Santander is a coastal city that grew in 19th century thanks to a flourishing commercial activity and also throughout the 20th century thanks to tourist activity promoted by the Spanish Royal Family. It currently offers a friendly atmosphere within a very beautiful natural setting with large beaches and attractive promenades. All these features make Santander a comfortable city to live in, with a wide range of cultural and sport attractions.
Practical information: living in Santander
Santander is a city of about 200,000 inhabitants with a privileged location by the sea and close to the mountains. Santander is an excellent place to learn Spanish because this is the only official language spoken here. Its climate is very mild and the whole region offers the varied landscape and weather features typical of this fringe of green land so different from the rest of Spain. Among its many touristic attractions, the Cantabrian cost alternates hundreds of fine white sand beaches and impressive cliffs, and the cost is a less than a 2-hour drive from the breathtaking landscapes of Picos de Europa beautiful mountains. Cantabria hosts some of the most impressive prehistoric caves in Europe, such as world-renowned Altamira. The University of Cantabria offers practical information about life in Santander in its International Student's Guide.
The region preserves important historical remains from the Prehistoric Era, Roman ruins such as those of Julióbriga, medieval settlements, such as Santillana del Mar and several examples of the civil and religious architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Cantabria hosts some of the most impressive prehistoric caves in Europe, such as world-renowned Altamira. The famous Guggenheim Museum is just one hour drive in neighboring Bilbao.
Santander can be reached by plane with direct flights from Madrid and Barcelona. Low-cost airlines fly from Santander into many European destinations, making it affordable to spend the weekend in London, Paris, Rome, etc. Bilbao airport, the biggest of northern Spain, is just one hour drive away.
More touristic information on Santander and Cantabria: