- For other places with the same name, see Santander (disambiguation).
Santander is the capital and largest city of the province of Cantabria in Spain. It's on the north coast, with many beaches, ferries from Britain, and a small historic centre. The bars and restaurants of the old town are popular with tourists, as is El Sardinero beach a couple of kilometres away.
- 1 Tourist Information (Oficina de Turismo municipal), Jardines de Pereda, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. April-mid June daily 10:00-19:00, mid-June to mid Sept daily 09:00-21:00, mid-Sept to March M-F 08:30-19:00 & Sa Su 10:00-19:00. They're mostly helpful; difficult to park here.
There appear to be good practical reasons for ancient settlers to have chosen the north side of the bay, sheltered from it and safer from the storms of the Bay of Biscay, on the north side of the promontory of Somorrostro and along the ancient Becedo estuary. Moreover, the hillside provided good visibility for spotting potential attackers, making this the ideal place for the foundation of a stable settlement, which was to evolve throughout the Middle Ages.
In the 9th century Alfonso II the Chaste founded the Abbey of the Holy Bodies in the existing chapel on the hill of Somorrostro, housing as holy relics the heads of Saint Emeterius and Saint Celedonius and the graves of other unknown martyrs, giving the abbey its name. By the end of the 15th century Santander had a population of about 4,000 or 5,000 inhabitants.
The city owes its existence to the excellent harbour of the Bay of Santander. Santander was an important port for Castile in the later Middle Ages, and also for trade with the New World. It became a city in 1755.
Santander fell victim to a great fire in 1941. Fanned by a strong south wind, the fire burned for two days. The fire destroyed the Old Town Hall, Jesús de Monasterio and Vargas streets and Atarazanas square buildings. It led to a major change in the architecture of Santander, away from the older small stone and wood buildings with balconies to the enormous blocks of flats built during the reconstruction. There was only one casualty of the fire, a firefighter from Madrid killed in the line of duty, but thousands of families were left homeless and the city was plunged into chaos. The fire destroyed the greater part of the medieval town centre and gutted the city's Romanesque cathedral
- 1 Seve Ballesteros–Santander Airport (SDR IATA, formerly Parayas) (Camargo, 5 km east of downtown), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Ryanair fly here from Brussels Charleroi, Budapest, Berlin Schönefeld, Dusseldorf Weeze, Dublin, Bologna, Milan Bergamo, Rome Ciampino, London Stansted, Edinburgh, Marrakesh, Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife South. Iberia fly from Madrid, Barcelona and Gran Canaria. Wizz Air fly from Bucharest and Katowice. It's a single small terminal, but adequate for the number of flights. Usual facilities groundside and airside, but for non-Schengen departures, don't go through passport control until 45 min before your flight: Gates 6 & 7 beyond have no toilets or other facilities.
The Alsa bus runs to the bus station every 30 min (06:30-23:00) from outside Arrivals, taking 10 min. Buy tickets (€2.90) from the machine in Arrivals (which also sells tickets to other cities) or from the driver.
Taxis from the airport to Santander are available in front of the terminal (see pricing below). You can also hire taxis with English-speaking drivers ☏, you can ask for the price of your trip and make reservations. Credit cards are accepted.
Santander Airport has direct access to motorway A8 to Bilbao.
2 The Stations or Estaciones is the local name for the trio of the bus, Renfe railway and Feve railway stations, all adjacent in city centre. The bus station has the most facilities. Local buses drop off and pick up on the surrounding plaza, including the airport bus south flank of the terminal building. Most is underground, with cafés, ticket offices & machines and left-luggage. Long-distance buses run from the lower basement.
The station timetable is online. The main operator is ALSA, with buses to Santander from Madrid (5 hours), Barcelona via Zaragoza (9 hr), Gijon, Oviedo, Bilbao (90 min) and Irun. International buses don't come here nowadays, change in Madrid.
