things to do in santander

Last Updated on: 24th April 2024, 05:55 am

Imagine strolling along a picturesque coastline, the salty sea breeze caressing your face as you take in the breathtaking views of crystal-clear waters and golden sandy beaches. Feel the warmth of the sun as it illuminates centuries-old architectural marvels, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. Welcome to Santander, a hidden gem in the heart of Spain that beckons you to explore its wonders and indulge in unforgettable experiences.

Whether you’re an avid adventurer seeking thrilling outdoor activities or a serene soul craving moments of tranquility, there are lot of things to do in Santander. This charming city in the Cantabria region is a treasure trove of must-see attractions, captivating museums, delectable cuisine, and vibrant cultural festivities. Are you ready to embark on an extraordinary journey, where every step reveals a new enchantment? Let Santander be your guide, and let your heart be filled with awe and wonder.

Explore Santander’s Architectural Masterpiece, Centro Botin

When it comes to blending art, architecture, and culture into a single, awe-inspiring experience, Centro Botin in Santander is a true masterpiece. Designed by the renowned architect Renzo Piano, this cutting-edge establishment stands as a testament to Santander’s commitment to creativity and modernity.

centro botin

The design of Centro Botin is nothing short of remarkable. As you approach the building, you’ll be captivated by its bold, contemporary appearance. The structure features a captivating blend of glass, steel, and concrete, creating a harmonious union between land, sky, and sea.

Once inside, prepare to be immersed in a world of artistic wonder. Centro Botin showcases a diverse range of exhibitions, from traditional to avant-garde, celebrating both local and international artists. Wander through the spacious galleries and allow yourself to be inspired by the thought-provoking works of art.

The cultural experience doesn’t stop at the galleries. Centro Botin also hosts a variety of live performances, including concerts and musical events, offering a multisensory journey through artistic expression. Additionally, the rooftop terrace offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Santander’s bay, providing the perfect vantage point to admire the city’s architectural beauty.

Centro Botin is a true gem in the heart of Santander. The blend of modern design and artistic excellence creates an atmosphere that is both invigorating and thought-provoking. It’s a must-visit for anyone seeking to explore the intersection of art, architecture, and culture.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply appreciate outstanding architecture, Centro Botin is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. This cultural attraction is a testament to Santander’s commitment to nurturing and celebrating creativity, making it an essential part of any itinerary when exploring this vibrant city.

Indulge in Santander’s Food Scene and Tapas Culture

Santander is renowned for its vibrant food scene, offering a tantalising array of culinary delights. From mouthwatering tapas to fresh seafood, the city is a haven for food lovers. A visit to Santander would be incomplete without immersing yourself in its tapas culture, and the Plaza de Cañadío is the perfect place to start.

The Plaza de Cañadío is a bustling square where you’ll find a plethora of quality bars serving delectable tapas. Each bar boasts its own unique offering, ensuring there’s something to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re craving tantalizing bites of tortilla española or flavourful gambas al ajillo, you won’t be disappointed. The tapas in Santander are truly a culinary delight, showcasing the rich flavours of the region.

Seafood lovers are in for a treat in Santander, as the city is renowned for its fresh and succulent seafood. From grilled octopus to delectable prawns, the seafood in Santander is truly unparalleled. Make sure to sample traditional dishes like rabas, which are crispy and tender fried squid rings, and merluza en salsa verde, a hake dish cooked in a vibrant green sauce. These dishes are celebrated for their simplicity and the superior quality of the ingredients used.

Best Restaurants in Santander Cuisine
El Serbal Fine Dining, Modern European
Deluz Santander Mediterranean, Spanish, Seafood
Restaurante Delicatto Spanish, Seafood, Mediterranean

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, Santander boasts a number of exceptional restaurants. El Serbal, known for its fine dining and modern European cuisine, offers a gastronomic journey like no other. Deluz Santander is a favourite among locals and visitors alike, with its Mediterranean-inspired menu and fresh seafood dishes. For a taste of traditional Spanish and Mediterranean flavours, Restaurante Delicatto is a must-visit.

