Santander

Santander is the capital and also the largest city of the province of Cantabria in Spain.

Santander, Spain

Understand

Santander has some 180,000 inhabitants and is on the ocean. It features a small historic center and a handful of beaches. Its most famous tourist attraction is the Magdalena Palace which was used as a summer getaway of Spanish royalty.

Get in

By plane

Santander - Parayas, Aeropuerto Internacional de Santander (Aptdo de Correos 097, tel. 942 202100, fax 942 202152, email: infosdr@aena.es) is located in the municipality of Camargo, 5 km East of Santander (mostly domestic and charter flights; international flights from London, Dublin, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt(?), Paris, and Amsterdam).

Ryanair flies from London Stansted, Rome Ciampino, Edinburgh and Dublin directly to Santander Airport. Ryanair also now flies from Paris Beauvas Airport and several others.

Iberia offers daily flights to Santander from Madrid and Barcelona and weekly flights from Alicante, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Sevilla, Tenerife, Valencia, Paris, and Amsterdam.

Taxis from the airport to Santander are about €20. The taxi stand is in front of the terminal building.

You can also hire taxis with English speaking drivers at the following tel. +34692240616, you can ask for the price of your trip (airport to the centre for €15) and make reservations. Credit cards are accepted.

The Alsa city bus (tel 942211995) to Santander Bus Station (Estación de autobuses) departs daily at 6:30 and 6:50AM and then every 30 minutes from 7:15AM until 10:45PM from directly outside the arrivals terminal (€2, March 2009). Duration of the journey: 15 minutes.

Santander Airport has direct access to the motorway A8 Santander - Bilbao.

By bus

ALSA operates daily bus services to Santander from Galicia, Asturias, Pais Vasco, Extremadura, Castilla y León, Zaragoza, and Barcelona; and weekly services from Belgium, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The trip from Madrid takes about 5 hours (about €30) and the trip from Barcelona takes about 9 hours (via Zaragoza).

There are about 20 buses per day from Bilbao to Santander, journey time about 90 minutes. Single ticket €6.71, return €12.75 (December 2009).

Bilman Bus offers daily bus services from Valencia, Alicante, Cartagena, and Murcia.

For more information see the Santander Bus Station (estación de Autobuses de Santander) with timetables from and to all destinations available.

By train

RENFE operates daily trains from Madrid and Alicante to Santander with stops in the main cities on the way (Palencia, Valladolid, Ávila). Trains leave from Madrid Chamartin Station at 7:40AM Mon to Fri, 1:30PM, and 6:05PM daily. The trip from Madrid takes about 5-6 hours (~€35).

Feve offers daily train services from Bilbao and Asturia to Santander .

By ferry

You may also wish to take a ferry from Plymouth, England. The journey time is approximately 24 hours each way, and is an interesting journey, although you may wish to resist having a large meal too soon after departure from Plymouth if you are unused to sea travel as the Cantabrian Sea can be extremely rough.

Britanny Ferries operates two sailings a week from the UK to Santander from mid-March to October, on Wednesdays from Portsmouth and on Sundays from Plymouth, average sailing time hours. operated by the modern MV Pont Aven. From November until around December 20th and from Mid-February until March only the Plymouth - Santander service is operated with MS Bretagne, journey time 24 hrs. There is no service from around December 20th until mid-February.

from France

Santander is 150 ml (246 km) from Biarritz, 272 ml (437 km) from Bordeaux, 327 ml (537 km) from Toulouse, 583 ml (937 km) from Marseille and 685 ml (1103 km) from Nice.

from Spain

Santander is 517 ml (832 km) from Alicante, 443 ml (709 km) from Barcelona, 173 ml (279 km) from León, 243 ml (399 km) from Madrid, 630 ml (1014 km) from Marbella, 226 ml (364 km) from Salamanca, 474 ml (763 km) from Santiago de Compostela, 155 ml (250 km) from Valladolid, 314 ml (505 km) from Vigo and 249 ml (401 km) from Zaragoza.

from Portugal

Santander is 517 ml (848 km) from Lisboa and 405 ml (648 km) from Porto.

Get around

See

Playa del Sardinero, Santander

Museums

Churches

Public buildings

Streets and Squares

Parks

Do

The promenade along Santander Bay

Beaches

Santander has a lot of fine beaches .

Cultural events

Festivals

Buy

Learn

The Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo offers summer courses for university students, including Spanish language courses for foreigners, that take place both at the Magdalena Palace and at Residencia Las Llamas.

The Universidad de Cantabria offers Spanish language courses of 4 to 10 weeks duration throughout the year through the Centro de Idiomas (CIUC). CIUC also coordinates exchange students at the university.

Eat

Drink

Everybody starts their night at Plaza de Cañadío, in the centre of the old town. It is a hive for young Santanderinos and exchange students. It is surrounded on three sides by various bars and restaurants. This is where most drinking of calimocho - the red wine/coca-cola combo favoured by young Spaniards - takes place.

Later in the night (from about 2AM) the drinking action moves to bars and clubs in the area, including La Embajada, Retros, Cafe del Sol, La Rana Verde, Opium and many others. Three major dance clubs are located nearby - El Divino, Malaespina and Rocaverde.

Sleep

Go next

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