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De Laval Genovés

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Enjoy your drinks whilst inside a submarine!

Translated by Lottie Davies — 2 years ago

Original text by Paola Villegas

I wanted to start by doing a little plug for ESN (Erasmus Student Network) and recommend that you get yourself a membership card, which you can sort out at the Faculty of Statistics at the Complutense University of Madrid. It's there where they organise some really fun events and trips for students at excellent prices; in fact, it was them that I came to Salamanca with, at a very good price and with an unbeatable atmosphere.

We found ourselves on a tourist route through the city and, once it had finished, we were told to be ready to spend the evening having a good time at "a dive that looks like a submarine". Honestly, I thought that the outer structure was just going to be decorated in a naval style, but once I entered the bar, I realised that it had completely exceeded my expectations with regards to the design and decor!

Just like Valencia, Salamanca is one of those cities that very much has a "university atmosphere" about it, as it is home to lots of young students, many of which are there as part of an exchange programme.

Irrespective of what day it is, you will be able to find lots of bars and nightclubs (or "dives", as we call them in Mexico) with a great atmosphere, with lots of foreigners in attendance, and with a wide variety of drinks on offer to suit all tastes. I have been told that nightlife in Spain starts on Thursday evenings in these kind of places, and the best thing of all is that they don't charge you for entry. However, in Madrid, for example, you will be asked to pay a fee at the most popular clubs.

Enjoy your drinks whilst inside a submarine!

(The drinks on offer at the bar on the ground floor. )

De Laval Genovés ("The submarine" between you and me)


In spite of the fact that De Laval Genovés is the bar's official name, it's more commonly known as "El submarino" ["The submarine", in English]. It is truly amazing to see how well the structure and the design of a submarine has been recreated: you will have to see it with your own eyes to believe everything that I am describing to you.

From the moment that you step inside the bar, you can see that both the exterior and interior facades are made of iron, and have the same "screws" embedded as those used on submarines in real life. Even all of the doors that you see (including the exterior one) resemble a real submarine hatch. Once you have entered the bar, you will realise that there is not a single part that doesn't look like it made of iron. You will find little details like rudders, metal tubes that run along the ceiling, and even the stairs that you see will be metal and very narrow (like on real submarines). The interior is painted white, with little bits of blue appearing in some parts of the bar.

Enjoy your drinks whilst inside a submarine!

Enjoy your drinks whilst inside a submarine!

To the right of the entrance to the bar, you will be able to access the second floor via a small staircase. Here, you will discover a bar that is smaller than that of the first floor, and one that has a much more elegant style about it. You will be able to sit in the armchairs and on the chairs near the bar, as you aren't going to find any on the ground floor. In simple words, the upper floor serves to get you away from the chaos that can build up downstairs, as it's there where everyone dances and, for this reason, it can be busier.

Enjoy your drinks whilst inside a submarine!

(Access to the second floor via a narrow staircase. )

The toilets are located on the ground floor, and no matter how much it surprises you, these are also in keeping with the design of the rest of the bar. In fact, the way that you have to flush the toilet is by pulling an original chain from above. Something that I didn't love, however, is that they aren't in the best of conditions, as some of the doors are not very secure on their hinges and there is not always toilet paper or soap in all of the bathrooms.

The atmosphere

Although the bar has a DJ that sits in a booth whilst mixing tracks and choosing the "best" kind of music to play, I didn't really like his choices that much, as he didn't vary the style at all and stuck with the techno genre during pretty much the entire night. Despite the bar consistently filling up at weekends, people were not dancing as much as I expected when I was there, and it even led to us asking the DJ to put on better music that we could dance to. In the end, this really got the atmosphere building - so much so that we started a dance circle. So, I would say that there is a good atmosphere at the bar, but especially so when you go there with an open mind and with the aim of enjoying yourself irrespective of the music that they play, wouldn't you agree?

The bar has tasked itself with hiring a photographer to mainly work at the weekends and take lots of photos of the bar's patrons before uploading them to their Facebook page. If you have liked the bar's page on Facebook, you will be able to find the photos that they took on the night that you were there in one of their albums (to find them, you just have to search for the relevant date that you were there).

What time does the bar open?

During the week, the bar closes earlier. For example, from Monday to Wednesday, they are open from 9pm until 3am, and from Thursday to Saturday, 10pm until 5am.

How much will it cost me to buy a drink and do you have to pay an entry fee?

Obviously, the price you will pay depends on what kind of drink you prefer, but my friends paid an average of between 5€ and 6€ for each drink they bought. Remember that entry to the bar is free. If you end up going with groups like ESN, they will often give you incredible discounts.

How do I get there?

Something that has indeed caught my attention is that all the cities that I have visited in Spain have their very own Plaza Mayor, as well as a main thoroughfare called Gran Vía.

To get to De Laval Genovés, you must make your way to Salamanca's very own Gran Vía - this is one of the main roads that goes through almost all of the little city. I recommend that you ask to be pointed in the direction of Domino's Pizza or Kebab Gran Vía (the bar is in the same street as this restaurant) and, once there, look for Calle San Justo - the bar is located just 20 metres from there.

I recommend that you walk there because Salamanca is one of the safest cities in Spain and is so small that I can bet that, at most, it will be a maximum 15 minute walk from where you are staying. Besides, the city doesn't have a metro system, so the only option (apart from walking) would be to catch the bus (getting a taxi isn't even an option because it is just so expensive).

The local government and the city's tourism office have produced some free maps that are distributed across the entirety of Salamanca: I recommend that you use one whilst you are there.

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