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.
Tourist Information (Oficina de Turismo municipal), Jardines de Pereda, s/n., ☎ 942203000, 942203001 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 942203005). from Sep 16 until Jun 14 Mon to Fri 8.30am to 7pm, from Sep 16 until Passion Week Sat and Sun 10 am to 7pm, from Passion week until Sep 14 10am to 7pm every day, from Jun15 until Sep 14 from 9am to 9pm every day. M. Mm. M. M,, edit
Santander - Parayas, Aeropuerto Internacional de Santander (Aptdo de Correos 097, tel. 942 202100, fax 942 202152, email: email@example.com) 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-Hahn, Paris, and Amsterdam).
Ryanair flies from London Stansted, Rome Ciampino, and Dublin directly to Santander Airport. Ryanair also now flies from Paris Beauvas Airport and several others.
Flights to Santander might be expensive. Another option could be to fly to Bilbao and taking a bus (ALSA) from Bilbao to Santander. This combination can be much chaper but it takes more time.
Taxis from the airport to Santander are about €20. The taxi stand is in front of the terminal building.
You can also hire a taxi with English speaking driver at the following tel. +34692240616 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org , 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 6:50 AM and then every 30 minutes from 7:15 AM until 10:45 PM from directly outside the arrivals terminal (€2.5, March 2013). Duration of the journey: 15 minutes.
Santander Airport has direct access to the motorway A8 Santander - Bilbao.
There are about 20 buses per day from Bilbao to Santander, journey time about 90 minutes. Single ticket €6.60 (March 2014), return €12.75 (December 2009). On the tickets it says the number where you sit in the bus ("asiento"). The numbers are on the windows in some buses.
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 7:40 AM Mon to Fri, 1:30 PM, and 6:05 PM daily. The trip from Madrid takes about 5-6 hours (~€35).
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.
Foot Santander is reasonably small. The distance from one end of town to the other are some 6km (4 miles) and can be walked in 2 hours along the coast road. Within the city center everything is within walking distance (15min walking).
Bus Public buses are available at reasonable prices. Each journey costs € 1.30 (September 2013). It costs more for journeys out of the city proper, or you can save 40% by buying a 10-journey gray-colored 'Bonobus' card at a 'Tabaco' shop. Each time you get into bus you shall put the card onto the reader which books the travel price. A 10 journey Bonobus ticket costs € 6 (December 2009). Specifically, buses can take you to the main beaches some 2-4km (2m) from the city center. Timetables and map for download: . In each bus-stop there is a timetable and route of all city buses. Ayuntamiento is the city-center (close to the regional bus stop Plaza Estaciones and railway-station). From there to the Plaza de Italia, near to the beach Sardinero there are 10 bus-stops, so don't take this route on foot. Buses run quite frequently and an easy transportation.
Hop On Hop Off Bus, tel 800-750-2859 departs from the Cathdral daily at 10.45 and 11.25 am, 12.00 noon, 1.15, 1.55, 4.45, 5.20, 6.00 and 6.35 pm, with stops at Pasea Pereda, Museo Maritimo, Palacio de Festivales y Planetario, Palacio de la Magdalena, Casiono/Playa de Sardinero, Faro de Cabo Mayor, Matalenas/Campo de Golf. Estadio, Universidad, Avenida Valdecilla, Cuatro Caminos and Barrio Pesquero, the entire journey taking about 75 min. Internet rates: for 24 hours $21,95 per adult, $10.95 per child (5 to 15), for 48 hours $24,95 per adult, $11.95 per child (5 to 15) plus $3.95 "processing fee" per order. No refunds! Children under 5: free of charge. Explanations given in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Japanese plus a commentary for kids.
Taxi Taxis are widely available throughout the city.
Radiotaxi: tel. 942333333. Tariffs: Mon to Fri 6am to 10pm, Sat 8am to 3pm minimum € 3,15 plus € 0,78 per km, luggage € 1,17, waiting time € 15,52 per hour. Mon to Fri 10pm to 6am, Sat midnight to 8am, 3 am to midnight, Sun and public holidays: minimum € 4,00 plus € 1,02 per km, luggage € 1,50, waiting time € 20,23 per hour (2010)
Bicycle The city offers bicycle rental, for a very low price, at a number of locations around Santander (Jardines de Pereda, El Sardinero, La Magdalena). Bikes are loaned for the day, so get in early to avoid missing out.
