City guides

Santander city guide

santander

Make Santander the right way!

Santander is the capital and largest city of Cantabria in Northern Spain. Like most of the cities and towns on the northern coast of Spain, Santander features an interesting blend of lush, green, and mountainous scenery with picturesque, sandy beaches.  

The city itself is elegant and modern with plenty of amazing places to eat and neat things to see and experience. 

Santander city guide - Table of Contents

Practical information to plan your visit to Santander

5 top reasons to visit Santander

Visit the Palacio de la Magdalena

At the edge of the city of Santander, there is a small peninsula that jets out into the Cantabrian Sea, known as the Magdalena Peninsula. The Palacio de la Magdalena or Palace of Magdalena is located on this outcrop.

The palace was built between 1908 and 1912 and it is a perfect example of the characteristic architecture of Northern Spain. Up until the 1930s, the palace was used as a summer residence for the Spanish royal family.  Nowadays it is open to visitors and used for big social events.

Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria

The Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria is home to a wide variety of artifacts from the Upper Palaeolithic and the Iron Age, all discovered in Cantabria.

You will also find Roman items discovered in the nearby town of Castro-Urdiales and other amazing findings that illustrate the long and rich history of the region. 

 Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico

Many towns on the coast of Northern Spain have a long and complicated relationship with the Sea. Many of the great sailors and merchants that Spain has produced were came from this area of the country. The Museo Maritimo del Cantábrico or the Maritime Museum of Cantabria is dedicated to chronicling this relationship.

Here you will find a little bit of everything from exhibits on natural history and archaeology to displays on shipbuilding and cartography, some dating back to 1790. The Museum is located next to Los Peligros Beach, slightly north of Santander’s city center.

Visit the new Centro Botín

There are two famous Botin’s in Spain. One opened the oldest restaurant in the world located in Madrid. The other founded one of the country’s most important banks, and named it after his home town, Santander. 

The Centro Botín is the city’s newest arts center and a gift from the Santander bank. The gallery is housed in a futuristic-looking spaceship-like building. The center is dedicated to highlighting art,  from video and photography to painting and sculpture. You can enjoy the works of some renowned international artists such as  Carlos Garaicoa, Mona Hatoum, Joan Jonas, Jannis Kounellis, and Julie Mehretu.

 

Kick it at the beach

There are several excellent beaches near Santander’s city center, the most famous of which is Playa del Sardinero which spans across 1300 meters and has been awarded a blue flag award for its sustainability and environmental efforts. South of the city you will find the Playa de Los Peligros and Playa de la Magdalena, spreading out towards the peninsula. 

Best time to visit Santander

The best months to visit Santander for good weather are May, June, July, August, September, and October. However, the most crowded and warmest months are in Summer: July, August, and September. So your best bet would be from May to July. August is the best month for if you are going to want to take a dip. 

Weather in Santander

Santander’s climate is considered to be continental with high temperatures in summer and cooler temperatures in winter. It rains quite a bit in Santander with rainfall even during the driest month.  The average temperature in Santander is 14.1 ° C.

interactive tourist map of Santander

Recommended hotels in Santander

These are out top recommended hotels in Santander

Recommended attractions in Santander

These are our top recommended attractions to enjoy in Santander

Recommended restaurants in Santander

All the best restaurants you will find in Santander.

Best things to do Near Santander

Caves of Altamira in Cantabria

The Altamira caves are located in Santillana del Mar, a small town in Cantabria. These caves are one of Spain´s most important tourist attractions and

Adventure

Surf in Spain: the Cantábrico and more

There have been a lot of world-known surfers coming to the Northern coast to enjoy surf and a bit of adventure travel in Spain because of the large amount of beaches on the coast where one can find the perfect waves to surf on – suitable for people all levels.

Video of Santander - The city in a nutshell

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