Book flights to Santander, and relax on Spain’s beautiful Cantabrian coast. Santander is a lovely, modern city with some gorgeous beaches, idyllic gardens and promenades, a relaxed but lively nightlife, and a cultural calendar that’s choc-full of top-drawer events. As a city break destination, Santander makes for a great weekend; it’s got loads of lovely things for visitors to see and do. But it makes for a really great beach break too if you’re travelling in the warmer months, so don’t forget to take your bucket and spade with you! Book flights to Santander with Ryanair today.
Population
182,700
Currency
1 Euro = 100 cents
Weather forecast
+13 ...22°C
Santander is a city with beautiful architecture from bygone times but also offers some elegant cathedrals to explore. There are also some interesting museums such as Museo Marítimo and Museo de Bellas Artes. For anyone wanting a day away from the urban thrum, Santander is surrounded by Natural Parks. Alternatively, the picture-postcard village of Santanilla del Mar is nearby, as are the prehistoric caves at Puente Viesgo.
Altamira Cave

Altamira is the flagship of the wealth of the important prehistoric legacy to be found in Cantabria. The region has 10 caves with rock paintings recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Discovered in 1875, the Altamira Cave, known as the Sistine Chapel of Palaeolithic Art, is famous around the world for the bison depicted on its roof. The Altarmia Museum is next to the cave and is considered to be the most important European centre on the prehistoric period and one of most-visited museums of Spain.

Santander. ISAF Sailing World Championships

Santander, the capital of Cantabria, is the ideal place to enjoy many of the region's attractions without having to leave the city. These include the beaches, landscape, nature, culinary heritage, culture and different sports, where sailing stands out in its own right. Precisely, the spotlight is going to be on this sport for the coming months as Santander will host the ISAF Sailing World Championships 2014 (from 8 to 21 September). Nearly a thousand boats and 1,400 sailors from a hundred countries will take part in the world championships.

Cabarceno Park

The Cabárceno Nature Park, covering a large area that is home to over a thousand animals belonging to over a hundred species from the five continents, is just 17 kilometres from Santander, the capital of Cantabria. The 750-hectare park is set in a magnificent limestone landscape where elephants, hippopotamus, ostriches, camels, tigers, zebras, giraffes and other animals live in semi-freedom.

Club Nautico La Horadada

This centre on the Playa de la Magdalena offers a wealth of water sports for the active beach-goer, including windsurfing, surfing, sailing, water-skiing and canoeing.

​Address: Avenida de la Reina Victoria, Santander​Phone: +34 942 27 89 11​Website: http://www.horadada.es​More info: Playa de la Magdalena
Cuevas Del Monte Castillo

It’s worth a trip out to these magnificent caves at Puente Viesgo (24 kilometres from Santander), where stalactites and stalagmites stretch among incredible prehistoric paintings. The village itself is also pretty. Open every day during the summer, but closed Monday and Tuesday October to April. Tours start at the visitor centre 1.5 kilometres above the village. Buses run to Puente Viesgo from Santander’s main bus station.

​Address: Puente Viesgo​Phone: +34 942 598 425​Website: http://cuevas.culturadecantabria.com
Menéndez Pelayo Library

This impressive collection contains 41,500 volumes gifted to the town by the writer and thinker, Menéndez Pelayo.

​Address: Rubio 6, Santander ​Phone: +34 942 234 534​Website: http://www.bibliotecademenendezpelayo.org
Museo Marítimo

With exhibits ranging from model boats to whale skeletons and sixteen aquariums, this is a superb museum covering everything nautical. Look out for the two-headed sardine!

​Address: San Martín de Bajamar, Santander​Phone: +34 942 274 962​Website: http://www.museosdecantabria.com
Paseo Marítimo

The Spanish like to stroll, and this one-kilometre boardwalk is a good place to join them. It stretches from the Estación Marítima (Ferry Station) and Puerto Chico, and features several points of interest including the Palacete de Embardadero and sculptures of the raqueros – children who used to dive naked into the sea to gather coins thrown by passers-by.

​Address: Estación Marítima, Santander​More info: The seafront between the Estación Marítima and Puerto Chico
Playa De Somo

This beach across the bay from Santander is much loved for its soft sand, incredible views and relative tranquillity. It’s also known as a good spot for surfing and there’s a surf school that gives lessons and rents boards (Escuela Cantabra de Surf, Calle Isla De Mouro, 12). The best way to get there is by the regular boat service run by Los Reginas on the Paseo Marítimo.

​Address: Playa De Somo, El Somo​Phone: +34 942 510 615 / 609 482 823​Website: http://www.escuelacantabradesurf.com
Playa Del Sardinero

This beach is the largest and most popular in Santander. It’s divided into three parts: the Playa de la Concha is the most southerly, then there’s the Primera Playa, and lastly, the Segunda Playa to the north. From the Segunda Playa it’s a short walk to the Cabo Mayor lighthouse, which perches on picturesque, towering cliffs. El Sardinero is a couple of kilometres from the city centre – take bus number one.