Prehistoric and Archaeological Museum of Cantabria (Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueología de Cantabria), Casimiro Sainz 4, ☎ 942207109. from Sep 16 until Jun 15 Tue to Sat 9am to 1pm and 4 to 7 pm, from Jun 16 until Sep 15 Tue to Sat 10 am to 1pm and 4 to 7 pm, Sundays all the year round from 11am to 2pm. More than 1000 objects from Paleolithic to Iron Ages, items from Roman settlements Juliobrigo and Flaviobrige, medieval ivory belt buckle. This museum is currently closed for remodeling and relocation.admission free. edit
Maritime Museum of Cantabria (Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico), San Martín de Bajamar s/n., ☎ 942274962 (email@example.com, fax: 942281068), . Oct 1 until Apr 30 Tue to Sun 10am until 6pm, May 2 until Sept 30 Tue to Sun 10am until 7.30pm, closed Mon, Jan 1, Good Friday, May 1 and Dec 25. adults: €6, children from 4 to 12: €4, senior citizens over 65: €4, tourist groups: €5 per person. edit
Bullfighting Museum (Museo Taurino), Calle de Jerónimo Sainz de la Maza, ☎ 942341204, . Jun 15 to Sep 15: Tue to Fri 6 to 9 pm, Sat 11 am to 2 pm. In the lower floor of the bullring, in the western part of the city, near the Plaza de México, with bullfighting memorabilia, posters, photos and paintings, and colourful suits of bullfighters from all over Spainadmission free. edit
Municipal Museum of Arts (Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes), C/Rubio, 6, ☎ 942203120, 942203121 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 942203125), . from 16 Sep until 14 Jun: Mon to Fri 10 am to 1 pm, 5.30 to 9pm, Sat: 10 am to 1 pm, closed Sat afternoon, Sun, from 15 Jun until 15 Sep: Mon to Fri 11.15 am to 1 pm, 5.30 to 9 pm, Sat: 10 am to 1 pm, closed Sat afternoon, Sun,. Principal art museum of the region with s remarkable collection of paintings and sculpture from the 15th to 20th centuries, from Italian, Flemish and Spanish schools and a painting of King Fernando VII by Goyaadmission: free. edit
Biblioteca Menéndez Pelayo, C/ Rubio 6, ☎ 942234534, . Mon to Fri 9 to 11.30 am. guided visits every 30 min. edit
Museo del Faro de Cabo Mayor (exhibition of the painter Eduardo Sanz), ☎ 942391994, . Jul and Aug Tue to Sun 11 am to 1.30 pm, 5 to 9 pm, rest of the year:11 am to 1.30 pm, 5 to 8 pm. There's an art gallery and a strange collection of lighthouse images from popular culture--on everything from matchboxes to liquor bottles.admission free. edit
Colección del Ateneo de Santander, C/ Gómez Oreña, 5-1º, ☎ 9421212820 (fax: 942360520), . Salón Social and Cafetería: 9am to 1 pm, 4 to 9.30 pm. admission free. edit
Colección del Parlamento de Cantabria, C/ Alta 31/33, ☎ 942241960, . edit
Colecciones y Patrimonio de Caja Cantabria, C/ Rubio 6, ☎ 942234 534. Mon to Sat 9 am to 1.30 pm, Tue and Thu 4.30 to 9 pm except Jul, Aug, closed Sat afternoon and Sun. edit
Cathedral - Catedral de Santa Maria de la Asunción, Plaza del Obispo José Eguino y Trecu s/n, ☎ 942226024. Mon to Fri 10am to 1 pm and 4 to 7.30 pm, Holy service at 11 am and 6.30 pm, Sat 10am to 1 pm and 4 to 8 pm, Holy service at 11 am, 5 and 8 pm, Sun 10am to 1 pm and 5 to 9 pm, Holy service at 12 am, 1.30, 5 and 8 pm. The cathedral cannot be visited during services, guided tours free of charge in July and August. edit
Iglesia del Santísimo Cristo, C/ Somorrostro s/n. Jun 1 until Sep 30: 8am to 1 pm and 4 to 8 pm every day, Oct 1 until May 31: 8am to 1.30 pm and 5 to 8 pm every day, Holy services from mon to Fri at 11 am and 8.30 pm, Sat 10am to 1 pm and 4 to 8 pm, Holy service at 8.15, 10 and 11.15 am, 5 and 8 pm, Sat at 10 and 11.15 am, 1.15, 6 and 8.30 pm, Sun at 8.15, 10, 11 and 12 am, 1, 5 and 8.30 pm. The church cannot be visited during services, guided tours free of charge in July and August. edit
Iglesia de la Anunciación, C/ Juan de Herrera 17. open during services only. good example of Renaissance architectureedit
