Places of interest

Discover the city

Palacio de la magdalena

The Magdalena Palace

Located on the highest point of the Magdalena Peninsula, this building, which was designed by Gonzalo Bringas and Javier González de Riancho, has great historical value as it was the summer residence of King Alphonse XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia for seventeen years, as well as being the main site for the summer courses by the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo since 1933. The Palacio de La Magdalena is, without any doubt, one of the tourist references of the city.

Further information on this page.

Centro Botín

Centro Botín

Recently opened, on the 23rd of June, 2017, the Botín Center is a space devoted to art and to creative development. Designed by Renzo Piano, the winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1998, it is divided into two areas: the West is dedicated to art and the East to cultural and training activities. It has two large exhibition halls, an auditorium with seating for 300 people, training rooms, a work area, a shop and a cafeteria-restaurant directed by the Michelin two-star chef, Jesús Sánchez. Its privileged location allows you to enjoy the best views of the bay.

Further information on this page.

Palacio de Festivales

Palacio de Festivales

Sited opposite the Bay of Santander, since 1991 the Palacio de Festivales has hosted a wide variety of nationally and internationally relevant shows. The building, with an avant-garde appearance, was designed by the architect Sáenz de Oiza and contains three halls: the Argenta, in honour of the Cantabrian musician; the Pereda room and the Greek room that is reminiscent of a classical theatre.

Further information on its website.

Palacio de exposiciones

The Exhibition Centre

This avant-garde-style building hosts all kinds of cultural events, conventions, trade fairs and exhibitions in its 6,400 m2.

Further information on its website.

Biblioteca Menéndez Pelayo

The Menéndez Pelayo Library

The Cantabrian writer donated his entire bibliographical legacy and the building in which he stored it on the condition that it had always to be kept together and never divided up. This space where classic and baroque elements are plentiful and that was declared a National Artistic Monument in 1982, stores a total of 45,000 volumes of great importance and high historical and heritage value, such as manuscripts by Quevedo, Lope de Vega and by Menéndez Pelayo himself.

Further information on its website.

Casa Museo Menéndez Pelayo

The Menéndez Pelayo House-Museum

The Menéndez Pelayo House-Museum was built in 1876 and was inhabited since then by Don Marcelino’s family. Years after the scholar’s death in 1912, it was opened to the public, conserving some furniture and belongings in the same place. Along with the Menéndez Pelayo Library, it was declared a historical-artistic site.

It is currently closed.

Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo de Santander


(Santander Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art)

Since its founding in 1908, it has constantly evolved until becoming what it is today: a place for meeting and exchanging ideas. A museum that promotes the knowledge of modern, contemporary and current art. The artistic collection belonging to the MAS covers a wide chronological range that covers works from the 16th century up to present day work.

Further information on its website.

Museo Marítimo

Cantabrian Maritime Museum

In its over 3,000 m² of exhibition area, the museum shows marine life and the relationship of Mankind with the sea throughout history. Its collection was started in the 18th century, increasing later on thanks to the collaboration of important groups. The size of the collection and the diversity allow the marine exhibition to be divided into four sections: ‘Life in the sea’ (Nature-Marine Biology), ‘Fishermen and fisheries’ (Fishing ethnography), ‘The Cantabrian and the sea in history (Maritime history) and ‘Cutting edge technology against the sea’ (Maritime technology).

Further information on its website.

Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueología de Cantabria

Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria (MUPAC)

Located in the Mercado del Este, in the heart of the city, the MUPAC offers 2000 m2 of exhibition space, where you can discover over 1,200 pieces, from the Upper Palaeolithic Era to the Middle Ages, many of which come from archaeological sites as important as Altamira or Puente Viesgo.

Further information on its website.

Centro de Interpretación

‘History of the city of Santander’ Interpretation Centre’

Located in the Cathedral of Santander, this centre seeks to bring the general public closer to the city’s historical heritage in an original and exciting way.

Further information on its website.