​Address: El Sardinero, Santander
Santanilla Del Mar

Many people are enjoying a day trip to this sensationally, pretty nearby village which is located 26 kilometres west of Santander. Santanilla Del Mar is one of the most historic towns of Spain with some interesting architectural treasures. To get there, take one of the frequent buses run by Autobuses La Cantabria. They depart from the main bus station in Santander.

​Address: Santanilla Del Mar
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

This museum of modern and contemporary art features works by Goya, including his portrait of Fernando VII, and Zurbarán, as well as lesser-known modern pieces. There are more than 225 pieces including paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, video creations and sound art.

​Address: Rubio 6, Santander​Phone: +34 942 203 120 / +34 942 203 121​Website: http://www.museosdesantander.com
Cathedral

This Gothic building was restored after the 1941 fire. Relics include the skulls of Santander’s patron saints. The writer Menéndez Pelayo’s tomb is also here.

​Address: Plaza de Obispo José Eguino y Trecu, Santander
Nature Park Cabárceno

This extensive natural park has animals like the brown bears, elephants, tigers, gorillas and lions to name a few. It is a beautiful area and the park is huge so visitors usually drive between the animal enclosures. There are also some restaurants and cafés around the park.

​Address: Park Cabárceno, Santander​Phone: +34 942 563 736​Website: http://www.parquecabarceno.es
City Sightseeing Santander

Discover Santander from an open top bus. Hop on and hop off at your favourite points along the route to make the most of your experience. The journey takes about 60 minutes. The starting point is by Rotonda Hotel Bahia.

​Phone: +34 9021 01081​Website: http://www.city-sightseeing.com​Opening hours: Season: June - 15 October
Jardines de Piquío

Stroll around at this garden which is located between two beautiful beaches in Santander. Here you can admire the views over the Cantabric Sea. Beside windy trees and flowers there are lots of play areas for children and well maintained lawns at Jardines de Piquío.

​Address: Avenida Castañeda, Santander
Puerto Chico

Take a lovely walk by the harbour and watch when the fishermen arrive with the catch of the day. There are some good value bars, restaurants and cafés in this area. Many locals of Santander come here on weekends.

​Address: Zona Maritima, Santander
Forestal Park

Forestal Park is an adventure park with fun outdoor activities and located in a pretty setting in the woods. Here you can slide down 220m long zip line, cross some rope bridges and walkways.

​Address: Avda del Faro s/n, Santander​Phone: +34 608 117 116​Website: http://www.forestalpark.com/santander
Recommended links

Cantabria, diversity in Green Spain http://cantabriaspain.co.uk Cantabrie, la diversité dans l'Espagne verte http://cantabriaespagne.fr

Santander is beautifully located between the sea and the mountains, and this is reflected in its cuisine. Cantabrian cooking is known for its outstanding fish and seafood, but also for its beef dishes. Santander is also famous for its pastries and delicious cheesecakes (quesadas pasiegas).
Food & Drink

One of Cantabria’s hallmarks is its culinary heritage, which has been recognised with 5 Michelin Star restaurants. Rich in variety, nutritional properties and taste, the regional dishes feature local produce and, of course, the sea. Dishes featuring pulses to tasty meat and shellfish are always present on the best tables.

Café Pub La Rana Verde

This is not a place to go for a formal meal, but a lively joint that’s popular with its young clientele who want to line their stomachs before a night out. It’s located right by the Cañadío bar district. La Rana Verde is famous for its patatas bravas, but also serves hamburgers and sandwiches.

​Address: Daoiz y Velarde 30, Santander​Phone: +34 942 222 402​Website: http://www.laranaverde.es
El Solecito

El Solecito is a tiny, intimate but casual restaurant serving simple pizzas alongside salads, pastas, meat dishes and even fondues. It’s close to the bar area of Puerto Chico.

​Address: Bonifaz 19, Santander​Phone: +34 942 360 633​Website: http://www.elsolecito.com
La Bombi

This is one of Santander’s most highly rated restaurants. It is located in Puerto Chico and serves Cantabrian fish and meat dishes in a rustic atmosphere.

​Address: Caimiro Sainz 15, Santander​Phone: +34 942 213 028​Website: http://www.restaurantelabombi.com
Los Peñucas

This place is down at the fishing port, and offers wonderfully simple food straight from the sea. The menu offers mouth-watering seafood paella, squid with onions and marinated clams.