Iglesia de la Consolación, C/Alta 19. open during services only. church in classical Baroque styleedit
Iglesia de Santa Lucía, C/ Daoiz y Velarde 11. open during services only. building of the ecclectic style dating from the 19th centuryedit
Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón, C/ San Jose. open during services only. one of the best examples of Neogothic style in townedit
Santander Ban (Edificio del Banco Santander), Paseo Pereda 9-12 (opposite Pereda Gardens, not open to the public, in the city center, best reached with bus no. 1,3,4.C1,4.C2,9 and 10), ☎ 942206100. edit
Banco Español de Crédito, Hernan Cortes 11. building in the eclectic style of 1900edit
Banco de España, Avenida Alfonso XIII. opened 1922edit
Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), Plaza del Ayuntamiento s/n. building in the eclectic style of the 19th century, richly decorated with columns, balconies and coats of armsedit
Mercado del Este, C/General Mola. erected from 1840 onwards, completely reconstructed in 1986edit
Mercado de la Esperanza, Plaza de la Esperanza. inaugurated 1904 in Modernism styleedit
Plaza Porticada. constructed as new city center after the fire of 1941edit
Casa Pardo, Paseo de Perez Galdos. House from 1915, also called 'Palacio de los Botin' with spectacular views over the bay, one of the most splendid mansions of the city, at Sardinero, reached with bus no 10edit
Casa Pombo, Plaza de Jose Antonio 3 (mansion of 1875, in the city center, reached with bus no 1). edit
Dique de Gamazo. small fishing port, dating from 1908, 180 m long, 15 m wide, 8 m deep, in the city center, reached with bus no 1edit
Post Office Building (Edificio de Correos), Avenida de Alfonso XII, ☎ 942223023. An impressive building, one of the landmarks of Santander, builtin 1915,in the city center, reached with bus no 1 and 8edit
Edificio de Los Arcos de Botin, Hernan Cortes 21. Neoclassic building on the north side of Piaza Pombo, near the harbour, good example of 19th cent. architecture, visitors are not allowed inside, in the city center, reached with bus no 1edit
Edificio de Los Pinares, Duque de Santo Mauro (near Primera Playa, between Calle Duque de Santo Mauro and Calle Joaquín Costa). Impressive private home of ship owner Francisco García, with an outstanding view on the beach as well as Renaissance and Baroque elements of architectureedit
Edificio de Viviendas, Calle Castelar, 15 (in the city center, reached with bus no 1). One of the city's grandest mansions of the early 1900'S in the historic district along the Calle Castelar and Paseo de Pereda.edit
Paseo de Pereda y Calle Castelar, (in the city center, reached with bus no 1). 1550 m long street with nice views on the harbour and the cathedral and many buildings from the 18th to 20th cent., including Puerto Chico, Dique de Gamazo, Cuesta del Gas, and Banco Vitalicioedit
Plaza de José Antonio (Plaza Pombo), (Calle de Hernán Cortés and General Mola are on the north and south, and Pancho Cossío and Las Infantas on the east and west). charming plaza with colorful flowerbeds and musician bandstandedit
Alameda de Oviedo, San Fernando, s/n. in the western part of the city center, running from Cuatro Caminos Roundabout in the west, to Plaza de Numancia in the east, specifically between Calle de San Fernando and Calle Vargas.edit
Jardines de Pereda, Paseo de Pereda, s/n. Santander's most famous park with a lot of trees, bushes and flowers, a pond, several sculptures, a music pavilion, a monument to the writer José María de Pereda (1833-1906), a fountain dedicated to the Cantabrian author, Concha Espina (1877-1953), the Fuente de los Meones and the city tourist office nearby.edit
Parque de Altamira, Paseo del General Dávila, s/n (in the north of the city near the commercial center between Paseo del General Dávila and Calle Vía Cornelia). botanical garden in city center, covering a total area of 16000m2.edit
