Welcome to Santander, Spain!
Beautifully sandwiched between the snow peaked Cantabrian mountain range and the golden sand beaches along the Bay of Biscay, Santander is a thriving city packed with a seaside allure. Combine a gorgeous promenade and pretty architecture with a breathtaking backdrop of the mountains and you’ll be surprised that the city doesn’t receive as many visitors as the likes of Barcelona or Madrid. Recent developments have transformed the city into an attractive metropolis for people to come and enjoy its charm. Explore the city’s vibrant culture and picturesque cityscape with this worldwide local’s guide to Santander.
Enjoy Sunny Days in Santander--Spain Weather at Its Best
Santander’s beauty is best enjoyed while blending in with the slow pace of life. Head to one of its beaches to take a dip or simply relax and soak up the sunshine. Playa Sardinero is the city’s most popular beach and can be crowded at times, but you can head to Playa El Rostro for a more intimate experience. After an afternoon on the beach, take a gentle stroll through the gorgeous promenades and lush gardens of Paseo de Pereda.
Worldwide Local Tip: A great way to enjoy Santander’s natural beauty is to take a walk along its jagged coastline. Start at the Faro de Cabo Mayor lighthouse and follow the rugged walkways that take you through astonishing views of the cliffside and feel the salty breeze kiss your skin. Don’t miss hidden coves where you can take a dip in the sea.
Visit the Maritime Museum
Santander has a strong and proud maritime heritage that has spanned for decades. A great place to see the city’s connection with the sea is at the Maritime Museum of Cantabria, just off Los Peligros Beach. It holds an eclectic collection of maritime exhibits and compelling displays, including archaeological finds and shipping history, as well as cartography and ethnology, and is a great place to learn about Santander. Spain has a unique history, and Santander does too.
Worldwide Local Tip: While Santander is a relatively small city, walking from the city center to places like the El Sardinero beach or Magdalena Peninsula can take around an hour on foot. A good way to get to your destination is by using the city’s efficient bus system. Grab the number 10 and go for a scenic ride around the streets of the craggy Canalejas heading down towards Avenida Reina Victoria.
Santander After Dark
Top your visit to Santander by experiencing the local nightlife at the Cañadio Square. Particularly during the summer months, this spot is teeming with revelers along with the myriad of bars and wineries. Mingle with the lively locals as you share a night with an excellent selection of drinks and a buoyant atmosphere. Some bars play live music and serve food to complete your night out in the town. When the bar doors close, you can resume the festivities into the early morning at the Cañadio Plaza. Locals continue to drink away and socialize on the steps and in the square.
Worldwide Local Tip: Santander has countless breathtaking views within the city. Why not wake up to dazzling views of the city’s beaches and breathe the fresh sea air at one of the local seaside hotels. In Santander, Spain’s coastline is at its most magnificent, so why not maximize your experience by staying at the Hotel Chiqui or the Silken Rio, which both provide luxurious yet affordable lodging with amazing views.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Staying away from the tourist spotlight, Santander has retained its northern Spanish character with an elegant flair. The city is blessed with impressive natural landscapes and a thriving metropolitan where worldwide locals can saturate themselves in. Filled with welcoming people eager to show off their city and a vibrant buzz all around, Santander is an underrated destination. A city that is on the off beaten path, Santander is filled with wonderful surprises that make you want to keep coming back.