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Where To Stay in Santander: The Best Areas and Hotels

Where To Stay in Santander: The Best Areas and Hotels

Wondering where to stay in Santander? Although it’s a small city, there are some fantastic places to stay in Santander so it can be difficult to choose where to base yourself. Each neighborhood has something special to offer, whether that be pristine beaches, authentic tapas restaurants, or nearby coastal walks.

There are some fantastic attractions in Santander including museums, parks, and shops, and no matter where you stay, you’ll have easy access to the city center.

Feeling stuck? Don’t worry, this guide will take you through the best neighborhoods in Santander, as well as the top accommodation options so you’ll have the perfect base for your visit. This amazing city has something for every price point too so you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Map of Where to Stay in Santander

Although this coastal city is small, there are so many amazing places to stay in Santander. You’ll have several charming neighborhoods to choose from, all offering different amenities. So there’s something for everyone.

Better yet, many of the areas below are located close to the city’s most popular attractions. No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll be close to bars, restaurants, and tourist amenities. You’re also never too far from the Santander Airport, which is only 10km (6 miles) from the neighborhood of El Sardinero.

So, let’s take a look at the best neighborhoods in Santander to give you an idea of where to stay.

1. Puerto Chico – Best for First-time Visitors

If you’re wondering where to stay in Santander then Puerto Chico should be one of your first choices. Situated in the heart of the city, this Santander neighborhood is around a 15-minute walk from both the bus and train stations so you’ll be well located.

Puerto Chico is where the real buzz is in Santander. It has endless authentic tapas restaurants, bars, and shops. There are also some fantastic ice cream shops in the area which will be a big hit with the little ones.

A highlight of staying in Puerto Chico is its charm, as the neighborhood is set right along the waterfront, near the harbor. It’s a great place to take a stroll and there are plenty of attractions nearby, such as the Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria. Just be aware that the nearest beach is around a 20-minute walk away.

In terms of accommodation, you won’t be short of options. There’s something for every budget, ranging from quaint apartments to luxurious hotels, some of which offer striking harbor views.

Things to do in Puerto Chico

The Best Places to Stay in Puerto Chico

  • Budget: Sercotel El Balcón de la Bahía Suites – This adults-only property is gorgeous and affordable. Offering stunning rooms and suites (some with sea views), an outdoor pool, and a garden area, this place has everything you could need. Free WiFi and private parking are also available.
  • Mid-range: Soho Boutique Palacio de Pombo – A beautiful hotel located in the heart of Santander. Every room is modern and spacious, featuring plenty of amenities including free WiFi, air conditioning, and a coffee machine. You’ll also have a buffet breakfast included in your stay and there are some great bars and restaurants nearby.
  • Luxury: Vincci Puertochico – This hotel is just steps away from Puerto Chico Marina and offers jaw-dropping views of Santander Bay. With its charming rooms, excellent facilities, and fantastic location, it’s certainly one of the best hotels in Santander. Tapas are also available on the terrace or in the café.
wide bay with a beach in the middle and city behind it with all of the different santander neighborhoods in the distance.

Santander beaches are pretty special and should not be missed if you are visiting Spain in June or July.

2. El Sardinero – Best Santander Neighborhood for Beachgoers

If you’d prefer somewhere a bit more relaxed, then the neighborhood of El Sardinero is one of the best places to stay in Santander.

It’s a 25-minute walk from Puerto Chico and offers a completely different vibe. The neighborhoods of Cueto and Canalejas are also within walking distance putting you in a great location to explore the city.

The main reason people stay here is Playa de El Sardinero. It is one of the city’s most beautiful beaches.

Not only is it a great place to sunbathe and take a dip, but you’ll find some fantastic restaurants and bars lining the waterfront. There’s everything from fine-dining establishments to casual eateries so it’s a superb place for foodies. You’ll also find some great tapas restaurants nearby.

Compared to other neighborhoods in Santander, El Sardinero is much more relaxed. However, there’s still plenty to do in the area, such as relaxing in one of the sea-view parks or heading to Estadio El Sardinero.

There are some fantastic accommodation options in this Santander neighborhood. Just note that if you are visiting Spain in August, then you will definitely want to book your beachside hotels as early as possible. These sell out before most other neighborhoods in Santander. at this time of year.

Things to do in El Sardinero

  • Playa de El Sardinero
  • Jardines de Piquío
  • Estadio El Sardinero
  • Parque Atlántico de Las Llamas
  • Gran Casino del Sardinero

The Best Places to Stay in El Sardinero

  • Budget: Suite Home Sardinero – This place offers affordable yet cozy rooms, and is just a short walk from El Sardinero Beach. There are various rooms to choose from, with some even offering spacious spa baths – perfect for a romantic getaway. There’s a shared lounge on-site and you’ll have breakfast included.
  • Mid-range: Le Petit Boutique Hotel – This charming hotel is located right by the beach. It offers several charming rooms, all themed around popular locations across the world including Tokyo and Paris. A buffet breakfast is included and you’ll be just a short walk from nearby tapas bars and restaurants.
  • Luxury: Hotel Palacio del Mar – This hotel is another popular option for accommodation in Santander. Boasting a quirky African-themed bar, maritime-themed restaurant, and spacious suites, it’s got everything you could ask for. El Sardinero Stadium is also just a short walk away.
rocky bay with clear turquoise water below.

Explore the stunning coastline in Santander along the different walking trails.

3. Cueto – Best for families

For those who don’t mind staying out of Santander city center, Cueto is another great area. This neighborhood feels much more local and is around a 25-minute walk from El Sardinero.

If you stay in Cueto, you’ll have easy access to nearby parks and beaches, including Playa de Mataleñas. There’s also a fantastic coastal path that will take you to Cabo Mayor Lighthouse. Here, you’ll find Tirolinas Go Santander Forestal Park, a tree-top adventure park that kids will love.

Although not often thought about, this neighborhood has a lot to offer. However, if you’re looking for hotels in Santander rather than apartments, it’s probably best to stay elsewhere.

The majority of accommodation in this area consists of self-contained units, which are perfect for those looking for a bit more space. That’s part of the reason this area is so well-suited to families as some of these apartments sleep up to 8 people.

Just be aware that accommodation options are limited and you won’t find as many restaurants and bars in this area as you will in the more central neighborhoods. But that does mean it’s much quieter at night!

Things to do in Cueto

The Best Places to Stay in Cueto

  • Budget: APARTAMENTO Holidea MATALEÑAS – This affordable three-bedroom apartment sleeps up to 6 people making it a great option for families and groups. With free WiFi, a fully equipped kitchen, three bathrooms, and a spacious lounge area, it has plenty of amenities. There’s also a washing machine and free parking is available.
  • Mid-range: Valdenoja-Sardinero Apartment Suite Beach – This two-bedroom apartment sleeps up to 4 people and is located close to Playa de Los Molinucos. It offers a balcony with city views, a kitchen, a lounge area with a flat-screen TV, and a spacious bathroom. There’s also a 24-hour front desk at the property.
  • Luxury: Apartamentos Las Calas – This popular upper-floor apartment sleeps up to 8 people so is perfect for large families. There are four bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a washing machine, and a seating area. You’ll also have free WiFi and there’s free parking for those who have a vehicle.
large stone house with a turret like a castle to the left and bright blue skies above.

Santander has so many beautiful buildings and if you’re lucky, your hotel might just be one of them!

4. Canalejas – Best for Central Location

Finally, there’s Canalejas, another great neighborhood if you’re wondering where to stay in Santander. It’s very residential so offers an authentic, peaceful experience. Puerto Chico is just a short walk away too, so you’ll benefit from all the tourist amenities found there.

If you’re looking for a beach getaway but you’d prefer to stay close to town, then Canalejas may be the better option compared to El Sardinero. Both Playa Los Peligros and Playa de la Magdalena are located in this area, and Playa de El Sardinero is under a 20-minute walk away, too.

You won’t find many bars and eateries in this neighborhood, but there are plenty of things to do. One of the most popular attractions is Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico but you’ll also have easy access to the Magdalena Peninsula. Thanks to the area’s location, you can easily wander along the waterfront too.

There are also some fantastic accommodation options in Canalejas, ranging from hostels to luxury hotels so there’s something to suit everyone.

Things to do in Canalejas

  • Walk along the waterfront
  • Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico
  • Playa Los Peligros
  • Playa de la Magdalena
  • Walk to the Magdalena Peninsula

The Best Places to Stay in Canalejas

  • Budget: Hostel Villa Miguela – This affordable property offers both dormitory and private rooms so there’s something for everyone’s price point. Some rooms even boast a private balcony with city views. If you decide to stay here, you’ll have access to a shared lounge and free WiFi, and you’ll be close to several attractions.
  • Mid-range: Hotel Royal Suite Santander – This beautiful hotel is known for its spacious suites, some of which offer a private terrace and sea views. They sleep between 2-4 people so are perfect for couples and families. This place also offers a tour desk and concierge service.
  • Luxury: Eurostars Hotel Real -This incredible palace-style hotel is quite possibly one of the best places to stay in Santander. Boasting breathtaking views of Santander Bay, an award-winning restaurant, a cocktail terrace, and an elegant bar, this place has everything you could need. There’s also a fitness center on-site.