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Mijas Coronavirus (COVID-19) Costa del Sol Travel Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Mijas is a town and municipality in the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. It consists of Mijas Pueblo a typically Andalusian white-washed village located at a mountain side 428 m above mean sea level. Everything outside Mijas Pueblo is called Mijas Costa, the main villages: The more industrial area Las Lagunas that’s the most populated part of Mijas and it is totally integrated with Fuengirola. La Cala de Mijas is the main beach resort. Other smaller beach resorts are Riviera del Sol and Calahonda.

According to the INE census of 2017, Mijas has 77 151 inhabitants, 5 which becomes the fourth municipality of the province in terms of population. This is concentrated in three main urban centers: Mijas Pueblo, located on the hillside of the Sierra de Mijas, the historic center of the municipality; Las Lagunas, in the area called Mijas Costa, is part of the urban continuum of the city of Fuengirola; and the cove, a coastal town. The surface of the municipal term is of 148 km ² and it extends from the coastal saws of the Penibética to the Mediterranean Sea.

Its history dates back to antiquity, with Phoenician and Roman remains, however, in modernity Mijas was a small town dedicated mainly to agriculture and fishing until the explosion of the tourist boom in the 1950s. Since then, the activity tourist And the construction sector have been the engines of the local economy, shooting at the same time population and per capita income. At present it is a multicultural municipality with a percentage of residents of foreign origin and one of the main centers of residential tourism in Andalusia.

Get in

From the main bus station in Fuengirola there are various ways you can get to Mijas and Mijas Costa. Mijas is served by a regular bus service (bus number 122 which ends in Mijas village itself or number 221 which continues on to Coín) from the main bus station in Fuengirola. The cost of the journey is currently €1.30. To travel to Mijas Costa or La Cala De Mijas catch the Marbella bus No 220 which stops in La Cala De Mijas, and various other parts of Mijas Costa, Calahonda, Riviera Del Sol and Lima/Miraflores. Again the cost of the journey is approx €1.50.

Get around

What to see and do

  • Mijas Pueblo – spectacular views of the African coastline, the Atlas mountains, Gibraltar and a good part of the Costa del Sol. There is also the Mijas traditional bull ring and the famous plaza in the center of the town where little donkey/horse trolleys can take you on a small trip around the village.
  • Hermitage of Our Lady of the Remedies: Raised at the beginning of century XVIII, the reduced church presents a single ship with armor of parhilera, that becomes the greater chapel in vault of edge. Very restored, it keeps the sculpture of dress of the Virgen de los Remedios of the XVIII century.
  • Hermitage of the Virgin of the Rock: it is a cave hermitage excavated in the rock by a Carmelite brother between the years 1656 and 1682, to which a sacristy of irregular stone has been added, trying to simulate a natural work. The exterior of the feet made with the same intention, has access of half a point and small bulrush. In an irregular niche carved in the front is the Virgen de la Peña, patron saint of Mijas.
  • Church of San Sebastian: its construction corresponds to the late seventeenth century, renovated on numerous occasions. It appears with a nave covered with a truss armor, a square main chapel with a hemispherical vault, and an arched vault with wall paintings of angels.
  • Parochial Church of the Immaculate Conception The Parochial Church of the Immaculate Conception was consecrated in 1631, it is located in the upper area of ​​the town and on the ruins of the old mosque from which its Mudejar tower was used to fulfill the functions of a belfry .
  • Hermitage of CalvaryThe Hermitage of Calvary is located at the foot of the Sierra de Mijas, was built around 1710 for the removal of the Carmelite monks who lived in the hospice and the Monastery of Compás.
  • Hermitage of San Antón The Hermitage of Calvary of a single ship, was built in the eighteenth century. The size of the Saint is made of polychrome wood from the same period. It opens to the public on January 17, patron saint of San Antón.
  • The Gardens of the Wall in Mijas The Gardens of the Wall in Mijas is about gardens built on the remains of the old fortress that surrounded the town.
  • Mirajas Towers of Mijas are four towers beacons that were part of an old coastal defensive line located along the Andalusian Mediterranean coast. From east to west: Torre de Calaburras, Torre Nueva of La Cala del Moral, Battery Tower of La Cala del Moral and Torre de Calahonda.
  • The Max Carrousel of Mijas: Miniatures Museum collects a collection of miniature items that includes a “Head of a white man reduced by the gíbaros”, the portrait of “Abraham Lincoln” made in painting on the head of a pin, the “Our Father” written on the chant of a business card, the representation of “The Seven Wonders of the World” carved on a toothpick and the “Last Supper of Leonardo Da Vinci” on a bead of rice, among other things.
  • The Historical Museum of Mijas: The Historical-Ethnological Museum was inaugurated in 1995 and contains a collection of farming tools, fishing, oil mills, a winery, typical Mijeña cuisine, etc. In addition, itinerant art collections and local crafts are also exhibited.
  • Torres Vigía Interpretation Center: The Torres Vigía Interpretation Center is located in the New Tower of La Cala del Moral and contains a sample of the origin of the surveillance of the coastline, the resources used, reproductions at the scale of the 4 Mijas towers and historical texts.

Beaches

  • Beaches – the 12 km coastline boasts nine, with those in La Cala the Mijas having the blue European quality flag. Mijas is located up in the sierra mountains but the beach can be accessed by driving down to town of Fuengirola which is right at the coastline. The trip down is around 15 km.
  • Cala de Mijas: The Cala de Mijas is an urban beach with dark, medium-grained sand and some rocky areas and a high degree of occupation. It measures 1.6 km in length and it waves the blue flag.
  • Cabo Rocoso beach in Mijas: Cabo Rocoso beach in Mijas is a beach of dark sand of medium grain and moderate waves. It is a semiurban beach with a low occupation degree and about 100 m in length. You can practice windsurfing, sailing and diving.
  • Calahonda Beach: One of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol, Calahonda beach, you can practice diving and fishing for its crystal clear waters. On the beach of Calahonda. We will find a golden sand of medium grain and calm waters. It is a semi-urban beach with a high occupation gradient and about 4.5 km in length.
  • Playa del Bombo emi-urban beach with dark sand located next to a cliff, making it ideal for scuba diving. It is 1.1 km long and a high degree of occupation.
  • Playa del Chaparral Chaparral Beach is a semi-urban beach with rocks and moderate waves. It has an average occupation degree and 4.4 km in length. Possibility of windsurfing, sailing and diving.
  • Playa del Faro: Rocky enclave with multiple coves of fine sand. Fishing underwater and with cane is practiced. It is 1.4 km long and has a low occupancy level.