Jardines de Piquío, Avenida de Castañeda, s/n. occupying an area of 13000 m2, with fine views on the Ensenada del Sardinero, Cabo Menor to the north and Magdalena Peninsula to the south. On a promontory between Primera and Segunda Playa (First and Second Beaches, originally known as the "Piquillo" or the "Punta del Rostro" (Face Point).edit
Parque del Doctor González Mesones, Avenida del Stadium, s/n (in theeast of the city near El Sardinero and the football stadium). park with an area of 40000m2,with fountains, ornate stone benches with heraldic shields and a statue of the poet José Luis Hidalgo.edit
Parque de La Marga, Jerónimo Sainz de la Maza, s/n. west of the city, near Puerto Pesquero (Fishing Port), Dársena de Maliaño (Maliaño Docks), fish market and restaurants in the Barrio Pesquero (Fishing Quarter).edit
Parque de La Magdalena, Avenida de La Magdalena, s/n, ☎ 942272504. 8 am to 10 pm daily. With 25000 m2 the biggest park in the city, surrounding the Palacio Real (Royal Palace). It was deserted until the end of the 19th century and houses a hermitage dedicated to Saint Magdalena and a defensive castle overlooking the bay. It has a zoo on the rocky cliffs on the northern end, with lions, seals, penguins and polar bears and a galleon nearby that belonged to the sailor and adventurer Vital Alsar.edit
Parque de Cabo Mayor, Avenida del Faro, s/n, (situated near El Sardinero beaches.). Covering an area of more than 100,000m2, the park is extremely spectacular on windy days, when the waves crash onto the cliffs. The Faro de Cabo Mayor is the oldest lighthouse in Cantabria. It was built in 1839, is 30m high and its light can be seen from 29 miles away. The rock formation of the Puente del Diablo (Devil's Bridge) and the Panteón del Inglés (Englishman's Pantheon) is nearby.edit
5 city walks: go to the Santander Tourist Office in the city center (Old Market, near the Old Banco de Santander) and get a free city guide; the free city guide describes these 5 itineraries.  These 5 itineraries are enough to keep you busy for 1-2 days.
boat round trip: There is a regular boat service through the Santander Bay, boats run from Santander to Pedreña, Somo and back. For a 45-minutes round-trip you have to pay €3,90 and the boats starts at least every hour.
Enjoy the beaches. Walk up to the lighthouse at Cabo Mayor, visit the museum and enjoy the view from the top.
International Charter Group -  - Yacht charter and sailing, one of the worlds largest acht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in the Santander. Operating from nine offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).
Other things to consider: Santander is a city in North Spain and weather is similar to North Germany. At 4-6 September 2013 it has rained, so even if you go there in summer, please take an umbrella or rain coat. It can rain any time. It is a windy place and there can be fog in the morning. Evenings tobacco shops might be closed so if you smoke, please try o buy cigarettes in the day or keep some coins, in some bars there are cigarette automatons (4,90 Euros for Marlboro Light - September 2013). A lot of old-generation, pensioneers are around and people have a high-living standard so food in some restaurants and other daily needs might be expensive. Please be ready that there are unfortunately not so many people who can speak English, therefore it is advised to learn some basic words how to order something in restaurant etc.
Magdalena Peninsula (see the penguins in the 'mini-Zoo') & Magdalena Palace (Palacio de Magdalena)
Lighthouse at Cabo Mayor (faro de Cabo Mayor), and the devil's bridge (puente del diablo), a bizarre rock formation.
Playa de Bikinis, safe and lovely beach on the Peninsula de la Magdalena, protected from big waves, very calm.
