Attractions

Top Choice Arts Centre in Santander

Centro Botín

Santander's newest and splashiest landmark, this ambitious waterfront arts and cultural centre opened to great fanfare in June 2017. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the distinctly modernist building encom…
Top Choice Cave in Santander

Cuevas de Monte Castillo

Of these four Unesco World Heritage–listed caves 27km southwest of Santander, two – El Castillo and Las Monedas – are open for 45-minute guided visits (in Spanish). Booking ahead is highly recommended, especially fo…
Top Choice Museum in Santander

Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueología de Cantabria

Santander’s excellent, elegant prehistory and archaeology museum showcases Cantabria’s immense archaeological wealth, with explanatory matter in French, English and Spanish. The detailed, interactive multimedia disp…
Top Choice Park in Santander

Península de la Magdalena

At the eastern tip of the bay, this sprawling parkland is perfect for a stroll and popular with picnickers. Kids will enjoy the resident seals and penguins, the replica Spanish galleons, and the little train that ch…
Palace in Santander

Palacio de la Magdalena

The eclectically styled, English-inspired palace crowning the Península de la Magdalena was built between 1908 and 1912 as a gift from the city to the royal family, who used it every summer until 1930. Detailed 45-m…
Park in Santander

Jardines & Paseo de Pereda

The pretty, recently refurbished Jardines de Pereda are named after 19th-century Cantabrian writer José María de Pereda. Scenes of mountain life described in the author's seminal work, Escenas Montañesas, are sculpt…
Cathedral in Santander

Catedral de la Asunción

Santander’s serene cathedral is composed of two Gothic churches, one above the other. The 14th-century upper church, off which is a 15th-century cloister, was extensively rebuilt after a 1941 fire, and contains the …
Zoo in Santander

Parque de la Naturaleza Cabárceno

This open-air zoo 17km south of Santander is a curious but successful experiment: a free-range home on the site of former open-cut mines for everything from rhinos, wallabies, gorillas, dromedaries and lynxes to end…
Church in Santander

Iglesia del Santísimo Cristo

Two superposed Gothic churches make up Santander’s cathedral. In the lower, older, 13th-century Iglesia del Santísimo Cristo, glass floors reveal excavated remains of Roman Santander. Displayed nearby are silver ves…
Beach in Santander

Playa del Sardinero

El Sardinero’s 1.5km-long strand of gorgeous golden sand faces the open sea, north of the Península de la Magdalena. It’s backed by some of Santander’s most expensive real estate, including emblematic early-20th-cen…