Where to stay in Santander – What you need to know

Santander is the capital and most important city of the province (and Autonomous Community) of Cantabria, located in the north of Spain.

This port city is located on the shores of the Cantabrian Sea and is famous for its Atlantic beaches, its stately character and for being the headquarters of one of the largest banks in the world.

Santander is also a prime European location to practice surf.

While the majority of international tourists visiting Spain almost invariably look further south, the capital of Cantabria has much to offer.

Its location in the majestic Bay of Santander, the presence of the elegant El Sardinero Beach, a cultural renaissance in its historic center and its magnificent gastronomic scene are more than enough reasons to visit Santander for a couple of days.

Santander also serves as a strategic point to visit other enclaves in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, such as the Altamira cave, Santillana del Mar or even Picos de Europe National Park.

When it comes to the best areas to stay in Santander, both the city centre and playa de El Sardinero compete to be the favourite areas to stay. See accommodation in Centro | See accommodation near El Sardinero Beach.

Accommodation options in Santander

Hotels in Santander

The best hotels everywhere in the Cantabrian capital.

Hostels in Santander

Hostels and cheap stays all over Santander.


APARTMENTS

Want independence? Book an apartment in Santander.

GUESTHOUSES & B+Bs

Guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and pensions in Santander.

Best areas to stay in Santander

Recommended area: Santander Centro

Santander’s city centre is located across from Santander Bay.

Here you can find the beautiful and recently refurbished jardines de Pereda, which are named after the 19th-century Cantabrian writer José María de Pereda. The promenade along the bay in front of these gardens continues east to Puerto Chico, to the marina. Both Paseo de Pereda and Calle Castelar, facing Puerto Chico, are bordered by large buildings with glass balconies.

Santander’s new and most important point of reference is Centro Botín. This ambitious artistic and cultural centre facing the sea was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.

Another attraction in Santander Centro is its Gothic-style cathedral.

La Esperanza market, located just behind the Town Hall is the place to go to buy fresh fish, fruit or any other product from land or sea.

Also in the center of the city is Santander station, which connects Santander through regional and suburban trains to other cities in Cantabria and Northern Spain.

The city centre is undoubtedly one of the best areas to stay in Santander given its connectivity and the proximity to many of the attractions of the Cantabrian capital.

Where to stay in Santander - Centro

Where to stay in Santander – Centro

Dónde alojarse en Santander - Centro

Recommended area to stay in Santander – Centro

Santander - Centro - Click to see all hotels on a map

Santander – Centro – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • True heart of the city
  • Centro Botín
  • Jardines de Pereda
  • Cathedral
  • Leisure and nightlife

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Hotel Silken Coliseum has a unique facade and is located 200 meters from the Museum of Fine Arts of Santander. It has free Wi-Fi connection and a bar-cafeteria. – from €75.

  • Budget Option

    Hostal La Mexicana is 250 meters from Santa María de la Asunción Cathedral and offers a 24-hour front desk, free luggage storage and free newspapers. The Feve Train Station is 500 meters away. – from €44.

 

 

 

El Sardinero Beach

Santander has some great beaches, and El Sardinero is probably the most important holiday destination in Cantabria.

Looking east from the city centre, El Sardinero comprises two wide golden sand beaches, each one about 1km long, divided by a lookout.

El Sardinero also has a busy sea promenade with bars and entertainment areas, behind which are magnificent architectural examples from the early 20th century, such as the Eurostars Hotel Real or the Grand Casino.

Along with Somo (on the other side of the bay), Sardinero is the main area to practice surf in Santander, particularly during the autumn and winter.

The area around playa de El Sardinero is one of the best areas to stay in Santander for beach lovers in the summer and surf lovers in the winter.

Where to stay in Santander - El Sardinero

Where to stay in Santander – El Sardinero

Santander - El Sardinero - Click to see all hotels on a map

Santander – El Sardinero – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Relatively central
  • Connected by buses
  • El Sardinero Beach
  • Surfer’s paradise

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Hotel Chiqui offers magnificent views of the Cantabrian Sea and El Sardinero Beach. It is located by the sea and just 3 km from the Santander ferry terminal. It has free outdoor parking. – from €60.

 

 

 

Magdalena Peninsula

Península de la Magdalena is located between the city center and El Sardinero beach, east of the city of Santander.

The Magdalena Peninsula, which juts out into the Bay of Santander, is home to the palace and gardens of Palacio de la Magdalena and two small, clean beaches.

The small zoo on the peninsula contains penguins and seals.

Magdalena also contains a reproduction in full scale of the Santa María, one of the ships that sailed to the New World.

The trails of the peninsula offer views of cliffs that rise dramatically over the Cantabrian Sea.

A small circular tourist train runs through the peninsula.

The area to the west of the peninsula contains some emblematic buildings of the city and its proximity to the centre and El Sardinero make it one of the best areas to stay in Santander.

Magdalena Peninsula - Best areas to stay in Santander, Spain

Magdalena Peninsula – Best areas to stay in Santander, Spain

Santander - La Magdalena - Click to see all hotels on a map

Santander – La Magdalena – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Palacio de la Magdalena
  • Relatively central

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Hotel Santemar, located 150 meters from Sardinero Beach and Casino Santander, has a Japanese garden and elegant rooms equipped with air conditioning. It also has a lounge with a flat-screen TV. – from €60.

 

 

 

Read this post in Spanish.

About the Author

My name is Luis Cicerone. When I was little, I would walk around the house with an atlas in my hand. My rainy Sundays were spent memorising maps and capitals. At fifteen I did my first solo trip and since then I travel whenever I can. I work in travel marketing. I love photography, movies and cat videos.

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