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Santander may refer to:




Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Santander is the capital and also the largest city of the province of Cantabria in Spain. Santander has some 180,000 inhabitants and is on the ocean. It features a small historic center and a handful of beaches. Its most famous tourist attraction is the Magdalena Palace which was used as a summer getaway of Spanish royalty.

Santander, Spain
Santander, Spain

Get in



You can arrive in Santander via plane (mostly domestic and charter flights; international flights from London, Dublin, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt(?), Paris and Amsterdam; public bus, or car.

Ryanair [[1]] flies from London Stansted, Rome Ciampino and Dublin directly to Santander Airport. Ryanair also now flies from Liverpool airport.

Iberia [[2]] offers daily flights to Santander from Madrid and Barcelona and weekly flights from Alicante, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Sevilla, Tenerife, Valencia, Paris and Amsterdam.

Santander - Parayas, Aeropuerto Internacional de Santander [ [3]] Aptdo de Correos 097, E-39600 Maliaño/Cantabria, tel. 942 202100, fax 942 202152, email: is located in the municipality of Camargo, 5 kilometres East of Santander.

Taxis from the Airport into Santander are about € 20. The taxi stand is in front of the terminal building. Radiotaxi has tel 942333333.

The Alsa [[4]] city bus (tel 942211995) to Santander Bus Station (Estación de autobuses) departs daily at 6.30 and 6.50 am and then every 30 minutes from 7.15 am until 10.45 pm from directly outside the arrivals terminal (€ 2, March 2009). Duration of the journey: 15 minutes.

Alsa'[[5]] (tel 902 422 242) operates bus services to cities in Northern Spain Bilbao, Gijón, Oviedo and Laredo.

Santander Airport has direct access to the motorway A8 Santander - Bilbao.


ALSA [[6]] operates daily bus services to Santander from Galicia, Asturias, Pais Vasco, Extremadura, Castilla y León, Zaragoza and Barcelona and weekly services from Belgium, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The trip from Madrid takes about 5 hours (about € 30) and the trip from Barcelona takes about 9 hours (via Zaragoza).

There are about 20 busses per day from Bilbao to Santander, journey time about 90 minutes. Single ticket 6,71 €, return 12,75 € (December 2009).

Bilman Bus [[7]] offers daily bus services from Valencia, Alicante, Cartagena and Murcia.

For more information see the Santander Bus Station (estación de Autobuses de Santander) [[8]] with timetables from and to all destinations available.


RENFE [[9]] operates daily trains from Madrid and Alicante to Santander with stops in the main cities on the way (Palencia, Valladolid, Ávila). Trains leave from Madrid Chamartin Station at 7.40 a.m. Mon to Fri, 1.30 p.m and 6.05 p.m. daily. The trip from Madrid takes about 5-6 hours (about € 35).

Feve [[10]] offers daily train services from Bilbao and Asturia to Santander .


You may also wish to take a ferry from Plymouth, England. The journey time is approximately 24 hours each way, and is an interesting journey, although you may wish to resist having a large meal too soon after departure from Plymouth if you are unused to sea travel as the Cantabrian Sea can be extremely rough.

Britanny Ferries [ [11]] operates two sailings a week from the UK to Santander from mid-March to October, on Wednesdays from Portsmouth and on Sundays from Plymouth, average sailing time hours. operated by the modern MV Pont Aven [[12]]. From November until around December 20th and from Mid-February until March only the Plymouth - Santander service is operated with MS Bretagne [[13]], journey time 24 hrs. There is no service from around December 20th until Mid Februray.

from France

Santander is 150 ml (246 km) from Biarritz, 272 ml (437 km) from Bordeaux, 327 ml (537 km) from Toulouse, 583 ml (937 km) from Marseille and 685 ml (1103 km) from Nice.

from Spain

Santander is 517 ml (832 km) from Alicante, 443 ml (709 km) from Barcelona, 173 ml (279 km) from Leon, 243 ml (399 km) from Madrid, 630 ml (1014 km) from Marbella, 226 ml (364 km) from Salamanca, 474 ml (763 km) from Santiago de Compostela, 155 ml (250 km) from Valladolid, 314 ml (505 km) from Vigo and 249 ml (401 km) from Zaragoza.

from Portugal

Santiago is 517 ml (848 km) from Lisboa and 405 ml (648 km) from Porto.