​Address: Marqués de la Ensenada 35, Santander​Phone: +34 942 229 445​Website: http://www.lospenucas.com​More info: Barrio Pesquero
Mesón Casa Mariano

Mesón Casa Mariano is a hugely popular, homely restaurant serving traditional dishes – stews, sausages and so on. It’s especially known for its good-value daily fixed menu.

​Address: Calle de Vargas, 23, Santander​Phone: +34 942 231 036​Website: http://www.grupopicosdeeuropa.com
Restaurante Cañadío

This is one of Santander’s most renowned restaurants. Cañadío specializes in Cantabrian cuisine. For those whose wallets can’t stand a formal meal, there is an array of mouth-watering snacks at the bar.

​Address: Gómez Areña 15, Santander ​Phone: +34 942 314 149​Website: http://www.restaurantecanadio.com​More info: Plaza de Cañadío
Restaurante Tatami

If you are craving for Japanese food, this restaurant might be something for you. The well-presented food is prepared with high quality products and the price is very reasonable. Enjoy authentic Japanese food such as sushi, tempura dishes and fried rice with shrimps.

​Address: Calle Doctor Fleming, 3, Santander​Phone: +34 942 760 666​Website: http://www.restaurante-tatami.com
Casa Lita

Casa Lita is busy tapas restaurant and ideally located in the centre of the city. There are a wide range of tasty tapas dishes to choose from and the atmosphere is very Spanish with lots of shouting and hand waving at the bar.

​Address: Paseo Pereda, 37, Santander​Phone: +34 942 364 830​Website: http://www.casalita.es
Pizzeria Mamma Mia

As the name reveals this is an Italian restaurant that serves antipasto and pizza. The highly qualified chefs have wide experience when it comes to Italian food. If you are craving for something sweet there is a tempting menu with homemade desserts.

​Address: Calle Inés Diego del Noval, 39, Santander​Phone: +34 942 392 240​Website: http://www.pizzeriamammamia.es
Tai Ka

Enjoy the flavours of Asia at this Chinese restaurant which is situated in the city centre. It opened its doors in 1980 and the staff serves traditional cuisine which is prepared with high quality ingredients.

​Address: Calle de Isabel La Católica, 5, Santander​Phone: +34 942 23 10 27​Website: http://www.tai-ka.es
Bodega Antonio

This family-owned Mexican restaurant is located in the city centre and it is close to tourist attractions and shopping. The menu features authentic Mexican fish and meat dishes such as chicken enchiladas, quesadilla and tuna-stuffed peppers. With your tasty food enjoy a cold Mexican beer.

​Address: Rubio, 2, Santander​Phone: +34 942 23 11 15​Website: http://www.bodegaantonio.es
El Serbal

El Serbal is an elegant restaurant and serves typical northern Spanish food with a modern touch. The fine cuisine is prepared with market-fresh ingredients to satisfy the most discerning of palates. The restaurant has a contemporary design and the menu offers high-quality dishes like ox sirloin roasted with fresh rosemary and served in a port-wine sauce.

​Address: Andrés del Río 7, Santander​Phone: +34 942 22 25 15​Website: http://www.restaurantesdesantander.es
Restaurante La Gaviota

The attentive staff serves traditional seafood in addition to their famous meat and barbecue dishes. There are also homemade desserts on the menu if you are craving for something sweet. This inexpensive restaurant has a friendly and charismatic atmosphere.

​Address: Calle Marques de la Ensenada, 32, Santander​Phone: +34 942 22 11 32​Website: http://www.lagaviota.es
Casa Setien

At Casa Setien you can enjoy Spanish food and where the chefs only use the best products from both the sea and the land of Cantabria. There is also a gastro-pub in the same venue with a cosy atmosphere and with a terrace too.

​Address: Barrio el Puente, 5, Cantabria​Phone: +34 942 57 52 51​Website: http://www.casasetien.com
La Tagliatella

La Tagliatella has currently more than 140 restaurants and one of them is located in Santander. Here you can enjoy authentic flavours of Italian cuisine and the main specialty is pizza and fresh pasta. This is a great place to dine with friends and family.

​Address: Plaza de los Remedios, 1 bajo A, Santander​Phone: +34 942 36 39 78​Website: http://www.latagliatella.es
After a long day of sightseeing, relax in one of these coffee shops which offer a wide range of goodies. Many of the cafés are serving coffee on the daytime and drinks in the evening. Café Olé for example is a good place to start the evening from.
Café Olé

This El Sardinero café attracts a diverse crowd from their 20s to 40s. It’s good both for coffee in the daytime and drinks in the evening. Café Olé is definitely a favourite among locals and tourist.

​Address: Honduras 5, Santander​Phone: +34 942 790 017
Chocolatería Valor

This is part of a chain of chocolaterías which are located throughout the Spain. Chocolatería Valor is a good spot for chocolate con churros and to drink delicious hot chocolate.