Feve run the slow, scenic, unreliable narrow-gauge railway east from Bilbao, San Sebastian and Irun/Hendaye (for SNCF trains across France), and west from Oviedo (for Gijon), Aviles, Ribadeo and Ferrol.
The Renfe & Feve stations are adjacent, facing the bus station. They both have ticket kiosks & machines (each for their own services only) and a few vending machines. Cross the street for better facilities including left luggage in the bus station.
Britanny Ferries sail to Santander from Plymouth, Portsmouth and Cork. The routes are:
- Plymouth to Santander (20 hours) sails Mar-Oct on Sa, plus May-Sept on Tu, and returns M and W.
- Portsmouth to Santander (24 hours), twice a week year round, sailing days vary.
- Cork to Santander (27 hours) sails Mar-Oct on W and F, and returns Tu & Su.
They also sail to Bilbao. All routes cross the Bay of Biscay, notorious for Atlantic swells and upchucking.
3 Santander ferry terminal is very central, off Calle Antonio Lopez near the bus & railway stations.
Spain: Santander is 832 km (517 mi) from Alicante, 709 km from Barcelona, 279 km from León, 399 km from Madrid, 1014 km from Marbella, 364 km from Salamanca, 763 km from Santiago de Compostela, 250 km from Valladolid, 505 km from Vigo and 401 km from Zaragoza.
Santander is reasonably small. The distance from one end of town to the other is about 6 km (4 miles) and can be walked in 2 hours along the coast road. Within the city centre everything is within walking distance (15 min walking).
Public buses are available at reasonable prices. Each journey costs €1.30 (more for journeys out of the city), or €0.66 with a rechargeable card at tobaco shops or kiosks which costs €1 and requires a minimum charge of €5-6 (2020). Buses can take you to the main beaches some 2-4 km from the city centre. Timetables and map for download: 
- Hop On Hop Off Bus, ☏ departs from the Cathedral daily at 10:45 and 11:25, 12:00, 13:15, 13:55, 16:45, 17:20, 18:00 and 18:35, with stops at Pasea Pereda, Museo Maritimo, Palacio de Festivales y Planetario, Palacio de la Magdalena, Casiono/Playa de Sardinero, Faro de Cabo Mayor, Matalenas/Campo de Golf. Estadio, Universidad, Avenida Valdecilla, Cuatro Caminos and Barrio Pesquero, the entire journey taking about 75 min. Internet rates: for 24 hours $21,95 per adult, $10.95 per child (5 to 15), for 48 hours $24.95 per adult, $11.95 per child (5 to 15) plus $3.95 "processing fee" per order. No refunds! Children under 5: free of charge. Explanations given in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Japanese plus a commentary for kids.
Taxis are widely available throughout the city.
- Radiotaxi: ☏ . Tariffs: M-F 06:00-22:00, Sa 09:00-15:00: €1.41 plus €0.96 per km, min €4.15, waiting time €18.82/hour). M-F 22:00-06:00, Sa 00:00-08:00, 15:00-00:00, Su holidays: €1.83 plus €1.25 per km, min €5.25, waiting time €25.05/hour; luggage €0.68, airport supplement €7.06, interurban fares are 30-40% lower (2020)
The city offers bicycle rental, for a very low price, at a number of locations around Santander (Jardines de Pereda, El Sardinero, La Magdalena). Bikes are loaned for the day, so get in early to avoid missing out.
- 1 La Magdalena, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. This headland 3 km east of the centre has a wooded parkland with beaches, a small zoo, a lighthouse and some kitsch replica ships. Its focus is the Palacio, summer residence of the Spanish King 1913-1930 and now an upmarket hotel and convention centre.
- 2 Prehistoric and Archaeological Museum of Cantabria (Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueología de Cantabria), Casimiro Sainz 4, ☏ . Sep 16-Jun 15: Tu-Sa 09:00-14:00 16:00-19:00; Jun 16-Sep 15: Tu-Sa 10:00-13:00 16:00-19:00; Sundays all year 11:00-14:00. An impressively well curated and presented museum focused on the ancient history of the local Cantabria region. All items are presented in Spanish, French and English, and there are a significant amount of video and interactive displays. More than 1000 objects are displayed with a Neolithic focus, though the collection ranges at least the Paleolithic through Roman and medieval periods. €5.
