What to see in Santander and surroundings

Santander is a coastal city located in the north of Spainto, in the Autonomous Community of Cantabria, which stands out especially for its natural beauty, its historical heritage and its rich gastronomy. Visiting Santander and its surroundings is a decision that you will not regret, as you will enjoy a beautiful and welcoming land that will remain forever etched in your mind.

What to see in Santander and surroundings 1 playaSantander

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What to see in Santander

Santander is a city full of charm that has a wide variety of historical and cultural attractions. Let's see some of its most interesting locations:

The Magdalena Peninsula

On the Magdalena Peninsula is the Madeleine Palace, one of the symbols of the city and former summer residence of the Spanish royal family. This English-style building, built in 1909, has beautiful gardens and a privileged natural environment.1

In this location, you can also visit other points of interest, such as the Cerda Lighthousewhich offers spectacular views of the sea and the coast, or the Madeleine Parka large green space where you can do various outdoor activities.

Santander Cathedral

Santander Cathedral

Santander Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, is one of the most important tourist attractions in the city. Built in the Gothic style in the 12th century, it has undergone various modifications and reforms over the years.

The cathedral has an impressive façade that was built in the 18th century, and an interior with three naves with numerous side chapels. It is famous for housing the tomb of the famous Spanish writer, Marcelino Menendez Pelayowhich is located in one of the side chapels.

It is located in the historic city center, next to Plaza Porticadaand it is a must-see place for those who want to learn about the history and architecture of Santander.

Sardinero Beach

This beach is known for its beauty and elegance, and has been considered one of the best urban beaches from all over Europe. It has more than a kilometer in lengthdivided into two sections, the first, closer to the city center, while the second is wider and is located further north.

piquio gardens in Santander


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Piquío Gardens

The Piquío Gardens are an ideal place for walk, enjoy the scenery, play sports or simply relax and enjoy the natural and architectural beauty of the city. They are the perfect place to walk after a day of visiting and activities in the city of Santander.

Booty Center

The Botín Center is a recently built cultural space located in the heart of Santander. Designed by the architect Renzo Piano, this impressive building with an undulating structure is a work of art in itself, and houses a wide variety of contemporary art exhibitions.

It is a perfect place to enjoy different cultural events, such as concerts, film screenings and theater shows. It also has a terrace with sea views and a Michelin star restaurant, where visitors can enjoy a first class local gastronomy.

Other places of interest

Cantabria and Santander are rich in culture, gastronomy, natural landscapes and traditions, so the options for tourists and visitors are almost endless. Other points of interest that cannot be missed on a visit are:

  • Hope Market. Located in the center of the city, it is a perfect place to get to know the local gastronomy and taste the fresh products of the region.
  • porticoed square. The authentic heart of the city and a regular meeting place for Santander residents, where the stone arches and historic buildings stand out (such as Banco Santander, for example).
  • The Sardinero. The mythical football stadium of Racing de Santander, which has known great feats of Cantabrian sport.
  • Museum of Prehistory and Archeology of Cantabria. With interesting exhibitions on the Altamira cave and the Cantabrian culture of the Iron Age.
  • fishing district. One of the oldest areas of Santander and that transmits a special charm thanks to its picturesque houses and its narrow streets.

Santillana del Mar in Santander

What Cantabrian towns to visit in the surroundings

Do tourism in Santander and Cantabria It is one of the best alternatives to enjoy a vacation in an idyllic setting, where gastronomy and nature are truly spectacular.

Small towns are part of the charm of this area of ​​northern Spain, and among those unique and endearing locations we can highlight:

  • Santillana del Mar or "the town of the three lies" with its cobbled streets and spectacular balconies, and of course, the Altamira Caves.
  • castro urdiales It offers architectural works such as the castle, the Hermitage of Santa Ana or the church of Santa María de la Asunción.
  • pots, where the incredible monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana is located and where you can start different routes through the Picos de Europa National Park.
  • Quotation marks It is a Cantabrian town where you can enjoy one of the few works by the Catalan artist Dalí outside his autonomous community (Gaudi's caprice).
  • San Vicente de la Barquerathe fishing village that has a great cultural heritage, such as the Castillo del Rey or the church of Santa María de los Ángeles.


Below, we offer you some recommendations so that you can get to know Santander better before planning your getaway or vacation in the area.


Santander and surroundings stand out for the wide variety of routesboth for a road trip by car or motorcycle and very attractive and interesting hiking trails.

Best time to visit Santander

Being in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula and close to the Cantabrian Sea, the winter weather in Santander is quite severe. Therefore, the best time to go on vacation or to visit the area is during the months of June to Octoberwhere the temperature helps to enjoy everything that Cantabria offers.

Is Santander expensive?

If we compare with the big Spanish cities like Madrid, Seville, Barcelona or Valencia, Santander is not an expensive city. With good planning and research, you can find places to stay at really reasonable prices, as well as access local gastronomic offers at very low prices.

Visit Santander or the entire northern area that includes Asturias and Cantabriais a good decision if you want to enjoy idyllic landscapes, a unique and rich gastronomy, and the warmth of the people of its towns and cities.

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