Welcome to Santander, a beautiful coastal city in northern Spain! If you’re planning a trip here and wondering what to see and do, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll take you through the most important places to visit, routes to explore, and where to eat and sleep during your stay. Let’s get started!
Travel Tips in Santander
- Bring comfortable walking shoes as many of the attractions are within walking distance
- Visit in the summer months for the best weather and beach days
- Try the local seafood, it’s delicious!
- Carry a reusable water bottle to refill at the numerous fountains around the city
- Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and a hat for the hot summer days
What to See in Santander
If you only have three days in Santander, we recommend the following places:
- Palacio de la Magdalena: This palace is situated on a hill overlooking the Bay of Santander. It was built in the early 20th century for the Spanish royal family and is now open to the public.
- Catedral de Santander: This Gothic-style cathedral is located in the city center and dates back to the 12th century.
- Playa del Sardinero: This beautiful beach is one of the most popular in Santander. It has golden sand and crystal-clear water.
- Parque de las Llamas: This park has beautiful walking paths and a lake with paddle boats. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
- Centro Botín: This modern art center was designed by architect Renzo Piano and has stunning views of the bay. The exhibitions are constantly changing, so be sure to check their website for the latest information.
There are many other beautiful places to see in Santander, but these are our top recommendations for a short visit.
Routes in Santander
If you have more time to spend in Santander, we recommend exploring some of the city’s scenic routes:
- Costa Quebrada Route: This route takes you along the coast and offers breathtaking views of the sea cliffs.
- Camino de Santiago Route: This famous pilgrimage route passes through Santander and is a great way to experience the city and its surroundings.
- Cabarceno Nature Park Route: This route takes you to the Cabarceno Nature Park, which is a stunning wildlife reserve with over 20 kilometers of roads to explore.
Each of these routes has its own unique charm and is worth exploring if you have the time.
Where to Sleep in Santander
Santander has a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets:
- Hotel Bahía: This hotel is located in the heart of Santander and offers stunning views of the bay.
- Hotel Chiqui: This beachfront hotel is just steps away from Playa del Sardinero and offers comfortable rooms with sea views.
- Hostal la Torre: This budget-friendly guesthouse is located in the city center and offers clean and comfortable rooms.
There are many other accommodation options in Santander, so be sure to research and find one that suits your needs.
Where to Eat in Santander
Santander is known for its delicious seafood and traditional Spanish cuisine. Here are some of our favorite places to eat:
- Casa Lita: This traditional restaurant is located in the city center and offers a variety of seafood dishes.
- Restaurante Los Raqueros: This seafood restaurant is located on the Playa del Sardinero and offers stunning views of the sea.
- Bar del Puerto: This bar is located in the port and offers a variety of pintxos, which are small tapas-style dishes.
There are many other great restaurants in Santander, so be sure to explore and try some of the local cuisine.
Free Tours in Santander
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to explore Santander, there are several free tours available:
- Free Walking Tour: This tour takes you through the city center and highlights the history and culture of Santander.
- Free Tapas Tour: This tour takes you to several bars and restaurants in the city and includes free pintxos with each drink.
- Free Beach Tour: This tour takes you to several of the city’s beautiful beaches and provides information on their history and ecology.
These tours are a great way to see the city and learn about its culture and history.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best time of year to visit Santander? The summer months (June to September) are the best time to visit for warm weather and beach days.
- Is it necessary to speak Spanish to visit Santander? While it’s helpful to know some basic Spanish, many people in Santander speak English and are happy to help visitors.
- What is the currency used in Santander? The currency used in Santander (and Spain) is the Euro.
- Are there any festivals or events in Santander? Yes, there are several festivals and events throughout the year, including the International Festival of Santander in August and the Santander Music Festival in July.
- Is it safe to visit Santander? Santander is a relatively safe city, but it’s always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
- Can you recommend any day trips from Santander? Yes, some great day trip options include the nearby beaches of Langre and Somo, the charming town of Comillas, and the Cabarceno Nature Park.