Freelance writer and photographer.
I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. - Susan Sontag
Published August 26th 2018
Get the most out of your time in Salamanca Place
Salamanca Place, Tasmania
Known as the cultural and historical hub of Hobart, Salamanca Place is a lively area, full of history at every turn. If you're in Hobart, chances are you have a lot to look at and even more to do. Make sure you get the most out of your visit by checking out Salamanca Place. You will be charmed by the history and the beauty on offer.
1. Explore History & Architecture: History percolates just about everywhere in Salamanca Place, about a 10-minute walk from Hobart CBD. Salamanca Place got its name when The Duke of Wellington named it after his victory at the Battle of Salamanca, Spain, in 1812. Previously, it was simply known as The Cottage Green.
Walking along the main street, the North facing multi-storied honey-coloured sandstone warehouses stand out. In the past, they stored grain, apple and wool supplies. Today, they are restaurants, shops, bars, workshops and galleries. These warehouses, constructed by the convicts of the day, most completed by the 1840s. Apart from the modern cars lining the street, you feel like you've gone back in time. Mount Wellington looks down over the precinct, providing the perfect backdrop while you explore. Fun Fact: Salamanca Place is featured as the image for the Hobart property square in the Australian version of Monopoly.
2. Buy Local: Explore the Salamanca Markets. On every Saturday from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm (except Anzac and Christmas Day if they fall on a Saturday). Proudly Tasmania's biggest market, here you can take your pick of over 300 stalls, showcasing the best from Tasmanian gourmet food producers and talented local artisans.
You'll find hand-worked glass, Tasmanian timber designs, metal artwork, jewellery, organic produce, coffee, fresh flowers, ceramics, cheeses, wines, spirits and plenty of delicious food on offer. You might want to visit the Hartzview Vineyard stall for their fortified fruit ports, liqueurs and spiced apple liqueur mead, which uses 100% natural Tasmanian fruit. You can sample truffles, honey, jam and beer from the friendly and passionate stall holders.
While you wander through the markets, you will also enjoy the market's talented buskers which add to the friendly, relaxed vibe. These markets have won many awards for excellence, including being a finalist in the Australian Tourism Awards. There's no entry fee, so you can take your time. You can even leave your dog in the care of an RSPCA volunteer between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm on a Saturday market day for a small donation.
Make sure to take advantage of the free shuttle that conveniently runs in a continuous loop between Hobart CBD and Salamanca Market every Saturday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
3. Hit the Books:Hobart Bookshop 22 Salamanca Place, is the place for book lovers, this place has so many books, you'll be pre-occupied for a while. Originally opened in 1990 and ending up in Salamanca square, the owners enjoy the vibe of the Tasmanian locals, who enjoy Saturday mornings especially, pouring over old and new titles. Visit their online store, if you want to pick up some great books but have no more room in your suitcase.
4. Shop for Art: You can pick up a stunning piece of art from renowned artists, such as Tasmanian artist, Esther Shohet, like we did, from Gallery Salamanca 65 Salamanca Place. Showcasing many local artists, you will be happy you stopped in.
Pick up some amazing art to remember your visit, like this piece we picked by Esther Shohet
The other place you can grab a memento of your trip is Spacebar Gallery. Offering an exciting collection of glass earrings, canvas satchels and quirky art prints, you are sure to find something you love.
5. Eat Up: You will work up an appetite in no time, so take some time to enjoy Tasmanian's fresh food scene.
We followed the locals and found ourselves in Tricycle Café & Bar, very worth a visit, found at 77 Salamanca Place. It's the perfect place for a coffee or if the mood strikes you, a glass of Tasmanian wine – Cheers!
Enjoy a glass of Tasmanian wine at Tricycle Cafe & Bar
For a long lunch, you could head to one of the many eateries nearby, like Rockwall Bar and Grill found opposite the Silo apartments, 89 Salamanca Place, serving delicious local Tasmanian fare, featuring a spectacular quarry rock wall in the space, that reminds you of the building's past.
If you prefer a more casual spot for burgers, brisket or wings head to BarCelona at 23 Salamanca Place.
If time is of the essence, or you're on a budget but still want something tasty - instead of a cafe you could check out Banjo's Bakery at 24 Salamanca Square, for one of their famous pies and have your meal on the run, while you continue exploring the area.
6. Clink Glasses: Head to Waterman's Beer Market at 27 Salamanca Place. They're open from 11:00 am - 2:00 am Tuesday to Saturday and until midnight Sunday. You'll get to enjoy an excellent craft and small-batch beers and live music Thursday through Saturday.
Grape Wine Food Bar, at 55 Salamanca Place, is a great place where you can sit inside or outside, even in Winter, thanks to their heated canopies. This is the perfect place for a pinot noir and a people watch.
Visit Grape for lunch and take in the atmosphere of Salamanca Place
8. Sit in a Garden: A little wander up the way and you can see the beautiful Parliament House Gardens, just a 4-minute walk along Salamanca Place towards Gladstone Street. We liked that we could relax here and take in the peaceful, well-maintained gardens and get a feel for the area. We saw journalists filming for the evening news here which was fun to watch.
9. Catch a Show: Watch an intimate performance at the popular Peacock Theatre, surrounded by sandstone in the Salamanca Arts Centre. Enjoy a few hours of film, music or, dance in this one of a kind venue. If you're there on a Friday night, a stop by the arts centre courtyard afterwards will be rewarded with excellent gypsy, jazz and swing music.
Why We Loved it: Perfect if you're here for a few hours and want to fit as much in as possible. Salamanca Place has a lot to offer and so much going on, all year round.