- Maritime Museum of Cantabria (Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico), San Martín de Bajamar s/n., ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Oct 1-Apr 30: Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, May 2-Sep 30: Tu-Su 10:00-19:30; closed Jan 1, Good Friday, May 1 and Dec 25. Adults: €6, children from 4 to 12 €4, senior citizens over 65 €4, tour groups €5 per person.
- Bullfighting Museum (Museo Taurino), Calle de Jerónimo Sainz de la Maza, ☏ . Jun 15 to Sep 15: Tu-F 18:00-21:00, Sa 11:00-14:00. In the lower floor of the bullring, in the western part of the city, near the Plaza de México, with bullfighting memorabilia, posters, photos and paintings, and colourful suits of bullfighters from all over Spain Free.
- Municipal Museum of Arts (Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes), C/Rubio, 6, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 16 Sep-14 Jun: M-F 10:00-13:00, 17:30-21:00, Sa 10:00-13:00; 15 Jun-15 Sep: M-F 11:15-13:00, 17:30-21:00, Sa 10:00-13:00. Principal art museum of the region with s remarkable collection of paintings and sculpture from the 15th to 20th centuries, from Italian, Flemish and Spanish schools and a painting of King Fernando VII by Goya. Free.
- Biblioteca Menéndez Pelayo, C/ Rubio 6, ☏ . M-F 09:00-11:30, guided visits every 30 min.
- Museo del Faro de Cabo Mayor (exhibition of the painter Eduardo Sanz), ☏ . Jul and Aug: Tu-Su 11:00-13:30, 19:00-21:00, rest of the year: 11:00-13:30, 17:00-20:00. There's an art gallery and a strange collection of lighthouse images from popular culture--on everything from matchboxes to liquor bottles. free.
- Colección del Ateneo de Santander, C/ Gómez Oreña, 5-1º, ☏ , fax: . Salón Social and Cafetería: 09:00-13:00, 16:00-21:30. admission free.
- Colección del Parlamento de Cantabria, C/ Alta 31/33, ☏ .
- Colecciones y Patrimonio de Caja Cantabria, C/ Rubio 6, ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-13:30, Tu Th 16:30-21:00 except Jul Aug.
- 3 Ethnography Museum (Museo Etnografico de Cantabria Casa Velarde), Calle de los Heroes dos de Mayo, Muriedas, Camargo (8 km south of city), ☏ . July-Sept Tu-Sa 10:00-13:00, 16:00-19:00, Su 11:00-14:00, Oct-June Tu-Sa 10:00-13:00, 16:00-18:00, Su 11:00-14:00. Historical 17th-century building, birthplace of artillery captain Pedro Velarde y Santillan, with antiquities and period furnishings, kitchen utensils, paintings. Visit by guided tour which starts on the hour. Free.
- 4 Cathedral (Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Santander), Plaza del Obispo José Eguino y Trecu s/n, ☏ . M-Sa 10:00-13:00, 16:00-19:30, Su 10:00-13:00, 17:00-21:00. Two-storey Gothic cathedral, the lower level (Iglesia del Cristo) built from 12th century, the upper Basilica mostly 13th century, then the cloister was added. Don't visit during Mass, usually M-F 11:00 & 18:30, Sa 11:00, 17:00 & 20:00 and Su 12:00, 13:30, 17:00 & 20:00. Free.
- Iglesia de la Anunciación, C/ Juan de Herrera 17. open during services only. A good example of Renaissance architecture.
- Iglesia de la Consolación, C/Alta 19. open during services only. A church in classical Baroque style.
- Iglesia de Santa Lucía, C/ Daoiz y Velarde 11. open during services only. A building of the eclectic style dating from the 19th century.
- Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón, C/ San Jose. open during services only. One of the best examples of Neogothic style in town.
- Santander Ban (Edificio del Banco Santander), Paseo Pereda 9-12 (opposite Pereda Gardens, not open to the public, in the city centre, best reached with bus no. 1, 3, 4.C1, 4.C2, 9 and 10), ☏ .
- Banco Español de Crédito, Hernan Cortes 11. A building in the eclectic style of 1900.
- Banco de España, Avenida Alfonso XIII. Opened in 1922.
- Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), Plaza del Ayuntamiento s/n. A building in the eclectic style of the 19th century, richly decorated with columns, balconies and coats of arms.
- Mercado del Este, C/General Mola. Erected from 1840 onwards, completely reconstructed in 1986.
- Mercado de la Esperanza, Plaza de la Esperanza. Inaugurated in 1904 in Modernism style.
- Plaza Porticada. Constructed as new city centre after the fire of 1941.
- Casa Pardo, Paseo de Perez Galdos. House from 1915, also called 'Palacio de los Botin' with spectacular views over the bay, one of the most splendid mansions of the city, at Sardinero, reached with bus no 10.
- Casa Pombo, Plaza de Jose Antonio 3 (mansion of 1875, in the city centre, reached with bus no 1).
- Dique de Gamazo. A small fishing port, dating from 1908, 180 m long, 15 m wide, 8 m deep, in the city centre, reached with bus no 1.
- Post Office Building (Edificio de Correos), Avenida de Alfonso XII, ☏ . An impressive building, one of the landmarks of Santander, built in 1915, in the city centre, reached with bus no 1 and 8.
- Edificio de Los Arcos de Botin, Hernan Cortes 21. Neoclassic building on the north side of Piaza Pombo, near the harbour, good example of 19th-century architecture, visitors are not allowed inside, in the city centre, reached with bus no 1.
- Edificio de Los Pinares, Duque de Santo Mauro (near Primera Playa, between Calle Duque de Santo Mauro and Calle Joaquín Costa). Impressive private home of ship owner Francisco García, with an outstanding view on the beach as well as Renaissance and Baroque elements of architecture.
- Edificio de Viviendas, Calle Castelar, 15 (in the city centre, reached with bus no 1). One of the city's grandest mansions of the early 1900S in the historic district along the Calle Castelar and Paseo de Pereda.
Streets and squares
- Paseo de Pereda y Calle Castelar (in the city centre, reached with bus no 1). 1550-m-long street with nice views on the harbour and the cathedral and many buildings from the 18th to 20th century, including Puerto Chico, Dique de Gamazo, Cuesta del Gas, and Banco Vitalicio.
- Plaza de José Antonio (Plaza Pombo) (Calle de Hernán Cortés and General Mola are on the north and south, and Pancho Cossío and Las Infantas on the east and west). A charming plaza with colorful flowerbeds and musician bandstand.
- Alameda de Oviedo, San Fernando, s/n. In the western part of the city centre, running from Cuatro Caminos Roundabout in the west, to Plaza de Numancia in the east, specifically between Calle de San Fernando and Calle Vargas.
- Jardines de Pereda, Paseo de Pereda, s/n. Santander's most famous park with a lot of trees, bushes and flowers, a pond, several sculptures, a music pavilion, a monument to the writer José María de Pereda (1833-1906), a fountain dedicated to the Cantabrian author, Concha Espina (1877-1953), the Fuente de los Meones and the city tourist office nearby.
- Parque de Altamira, Paseo del General Dávila, s/n (in the north of the city near the commercial centre between Paseo del General Dávila and Calle Vía Cornelia). A botanical garden in city centre, covering a total area of 16,000 m².
- Jardines de Piquío, Avenida de Castañeda, s/n. Occupying an area of 13,000 m², with fine views on the Ensenada del Sardinero, Cabo Menor to the north and Magdalena Peninsula to the south. On a promontory between Primera and Segunda Playa (First and Second Beaches, originally known as the "Piquillo" or the "Punta del Rostro" (Face Point).
