If you only have one day to visit Santander, these are the most essential things to do:
In the morning, stroll along El Sardinero and enjoy the views. Walk along the 1st and 2nd beaches of El Sardinero and wet your feet in the Cantabrian Sea. If you carry on walking, you will come to El Camello Beach, which is named after the shape of one of its rocks. Try and find out which one it is!
If you continue along the path, you will reach the Magdalena Peninsula, a place that is full of history and curiosities. It is well worth going up to the Palace and entering it to discover all the details of what was once the summer residence of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia. When you leave the park, continue along the path and enjoy the views from the Avenida Reina Victoria, where you will be able to see the Maritime Museum of Cantabria, which is well worth a visit. After leaving the museum, don’t forget to go to the Dique de Gamazo, more specifically known as the “Duna”, opposite the Festival Centre, where time stands still. There, you will be able to enjoy some incredible views over the Santander Bay, you will love it!
With lunchtime approaching; if you continue along the Promenade, in addition to contemplating the scenery, you will arrive at Santander’s typical restaurants and bars, where you will be able to recharge your batteries.
After lunch, take a stroll over to the Plaza Alfonso XIII, where the historic Post Office and Bank of Spain buildings are located. It is also worth while walking through the Jardines de Pereda and contemplating the Botin Centre. Opposite the Jardines de Pereda you will see a square; this is the Plaza Velarde, better known as the Plaza Porticada, a place where a multitude of activities take place. If you have the chance, visit the Archaeological Centre of the Medieval Wall, but first, do not forget to visit the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción and its cloisters.
The last stop is the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. If you still have a little time, we recommend strolling around the streets to discover the true essence of the city.
Continue discovering the city:
We start the day where we finished the day before: in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Just behind this is the Mercado de La Esperanza, the most important market in the city, an ideal place to discover the local products first hand.
On the way to the Mercado del Este, we find the church of La Anunciación o Compañía. The Mercado del Este hosts shops and bars and the Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria (MUPAC in its Spanish acronym) is located on the ground floor, hoarding the material remains from world famous archaeological sites such as La Garma, El Castillo, Altamira, as well as stone tools and portable art. We now recommend you to go to the calle Río de la Pila and catch the funicular railway, from which you will be able to contemplate a panoramic view of the city that will not leave you indifferent. Now that you have seen the best views of Santander, catch the funicular railway down again and a few minutes from the Río de La Pila, you will find the Iglesia de Santa Lucía, sited next to the Plaza Cañadío, one of Santander residents’ favourite areas for having a drink when night falls.
But we won’t stop here, because you cannot leave Santander without discovering the Parque Atlántico de Las Llamas, the city’s lungs, strolling around the Parque de Mataleñas or enjoying the views from the Cabo Mayor Lighthouse.
If you are lucky enough to spend more days in Santander, there are places that you should visit before you leave.
Without leaving the city itself, there are three places that you should visit:
If you want to get to know Santander as well as the people of Santander, don’t miss route we propose.