  • Foot Santander is reasonably small. The distance from one end of town to the other are some 6km (4m) and can be walked in 2 hours along the coast road. Within the city center everything is within walking distance (15min walking).
  • Bus Public buses are available at reasonable prices. Each journey costs € 1.10 (more for journeys out of the city proper, or you can save 40% by buying a 10-journey 'Bonobus' at a 'Tabaco' shop). A 10 journey Bonobus ticket costs € 6 (December 2009). Specifically, buses can take you to the main beaches some 2-4km (2m) from the city center.
  • SantanderTours [[14]]
  • Taxi Taxis are widely available throughout the city. Radiotaxi: tel. 942333333.
  • Bicycle The City offers free bicycle rental 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.
Playa del Sardinero, Santander
Playa del Sardinero, Santander
  • Prehistoric and Archaeological Museum of Cantabria (''Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueología de Cantabria''), Casimiro Sainz 4 (more than 1000 objects from Paleolithic to Iron Ages, items from Roman settlements Juliobrigo and Flaviobrige, medieval ivory belt buckle), 942207109. from September 16 until June 15 Tue to Sat 9am to 1pm and 4 to 7 pm, from June 16 until September 15 Tue to Sat 10 am to 1pm and 4 to 7 pm, Sundays all the year round from 11am to 2pm. admission free.   edit
  • Maritime Museum of Cantabria (''Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico''), San Martín de Bajamar s/n., 942274962 (, fax: 942281068), [16]. Oct 1 until April 30 Tue to Sun 10am until 6pm, May 2 until Sept 30 Tue to Sun 10am until 7.30pm, closed Mon, Jan 1, Good Friday, May 1 and Dec 25. adults: 6 €, children from 4 to 12: 4 €, senior citizens over 65: 4 €, tourist groups: 5 € per person.   edit
  • Bullfighting Museum (''Museo Taurino''), Calle de Jerónimo Sainz de la Maza (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), 942341204. Jun 15 to Sep 15: Tue to Fri 6 to 9pm, Sat 11am to 2pm. admission free.  edit
  • Municipal Museum of Arts (Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes) (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), C/Rubio, 6, 942203120, 942203121 (, fax: 942203125), [17]. from 16 Sep until 14 Jun: Mon to Fri 10am to 1pm, 5.30 to 9pm, Sat: 10am to 1pm, closed Sat afternoon, Sun, from 15 Jun until 15 Sep: Mon to Fri 11.15am to 1pm, 5.30 to 9pm, Sat: 10am to 1pm, closed Sat afternoon, Sun,. admission: free.   edit
  • 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.
  • Cathedral - Catedral de Santa Maria de la Asunción, Plaza del Obispo José Eguino y Trecu s/n, 942226024. Mon to Fri 10am to 1 pm and 4 to 7.30 pm, Holy service at 11 am and 6.30 pm, Sat 10am to 1 pm and 4 to 8 pm, Holy service at 11 am, 5 and 8 pm, Sun 10am to 1 pm and 5 to 9 pm, Holy service at 12 am, 1.30, 5 and 8 pm. The cathedral cannot be visited during services, guided tours free of charge in July and August.   edit
  • Iglesia del Santísimo Cristo, C/ Somorrostro s/n. Jun 1 until Sep 30: 8am to 1 pm and 4 to 8 pm every day, Oct 1 until May 31: 8am to 1.30 pm and 5 to 8 pm every day, Holy services from mon to Fri at 11 am and 8.30 pm, Sat 10am to 1 pm and 4 to 8 pm, Holy service at 8.15, 10 and 11.15 am, 5 and 8 pm, Sat at 10 and 11.15 am, 1.15, 6 and 8.30 pm, Sun at 8.15, 10, 11 and 12 am, 1, 5 and 8.30 pm. The church cannot be visited during services, guided tours free of charge in July and August.  edit
  • Iglesia de la Anunciación, C/ Juan de Herrera 17 (good example of Renaissance architecture). open during services only.  edit
  • Iglesia de la Consolación, C/Alta 19 (church in classical Baroque style). open during services only.  edit
  • Iglesia de Santa Lucía, C/ Daoiz y Velarde 11 (building of the ecclectic style dating from the 19th century). open during services only.  edit
  • Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón, C/ San Jose (one of the best examples of Neogothic style in town). open during services only.  edit
  • Banco Santander, Paseo Pereda 9 (constructed in 1875).  edit
  • Banco Español de Crédito, Hernan Cortes 11 (building in the eclectic style of 1900).  edit
  • Banco de España, Avenida Alfonso XIII (opened 1922).  edit
  • Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), Plaza del Ayuntamiento s/n (building in the ecclectic style of the 19th century, richly decorated with columns, balconies and coats of arms).  edit
  • Paseo de Pereda y Calle Castelar.  edit
  • Mercado del Este, C/General Mola (erected from 1840 onwards, completely reconstructed in 1986).  edit
  • Mercado de la Esperanza, Plaza de la Esperanza (inaugurated 1904 in Modernism style).  edit
  • Plaza Porticada, (constructed as new city center after the frie of 1941).  edit
The promenade along Santander Bay
The promenade along Santander Bay
  • Picnic on Magdalena Peninsula
  • Learn how to sail
  • Enjoy the beaches
  • 5 city walks: go to the Santander Tourist Office in the city center (Old Market, near the Old Banco de Santander) and get a free city guide; the free city guide describes these 5 itineraries. [18] 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 Pedrena, Somo and back. For a 45-minutes round-trip you have to pay 3,90 € and the boats starts at least every hour.
  • 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 
  • Castro-Urdiales: seaside village East of Santander, 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.
  • Ethnography Museum (Museo Etnografico de Cantabria Casa Velarde) (historical 17th-century building, birthplace of Spanish artillery captain Pedro Velarde y Santillan, antiquities and period furnishings, kitchen utensils, paintings), Calle de los Heroes dos de Mayo, Muriedas, Camargo, Spain (5 ml/8 km from Santander), 942251347. frum Jul until Sep Tue to Sat 10am to 1pm, 4 to 7pm, Sun 11am to 2pm, from October to June Tue to Sat 10am to 1pm, 4 to 6pm, Sun 11am to 2pm.   edit
  • The best area to eat fish is the district close to fishing harbour (Barrio Pesquero), although locals usually regard this as a tourist trap.
  • Señores Patatas on Calle Santa Lucía offers student-priced meals of fries and hamburgers. Try the 'Five Sauces' (Cinco Salsas) plates with five types of fry cut and five types of sauce.
  • Taj Mahal on Calle Santa Lucía is the only Indian restaurant in town and serves a tasty alternative to the Spanish staples.
  • Sakura near Cuatro Caminos serves Japanese dishes.
  • Santander is known amongst Spaniards for its many Regma ice-creamery outlets. At times it can seem that they have an outlet on every corner. Their very generous serving sizes of 8 popular flavours of ice cream have been melting down the hands of locals for years, even throughout the winter months. Other chains such as Capri on Paseo de Pereda provide a greater range of choices.
  • Fausto, Fernández de Isla 15 (See map, 942236690, [19]. 39 €.  edit
  • La Casona del Judío, Resconorio 35 (See map, 942323013, [20]. 40 €.  edit
  • La Bombi, Casimiro Sainz 15 (See map, 942213028, [21]. 42 €.  edit
  • La Mulata, Andrés del Rio 7 (See map, 942363785, [22]. 42 €.  edit
  • Cañadio, Gómez Oreña, 15 (See map, 942314149, [23]. 45 €.  edit
  • La Posada del Mar, Castelar 19 (See map, 942213023, [24]. 45-55 €.  edit
  • Sixtina, Del Sol 47 (See map, 942219595, [25]. 45 €.  edit
  • Zacarias, Hernán Cortés 38 (See map, 942212333, [26]. 45 €.  edit
  • El Serbal, Andrés del Rio, 7 (See map, 942222515. 1.30 until 4 p.m., 8.30 until 11.30 p.m., closed Sun evening and Mon. 55 €.  edit
  • Bar del Puerto, Hernán Cortés 63 (See map, 942213001 (, fax: 942219393), [28]. 60 €.  edit