- Parque del Doctor González Mesones, Avenida del Stadium, s/n (in theeast of the city near El Sardinero and the football stadium). A park with an area of 40,000 m²,with fountains, ornate stone benches with heraldic shields and a statue of the poet José Luis Hidalgo.
- Parque de La Marga, Jerónimo Sainz de la Maza, s/n. West of the city, near Puerto Pesquero (Fishing Port), Dársena de Maliaño (Maliaño Docks), fish market and restaurants in the Barrio Pesquero (Fishing Quarter).
- Parque de La Magdalena: see earlier listing.
- Parque de Cabo Mayor, Avenida del Faro, s/n, (situated near El Sardinero beaches.). Covering an area of more than 100,000 m², the park is spectacular on windy days, when the waves crash onto the cliffs. The Faro de Cabo Mayor is the oldest lighthouse in Cantabria. It was built in 1839, is 30 m high and its light can be seen from 45 km away. The rock formation of the Puente del Diablo (Devil's Bridge) and the Panteón del Inglés (Englishman's Pantheon) is nearby.
- Picnic on Magdalena Peninsula
- Learn how to sail
- 5 city walks: go to the Santander Tourist Office in the city centre (Old Market, near the Old Banco de Santander) and get a free city guide; the free city guide describes these 5 itineraries.  These 5 itineraries are enough to keep you busy for 1-2 days.
- boat round trip: There is a regular boat service through the Santander Bay, boats run from Santander to Pedreña, Somo and back. For a 45-minutes round-trip you have to pay €3.90 and the boats starts at least every hour.
- Enjoy the beaches. Walk up to the lighthouse at Cabo Mayor, visit the museum and enjoy the view from the top.
Santander has a lot of fine beaches.
- Magdalena Beach (Playa de la Magdalena)
- Sardinero Beaches (Playa del Sardinero)
- Camel Beach (Playa del Camello)
- Mataleñas Beach (Playa de Mataleñas)
- Magdalena Peninsula (see the penguins in the 'mini-Zoo') & Magdalena Palace (Palacio de Magdalena)
- Lighthouse at Cabo Mayor (faro de Cabo Mayor), and the devil's bridge (puente del diablo), a bizarre rock formation.
- Playa de Bikinis, safe and lovely beach on the Peninsula de la Magdalena, protected from big waves, very calm.
- Playa de Covachos, Cotero (Santa Cruz de Bezana), one of the most attractive beaches,
- Playa de El Bocal, Corbanera, peaceful and quiet,
- Playa de El Camello, Avenida de la Reina Victoria, near Magdalena Peninsula,
- Playa de El Puntal, Somo (Ribamontán al Mar),
- Playa de La Concha, in the middle of Sardinero,
- Playa de La Magdalena, Ensenada del Sardinero, with fine views of the bay,
- Playa de La Maruca, Monte,
- Playa de la Virgen del Mar, San Román, peaceful and quiet,
- Playa de Langre, Langre (Ribamontán al Mar), spectacular situation between the cliffs,
- Playa de Los Molinucos, small beach north of Segunda Playa,
- Playa de Los Peligros, Avenida de la Reina Victoria, quiet beach in a sheltered bay,
- Playa de Mataleñas, between Cabo Mayor and Cabo Menor, the 'luxury' beach of Santander,
- Playa de Somocuevas, Liencres (Piélagos), with fine golde sands,
- Playa de Valdearenas, Liencres (Piélagos), fine sand dunes,
- Playa Primera de El Sardinero, Plaza de Italia, the most famous beach of Santander,
- Playa Segunda de El Sardinero, Playa de Castaneda.
- Somo Beach is a little bit outside of Santander. It can be reached from downtown Santander by boat. Boats leave every 10 minutes and the boat ride takes about 10 minutes. Somo Beach is about 3 km long and is less crowded than beaches in Santander.