“Santander’s food scene is a true delight, offering a fusion of traditional and innovative flavours. From iconic tapas bars to acclaimed restaurants, there’s an abundance of choices for food enthusiasts to explore and savour.” – Local Food Critic

No food journey in Santander is complete without a visit to La Esperanza Market. The market is a treasure trove of local products and delicacies, showcasing the diverse and high-quality offerings of the region. From artisanal cheeses and cured meats to an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, the market is a culinary paradise. Don’t forget to pick up a few souvenirs or ingredients for a delightful picnic by the beach.

santander food scene

Indulging in Santander’s food scene is an unforgettable experience, where every bite tells a story of tradition, passion, and exceptional flavours. Whether you’re exploring the tapas bars, savoring the catch of the day, or immersing yourself in the bustling market, Santander’s food scene promises to delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Enjoy the Natural Beauty of Santander’s Beaches and Coastline

Santander is blessed with beautiful beaches and a stunning coastline. If you’re looking for a beach getaway, you won’t be disappointed with the santander beaches. One such beach that you must visit is El Sardinero Beach. With its golden sand and clear waters, it’s the ideal spot to relax and soak up the sun. Whether you want to take a refreshing dip in the sea or try your hand at surfing, El Sardinero Beach offers something for everyone.

But Santander’s coastline offers more than just beachfront fun. For those who love outdoor activities, coastal walks in Santander are a must-do. Take a stroll along the scenic route from El Faro lighthouse to La Maruca and experience breathtaking views of the ocean. Along the way, you’ll discover hidden coves and get a taste of the rugged and picturesque setting that the north Atlantic coastline of Santander has to offer.

To give you a glimpse of the natural beauty that awaits you, take a look at this stunning image:

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Santander’s beaches and coastline, and make the most of your outdoor adventure in this charming city.

Immerse Yourself in Santander’s Historical and Cultural Sites

Santander boasts a wealth of historical and cultural sites that provide a glimpse into the city’s fascinating past. From impressive architectural landmarks to captivating museums, there is much to explore and discover in Santander.

Architectural Marvels

One of the standout architectural marvels in Santander is the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This stunning Gothic cathedral dates back to the 12th century and showcases intricate detailing and grandeur. Visitors can admire the beautiful stained glass windows and ornate sculptures as they delve into the city’s religious heritage.

Another must-visit site is the Magdalena Palace, a former summer residence of Spanish Royals. Set amidst picturesque gardens, this majestic palace offers a fascinating insight into Santander’s regal history. Marvel at the exquisite architecture and explore the rooms that once hosted royal festivities.

Museums and Cultural Attractions

For art enthusiasts, the Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria is a must-see. It houses an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts that provide a window into the region’s ancient past. From prehistoric cave paintings to ancient tools, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history of Cantabria.

Another cultural gem is the Centro Botin, renowned for its striking architecture and contemporary art exhibitions. Designed by the world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, this cultural hub offers a unique blend of art, architecture, and breathtaking views. Take a leisurely stroll along the rooftop terrace and soak in the panoramic vistas of Santander’s bay.

Historical Landmarks

No exploration of Santander is complete without a visit to the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. This monumental church stands as a testament to the city’s religious and architectural heritage. Step inside to admire its impressive altarpiece and the tranquil beauty of its interior.

As you wander through the city, don’t miss the Los Raqueros monument, a tribute to the city’s maritime history. This bronze sculpture portrays three boys diving into the water, symbolizing the spirit of Santander’s seafaring tradition.

Must-Visit Historical and Cultural Sites in Santander

Site Description
Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary A stunning Gothic cathedral dating back to the 12th century, known for its intricate detailing and grandeur.
Magdalena Palace A former royal summer residence offering a glimpse into Santander’s regal history with its impressive architecture and beautiful gardens.
Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria A treasure trove of archaeological artifacts showcasing the region’s ancient past.
Centro Botin An architectural masterpiece housing contemporary art exhibitions and providing stunning views of Santander’s bay.
Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción A monumental church showcasing Santander’s religious and architectural heritage.
Los Raqueros monument A bronze sculpture representing the city’s maritime history and seafaring tradition.

Immerse yourself in Santander’s historical and cultural sites to truly appreciate the city’s rich heritage and vibrant cultural scene.

santander historical sites

Engage in Outdoor Activities and Water Sports in Santander

Santander’s natural beauty offers a plethora of exciting outdoor activities and thrilling water sports for visitors to enjoy. Whether you prefer exploring on foot or gliding through the water, Santander has something for everyone.