What to do

  • Rock climbing/Bouldering Parque Miralla, Mijas pueblo
  • Plaza de Toros/Bullring Mijas pueblo
  • Ethnological Museum of Mijas Mijas pueblo
  • Golf – Mijas has 7 Golf courses and more are under construction.
  • Mijas Aqua Park in Las Lagunas.
  • Rent pedal boats, jet skis, parascending on the beach.
  • Visit the Roman ruins at the Torreblanca end of Los Boliches
  • Benalmádena port and the aquarium (about 10 km away).
  • Train ride to Málaga.
  • Ferry cruise to Benalmádena   .
  • Feria week in mid-October every year. A mixture of music, flamenco, religion, horses, eating and drinking See the Spanish at play, when they party they do it seriously.
  • Play golf at one of the many courses within easy reach.No absolutely no to any 26 handicapers, bandits
  • Mijas Burrotaxis: If you go to Mijas you can not miss the Burrotaxis. Burrotaxis is a peculiar transport method of Mijas, which appeared at the end of the 50s, as a result of the fact that some workers from the quarries who returned to their homes on donkeys, were required by tourists to take photographs or take a walk.
  • Biennial of the Villa de Mijas art that is celebrated between October and November the first and in June the second.
  • Villa de Mijas theater festival, which is held in June the second.
  • Flamenco Festival, In August
  • Latin Night in August
  • Calapop Festival in August
  • Celtic Night, In August bands of bagpipes from Gibraltar and northern Spain play.
  • Mijas Jazz Festival, in autumn.
  • Other cultural events are the Fair of Tales, the Literary Contest of Love Letters, the Market of the Senses and the International Day of the Peoples.
  • Beach Activities On the beaches you can practice water sports, rent water bikes, pedal boats, etc.

Buy

  • Mijas Town – Mijas has many little independent traditional shops which sell mainly artisian decoration and decort such as hand made pottery, paintings, lots of souvenirs from Spain, clothing etc… The shops have there displays outside on the white streets which makes Mijas also so very touristic and attractive.

Eat

There are lots of Spanish tapa bars in the area. You may need to look in the small corridors and streets for traditional good Mediterranean food.

  • Mirlo Blanco Restarante
  • Los Arcos

Drink

Cruzcampo which is the traditional Spanish beer is served everywhere as is various Spanish wines. Again, lots of places to drink and eat.

Mijas is not really a place for a mad drunken sleazy night out (the nearby town of Fuengirola is better for that), however there are many smaller bars and cafes where one can have a civilised drink. The Boveda del Flamenco bar is a fantastic little place, which used to be the old village jail. It is excellent to sit outside in the summer and watch the world going by. Although many local Spanish residents have their own ways of hanging out in Mijas, discothèques and others are not in the area except nearby cities. If you fancy something to eat or have a nice meal, there are many restaurants about.

Sleep

There are many other places where you can sleep or look for accommodation since everything is very nearby.

  • Hotel MijasProvides superb accommodation.
  • Hotel Tamisa Golf If you are looking for golfing accommodations in the area of Mijas, there is the Mijas golf course.
  • Casa CaletaExcellent family run B&B in a Finca with fantastic views.
  • Apartamentos Torrenueva ParkUrb. Torrenueva Park Ctra. de Cádiz, Km 200 29650 – Mijas Costa – Málaga Mijas Costa.
  • Mijas costa Oasis HotelCalle Opalo, s/n, 29649 Mijas Costa, Málaga.
  • Hotel IPV Beatriz (Hotel IPV Palace & Spa), Ctra. A7. Km. 207 ,   .
  • Hotel Las piramidesC/ Miguel Marquez, 43 ,   .
  • Apartments Ronda4Paseo Marítimo Rey de España, 96 CP 29640 Los Boliches, Fuengirola, Malaga, España. ,   .
  • Apartamentos NuriasolAvd. Francisco Rivera “Paquirri” 23-25 ,   .
  • There are many options to rental self-catering villas in the area. You can check the following option .

Former founder of Asiarooms.com and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.

Spain

Oviedo Coronavirus (COVID-19) Asturias Travel Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Oviedo or Uviéu (in Asturian language) is a cathedral city, capital of Principality of Asturias, in Northern Spain. It has an interesting old town with various monuments listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Spain Coronavirus since reopening
3,456,886
Confirmed
0
Confirmed (24h)
77,496
Deaths
0
Deaths (24h)
2.2%
Deaths (%)
3,156,955
Recovered
0
Recovered (24h)
91.3%
Recovered (%)
222,435
Active
6.4%
Active (%)

Credit/Source: Sentosa Medical Exchange Germany & Singapore

Get in

By plane

Airport of Asturias  is approximately 40km away from Oviedo. The airport is located on the outskirts of the town of Aviles. Asturias airport has flights to and from London (Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick), Lisbon, Munich and Venice.

The bus is by far the cheapest way to get to Oviedo from the airport (8 euros). An ALSA coach will leave you in the Bus station, very close to the centre, with connections to local buses, taxis and the train station next to Buses are on the right as you exit the terminal and leave every hour from 6.00am to midnight. The journey takes from 40 to 50 minutes.

A taxi will cost around € 46 and take 20 to 25 minutes

By Coach

The Oviedo Coach Station (calle Pepe Cosmen, tel. +34 902499949) is located in the centre of town, next to the Oviedo train station. There are coach routes to most towns in Asturias and the North of Spain, as well as Madrid and some other Spanish large cities, like Seville and Barcelona. International coach routes link Oviedo daily with Paris, Brussels and Genève There is a Tourist Information Office at the bus station (tel. + 34 985117050).

By train

Oviedo train station (calle Pepe Cosmen) is on the north side of la Calle Uría (the center of the city), where there are many connecting local bus routes. There is also a taxi stand just outside the station. It is next to the coach station.

By car

There is a convenient ring-road,with various exits into Oviedo. There are places to charge, but they are not near, check directions before getting into A6. Lugones will be your easy option to return. To Oviedo, freeway will take by car in less than 20min to Gijón or Avilés.

Distances to/from Oviedo: Madrid 450 km, Bilbao 305 km, A Coruna 325 km, Gijon 30 km

Get around

The best way to get around is by walking.

Most of the center of the city can only be visited that way, because little motor traffic is allowed. Where traffic is possible, be prepared for jams and narrow passes, as sometimes parking is permitted on both sides of the road.

