in Salamanca
Sadly for those looking to spice up their gay Spanish getaway – No gay sauna in Salamanca are currently open. We guess everyone here is here simply to relax or are content with meeting gay Salamanca men via hook up apps or in the gay bars. If you consider yourself a bit of a gay sauna connoisseur you might consider adding a trip to Madrid or Porto into your itinerary where there is a nice selection of fun gay sauna but for now your out of luck in Salamanca. Please get in touch with us if anything changes so we can update.