1 Day itinerary in Santander or Cantabria (Spain)

Do you need a 1 day itinerary in Santander or  Cantabria (Spain)? If you’re planning a very short visit to Cantabria with just one full day in the region, the best recommendation we can offer is to visit the capital, Santander.

Santander is a medium-small-sized city that can be visited in one day. The most interesting area is the coastline from the Centro Botín to El Sardinero, but it’s also worth visiting some key spots in the center.

Let’s explore more details with our 1 day itinerary in Santander and Cantabria with a downloadable map.

1 day in Santander

If you plan to spend just 1 day in Santander or Cantabria, the best thing to do is to explore Santander, its capital.

Most of the must-see attractions are located along the coastline.

We recommend starting your journey in the morning around the Centro Botín and the Cathedral.

While you’re there, having breakfast, you can download our custom HiCantabria map for Google Maps using the link and instructions below. It will allow you to automatically add all the key spots to your Google Maps application.

*INSTRUCTIONS: Clicking the link may open your browser. Once opened, a Google Maps option may appear next to the URL. Clicking it will open the Google Maps application and automatically add the map to your view.

Let's begin our day in Santander ...

For the day ahead, we have a couple of recommendations. If you’re feeling energetic and enjoy walking, we’ve prepared an 8.5 km route along the coast, visiting most of the key spots in the city. Alternatively, if the weather isn’t favorable or if you have mobility issues, a great option is to take the touristic bus, as explained in our ‘During your stay‘ section.

Below, you’ll find a map outlining our proposed route, along with a download button for Google Maps to access the route effortlessly.


We recommend starting the route early (Point A) in the morning, visiting Points B and C before lunch.


For lunch, you can explore the area of La Cañía, as explained in our HiCantabria Bar Section.


After lunch, you can stroll from there to Point D (for a coffee) and then visit Point E, finishing at Cabo Mayor (Point F).


Once the route is finished, we suggest taking a Cabify or Uber back to the center (Paseo Pereda is a great reference point), where you can enjoy dinner at one of our HiCantabria proposed restaurants.

Alternative plan in Santander

If the plan above doesn’t interest you, we can also recommend taking a free walking tour that explains the history of the city. Then, in the evening, you can take a taxi to the area of El Sardinero.

Key spots that you can't miss in Santander

Santander is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. While you can explore and discover your own places by walking, there are some key spots that you cannot miss when visiting Santander!

Península and Magdalena Palace

The Magdalena Palace stands as one of the symbols of Santander and Cantabria. Situated on the peninsula of the same name, this palace once served as a royal residence.


Today, it hosts various events such as courses or even weddings.


Also, at the entrance, you can take a tourist train locally known as Madaleno that will take you around the peninsula. Visitors can enjoy stunning views from the peninsula and explore attractions such as a small naval museum and a free zoo!

El Sardinero and Jardines de Piquio

Especially during the summer, the El Sardinero area becomes one of the city’s most popular destinations. It boasts two main beaches (Primera y segunda playa del Sardinero), along with a vibrant area for drinks and food at La Cañía, Piquio Gardens, the impressive Casino Building, and the nearby areas of Mataleñas and Playa del Camello.


This spot is a must-visit.

Centro Botín

Designed by Renzo Piano, the Centro Botín has been a symbol of modernity in the city since its opening in 2017.


The surrounding Jardines de Pereda were also renovated, making this area, along with other buildings such as Correos, one of the most visited in the city.


The Centro Botín is a museum housing various collections, accessible with tickets.


HiCantabria tip: You can access the top for free using a lift from the street, there you can enjoy stunning views of the city!

Los raqueros and Paseo Pereda

The sculpture displaying Los Raqueros, who used to be children seeking to survive in the docks, is the perfect spot to discover both Paseo Pereda and Santander Bay, one of the most iconic images of the city.

Mataleñas beach and Molinucos beach

Just next to El Sardinero, Mataleñas is like a paradise on earth, with beautiful beaches such as Mataleñas and Los Molinucos, a park adorned with palm trees, and a public golf course offering unforgettable views. Don’t miss it!

Do you need more?

If our one day itinerary in Cantabria wasn’t enough for you, make sure to check our Plans page.

Require additional information or have any restaurant suggestion? Get in touch with us! Get in touch with us!

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