Santander Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Spain > Santander > History

Although Santander is not a particularly large city, it is peculiarly elongated. The region's mountains forced the city's development to conform to a slightly odd shape, running west-east and hugging the northern rim of the bay.

Aside from the outlying areas that have sprung up around the city (urban expansion has even affected areas like Camargo and the dockyard), there are two well-differentiated areas: the centre and El Sardinero.

The centre is where you will find most of the shops, businesses and services, as well as the greater portion of monuments and tourist attractions. This is where the streets San Fernando, Burgos, Jesús de Monasterio, Calvo Sotelo Avenue and Paseo de Pereda all meet; of course there are many other adjacent streets all forming part of the centre as well.

The city starts at Somorrostro Hill, where the cathedral stands and where the old walled city with its castle once was. Here you will find some of Santander's most famous buildings, such as Banco de España, Correos (the post office building), Banco Santander, Plaza Porticada, Iglesia de la Anunciación (Church of the Annunciation) and the Ayuntamiento (city hall). Also nearby are the famous Jardines de Pereda (Pereda Gardens), presided over by a sculpture of the Cantabrian novelist himself. The cluster made up by Paseo de Pereda and Calle Castelar, completed by the Paseo Marítimo (promenade) that runs parallel to the sea is something no visitor to Santander should miss.

This district is also characterized by its commercial infrastructure. All along a series of streets, some of which are pedestrianized and lined with shops on the ground floor, you can buy nearly anything or simply indulge in window-shopping. Those streets already mentioned, along with some other parallel and perpendicular ones (Rualasal, Juan de Herrera, San Francisco, Cádiz, Isabel II o Lealtad) are jam-packed with people during the daytime.

A little further east, near Plaza de Cañadío, there is a group of streets where most of the nightlife is concentrated; in the summertime, El Sardinero also has lots of nightlife. Streets such as General Mola, Hernán Cortés, Daoíz, Velarde, Peña Herbosa, Santa Lucía and Sol, as well as the surrounding ones, are full of bars and cafés where you can stop for a drink or some tapas, as well as numerous options if you want to have a boogie until the wee hours.

Between the centre and El "Sardi" (as locals call it) there is a transitional area, marked by Avenida Reina Victoria. This classy residential area is sprinkled with luxurious buildings like Casa Pardo and Hotel Real.

El Sardinero is the summer holiday area par excellence, where there are endless accommodation options (not in vain is there an avenue called Hoteles) as well as an elite residential area. Magdalena Peninsula is on at one end, with its park and Palacio Real (Royal Palace), and Cabo Menor forms the northern border, with Mataleñas Park at the top of the cape. Between the two is El Sardinero cove, with four beaches called, from south to north, Camello, Concha, Primera and Segunda. These are ideal for sunbathing, swimming in the Cantabrian Sea and enjoying the beautiful and unbeatable views of the coast. Other trips to be enjoyed while in town are visits to Jardines de Piquío (Piquío Gardens) and Mesones Park, a stop in at the Casino and strolling along the endless strips of sand running out to the sea.


  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temp. 50° 51° 51° 53° 58° 63° 67° 67° 66° 61° 55° 51°
Avg. Precip. 5.0 in 3.9 in 4.1 in 4.7 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 2.0 in 3.3 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 6.5 in 5.6 in

Fahrenheit temperature scale is used.