If you are in Cantabria, you most likely want to know what is the best thing to see in Santander in one day, one of those cities that you fall in love with as soon as you arrive. Its marine environment, its beaches and its monuments captivate any visitor.
Strolling through this city of Cantabria with its tranquility and the beautiful views of the bay is something totally recommended.
Here we are going to tell you what to visit in Santander and what can be done if you go to the Cantabrian city. You cannot leave Cantabria without knowing its capital and main city, a place that will surprise you. If you have more days to visit Santander, do not miss our following articles:
And if you are traveling with the little ones, do not miss our article with the best things to do in Santander with children.
The best things to see in Santander in one day
The Town Hall Square
Our day tour of Santander can start in the central Plaza del Ayuntamiento. It is a very busy triangular square and from where several very commercial streets of Santander start.
In this square we find, as the main building, the Santander City Hall, built at the beginning of the 20th century, although it was later enlarged and remodeled. Behind the Town Hall is the Mercado de la Esperanza.
From Plaza del Ayuntamiento we can start walking to the next point of our visit.
The next destination on our day trip is the Cathedral of Santander, actually made up of two superimposed temples. It is one of the best places to see in Santander.
The lower part, the crypt, was built in 1200 in the Romanesque style with a transition to Gothic and the upper part was built between the 13th and 15th centuries, although part of it was rebuilt after the fire of 1941.
It is essential to visit both temples to observe the difference in styles and see how the Cathedral evolved.
The Gardens of Pereda
We thus arrive at the most monumental area of Santander formed by a series of buildings and squares that you cannot miss. The first point in this area is the Jardines de Pereda, located next to the sea and very close to the train station.
There we can see several monuments dedicated to illustrious Cantabrians and we can start walking inland admiring the spectacular Banco de Santander building, a symbol of the wealth of the city.
The Botín Center also stands out, a very modern-style cultural facility that has gradually become one of the most important points of interest to visit in Santander.
The Plaza del Pombo and the Plaza Porticada
Next to this building we find the Plaza de Pombo, with some very interesting buildings, among which the Real Club de Regatas and the Church of Santa Lucía stand out.
Strolling through this area we will arrive at the Plaza Porticada, but not before admiring the beautiful Banesto Building.
The Plaza Porticada was rebuilt in 1941 in Herrerian neoclassical style after the fire that destroyed much of the city and is one of the most important meeting points for Santander residents.
What to see in the Magdalena Peninsula
With a long walk following the sea we arrive at the Magdalena Peninsula, one of the essential places to see in Santander.
Before arriving you must admire some very famous statues, the ones that form the Monument to the Raqueros.
The Royal Palace dates from 1912 and until 1930 it was the summer residence of Alfonso XIII. It is currently the headquarters of the Menéndez Pelayo International University, famous for its summer courses.
In the rest of the peninsula we will find a monument to Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente and the old Royal Stables, today a student residence.
The tour could start at the Maritime Museum, a beautiful museum dedicated to the sea that gives way to the first of the beaches you will find, the Playa de los Peligros, which together with the Playa de la Magdalena form the group that exists before reaching the Magdalena Peninsula.
On the other side of the peninsula we find the small Playa del Camello, a prelude to the great beach of Santander, the most famous of all, the Playa del Sardinero, which is actually two beaches. It is, without a doubt, one of the best beaches in Cantabria.
The Santander Casino and the Piquio Park
Along the beach we can see the typical terraces as well as old spas, but the most notable building is that of the Santander Casino, from 1916 and one of the symbols of the city. You must not stop paying attention to its balcony, its towers and its domes.
The walk can end in the Parque del Piquio, located between the two beaches of El Sardinero.
You can also continue to the end of the beach and reach the Cabo Mayor Lighthouse from where you can enjoy the beautiful sunsets that you can see in Santander.
You can find more information about what to see in Santander on its official tourism page.