​Address: Burgos 20, Santander​Phone: +34 942 373 962​Website: http://www.valor.es
Café Bar El Sol

Café-bar El sol has operated for over 70 years. This place is known for its quality, professionalism and customer approach. Here you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner or drink a cocktail.

​Address: Santa Lucía 32, Santander​Phone: +34 942 215 805​Website: http://www.cafebarelsol.com
Suizo

The attentive staff serves great coffee and breakfast. It’s a tranquil place with good sea views and always busy. There is an outside seating area where you can enjoy your beverage and watch the world go by.

​Address: Paseo de Pereda 28, Santander​Phone: +34 942 215 864
El Obrador

El Obrador is a bakery with over 20 years of experience. It offers a wide range of products prepared in a traditional manner and with unique flavours. Here you can buy freshly baked breads, pastries, cakes, doughnuts and much more. Please notice there is no seating area at this place.

​Address: Vargas, 65, Santander​Phone: 34 942 37 16 60​Website: http://www.pasteleria-elobrador.com
Santander is the ideal spot for nightlife lovers thanks to its variety of premises and sidewalk cafés next to the sea, where you can relax with friends as you enjoy the music and the local cuisine.
Sala Buenas Noches Santander

This club opened a few years ago right on the La Concha beach at El Sardinero. Here you can dance the night away and then take a soothing dip in the ocean at dawn.

​Address: Avda. Reina Victoria 46, Santander​Phone: +34 942 270 882​Website: http://www.salabns.net​More info: Playa de la Concha - El Sardinero
Rocambole

Enjoy live music, stand-up comedy and have a good well-prepared drink at the bar. Style of music for this place is rap, reggae, rock, blues, Celtic, country, electronic, folk, jazz and R & B. Look for more information on the website below.

​Address: Hernán Cortes 35, Santander​Website: http://www.musikaze.com/salarocambole
Loft

This is a pub and restaurant where you can eat tapas and drink cold beer and tasty drinks. Loft is ideally located in the city centre.

​Address: Plaza de Cañadio N1, Santander​Phone: +34 655 967 274​Website: http://www.loftsantander.com
Disco Amarras

Disco Amarras offers top brands of national and international drinks and cocktails. Here you can listen to latin music and pop music. They also host events - see more information on website below.

​Address: C/ Joaquin Costa 28, Santander​Phone: +34 942 274 847​Website: http://www.discoamarras.es​Opening hours: Friday 11.30 - 5.00, Saturday 11.30 - 6.00, Sunday 19.00 - 24.00
El Divino Santander

This is a big venue with a capacity of 400 persons. This is one of the trendy places in Santander and here you can dance to R&B, latin, house and pop. It has three different areas, two on the ground floor and one on the upper floor with a balcony.

​Address: López Dóriga 5, Santander​Phone: +34 653 926 029​Website: http://www.eldivinosantander.com
Santander’s shopping district is in its bustling centre. The streets around the Ayuntamiento – Artigas, Juan Herrera, Burgos and Cubo, for example, are good for everything from clothing to shoes to sportswear, as are Vargas and San Fernando. For boutiques and upmarket clothing, take a stroll along the Avenida de Calvo Sotelo. The Mercado de la Esperanza is a lively place to spend an hour or two. This covered market is housed by a late 19th-century building on the street just behind the Ayuntamiento, aptly named Calle El Mercado. Here, you can join the locals browsing stalls selling freshly caught fish, local cheese and sausages, as well as fruit, vegetables and flowers. In the adjoining Plaza de la Esperanza, there’s an open-air market selling everything from clothes to food. The Mercado de México on Calle Alta hosts vendors selling everything from leather to ceramics to olive oil. It’s open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For those with a sweet tooth, Santander is famous for its local sobaos and quesada cakes. One of the best places to buy them is Confiterías Gómez, which has five branches in the city including at Calle San José, 22, Calle Honduras 2, and Calle Cádiz 7.
Shopping in Santander

Visitors will find in Santander a medium-sized yet cosmopolitan city, which is a busy shopping centre. Alongside the major firms chains of international and national designers, the streets in the centre and old part of the city are home to leading national franchises and small specialist shops, jewellers, gift and shoe shops, and stores showcasing their own designs.

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Aeropuerto de Santander

The Aeropuerto de Santander is five kilometres from the town centre. A bus runs between Santander’s main bus station and the airport. It departures every 30 minutes from 07.00 to 23.00, with the first bus at 06.40. +34 942 211 995 http://www.transportedecantabria.es Taxis leave from outside the terminal building or call Radiotaxi on: +34 942 333 333. http://www.radiotaxisantander.es

​Address: Aeropuerto de Santander, Santander​Phone: +34 942 211 995​Website: http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es
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