The local Buses (Autobuses Urbanos de Oviedo, tel. +34 985222422) are fairly reliable, and on every bus stop there is a screen with the time for arrival of the next bus. Almost all local buses go down Calle Uria. The single fare is €1.20 (children under 4 free).

There are plenty of taxis, although they are not cheap. Minimum charge at non-peak hours is 4€. Although they can be found on taxi ranks and on the streets, you can contact one of two companies directly: Radio Taxi Ciudad de Oviedo (tel. +34 985250000) or Radio Taxi Principado (tel. +34 985252500); if you need to go from Oviedo to the airport. and from the airport to Oviedo, and you prefer taxi drivers who speak English; you can reserve it by email: contacta@taxioviedo.com, or by phone (+34 615980000). Final prices, taxes included in 2016 are 40€. If you prefer other companies, prices are from 53€

What to see and do

  • The old part of Oviedo is called the “Casco Antiguo”. Wander along cobbled streets admiring its beautifully restored buildings and squares. Some of the most outstanding are the Velarde Palace (which hosts part of the Art Museum), the Town Hall, the plaza del Fontán, the Palace of Toreno and the Palace of Camposagrado.
  • The old town also hosts Oviedo’s splendid Cathedral of San Salvador. Although predominantly Gothic, some IXth century pre-Romanesque sections can still be seen.
  • The churches of San Miguel de Lillo and Santa Maria del Naranco are two quaint little pre-Romanesque churches, both on a hill just outside Oviedo, a short distance one from another. A regular local bus line will take you to both of them.
  • Museum of Fine Arts.  Santa Ana, 1 and Rúa, 8 (open Tue-Sun, only mornings on Sun and holidays, free entrance.
  • Museum of the Church.  Corrada del Obispo (open Monday – Saturdayt, free on Thursday afternoons.

The Tourist Information office is just next to plaza de la Constitución, just the other side of the archway under the Town Hall on the right (calle Cimadevilla, 4, open Monday – Saturdayt, 10am-7pm, tel. +985213385, e-mail ofiturio@princast.es).

What to do

Local festivals

There are plenty of local festivities, in which local food, folk groups and local costumes are the main attraction:

  • Fair of La Ascensión (variable date in May). It is a fair devoted to the countryside with an arts and crafts market, local produce and folk groups playing in the streets.
  • La Balesquida or Countryside Tuesday (first Tuesday of Whitsun). The main event is a procession that takes place in the square in front of the Cathedral, followed by the handing-out of bollu preñau (pronounced boyo preniau), or chorizo-filled bun.
  • La Hoguera de San Juan. The night of the 23rd of June (St. John), bonfires are lit all over the city and in the square of the Cathedral. There is also a fountain-decorating contest.
  • Fiestas de San Mateo are mostly a cultural affair with plays and concerts scheduled for the week leading up to St-Mathew’s Day. America Day in Asturias takes place on the 19th of September in honour of the Asturian emigrants. A procession takes place through the main streets. On St. Mathew’s day itself (21st of september) there is a hand-out of bollu preñau and wine, and at the end of the day fireworks in Parque de Invierno.

Buy

The old-town is full of small traditional shops. There is an open-air market in the main square on most days, which is worth a look. The traditional covered maket is close to the Plaza de la Constitución. Close to the covered market there are various shops that sell traditional foodstuff and cider. There are also various large shopping malls in Oviedo. The shopping malls offer uninterrupted shopping hours, from 10am to about 9PM. Other shops and businesses in Spain tend to close from 2pm-5pm:

  • Intu Asturias (people knows it as Parque Principado), which is located just outside Oviedo. The D1 and H1 bus goes from El Cristo and Serrano St, respectively, and takes about 30 minutes to get there, with stops along the way. Once there, you have about 110 shops, with the flagship hypermarket Familia flanking one end, and an eclectic range of restaurants, 11-screen cinema, bowling alley, casino, children’s amusements on the other end. Parque Principado is situated in a sprawling industrial estate, which also boasts stores such as MediaMarkt, AKI (a DIY superstore), Conforama for furniture and an IKEA.
  • There is another shopping mall called Los Prados which can be reached by bus no. 2,4,7 and 11. These buses can be caught from central Oviedo. This mall has Asturias’ only IMAX theatre offering movies in 3D, as well as a traditional 14-screen cinema. The range of shops is not as impressive as that of El Parque Principado, however.
  • The main shopping malls in central Oviedo are Salesas and Modoo. Salesas hosts Spain’s main department store El Corte Inglés, a huge supermarket Hipercor, as well as various fashion stores and a Burger King. Modoo (people knows it as Calatrava) features many stores like El Corte Inglés, Game, La Casa del Libro, Real Oviedo store… (For Real Oviedo see below)
  • There is a Corte Inglés situated in Uría St. This one is the biggest and the best of Oviedo.

Eat

There are many places to eat in the old-town, both indoors and in small secluded squares such as El Fontán or Gascona, to name just two. Down calle Gascona you will be able to get a huge set menu for around €10. The set menu (menú del día) may not be on the menu you are given, so you may have to ask.

Typical dishes of Oviedo are those common to all of Asturias. The Fabada Asturiana is a bean stew with a reputation all over Spain that is worth trying (maybe not in the evening!). A really well known Asturian dish is the Cachopo, this one is meat with ham and cheese all breaded. The Cachopo deserves a try. Fish and shellfish are of great quality. A local cheesecabrales, also has an excellent reputation, especially if you like strong flavours. Less known are the gamoneu and afuega’l pitu cheeses. Asturias also has a tradition for rice pudding (arroz con leche).

There are many popular places to eat, the more known are: Tierra Astur (in Gascona there are two down the street there is a grill with local products and up the street there is the restaurant with every product said above. Also in the Fontán there are two: Casa Ramón with fish from the shores and Casa Amparo. Near the Cathedral there are many places to drink and eat tapas, like Plaza del Riego with restaurants of ham and El Reloj de Porlier with its great asturian and international food.

Drink

Cider (sidra) is something that should not be missed. The cider you will find in Asturias is natural cider and has a reputation all over Spain. Drinking cider in Asturias is a ritual in itself: it is poured from on high in order to incorporate air into the cider as it falls from the bottle to the glass. When you get your glass of cider it will be naturally fizzy. You are meant to drink in one gulp what the waiter offers you, leaving a little in the base of the glass. You then pour what’s left out of the glass and leave the glass on the table until the waiter offers you more. Be aware that cider pouring is a messy business and the floor will get very, very wet and sticky (which is why the floors of sidrerías are covered in sawdust).

