Santander Travel Guide
From classic must-see sights to insider hot spots and local haunts, there are countless things to do in Santander. How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite Santander attractions and activities—shops, museums, parks, nightclubs, coffee shops, tours, and more.
Our international team of editors and writers handpick the best things to do in Santander to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences. Whether a hidden boutique with handcrafted products, a popular local festival, a bakery with a cult following, or a picnic-worthy park, Travel + Leisure guides the way, providing information and inspiration. From beaches and bars to cultural attractions and up-and-coming neighborhoods, our list will help you make the most of your romantic getaway, family vacation, or trip with friends. Below find Travel + Leisure’s top picks for what to do in Santander.
You can multitask your leisure time in this restaurant/café/lounge/disco, which is housed in a palatial former family home, with Grandmother's hand-blocked wallpaper still hanging in the dining room. Swank furnishings in the rest of the club are a hip nod to the future.
You'll find all you need for exploring the bay's waters—top-of-the-line snorkels, swim fins, and wetsuits.
The fascinating museum of maritime culture shows how residents have lived with—and lived off—the sea since Roman times. You'll see quirky exhibits that include specimen fish (like the world's only two-headed sardine), model ships, and enormous whale skeletons.
The former carpenter's shop is now a favorite watering hole for Santander's youth-set, who come here for hearty tapas (like blood pudding) and late-night revelry.
Want to tee off at Real Golf de Pedreña but left your spikes at home? Pick up a replacement pair—along with sailing, polo, and tennis gear—at this posh sporting-goods store.
Parts of this fortress-like cathedral date back to the 12th century. Much of the church was destroyed in a 1941 fire, but the 800-plus-year-old crypt escaped the blaze.
Let the experts guide you through a stellar selection of wines from the nearby Rioja region, as well as other regions of Spain.
Santander has a surprising concentration of trendy women's boutiques. Ceca is the current favorite among Spain's fashionistas, who flock here to stock up on the latest from Spanish designers such as Amaya Arzuaga.
With its view of the boats bobbing in Puerto Chico and its well-measured gin and tonics, Siboney may be the perfect spot for a postprandial.
The velvet box of a boutique features a stylish range of artisanal jewelry by a pan-European lineup of young designers. Bold gold-link necklaces make for some sophisticated bling-bling.
Recent work by acclaimed video artist Tony Oursler joins Goya's famous portrait of King Fernando VII in this charmingly hit-or-miss provincial collection.