Playa de Covachos, Cotero (Santa Cruz de Bezana), one of the most attractive beaches,
Playa de El Bocal, Corbanera, peaceful and quiet,
Playa de El Camello, Avenida de la Reina Victoria, near Magdalena Peninsula,
Playa de El Puntal, Somo (Ribamontán al Mar),
Playa de La Concha, in the middle of Sardinero,
Playa de La Magdalena, Ensenada del Sardinero, with fine views of the bay,
Playa de La Maruca, Monte,
Playa de la Virgen del Mar, San Román, peaceful and quiet,
Playa de Langre, Langre (Ribamontán al Mar), spectacular situation between the cliffs,
Playa de Los Molinucos, small beach north of Segunda Playa,
Playa de Los Peligros, Avenida de la Reina Victoria, quiet beach in a sheltered bay,
Playa de Mataleñas, between Cabo Mayor and Cabo Menor, the 'luxury' beach of Santander,
Playa de Somocuevas, Liencres (Piélagos), with fine golde sands,
Playa de Valdearenas, Liencres (Piélagos), fine sand dunes,
Playa Primera de El Sardinero, Plaza de Italia, the most famous beach of Santander,
Playa Segunda de El Sardinero, Playa de Castaneda.
Somo Beach is a little bit outside of Santander. It can be reached from downtown Santander by boat. Boats leave every 10 minutes and the boat ride takes about 10 minutes. Somo Beach is about 3 km long and is less crowded than beaches in Santander.
Centro Cultural Caja Cantabria, Tantín, 25, ☎ 942204300. The buildings is also known as "Modesto Tapia". It was designed by the Catalan architect, Domenech i Muntaner, a contemporary of Gaudí, and was inaugurated by Alfonso XIII in 1907. It incorporates many Modernist architectural features and was completely re-modeled in 1994. The Social and Cultural Office of Cantabria Bank offers theater performances, rock, pop and jazz concerts, conferences, art exhibits and workshops in drama, painting and photography.edit
Centro Cultural Doctor Madrazo, Casimiro Sainz, s/n, (near Tetuán Tunnel and Puerto Chico), ☎ 942310161. Organized by the Cultural Bureau of Santander’s City Council.edit
Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria, Gamazo, s/n, ☎ 942361606. Designed by Javier Sáenz de Oiza, opened in 1991, classical music concerts, ballet and dance performances, home to Cantabria's School of Dramatic Arts edit
Mercado de la Esperanza, El Mercado, s/ (Behind the Mercado de la Esperanza in Plaza de la Esperanza is an open-air market selling clothes, fruits and flowers. Mon to Fri 8 am to 2 pm and 5 to 7:30 pm, Sat 8 am - 2 pm), ☎ 942220529. busy market built in 1897 and restored in 1977, oldest surviving market in Santander after the Mercado del Este, built in 1839, was recently demolishededit
Santa María Pescados, San Francisco, 12 (fish market located in the San Francisco complex). Mon to Fri 9 am to 1:30 pm and 4:30 to 8:30 pm, Sat 9 am - 1:30pm. offering fresh seafood from the Cantabrian Sea, shellfish, hake, sea-bass, sardines, squid, octopus lobsters, percebes (goose barnacles) and crayfishedit
Hilario, General Dávila, ☎ 942219854. Mon to Fri 9 am to 2pm and 5 to 8 pm, Sat 9 am to 2pm. meat shop located at the Hospital Santa Clotildeedit
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.
The best area to eat fish is the district close to fishing harbour (Barrio Pesquero), although locals usually regard this as a tourist trap.
Santander is known amongst Spaniards for its many Regma ice-creamery outlets. At times it can seem that they have an outlet on every corner. Their very generous serving sizes of 8 popular flavours of ice cream have been melting down the hands of locals for years, even throughout the winter months. Other chains such as Capri on Paseo de Pereda provide a greater range of choices.
Bodega Javi Quintanilla, Guardar Calle Bonifaz, 9, offers various email. Very nice atmosphere. Bocardes rebozados, 2 glasses of vino rosado, tacos de merluza fresca a la romana con pimientos verdes cost 21 Euro (September 2013). Bus stop PUERTO CHICO.
Bodegas Mazón, Calle Hernán Cortés, 57, offers various meal. Very nice atmosphere. Crowded, best before 8 pm to go. Chipirones encebollados, Queso menchago, Tinti de Toro (cosechero) - red wine, 2 glasses of vino rosado (rosé wine), bread, queso tomate cost 22,50 Euro (September 2013). Strong recommendation. Bus stop PUERTO CHICO.