Hiking and Cycling Adventures

Immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes surrounding Santander by embarking on a hiking or cycling adventure. Discover hidden trails and picturesque routes that showcase the city’s charm and natural wonders. From leisurely strolls through lush parks to challenging mountain hikes, there are options for all skill levels.

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Santander while hiking or cycling through its lush landscapes and scenic routes.

Don’t forget to explore the captivating coastline on two wheels as you cycle along the scenic paths. Enjoy the refreshing sea breeze and the mesmerizing views of the ocean as you pedal through charming coastal towns and pristine beaches.

Thrilling Water Sports

If you’re an adrenaline enthusiast, Santander’s coastal location offers an abundance of thrilling water sports.Water Hop on a surfboard and ride the waves at the renowned surf spots along the coast. Feel the rush of excitement as you carve through the waves and experience the incredible sensation of catching the perfect wave.

For those looking to explore the marine world, kayaking and paddleboarding are popular choices.Kayaking Glide through the crystal-clear waters, discovering hidden coves and secluded beaches as you paddle along the coast.Paddleboarding Stand tall on a paddleboard, enjoying a unique perspective of Santander’s coastline and the chance to spot marine life swimming beneath you.

For an unforgettable experience, visit the Marine Park at the Magdalena Peninsula. Explore the park’s preserved natural habitats and get up close and personal with adorable sea lions and charming penguins.

Relaxation amidst Nature

Santander’s parks and green spaces provide the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.Relaxation Pack a picnic and unwind amidst the lush surroundings of the city’s parks. Take leisurely walks along the tranquil paths, breathing in the fresh air and immersing yourself in the peaceful ambiance.

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and connect with nature as you soak up the beauty of Santander’s green spaces. Whether you prefer the tranquility of Jardines de Piquío or the vibrant flora of Parque de las Llamas, these peaceful oases offer a welcome retreat from the urban landscape.

So, whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a serene escape, Santander has a wide array of outdoor activities and water sports to cater to every interest and inclination.


Santander is a hidden gem in Spain, offering a plethora of exciting activities and attractions. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or an outdoor adventurer, Santander has something to offer you. Explore the city’s architectural masterpieces such as Centro Botin and immerse yourself in the local food scene with its delicious tapas and fresh seafood. Don’t miss out on the chance to embrace Santander’s rich history by visiting its cultural and historical sites.

For those seeking outdoor adventures, Santander’s stunning beaches and coastline provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation or water sports. Engage in thrilling activities like surfing and kayaking, or embark on scenic hikes and cycling tours to discover the beauty of the city and its surroundings. Santander truly caters to all interests and preferences.

Plan your trip to Santander now and experience all the top attractions and must-do activities that this charming city has to offer. Whether you’re sightseeing, exploring, or simply enjoying the local cuisine, Santander promises an unforgettable experience. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit this remarkable destination. Start your journey to Santander today!


What is Centro Botin and why is it a popular attraction in Santander?

Centro Botin is a stunning architectural masterpiece designed by Renzo Piano. It is a major art destination and one of the top attractions in Santander. Inside, visitors can enjoy exhibitions ranging from traditional to modern art, as well as concerts and musical performances.

Where can I experience the food scene and tapas culture in Santander?

Plaza de Cañadío is a popular spot for tapas, with many quality bars serving delicious dishes made from fresh, local ingredients. Don’t forget to visit La Esperanza Market for a taste of local products and delicacies.

Which beaches and coastline should I visit in Santander?

El Sardinero Beach is a must-visit, with its golden sand and clear waters. It’s the perfect place to relax, swim, or try your hand at surfing. The coastal walks from El Faro lighthouse to La Maruca provide breathtaking views of the ocean and opportunities to explore hidden coves.

What are some must-see attractions and activities in Santander?

Some must-see attractions and activities in Santander include exploring architectural masterpieces like Centro Botin, indulging in the city’s food scene and tapas culture, enjoying the beautiful beaches and coastline, immersing yourself in the city’s historical and cultural sites, and engaging in outdoor activities and water sports.