- Centro Cultural Caja Cantabria, Tantín, 25, ☏ . The buildings is also known as "Modesto Tapia". It was designed by the Catalan architect, Domenech i Muntaner, a contemporary of Gaudí, and was inaugurated by Alfonso XIII in 1907. It incorporates many Modernist architectural features and was completely re-modelled in 1994. The Social and Cultural Office of Cantabria Bank offers theater performances, rock, pop and jazz concerts, conferences, art exhibits and workshops in drama, painting and photography.
- Centro Cultural Doctor Madrazo, Casimiro Sainz, s/n, (near Tetuán Tunnel and Puerto Chico), ☏ . Organized by the Cultural Bureau of Santander’s City Council.
- Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria, Gamazo, s/n, ☏ . Designed by Javier Sáenz de Oiza, opened in 1991, classical music concerts, ballet and dance performances, home to Cantabria's School of Dramatic Arts
- Fiestas Virgen del Mar (Lady of the Sea festival): May 19
- Los Baños de Ola: July 16 until 20
- Fiestas de Santiago (St.James's Festival): July 25
- Mercado medieval (medieval market): second half of August
- Romería del Faro (pilgrimage to the lighthouse): August 23
- Lupa, Avenida de Parayas, s/n, ☏ . A big supermarket chain.
- Mercado de la Esperanza, El Mercado, s/ (behind the Mercado de la Esperanza in Plaza de la Esperanza), ☏ . M-F 08:00-14:00 17:00-19:30, Sa 08:00-14:00. An open-air market selling clothes, fruits and flowers. A busy market built in 1897 and restored in 1977. The oldest surviving market in Santander.
- Santa María Pescados, San Francisco, 12 (fish market in the San Francisco complex). M-F 09:00-13:30 16:30-20:30, Sa 09:00-13:30. Offering fresh seafood from the Cantabrian Sea, shellfish, hake, sea-bass, sardines, squid, octopus lobsters, percebes (goose barnacles) and crayfish.
- Hilario, General Dávila, ☏ . M-F 09:00-14:00 17:00-20:00, Sa 09:00-14:00. A meat shop at the Hospital Santa Clotilde.
The Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo offers summer courses for university students, including Spanish language courses for foreigners, that take place both at the Magdalena Palace and at Residencia Las Llamas.
The Universidad de Cantabria offers Spanish language courses of 4 to 10 weeks duration throughout the year through the Centro de Idiomas (CIUC). CIUC also coordinates exchange students at the university.
Santander's cuisine is characteristic of Cantabria in that it is based mainly on seafood. Popular shellfish include almejas (clams) and navajas (razor clams); fish include seabream, red mullet, anchovies, seabass and sardines; and squid and cuttlefish are also commonly eaten.
Some typical dishes from the city of Santander are the fried calamari called rabas, double donuts, bean stew called cocido montañés, and seafood dishes ranging from seabass and sardine to products such as morguera.
- Lots of cheap cafés in and around the bus station. A coffee and pincho for breakfast won't exceed €3.
- The best area to eat fish is around the fishing harbour (Barrio Pesquero), although locals usually regard this as a tourist trap.
- Santander has many Regma ice-creamery outlets, with servings of 8 popular flavours. Other chains such as Capri on Paseo de Pereda have a greater range of choices.
- Taj Mahal on Calle Santa Lucía is the only Indian restaurant in town and serves a tasty alternative to the Spanish staples.
- Sakura on Paseo Canalejas near Cuatro Caminos serves Japanese dishes.
- Casona del Judío, Calle Repuente 20, ☏ . Tu-Sa 13:00-16:00, 20:00-23:30, Su 13:00-16:00. Upscale dining, relocated from its former site on Resconorio.
- La Bombi, Casimiro Sainz 15, ☏ . Daily 13:30-16:00 & 21:00-00:00. Upscale wining and dining, better seating upstairs.
- La Mulata, Callle Tetuan, ☏ . Daily 13:00-17:30, 20:00-00:00. Upscale seafood restaurant, gets admiring reviews. €30.