Centro Arqueológico de la Muralla Medieval

Archaeological Centre of the Medieval Wall

In the subsoil of the Plaza Velarde, better known as the Plaza Porticada, the remains of the ancient walls were found, which in the 13th century, separated the town from the sea and were used as a protecting wall for the town.

Further information on its website.

Refugio Antiaéreo de la Guerra Civil

Civil War Air Raid Shelter

Las instalaciones, situadas bajo el suelo de la plaza del Príncipe, te hará revivir uno de los períodos más negros de nuestra historia y que pocos conocen: la experiencia de los habitantes de Santander bajo los ataques aéreos que sufrieron durante la Guerra Civil.

Further information on its website.


Santander Image Documentation Centre (CDIS)

You will find this centre in Calle Magallanes and its aim is for historical recovery through photographic heritage, which is restored and displayed in its exhibition hall that is open to the public. Although, originally it was the Municipal Historic Photographic Archive, in recent years its patrimony has grown thanks to private donations.

Further information on its website.

Fundación Botín

The Botín Foundation

This exhibition centre is the head offices of the Botín Foundation, located in the family home where Don Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, the discoverer of the Prehistoric Caves of Altamira lived. Inside we will find a meeting room, a seminar room, a library and an attic where workshops are usually carried out.

Further information on its website.


Centre for Social and Cultural Action (CASYC)

Located in Calle Tantín, this centre has a theatre, an exhibition hall and the ‘CASYC UP’, a floor devoted to a screening room, a media library and a multidisciplinary space where projects are developed and presented to the public. The CASYC is characterised by its intense cultural activity. During your stay, you will surely be able to enjoy one of the concerts, talks or exhibitions that it offers.

Further information on its website.


Paraninfo (Assembly room) of the University of Cantabria

This building is located very near to the CASYC, a regular centre for holding exhibitions, conferences and book presentations. Opposite the Assembly room, there is a building with a mural on it representing the fourteen most influential Cantabrian writers in the region.

Centro Cultural Doctor Madrazo

Doctor Madrazo Cultural Centre

Located in Calle Casimiro Sainz, this wholesale market is now a cultural centre with a library, internet access and it is often used to hold exhibitions and conferences.

Further information on its website.

Biblioteca Central de Cantabria

Central Library of Cantabria

This building was constructed in 1900 and it was used as a tobacco warehouse. During the Civil War, it was turned into a jail for Republican prisoners and at the end of this war, it went back to being a warehouse until 1986. Subsequently, it was refurbished and turned into what it is now: a great Library which also offers many exhibitions aimed at bringing culture closer to citizens.

Further information on its website.

Museo del Agua

Water Museum

This museum is found opposite the Palacio de Riva Herrera, where you will have the chance to discover the history of the water supply to the city, from 1874 to the present day. You will also have the chance to follow the natural water cycle, from the moment of catchment in the inland mountains until it is returned to the Cantabrian Sea.


Sports Museum

Located inside the Sport and Leisure Centre, the museum runs through the history of sport in Cantabria and it exhibits the trophies, kits and strips and objects donated by the great athletes from the region.

Telephone: 942 357 398

Planetario de la Escuela de Náutica

Nautical School Planetarium

Located on the west side of the building belonging to the Escuela Técnica Superior de Náutica, you will recognise it by its metal dome. The Planetarium is not an astronomical observatory, but rather a specialised project that accurately shows the apparent movement of the Sun, the Moon, the planets and their satellites and the stars on a dome-shaped screen, simulating the way in which it would be seen in any place and at any time of observation on Earth.

Further information on its website.

Centro de Arte Faro Cabo Mayor

Cabo Mayor Lighthouse Art Centre

If you like unusual museums, inside the Cabo Mayor Lighthouse you will find a permanent exhibition by the artist Eduardo Sanz and a sample of objects showing the lighthouse as their main element. Without any doubt, it is one of the most unique museums in our region.

Further information on its website.