In many other bars and restaurants there is cider available. Look out for signs saying “Sidrería” or “Chigre”. The best place to find a number of Sidrerías by far is La Calle Gascona {100 mts from the Cathedral}. There are also plenty of wine bars close to Gascona street, on Calle Jovellanos. Do not miss El Patio de los Naranjos with friendly staff, good wine and tapas.

In the past bars used to close very late, but now there is a time schedule: Su-Th – bars close at 3:00am, discos close at 5:00am. Fri-Sat – bars close at 5:30am, discos close at 7:00am.

There are mainly 3 areas:

  • El Cristo. In this area you can find mostly bars and pubs, and some after hour. Mostly middle age people in their 30s and 40s.
  • El Rosal. It is where large numbers of youth go on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons and evenings (7pm to 3am). Once the teens have left, youngsters in their early 20s will take their place.
  • La calle Mon. The vast majority of people end their night in this narrow and noisy street. People here are usually in their 20s and 30s. Erasmus students can be regularly found in “El Escondite” and on Tuesdays in the “Asturiano”, for the Erasmus quiz.

Where to stay in Oviedo (Spain)

There are plenty of hotels of all categories in and near the old-town. If you are traveling by car, you might want to consider staying in a dwelling in a smaller village nearby (casas de aldea). There are two hostels in Oviedo:

  • Oviedo Youth Hostel “Ramón Menéndez Pidal”. C/ Julián de Clavería, 14, tel. +34 986 96 65 70
  • Ibis Hotel (Cheap hotel with modern rooms) Calle Ernesto Winter Blanco, 6. +34 985 11 43 75. From 20 €
  • Eurostars Reconquista (Best known hotel where famous people stay. The Kings of Spain, Shigeru Miyamoto, Francis Ford Coppola…), C/Gil de Jaz 16 ,  fax+34 985 23 78 09From 80 €.
  • Ayre Hotel Oviedo (City centre hotel in Oviedo with modern rooms), C/Policarpo Herrero nn (In Modoo at the back of the main entrance) ,  fax+34 985 22 15 54A hotel with modern rooms, a Congress room and many other facilities. From 60 €.
  • NH PrincipadoSan Francisco, 6, +34.98.5217792. Located in the historical centre of the city, a few meters from the Cathedral, the Campoamor Theatre, the entrance scene of the prizes of the Princess of Asturias and in front of the Historical Building of the University of Oviedo.

Views

For enjoying good views the best place is the Cristo. To go there you can go walking, following many routes and stopping at fountains and the Santa María del Naranco and Miguel de Lillo churches.

You can go by car/taxi that will be faster but you will lose the churches.

Go next

Asturias is full of coastal and mountain villages all worth visiting and spending some time in (Luanco, Cudillero, Villaviciosa…). The other major towns in the area are Gijón, a lively coastal town, with a beach worth visiting, and Aviles The Picos de Europa National Park, on the other hand, is a great place for hiking and climbing.

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Spain

Malasana-Chueca Coronavirus (COVID-19) Madrid Travel Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Malasaña and Chueca, as well as Conde Duque and Salesas, are neighbourhoods in northern central Madrid.

Understand

Malasaña used to be a not-so-privileged residential neighbourhood. Starting from the 1980s Movida madrileña period, however, it has been populated by the city’s young, creative, hip and artsy crowds. By day, it is a paradise for those shopping for second-hand or street fashion, artisan craftwork and young designers’ stuff. At night, the pavements are occupied by tables of bars and restaurants as well as people just spending time with friends.

Conde Duque is a smaller neighbourhood directly to the west of Malasaña. Its character is pretty similar, perhaps a little quieter. Located near the university campus, its population is quite young and studentish, too. It is named after the Conde-Duque (i.e. “Count-Duke”) barracks, an 18th-century former military compound-turned-cultural centre.

Chueca has a similar background like Malasaña (maybe a tad more bourgeois), but has built its reputation as Madrid’s gay district. Of course, that does not mean that straight people were not welcome. Indeed, most restaurants, hostels and nightlife venues cater to a general public, not a specifically gay one. Apart from that, this area has a high concentration of antique shops.

Salesas is the small neighbourhood inbetween Chueca and the posh Salamanca district.

The official name of the admistrative barrio that contains Chueca and Salesas neighbourhoods, is Justicia as the Supreme Court of Spain and the Court of Accounts are seated here. The Spanish Ministry of Justice is in nearby Calle de San Bernardo.

Get in

Image of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideChueca and Malasaña are just 1–2 km north of the central Puerta del Sol square and 3 km north of Atocha (Madrid’s main station for intercity trains). They can be reached with several metro lines. Stations Gran Vía (lines 1, 5), Tribunal (1, 10) and Bilbao (1, 4) are located along Calle Fuencarral that is right inbetween both districts. Noviciado (2) is between Malasaña and Conde Duque, and Chueca (5) of course in the middle of the eponymous district. San Bernardo (2, 4) and Alonso Martínez (4, 5, 10) are near the northern tip of Malasaña and Chueca, respectively. Plaza de España (3, 10) and Ventura Rodriguez (3) are on the western rim of Conde Duque, Colón (4) at the northeastern corner of Salesas.

What to see and do

  • Museo de Historia de Madrid (Museum of History of Madrid), C. Fuencarral, 78 ,   Tu-Su 10:00-20:00This museum is dedicated to the history of Madrid from 1561 to present. Much of the history is explained by referencing exhibited paintings depicting people or events from the time, so it is also an art museum. Several maps and models (including two large ones in the basement) show how Madrid grew since the 16th century. All exhibits are explained in both English and Spanish. Free.
  • Plaza del Dos de MayoCentral square of the Malasaña neighbourhood. It was named after the 2 May uprising of 1808 against the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. A monument in its centre honours the leaders of the uprising who were executed. The monument is Malasaña’s symbolic landmark that is pictured on Malasaña postcards, on the label of Malasaña beer and other local merchandise.
  • Palacio Longoria (Longoria Palace), Calle Fernando VI, 6 / Calle Pelayo (metro Alonso Martínez). Exceptionally ornamental art nouveau building, erected 1902–03 for the banker and politician Javier González Longoria. It was designed by the Catalan architect Jose Grasses Riera and is considered to be one of the most important and beautiful examples of Spanish modernismo. Today, it houses the Spanish society of authors and editors. It can only be visited from the outside, but you may cast a glance at the entrance hall and staircase.

What to do

  • Cuartel del Conde-DuqueC/ Conde Duque, 11.  Box office: Tu-Sa 17:30-20:30; exhibits: Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 17:30-21:00, Su and holidays 10:30-14:00This former military building now not only serves as a venue for musical, dance, and theatrical performances but also hosts contemporary art exhibits. Tickets for performances are also sold online.

