Situated on the north coast of Spain, Santander is a historical port city inhabiting some 180,000 inhabitants. Known in ancient times as Portus Victoriae Iuliobrigensium, Santander has a rich and fascinating history dating back to the time of the Roman Empire. Today, it’s seen as a major financial centre for the entire Iberian Peninsula. The city boasts several beaches, a wealth of cultural attractions and exquisite cuisine, making it a popular tourist destination. Unlike many other areas in Spain, Santander enjoys a moderate climate, meaning that temperatures are agreeable, even during the warmer summer months.
Due to the relatively small size of Santander, a small car will serve as the perfect city runaround and will also be appropriate should you happen to find a street parking space.
Driving in Santander
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
There is a selection of underground car parks in Santander, along with free parking in the area close to the Sardinero beaches.
Street parking, on the other hand, is practically impossible to find and is therefore best avoided. Be aware that any vehicle parked incorrectly is at risk of being towed away.
As is the case in many other Spanish towns and cities, drivers are notoriously haphazard so expect plenty of horn blowing, questionable parking and minimal signalling!
Highlights & Hotspots
Built in the early 1900s as a gift to the Spanish Royal Family, the Magdalena Palace is one of Santander’s key historical hotspots. Sitting on the city’s Magdalena Peninsula, the palace is accompanied by stunning grounds where visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll whilst taking in the magnificent coastal scenery.
Complete with a children’s playground and a small zoo which also form part of the palace grounds, the Magdalena Palace is an attraction to be enjoyed by the whole family.
Santander also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, particularly during the summer months, which are attended by visitors from all corners of the globe. From music and dance festivals such as The Festival Internacional de Santander to religious celebrations such as the festival of St James, there’s an event to cater for all tastes and preferences.
Also worth mentioning are the city’s parks, squares and other such open spaces. While away the afternoon people-watching in Plaza de Caňadío or relax with a good book under the palm trees in the Piquío Gardens.
The Aeropuerto Internacional de Santander is situated about 5km south of the city centre, offering flights to various European destinations.
The airport is easily accessible via Calle Aeropuerto, which goes west onto the S-10 highway. From there, you can head north towards the city centre without too many problems.