Santander

Travel Guide
Santander showing rugged coastline, a sandy beach and general coastal views
Stroll down sweeping sandy beaches and waterfront promenades in this magnificent seaside city that has lured vacationers since the 19th century.

Santander is Cantabria’s major hub and an exciting seaside city in northern Spain. The city has broad appeal for its wide beaches, boutique shopping and vivid dining scene. Check the surf or explore the busy city harbors. The city’s historic district is a charming neighborhood with belle époque grandeur and elegant civic landmarks.

Wide beaches and a series of harbors border Santander’s northeastern area, alongside the mouth of the gorgeous Bahía de Santander. This bay area is where you’ll find the popular seaside resorts for which the city is now known. Visit the handsome beachside neighborhood of El Sardinero to see some of the city’s most exquisite heritage architecture. The waterfront has a wide promenade with a collection of beautiful buildings, including hotels, restaurants, cafés and the impressive Gran Casino del Sardinero. Stroll along the broad promenade or check out 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers) of golden sands on Sardinero’s popular beach. Swim in the gentle waves or relax on the sand. Other popular beaches in the Santander municipality include Los Peligros and San Marcos.

The southern part of Santander is where you’ll find the city’s preserved historic district, where a selection of buildings survived the fire that raged through the city in 1941. Among the downtown treasures are the Cathedral of Santander and the Palacio de la Magdalena. Walk out toward the bay’s headlands to see the Cabo Mayor Lighthouse and explore the grassy coastal park. Walk along the Paseo de Pereda to find cafés with bayside views. Try delicious local seafood dishes that include the region’s specialties: clams, squid, sardines and seabream.

Learn about the region’s history at the Cantabrian Regional Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology or check out the Cantabrian Maritime Museum.

Santander is the capital of the Cantabria region. Reach the city via its airport or make use of the network of trains, buses and ferries that connect the city to other major Spanish hubs. Choose from Santander’s wide range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to charming seaside villas in the wider municipality. The city is a popular vacation spot for Spaniards, so visit outside of peak periods to avoid the crowds.

Where to stay in Santander

Hotel Silken Rio Santander
Hotel Silken Rio Santander
4 out of 5
Avenida Reina Victoria, 153, Santander, Cantabria, 39005
The price is ¥13,386 per night from Sep 11 to Sep 12
Stay at this 4-star beach hotel in Santander. Enjoy free WiFi, a beach locale, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4/5 Very Good! (348 reviews)
"A great hotel, we had a lovely room and bathroom, the staff are really helpful and the hotel is opposite the beach."

Reviewed on Jul 15, 2022

Hotel Silken Rio Santander
Gran Hotel Sardinero
Gran Hotel Sardinero
4 out of 5
Plaza de Italia 1, Santander, 39005
The price is ¥17,100 per night from Sep 12 to Sep 13
Stay at this 4-star beach hotel in Santander. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants, and a beach locale. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in our ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (311 reviews)
"Great location and wonderful experience."

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2022

Gran Hotel Sardinero
Hotel Bahia
Hotel Bahia
4 out of 5
C/ Cádiz, 22, Santander, Cantabria, 39002
The price is ¥15,870 per night from Sep 11 to Sep 12
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Santander. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (927 reviews)
Very good indeed
"Excellent location for old town and port (with lovely little park beside) but a taxi or bus to Sardinero. Room spacious and comfortable.Staff very friendly and helpful. Didn’t use restaurant or bar due to number of walkable options. Would happily stay here again."

Reviewed on Jul 25, 2022

Hotel Bahia
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Apartamentos River Santander
Apartamentos River Santander
3 out of 5
Ojaiz 166, Santander, Cantabria, 39011
The price is ¥8,088 per night from Sep 2 to Sep 3
Stay at this 3-star aparthotel in Santander. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and daily housekeeping. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the convenient parking ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (48 reviews)
"The only drawback with the apartments is they are nowhere near the town. But there are bus stops just outside if you don't have a car."

Reviewed on Jun 28, 2022

Apartamentos River Santander
Estudios Aranzazu
Estudios Aranzazu
2 out of 5
Mies del Valle, 4, Santander, Cantabria, 39010
The price is ¥8,857 per night from Aug 29 to Aug 30
Stay at this business-friendly aparthotel in Santander. Enjoy free WiFi, a 24-hour front desk, and dry cleaning or laundry services. Our guests praise the WiFi ...
3.4/5 Good! (170 reviews)
"This hotel was perfect good location and very friendly room was a lovely size and bed very comfortable the only thing was the shower was very small if you were bigger than a size 14 you wouldn't fit"

Reviewed on May 14, 2022

Estudios Aranzazu
SF Avenue Santander
SF Avenue Santander
3.5 out of 5
San Fernando 28, Santander, Cantabria, 39010
The price is ¥14,933 per night from Sep 14 to Sep 15
Stay at this 3.5-star apartment in Santander. Enjoy free WiFi, 1 bedroom, and housekeeping. Popular attractions Santander Ferry Terminal and Cabarceno Natural ...
SF Avenue Santander
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit

Things to do