Buy

  • 1 Calle Fuencarral (between metro stations Gran Vía and Tribunal). The high street that is right inbetween Malasaña and Chueca, is the main shopping and promenading route in this part of Madrid. The 500-metre long strip between Gran Vía and Calle Hernán Cortés is closed to motorised traffic which makes it ideal to stroll along. Fuencarral itself is mostly lined by branches of well-known international fashion, cosmetics and accessory chains. Have a look into the side streets on either side if you are looking for something more individual.
  • Mercado de FuencarralC/ Fuencarral, 45Centrally located shopping centre.
  • Time CapsuleC/ Belén, 7 (Chueca). Tiny, high-quality antique shop. The friendly owner is well aware of the worth of her hand-picked gems, so do not expect a bargain! Current offers are published on the shop’s website and instagram.
  • Flamingo Vintage KiloC/ Espíritu Santo, 1.   Monday – Saturday 11:00-21:00Great assortment of vintage fashion that is sold by weight.

Eat

  • Mercado de San IldefonsoCalle de Fuencarral, 57Su-W noon–midnight, F Sa noon–1AMStreetfood market on Fuencarral street, right in the middle of the Malasaña-Chueca area. 15 different stalls offer arepas (cornmeal griddlecake), brochetas (skewer), tacostapas, ham, meats, wine, beer etc. Between late-May and early-June an international street food festival is celebrated.

Budget

  • Antigua HueveríaC/ San Vicente Ferrer, 32 (Malasaña).  Tu-Th 20:00-23:00, F 20:00-24:00, Sa 13:00-24:00, Su 13:00-16:00The very best huevos rotos (‘broken eggs’) and croquetas. Cheap, beautiful and delicious! The chicken-adorned tiled front dates from the 19th century. Mains €8-14.
  • Cervecería 100 Montaditosmultiple locationsDailyPopular nationwide chain that offers 100 different types of montaditos (small sandwiches). Great place to go for a cheap drink and bite to eat.
  • Home Burger BarC/ Espíritu Santo, 12 (Malasaña).  M-Th 13:30-16:00 20:30-24:00, F Sa and holidays 13:30-17:00 20:30-24:00, Su 13:30-17:00 20:30-23:00THE place for serious hamburgers. Americans will feel at home!
  • Home Burger BarC/ Silva, 25 (Gran Vía).  M-Th 13:30-16:00 20:30-24:00, F Sa and holidays 13:30-17:00 20:30-24:00, Su 13:30-17:00 20:30-23:00A second branch of the same concept.
  • Tapería de MalasañaCalle Corredera Alta de San Pablo 8.  08:00-02:00Taperia with lunch room out the back. Reviews mixed about the tapas but great place for lunch; they do a great Cocido Madrileño and the house wine is more than acceptable (although served somewhat cold). Menu del dia €11.

Mid-range

  • La Cocina del Desierto (Al-Jaima), C/ Barbieri, 1 (Metro: Chueca).  Daily 13:30-16:00 21:00-24:00This dark, cave-like Moroccan restaurant has some of the best North African food in the city. The seating is at low Moroccan-style tables and the calm, mellow atmosphere makes you feel like you’re far from the bustling center of Chueca.
  • Lamucca de PezPlaza de Carlos Cambronero, 4 (Metro: Noviciado) ,   Su-W 13:00-01:30, Th 13:00-02:00, F Sa 13:00-02:30Nice designer restaurant popular within the 20s-30s crowd. Good music, cool people, even better food and cocktails. The kitchen opens in the afternoon.
  • La Panza es Primero (Cocina Mex-Mex), C/ Libertad, 33 (Metro: Chueca) ,   Daily 13:00-01:00This is a small, usually crowded, friendly Mexican restaurant with good food and drinks at reasonable prices. Sample some of their tacos and super-cheesy chilaquiles.
  • Restaurante La BarracaC/ Reina, 29 ,   Daily 13:30-16:15 20:00-23:45Recommended for paella if a more authentic experience is sought. €40+, €50 (meal for 2 with drinks).
  • Restaurante SiamC/ San Bernardino, 6 (Metro: Plaza España or San Bernardino).  Daily 12:00-16:00 20:00-24:00Beautifully-decorated with a tranquil atmosphere, the food is reasonable and offers a pleasant departure from Spanish fare, if so desired. Most mains between €8 and €12.

Drink

As becomes a real hipster quarter, Malasaña boasts its own, eponymous brand of craft beer that can be bought in local delis.

Tapas bars

  • El TigreCalle de las Infantas, 30 (Metro: Gran Vía / Chueca).  Su-Th 12:00-01:30, F Sa 12:00-02:00Probably the most well-known tapas bar in Madrid, a must do. Don’t get frightened by how crowded the bar is and go in anyway. This is one of the most lively places in the city! Get beers, big glasses of wine or un mini de mojito and get free big plates of tapas every time you order. Very affordable.

Cafés

  • Café ComercialGlorieta de Bilbao, 7 (Metro: Bilbao). Opened in the 1880s, this is the oldest cafe in Madrid, and has been run by the same family since the early 1900s. There’s a modern internet café upstairs, but the downstairs remains traditional.
  • Pastelería La DuquesitaCalle Fernando VI, 2 (metro Alsonso Martínez).  Monday to Friday 8.30AM-8.30PM, Sa 9.30AM-8.30PM, Su 10AM-8.30PMLong-standing confectionery (established 1914), offering excellent tartlets that are not only delicious but also look picture-perfect. They are also sold to take away. Tartlets 5–6 € a piece.
  • Café GijónPaseo Recoletos, 21 (Metro: Banco de España or Colon). A historic literary cafe. The outdoor terraza is nice in the summer. 
  • Café Restaurant El Espejo (El Pabellón de El Espejo), Paseo de Recoletos, 31 (Metro: Colon).  Daily 09:00-01:00 (café); daily 13:00-24:00 (restaurant)Opened in 1978, but looks much older. Has two divisions: a more casual café and a restaurant. Good food and very crowded during lunchtime. Café: €14-15 (midweek set menu), €19-20 (weekend set menu); Restaurant: set menu €11-17.
  • Libertad 8Libertad 8 is an iconic coffee shop and bar located on Libertad del barrio de Chueca, in Madrid. Opened as a coffee shop in 1975, ever since then it’s served as a stage for artists and singer-songwriters (known as cantautores). It’s become one of the most important spaces for songwriters, with frequent concerts by Pedro Guerra, Rosana, Ismael Serrano, Luis Pastor, Tontxu, Andrés Suárez, Lichis, Carlos Chaouen, or Kiko Tovar.