Everybody starts their night at Plaza de Cañadío, in the centre of the old town. It is a hive for young Santanderinos and exchange students. It is surrounded on three sides by various bars and restaurants. This is where most drinking of 'calimocho' - the red wine/coca cola combo favoured by young Spaniards - takes place.

Later in the night (from about 2AM) the drinking action moves to bars and clubs in the area, including La Embajada, Retros, Cafe del Sol, La Rana Verde, Opium and many others. Three major dance clubs are located nearby - El Divino, Malaespina and Rocaverde.

  • Santemar Hotel, Calle Joaquin Costa 28, Tel: +34 942 272 900, in the City Centre. [29]
  • Hotel Sardinero, Plaza de Italia 1, Tel.: +34 942 271 100, near El Sardinero Beach. [30]
  • Hospedaje Magallanes, Magallanes 22 Entlo, Tel.: +34 942 371 421, in the City Centre. [31]
  • Hotel Chiqui, Avenida Manuel Garcia Lago 9, Tel.: +34 902 282 700, near El Sardinero Beach. [32]
  • NH Ciudad de Santander, Menéndez Pelayo, 13-15, +34.94.2319900 [33]. There is one other NH Hotel in Santander [34].


The Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo [35] 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 [36] 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.

Get Out


Taxis to the Airport into Santander are about €20. Radiotaxi has tel 942333333.

The Alsa [[37]] city bus (tel 942211995) from Santander Bus Station (Estación de autobuses) to Santander Airport departs daily at 6.40 and and then every 30 minutes from 7.00 am until 11 pm (€ 2, December 2009). Duration of the journey: 15 minutes.

The airport can be reached by car from motorway A8 Bilbao Santander. The airport has 780 parking places (tel 942202425) open from 6 am until 12 pm. Parking is € 8.90 per day until 4 days and € 3,55 from the 5th day onwards (December 2009).


For more information see the Santander Bus Station (estación de Autobuses de Santander) [[38]] with timetables to all destinations available.


RENFE [[39]] operates daily trains from Santander to Madrid and Alicante. Trains leave from Santander at 7.05 a.m. 2.05 and 7.20 p.m daily.

Feve [[40]] offers daily train services from Santander to Bilbao and Asturia. There are 3 trains to Bilbao per day, leaving Santander at 8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., journey time 2 hours 45 minutes. Single ticket € 7,55, return € 14 (December 2009).


Britanny Ferries [ [41]] operates two sailings a week from Santander to the UK, on Mondays to Portsmouth from March to October and on Thursdays to Plymouth, average sailing time 24 hours. Service is suspended from around December 20 until February 15.

  • Tourist Information (Oficina de Turismo municipal), Jardines de Pereda, s/n., 942203000, 942203001 (, fax: 942203005). from Sep 16 until Jun 14 Mon to Fri 8.30am to 7pm, from Sep 16 until Passion Week Sat and Sun 10 am to 7pm, from Passion week until Sep 14 10am to 7pm every day, from Jun15 until Sep 14 from 9am to 9pm every day.   edit

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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