Santander is a city located in northern Spain. It is the capital of the uniprovincial autonomous community of Cantabria and has 172,221 inhabitants. It is one of the most populated municipalities of this community and is known as one of the most beautiful metropolises in the country.
Among its attractions it is important to mention its extraordinary urban beaches and emblematic buildings such as the Cantabrian Maritime Museum, the Magdalena Palace, the Cathedral and of course, the Historic Center. In this article you will learn about the best areas and hotels to stay in Santander.
Best neighborhoods to stay in Santander
Santander is a town that consists of ancient royal palaces, interesting museums, beautiful squares, markets and a splendid historic center. Apart from its unparalleled beaches, thanks to that same sea you can enjoy delicious dishes prepared with the best seafood in the best restaurants of the town. It is a place that deserves to be visited calmly to explore all its corners.
Although it is a small city, it offers numerous lodging options. Undoubtedly, the best areas to stay in Santander are the city center, the Sardinero Beach and the Peninsula de La Magdalena. However, you should remember that Santander is not a cheap city, so you should not be surprised if you encounter high prices.
Here you will find the beautiful and recently renovated Pereda Gardens. These were named in honor of the 19th century Cantabrian writer, José María de Pereda. Also, the center has the best things to do and see in Santander, such as visiting its beaches and several areas of bars and great restaurants where there is a great atmosphere.
In the center you can see the gothic cathedral of Santander, walk around the Plaza Porticada, the Town Hall and enjoy the incredible exhibitions at the Botin Center. If you want to buy good quality local products, the best place to buy them is at the Mercado de la Esperanza.
On the other hand, from a logistical point of view, the center is the best place to move around. It is home to the Santander train station, a very convenient service if you decide to travel by train to other towns or explore the city’s surroundings. Thanks to this, it has established itself as one of the best places to sleep in Santander for its connectivity and proximity to many points of interest.
This hotel is housed in the building of an old cinema located just 500 meters from the Botín Center in Santander. It has a unique facade, modern rooms equipped with air conditioning, safe, satellite TV, and a private bathroom with hairdryer. It also has a fitness center and a pleasant cafe offering tapas and drinks. The property is 300 meters from Santander train station and 200 meters from the cathedral. The double room costs 239€ and booking users have given it a score of 9.4. The Silken Coliseum Hotel is a good option to stay in Santander for those on a budget.
Hostel La Mexicana
The rooms at this hotel are spacious, have wooden floors and have heating, air conditioning, TV, closet, and private bathroom with bathtub or shower. The facilities have free Wifi and in its vicinity are positioned numerous restaurants and stores. The hotel is a 9-minute walk from Santander’s ferry port that connects with England, and 100 meters from the food market. The double room costs 250€ and booking users have given it a solid 9.5.
Another good place to stay in Santander is the Art Suite Hotel. It is located 12 minutes walk from the beach and 600 meters from the port. Its rooms offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, dining area, living area with flat-screen TV, kitchen with all its implements and private bathroom with toiletries. Likewise, the hotel has been adapted for people with reduced mobility. It offers airport transfer and pets are allowed. The double room costs 250€ and booking users have given it 9.7 points.
El Sardinero Beach
As you may already know, Santander is home to fantastic beaches and El Sardinero is a favorite choice for many people. It is comprised of two extensive golden sandy beaches of one kilometer in length each that are divided by a viewpoint. The area also hosts a busy promenade with many bars and leisure areas. In this area stand valuable architectural works of the early twentieth century as the Gran Casino or the Eurostars Hotel Real.
Like Somo (located on the other side of the bay), Sardinero is one of the best places to surf. If you are looking to spend a few days in the sun and enjoy the beach, the Sardinero beach area is the best option to sleep in Santander. However, you should keep in mind that hotels in this area tend to be more crowded in high season because surfers are looking to be close to the sea, but if you book in advance you can find good accommodations to suit your budget.
Le Petit Boutique Hotel
One of the best hotels to stay in Santander in the Sardinero area is Le Petit Boutique Hotel, located a 2-minute walk from the beach. It has an elegant facade inspired by the most influential cities in the world. Its rooms are fantastic and have air conditioning, Wifi connection, LED TV and safe. They have been decorated as the most imposing cities in the world, such as Stockholm, Tokyo, New York and Siena. All of them have heating and private bathrooms with free toiletries. A buffet breakfast is served every morning in the dining room, and several restaurants and tapas bars are within a 10-minute walk of the hotel. The double room costs 109€ and booking users have given it a score of 9.5.
Suite Home Sardinero
Some of the rooms at this hotel have private bathrooms with whirlpool tubs. Others include bathrobes, slippers and a sitting area. In all of them you will find a hairdryer, free toiletries and flat-screen TV. The premises have been adapted for people with reduced mobility and a fabulous breakfast is served daily. The double room costs 120€ and booking users have rated it with a score of 8.4.
La Magdalena Peninsula
It is located in the middle of the city center and the beach of El Sardinero. The Magdalena Peninsula is home to the building and gardens of the Magdalena Palace, as well as two small and cozy beaches. In this area there is a small zoo housing penguins and seals, an ideal place for those traveling with children.
La Magdalena also has a scale reproduction of the Sana Maria, one of the ships in which Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World. Likewise, you will be amazed by the many cliffs towering over the Cantabrian Sea. There is a small tourist train that makes a tour of the peninsula to know it in an easier and faster way.
It is one of the favorite places to sleep in Santander for tourists because it has several emblematic buildings and because it is relatively close to the center, giving you the possibility to move around the different places of interest of the peninsula.
One of the attractions of this splendid establishment is its Japanese garden and its elegant rooms equipped with air conditioning and flat-screen TV. Its restaurant offers typical Cantabrian dishes, made with the best local and regional products. If you want something lighter, the hotel has a coffee bar serving snacks and refreshing drinks.
Its rooms have a spacious marble bathroom with hairdryer, as well as a minibar and safe. The reception is open 24 hours a day and the tour desk offers a ticket service to the most important sites of interest in Santander. The hotel rents cars to its guests and has a large parking lot. The double room costs 115€ and booking users have given it a score of 9.3.
Silken Río Santander
One of the interesting hotels where to stay in Santander in the area of the peninsula of La Magdalena is the Silken Río. It is a modern hotel with fabulous views of the Cantabrian Sea. Its rooms are elegant and have free Wi-Fi, minibar and satellite TV. The Mare Alta restaurant serves modern cuisine patillos and the Marea Baja coffee bar offers a wide variety of creative dishes made with local products. There is also a free fitness center and a meeting room that can be booked for private and business events. The double room costs 115€ and booking users have given it 9.4 points.