Bars

  • AreiaC/ Horteleza, 96 (Metro: Chueca).  Monday to Friday 16:00-03:00, Sa Su 14:00-03:00Very cool chill out bar decorated with deep colours in a Moroccan style. Dark and inviting. The seating includes cushions on the floor, traditional tables and chairs, or if you’re lucky, grab the four poster bed at the back. Drinks: €7 before 22:00 and €8 after 22:00.
  • La Via LacteaC/ Velarde 18 (Malasaña, Metro: Tribunal).  Su-Th 20:00-03:00, F Sa 20:00-03:30A swingin’ bar where you can twist the night away with local hipsters.

Clubs

  • DemodeCalle Ballesta (At the back of Gran Via, closest metro may be Tribunal/Gran Via). From 00:00 to 04:00AMCool electronic sounds for 20s-30s. Free.
  • El Junco Jazz ClubPza. Santa Bárbara 10 (Metro: Alonso Martínez). From 23:00 to 05:30AM weekdays, to 06:00AM weekendsSmallish venue, starts the night with live jazz, later on morphs into relaxed night club. Not cheap (once inside, beer still €5.50, mixed drink €8.50), so attracts older crowd than others nearby. €6 with beer, €9 with mixed drink.

Where to stay in Madrid/Malasaña-Chueca

Budget

  • Hostal Jemasaca-Palma61Calle de la Palma 61 (metro: Noviciado) ,   Breakfast (coffee + pastry + juice) is included in price and it’s served in a cafe near hostel. The nearest metro station is Noviciado. The room includes own bathroom and TV. Quiet and clean basic hostel. Double room: about 50e/night.
  • Hostal San MartinCalle Concepción Arenal 4 (Metro: Callao).  Small, clean guest-house on the 4th floor. Ideally located just meters from Gran Via, with great staff and free wi-fi. All rooms have sink & shower, but most share bathrooms. Singles: €30-36; Doubles: €42-48.
  • Hostal MH FuencarralCalle Fuencarral 10 3º (Metro: Gran Via).  Centrally located, all rooms include bathroom, TV, free wi-fi, air conditioning, central heating, laundry and baggage storage facilities. Rooms with kitchen, washing machine and fridge are also available. Single: From €30.
  • Hostal VisaC/ Pérez Galdós, 7 (metro: Chueca).  Simple, clean and secure. Central location close to Gran Via. Friendly staff. Single €30+.
  • Hostal AsunciónPlaza Santa Bárbara, 8, 2º D (Metro: Alonso Martínez) ,   Check-in: 13:00 to 00:00, check-out: 11:00Simple but clean, on 2nd floor of building. Staff speak excellent English, very friendly. Reception open 6:00 to 00:00, but no curfew, guests get access code to front door. Good free WiFi. Doubles €55.
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Spain

Santander Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cantabria Travel Report

Wolfgang Holzem

Published

on

Santander is the capital and also the largest city of the province of Cantabria in Spain. The city is known throughout the United Kingdom for its bank of the same name.

Understand

Santander has some 180,000 inhabitants and is on the ocean. It features a small historic center and a handful of beaches. Its most famous tourist attraction is the Magdalena Palace which was used as a summer getaway of Spanish royalty.

  • Tourist Information (Oficina de Turismo municipal), Jardines de Pereda, s/n. ,  fax+34 942203005 from Sep 16 until Jun 14 Mon to Fri 8:30AM to 7PM, from Sep 16 until Passion Week Sat and Sun 10AM to 7PM, from Passion week until Sep 14 10AM to 7PM every day, from Jun15 until Sep 14 from 9AM to 9PM every dayM. Mm. M. M,,

Get in

By plane

  • Santander – Parayas, Aeropuerto Internacional de Santander (in the municipality of Camargo, 5 km East of Santander) ,  fax+34 942 202152 mostly domestic and charter flights; international flights from London, Dublin, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt(?), Paris, and Amsterdam

Ryanair fly from Brussels, Berlin, Rome, London, Edinburgh, Barcelona and Tenerife (all year) plus Weeze, Malaga, Dublin and Milano (summer schedule only).

Iberia offers daily flights to Santander from Madrid and Barcelona and weekly flights from Alicante, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Tenerife, Valencia, Paris, and Amsterdam.

Taxis from the airport to Santander are about €20. The taxi stand is in front of the terminal building.

You can also hire taxis with English speaking drivers at the following tel. +34692240616, you can ask for the price of your trip (airport to the centre for €15) and make reservations. Credit cards are accepted.

The Alsa city bus (tel 942211995) to Santander Bus Station (Estación de autobuses) departs daily at 6:30 and 6:50AM and then every 30 minutes from 7:15AM until 10:45PM from directly outside the arrivals terminal (€2,50). Duration of the journey: 10 minutes. If you go back to the airport from the bus station you can buy the tickets on the ticket machine inside the bus station.

Santander Airport has direct access to the motorway A8 Santander – Bilbao.

By bus

ALSA operates daily bus services to Santander from Galicia, Asturias, Pais Vasco, Extremadura, Castile-Leon, Zaragoza, and Barcelona; and weekly services from Belgium, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The trip from Madrid takes about 5 hours (about €30) and the trip from Barcelona takes about 9 hours (via Zaragoza).

There are about 20 buses per day from Bilbao to Santander, journey time about 90 minutes. Single ticket €6.71, return €12.75 (December 2020).

Bilman Bus offers daily bus services from [ , Alicante, Cartagena, and Murcia.

For more information see the  Santander bus station (Estación de Autobuses de Santander)   with timetables from and to all destinations available.

By train

RENFE operates daily train services from Madrid and Alicante to  Santander station (Estación de Santander) with stops in the main cities on the way (Palencia, Valladolid, Ávila). Trains leave from Madrid Chamartin Station at 7:40AM Mon to Fri, 1:30PM, and 6:05PM daily. The trip from Madrid takes about 5-6 hours (~€35).

Feve offers daily train services from Bilbao and Asturia to Santander .

By ferry

You may also wish to take a ferry from Plymouth, England to the  Santander ferry terminal. The journey time is approximately 24 hours each way, and is an interesting journey, although you may wish to resist having a large meal too soon after departure from Plymouth if you are unused to sea travel as the Cantabrian Sea can be extremely rough.

