Santander is the capital of the region of Cantabria and offers a wide range of attractions for visitors, from history museums to art centres and beaches. Take a stroll through the Mercado de la Esperanza, explore the Palacio de la Magdalena or visit the Centro Botín. Its the perfect place to go and find a hotel in Santader with children and familiy.
The Palacio de la Magdalena is located on the Magdalena peninsula, bordering the city, and has become a symbol of Santander. Built between 1908 and 1912, it is one of the best examples of this style of architecture in all of northern Spain. The palace was used as the summer residence of the Spanish royal family between 1913 and 1930, and today is open to visitors and large events.
Santander has a strong relationship with the sea and an important maritime heritage. One of the best places to learn about this is the Maritime Museum of Cantabria, located next to the beach of dangers. There you will see everything from natural history and archaeology to ethnology, shipbuilding and cartography. Some of the exhibits date from 1790 - 1978 and come from the Nautical School of Santander.
The Botin Centre is the newest art centre in Santander, located in a building that looks like a futuristic spaceship. The center specializes in contemporary arts, and its exhibitions range from video and photography to painting and sculpture. Here you can see work by international artists such as Carlos Garaicoa, Mona Hatoum, Joan Jonas, Jannis Kounellis and Julie Mehretu.
The Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria presents a variety of objects and exhibitions, mainly from the years between the Upper Palaeolithic era and the Iron Age. There are also Roman artefacts from the city of Castro Urdiales and an ivory belt buckle from the archaeological site of Santa María de Hito.
One of the city's most impressive buildings is Santander Cathedral, which you should not miss. It was originally built in the 13th century, although the upper part of the cathedral dates from the 14th century and the cloisters were built in the 11th century. Inside is the tomb of writer, literary critic and historian Menéndez Pelayo.
The vast and exuberant peninsula of La Magdalena stands out in the Bay of Biscay and is covered with trees, meadows and parks, surrounded by beaches or rocky coasts. It is home to a number of attractions, in addition to the Magdalena Palace, a zoo, three galleons and a lighthouse to explore.
Pereda's beautiful gardens are named after the Cantabrian writer José María de Pereda. Full of corridors, palm trees and pavilions, it is a perfect place for a night walk.
Santander is a great beach destination, with many stretches of sand in and around the city centre. At the southern end of the city, you'll find the Playa de los Peligros and the Playa de la Magdalena, both of which stretch out towards the peninsula, and at the eastern end, the Playa del Sardinero.
The Cabo Mayor lighthouse offers the best view of all of Santander, as it is 91 metres above sea level. The construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1839, and at that time it was an important emblem of the city, providing light to incoming ships. Today, visitors can climb to the top to enjoy views of the city, the beach and the bay.
Santander's main market, Mercado de la Esperanza, is a great place to buy local products. It opened in 1904 and is made of stone, iron and glass. It was designed by architects Eduardo Reynals and Juan Moya, with around 80 stalls selling everything from meat and fish to fresh vegetables and cheese.