La Bogeda (across Hotel Santemar, Calle Joaquin Costa, close to Plaza De Italia), small local place. Pintxos and tapas. Anchoas, albondigas, 2 bread, mixed salad, 3 glasses rose wine cost 26,80 Euro (September 2013). Tv and football matches can be watched.
Señores Patatas on Calle Santa Lucía offers student-priced meals of fries and hamburgers. Try the 'Five Sauces' (Cinco Salsas) plates with five types of fry cut and five types of sauce.
Taj Mahal on Calle Santa Lucía is the only Indian restaurant in town and serves a tasty alternative to the Spanish staples.
Sakura near Cuatro Caminos serves Japanese dishes.
La Sardina de Plata, Plaza Doctor Fleming, 3. resturant in nautic design, serving regional cuisine, chesse mousse, beef fillet with truffles and cognac, fish salad, € 20 to 40. edit
Bodega Cigalena, Daoíz y Velarde, 19 (Zona: Puerto Chico), ☎ 942213062. 1 to 3 pm, 8 pm to midnight. Castilian bodega, popular with younger people, serving fish soup (sopa de pescado) and shellfish paella, great selection of wines from Castilia.€ 30. edit
Altamira, Avenida Reina Victoria, 27, ☎ 942314960. Serves traditional cuisine.edit
Copa Cabana, Reina Victoria, 46, ☎ 942282157. spectacular viewsedit
El Cormorán, Segunda Playa del Sardinero, ☎ 942273005. dining by the seaedit
Gelín, Nueva Montaña, s/n, ☎ 942332733. Traditional and rusticedit
Horno de Burgos, La Unión, 4, ☎ 942280319. Traditional Castilian cuisineedit
Peña Prieta, Vargas, 35, ☎ 942230170. Fresh fish edit
La Mejillonera, Plaza de la Leña, 4, ☎ 942214526. Musselsedit
Capitol, Francisco de Quevedo, 7, ☎ 942229191. seafood tapas edit
El Estanque de Gama, Gama (Next to the N634), ☎ 942104202, . One of the most beautiful restaurants in Cantabria. 20 min. from Santander towards Bilbao. It is also an elegant cocktail bar in the middle of the Santoña`s Nature Reserve Marshes.€20. edit
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.
Santoña: recommended by local people, where fish food must be very good (September 2013). ALSA buses on the way from Bilbao to Santander do not stop here, probably easiest way is to rent a car and go there.
Castro-Urdiales: seaside village east of Santander with a nice Gothic church and lighthouse.
Laredo (Spain): another seaside village to the East, the old quarter is worth a visit.
Potes: this small village is the key to the Picos de Europa mountain range (which is a National Park), and the Liébana region. Good eating place, and the local orujo (a strong spirits drink) is highly recommended.
Reinosa: the main town on southern Cantabria, it's a good base to explore the Cantabrian mountain range (Cordillera Cantábrica), with the Alto Campoo sky resort, the Roman city of Julióbriga and several Medieval churches close by.
Santillana del Mar: Picturesque stone village 1 hour away by bus; visit the famous cave of Altamira.
San Vicente de la Barquera - Sea-side fishing village, about 30 minutes by bus. See the fishing vessels unload what Madrid will be eating tomorrow. Fantastic tides, so stay for at least 6 hours. Nice Roman bridge.
Valles Pasiegos: for a taste of rural Cantabria, no better place than the Valley of the Pas river, especially Toranzo, Selaya, Villacarriedo, Vega de Pas, San Roque de Riomiera and San Pedro del Romeral. Try the typical sobaos and quesadas, two traditional desserts.
Ethnography Museum (Museo Etnografico de Cantabria Casa Velarde), Calle de los Heroes dos de Mayo, Muriedas, Camargo (5 ml/8 km from Santander), ☎ 942251347. from Jul until Sep Tue to Sat 10 am to 1 pm, 4 to 7 pm, Sun 11 am to 2 pm, from October to June Tue to Sat 10 am to 1 pm, 4 to 6 pm, Sun 11 am to 2 pm. Historical 17th-century building, birthplace of Spanish artillery captain Pedro Velarde y Santillan, antiquities and period furnishings, kitchen utensils, paintings.edit