Britanny Ferries operates two sailings a week from the UK to Santander from mid-March to October, on Wednesdays from Portsmouth and on Sundays from Plymouth, average sailing time hours. operated by the modern MV Pont Aven. From November until around December 20th and from Mid-February until March only the Plymouth – Santander service is operated with MS Bretagne, journey time 24 hrs. There is no service from around December 20th until mid-February.

By car

from France

Santander is 150 ml (246 km) from Biarritz, 272 ml (437 km) from Bordeaux, 327 ml (537 km) from Toulouse, 583 ml (937 km) from Marseille and 685 ml (1103 km) from Nice.

from Spain

Santander is 517 ml (832 km) from Alicante, 443 ml (709 km) from Barcelona, 173 ml (279 km) from León, 243 ml (399 km) from Madrid, 630 ml (1014 km) from Marbella, 226 ml (364 km) from Salamanca, 474 ml (763 km) from Santiago de Compostela, 155 ml (250 km) from Valladolid, 314 ml (505 km) from Vigo and 249 ml (401 km) from Zaragoza.

from Portugal

Santander is 848 km (527 mi) from Lisbon and 405 ml (648 km) from Porto.

Get around

Image of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideBy foot

Santander is reasonably small. The distance from one end of town to the other are some 6km (4 miles) and can be walked in 2 hours along the coast road. Within the city center everything is within walking distance (15min walking).

By bus

Public buses are available at reasonable prices. Each journey costs € 1.10 (more for journeys out of the city proper, or you can save 40% by buying a 10-journey ‘Bonobus’ at a ‘Tabaco’ shop). A 10 journey Bonobus ticket costs € 6 (December 2020). Specifically, buses can take you to the main beaches some 2-4km (2m) from the city center. Timetables and map for download: 

  • Hop On Hop Off Bus, tel 800-750-2859 departs from the Cathdral daily at 10.45 and 11:25AM, 12.00 noon, 1.15, 1.55, 4.45, 5.20, 6.00 and 6:35PM, with stops at Pasea Pereda, Museo Maritimo, Palacio de Festivales y Planetario, Palacio de la Magdalena, Casiono/Playa de Sardinero, Faro de Cabo Mayor, Matalenas/Campo de Golf. Estadio, Universidad, Avenida Valdecilla, Cuatro Caminos and Barrio Pesquero, the entire journey which takes around 75 min. Internet rates: for 24 hours $21,95 per adult, $10.95 per child (5 to 15), for 48 hours $24,95 per adult, $11.95 per child (5 to 15) plus $3.95 “processing fee” per order. No refunds! Children under 5: free of charge. Explanations given in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Japanese plus a commentary for kids.

By taxi

Taxis are widely available throughout the city.

  • Radiotaxi : tel. 942333333. Tariffs: Mon to Fri 6AM to 10PM, Sat 8AM to 3PM minimum € 3,15 plus € 0,78 per km, luggage € 1,17, waiting time € 15,52 per hour. Mon to Fri 10PM to 6AM, Sat midnight to 8AM, 3AM to midnight, Sun and public holidays: minimum € 4,00 plus € 1,02 per km, luggage € 1,50, waiting time € 20,23 per hour (2020)

By bicycle

The city offers bicycle rental, for a very low price, at a number of locations around Santander (Jardines de Pereda, El Sardinero, La Magdalena). Bikes are loaned for the day, so get in early to avoid missing out.

What to see and do

  • Palacio de la MagdalenaLa Magdalena, s/n ,  fax+34 942282689 Summer residence of the Spanish King from 1913 until 1930.

Museums

  • Prehistoric and Archaeological Museum of Cantabria (Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueología de Cantabria), Casimiro Sainz 4.  from Sep 16 until Jun 15 Tue to Sat 9AM to 1PM and 4 to 7PM, from Jun 16 until Sep 15 Tue to Sat 10AM to 1PM and 4 to 7PM, Sundays all the year round from 11AM to 2PMAn impressively well curated and presented museum focused on the ancient history of the local Cantabria region. All items are presented in Spanish, French and English, and there are a significant amount of video and interactive displays. More than 1000 objects are displayed with a Neolithic focus, though the collection ranges at least the Paleolithic through Roman and medieval periods. €5.
  • Maritime Museum of Cantabria (Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico), San Martín de Bajamar s/n. ,  fax+34 942281068 Oct 1 until Apr 30 Tue to Sun 10AM until 6PM, May 2 until Sept 30 Tue to Sun 10AM until 7:30PM, closed Mon, Jan 1, Good Friday, May 1 and Dec 25adults: €6, children from 4 to 12: €4, senior citizens over 65: €4, tourist groups: €5 per person.
  • Bullfighting Museum (Museo Taurino), Calle de Jerónimo Sainz de la Maza.  Jun 15 to Sep 15: Tue to Fri 6 to 9PM, Sat 11AM to 2PMIn the lower floor of the bullring, in the western part of the city, near the Plaza de México, with bullfighting memorabilia, posters, photos and paintings, and colourful suits of bullfighters from all over Spain admission free.
  • Municipal Museum of Arts (Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes), C/Rubio, 6 ,  fax+34 942203125 from 16 Sep until 14 Jun: Mon to Fri 10AM to 1PM, 5.30 to 9PM, Sat: 10AM to 1PM, closed Sat afternoon, Sun, from 15 Jun until 15 Sep: Mon to Fri 11:15AM to 1PM, 5.30 to 9PM, Sat: 10AM to 1PM, closed Sat afternoon, Sun,Principal art museum of the region with s remarkable collection of paintings and sculpture from the 15th to 20th centuries, from Italian, Flemish and Spanish schools and a painting of King Fernando VII by Goya admission: free.
  • Biblioteca Menéndez PelayoC/ Rubio 6.  Mon to Fri 9 to 11:30AM. guided visits every 30 min.
  • Museo del Faro de Cabo Mayor (exhibition of the painter Eduardo Sanz).  Jul and Aug Tue to Sun 11AM to 1:30PM, 5 to 9PM, rest of the year:11AM to 1:30PM, 5 to 8PMThere’s an art gallery and a strange collection of lighthouse images from popular culture–on everything from matchboxes to liquor bottles. admission free.
  • Colección del Ateneo de SantanderC/ Gómez Oreña, 5-1º ,  fax+34 942360520Salón Social and Cafetería: 9AM to 1PM, 4 to 9:30PMadmission free.
  • Colección del Parlamento de CantabriaC/ Alta 31/33.
  • Colecciones y Patrimonio de Caja CantabriaC/ Rubio 6.  Mon to Sat 9AM to 1:30PM, Tue and Thu 4.30 to 9PM except Jul, Aug, closed Sat afternoon and Sun.

