Why travel to Santander?
Santander, the capital of Cantabria on Spain´s north coast, is a city that beautifully combines natural wonders with a rich cultural heritage. Despite a devastating fire in 1941 that destroyed much of its historical architecture, Santander has reinvented itself as an appealing destination. The city´s stunning location along the picturesque Bahia de Santander (Bay of Santander) provides a breathtaking backdrop for its attractions. Visitors can explore architectural gems like the Palacio de la Magdalena, a former royal residence, and the Gothic-style Santander Cathedral. The modernist Centro Botin, designed by Renzo Piano, adds a contemporary touch to the city´s cultural scene, housing art collections and hosting exhibitions and performances. Santander´s numerous beaches, including El Sardinero and Los Peligros, offer its visitors some seaside relaxation, water sports, and exploration of rock pools. The city´s temperate oceanic climate makes it a pleasant year-round destination, with the best time to visit from June to mid-September when the weather is the mildest. The city´s cultural scene also includes museums like the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology, providing insights into Santander´s history and artistic heritage.
Exploring Santander´s Flavors
This city extends beyond its natural beauty and architecture, it also offers a delightful culinary experience. Seafood, particularly fish, is a local speciality, with dishes like Marmita de Bonito (tuna pot) and Cocido Montañes (a hearty stew) showcasing the region´s flavours. Cheese lovers can savour varieties like Queso Nata de Cantabria and Quesucos de Liebana. Traditional desserts like leche frita and flan provide a sweet ending to meals.
Our food experts have chosen the best tour operators offering tours with food, wine, and walking holidays in Santander. You can check our full list of things to do in Santander: top food tours to Santander and top boutique hotels in the sections of the travel to Santander destination guide.
Population: 172,606 (2023) inhabitants