Palacio de Riva-Herrera

Palacio de Riva-Herrera. Santander Smart Demonstration Centre

Located in c/General Dávila, opposite the Water Museum, this building was declared a Site of Cultural Interest. It is a medieval tower that was refurbished in the 16th century by Fernando de la Riva-Herrera (General Supplier of the Navies of the Ocean Sea) and who annexed a palace that was more in line with his position. Currently, it is the head offices of the Fundación Santander Creativa, one of the essential pillars of culture in Santander, in addition to housing the Riva-Herrera Demonstration Centre.

To arrange an appointment, enter the following website.

Palacete del Embarcadero

Palacete del Embarcadero

This building, work of the architect Javier González de Riancho, is located on the Seafront Promenade, alongside Los Reginas. El Palacete was promoted in 1920 as a passenger terminal, and since 1985 it has been used as an exhibition and conference hall.

Centro Interpretación litoral

Coastal Interpretation Centre

Located in the former San Pedro de Mar defence battery in La Maruca, in 1660 this fortification was built to protect Santander from pirate attacks and it remained active until are after the War of Succession between the Bourbons and the Habsburgs (1702-1713). In ruins, it was rebuilt, becoming today’s Coastal Interpretation Centre. It houses a permanent exhibition of the Cantabrian Coastal Heritage..

Further information on its website.

Museo de bomberos

Fire-fighter Museum

Located in the Municipal Fire Station of Santander, this exhibition hall offers the view by those who risked their lives to put out the fire that razed Santander in 1941.

Telephone: 942 200 828

Mercado de Miranda

Mercado de Miranda

Located in a small building erected in 1912, until recently it was a traditional market. Today, after being completely refurbished, it is a cultural centre, the head offices of the Espacio Imagen association that organises courses, talks and exhibitions.


Ciriego Cemetery

Designed by the architect Casimiro Pérez de la Riva in 1881 and opened in 1893, you will find a cross floor plan at its centre, thanks to which it becomes a space with a network of streets and paths. It is one of the prettiest cemeteries in Spain and you can see the work by the most important architects and stonemasons in the region.

As it is a very beautiful place, full of history, guided visits are often carried out.

Further information on its website.

Naves de Gamazo

Gamazo Warehouses. Home of the ENAIRE Collection

One of the industrial architecture treasures of our city. The Gamazo warehouses are named after Germán Gamazo, Minister of Development with Sagasta and they cover a surface area of almost 1000 square metres between the two of them.

They were built in the 20th century, the oldest in 1908 and the smaller one dates back to 1950.

From July, 2021 they have become the Santander home of the ENAIRE Contemporary Art Collection.

Mercado de la Esperanza

Mercado de la Esperanza

It takes place from 9 am to 2 pm in the Plaza de la Esperanza.

On Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays agricultural produce is sold.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, they offer clothing and footwear.

Additionally, on Sunday mornings the square fills up with stalls where you can find a wide range of products of different kinds.


Tabacalera Civic Centre

It houses the largest vertical garden in Europe, visible on all the floors of the building, as well as a terrace with incredible views out over the Bay of Santander.

The centre has halls for different uses: social work, playrooms, workshops, training and artistic experimentation, etc.

refugio antiaéreo de la catedral

Cathedral Air-raid Shelter

A new tourist space in an enclave as important as the cathedral.

Seventy metres of this Civil War air-raid shelter have been recovered. It was discovered during work on the chapterhouse, which has uncovered other important cultural finds such as the stone walls of the castle of San Felipe, the chapel of San Pedro and remains from the 10th century.

Museo Machichaco

Machichaco Museum

This museum helps to spread the memory of the historic port and urban catastrophe that occurred in Santander on 3 November 1893, due to the explosion of the ship Cabo Machichaco.

In the Museum we can find graphic and illustrative works, such as the magic box or the diorama of the explosion, together with original documentation, photographs and scale replicas.

The Machichaco Museum will be a living museum, the collections will be expanded and renewed.

Place: Santander Maritime Station.
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday 8 to 20.30