- Cañadio, Gómez Oreña, 15, ☏ . Daily 10:00-03:00. Bar, good for tapas or main meals. €45.
- Posada del Mar, Castelar 19, ☏ . Seafood restaurant, too cool to post opening hours. €45-55.
- El Serbal, Andrés del Rio, 7, ☏ . Tu-Sa 13:30-16:00, 20:30-23:30, Su 13:30-16:00. Fine dining and wining. €55.
- Bar del Puerto, Hernán Cortés 63, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Another good seafood restaurant but too cool to state opening hours. €60.
- Tatami (formerly La Sardina de Plata), Plaza Doctor Fleming, 3. Daily 12:00-16:00, 20:00-00:00. Sushi, sashimi and other Japanese cuisine.
- El Jardin de Aida (formerly Altamira), Avenida Reina Victoria, 27, ☏ . Tu-Sa 12:00-16:30 & 20:00-23:00, Su 20:00-23:00. Traditional cuisine, try the cheesecake.
- El Cormorán, Segunda Playa del Sardinero, ☏ . Su-Th 08:30-01:00, F Sa 08:30-03:00. Breakfast, coffee or dining by the sea.
- El Figón, Cardenal Cisneros, 7, ☏ . M-Sa 10:00-16:30, 20:00-23:00, Su 10:00-16:00. Looks like a shack, but within is quality home-style cuisine, good value for money.
- Gelín, Av Nueva Montaña 2, ☏ . M-F 07:30-00:00, Sa 10:30-00:00. Traditional and rustic food.
The main spot is Plaza de Cañadío in the centre of old town. It's a hive for young Santanderinos and exchange students, with many bars and restaurants. A favourite drink is calimocho, a red wine/coca-cola combo.
- Hotel Bahia, Calle Cadiz 22 (opposite cathedral), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Good business-type hotel, clean and efficient, close to stations. Breakfast is pricey, try adjacent cafés.
- Hotel Silken Coliseum, Plaza de los Remedios (5 mins walk north of bus station), ☏ . Clean friendly business-type downtown hotel.
- Hotel Las Brisas, Calle La Braña 14, El Sardinero. Small rooms, but clean & cosy and near the beach.
- Santemar Hotel, Calle Joaquin Costa 28, ☏ . A few blocks back from La Magdalena and Sardinero beach
- [dead link] Gran Hotel Sardinero, Plaza de Italia 1, ☏ . 4-star near Sardinero beach.
- Hospedaje Magallanes, Magallanes 22 Entlo, ☏ . 2-star in city centre.
- Hotel Chiqui, Avenida Manuel Garcia Lago 9 (3 km east of centre by Sardinero Beach), ☏ .
- NH Ciudad de Santander, Menéndez Pelayo, 13-15, ☏ . Good modern place downtown.
- Castro-Urdiales: seaside village east of Santander with a nice Gothic church and lighthouse.
- Laredo (Spain): another seaside village to the East, the old quarter is worth a visit.
- Potes: this small village is the key to the Picos de Europa mountain range (which is a National Park), and the Liébana region. Good eating place, and the local orujo (a strong spirits drink) is highly recommended.
- Reinosa: the main town on southern Cantabria, it's a good base to explore the Cantabrian mountain range (Cordillera Cantábrica), with the Alto Campoo sky resort, the Roman city of Julióbriga and several Medieval churches close by.
- Santillana del Mar: Picturesque stone village 1 hour away by bus; visit the famous cave of Altamira.
- San Vicente de la Barquera - Sea-side fishing village, about 30 minutes by bus. See the fishing vessels unload what Madrid will be eating tomorrow. Fantastic tides, so stay for at least 6 hours. Nice Roman bridge.
- Valles Pasiegos: for a taste of rural Cantabria, no better place than the Valley of the Pas river, especially Toranzo, Selaya, Villacarriedo, Vega de Pas, San Roque de Riomiera and San Pedro del Romeral. Try the typical sobaos and quesadas, two traditional desserts.