Old Town

Churches

  • Cathedral – Catedral de Santa Maria de la AsunciónPlaza del Obispo José Eguino y Trecu s/n.  Mon to Fri 10AM to 1PM and 4 to 7:30PM, Holy service at 11AM and 6:30PM, Sat 10AM to 1PM and 4 to 8PM, Holy service at 11AM, 5 and 8PM, Sun 10AM to 1PM and 5 to 9PM, Holy service at 12AM, 1.30, 5 and 8PM. The cathedral cannot be visited during services, guided tours free of charge in July and August.
  • Iglesia del Santísimo CristoC/ Somorrostro s/nJun 1 until Sep 30: 8AM to 1PM and 4 to 8PM every day, Oct 1 until May 31: 8AM to 1:30PM and 5 to 8PM every day, Holy services from mon to Fri at 11AM and 8:30PM, Sat 10AM to 1PM and 4 to 8PM, Holy service at 8.15, 10 and 11:15AM, 5 and 8PM, Sat at 10 and 11:15AM, 1.15, 6 and 8:30PM, Sun at 8.15, 10, 11 and 12AM, 1, 5 and 8:30PM. The church cannot be visited during services, guided tours free of charge in July and August.
  • Iglesia de la AnunciaciónC/ Juan de Herrera 17open during services onlygood example of Renaissance architecture
  • Iglesia de la ConsolaciónC/Alta 19open during services onlychurch in classical Baroque style
  • Iglesia de Santa LucíaC/ Daoiz y Velarde 11open during services onlybuilding of the eclectic style dating from the 19th century
  • Iglesia del Sagrado CorazónC/ San Joseopen during services onlyone of the best examples of Neogothic style in town

Public buildings

  • Santander Ban (Edificio del Banco Santander), Paseo Pereda 9-12 (opposite Pereda Gardens, not open to the public, in the city center, best reached with bus no. 1,3,4.C1,4.C2,9 and 10).
  • Banco Español de CréditoHernan Cortes 11building in the eclectic style of 1900
  • Banco de EspañaAvenida Alfonso XIIIopened 1922
  • Town Hall (Ayuntamiento)Plaza del Ayuntamiento s/nbuilding in the eclectic style of the 19th century, richly decorated with columns, balconies and coats of arms
  • Mercado del EsteC/General Molaerected from 1840 onwards, completely reconstructed in 1986
  • Mercado de la EsperanzaPlaza de la Esperanzainaugurated 1904 in Modernism style
  • Plaza Porticadaconstructed as new city center after the fire of 1941
  • Casa PardoPaseo de Perez GaldosHouse from 1915, also called ‘Palacio de los Botin’ with spectacular views over the bay, one of the most splendid mansions of the city, at Sardinero, reached with bus no 10
  • Casa PomboPlaza de Jose Antonio 3 (mansion of 1875, in the city center, reached with bus no 1).
  • Dique de Gamazosmall fishing port, dating from 1908, 180 m long, 15 m wide, 8 m deep, in the city center, reached with bus no 1
  • Post Office Building (Edificio de Correos), Avenida de Alfonso XII.  An impressive building, one of the landmarks of Santander, builtin 1915,in the city center, reached with bus no 1 and 8
  • Edificio de Los Arcos de BotinHernan Cortes 21Neoclassic building on the north side of Piaza Pombo, near the harbour, good example of 19th cent. architecture, visitors are not allowed inside, in the city center, reached with bus no 1
  • Edificio de Los PinaresDuque de Santo Mauro (near Primera Playa, between Calle Duque de Santo Mauro and Calle Joaquín Costa). Impressive private home of ship owner Francisco García, with an outstanding view on the beach as well as Renaissance and Baroque elements of architecture
  • Edificio de ViviendasCalle Castelar, 15 (in the city center, reached with bus no 1). One of the city’s grandest mansions of the early 1900S in the historic district along the Calle Castelar and Paseo de Pereda.

Streets and Squares

  • Paseo de Pereda y Calle Castelar (in the city center, reached with bus no 1). 1550 m long street with nice views on the harbour and the cathedral and many buildings from the 18th to 20th cent., including Puerto Chico, Dique de Gamazo, Cuesta del Gas, and Banco Vitalicio
  • Plaza de José Antonio (Plaza Pombo) (Calle de Hernán Cortés and General Mola are on the north and south, and Pancho Cossío and Las Infantas on the east and west). charming plaza with colorful flowerbeds and musician bandstand

Parks

  • Alameda de OviedoSan Fernando, s/nin the western part of the city center, running from Cuatro Caminos Roundabout in the west, to Plaza de Numancia in the east, specifically between Calle de San Fernando and Calle Vargas.
  • Jardines de PeredaPaseo de Pereda, s/nSantander’s most famous park with a lot of trees, bushes and flowers, a pond, several sculptures, a music pavilion, a monument to the writer José María de Pereda (1833-1906), a fountain dedicated to the Cantabrian author, Concha Espina (1877-1953), the Fuente de los Meones and the city tourist office nearby.
  • Parque de AltamiraPaseo del General Dávila, s/n (in the north of the city near the commercial center between Paseo del General Dávila and Calle Vía Cornelia). botanical garden in city center, covering a total area of 16000m2.
  • Jardines de PiquíoAvenida de Castañeda, s/noccupying an area of 13000 m2, with fine views on the Ensenada del Sardinero, Cabo Menor to the north and Magdalena Peninsula to the south. On a promontory between Primera and Segunda Playa (First and Second Beaches, originally known as the “Piquillo” or the “Punta del Rostro” (Face Point).
  • Parque del Doctor González MesonesAvenida del Stadium, s/n (in theeast of the city near El Sardinero and the football stadium). park with an area of 40000m2,with fountains, ornate stone benches with heraldic shields and a statue of the poet José Luis Hidalgo.
  • Parque de La MargaJerónimo Sainz de la Maza, s/nwest of the city, near Puerto Pesquero (Fishing Port), Dársena de Maliaño (Maliaño Docks), fish market and restaurants in the Barrio Pesquero (Fishing Quarter).
  • Parque de La MagdalenaAvenida de La Magdalena, s/n.  8AM to 10PM dailyWith 25000 m2 the biggest park in the city, surrounding the Palacio Real (Royal Palace). It was deserted until the end of the 19th century and houses a hermitage dedicated to Saint Magdalena and a defensive castle overlooking the bay. It has a zoo on the rocky cliffs on the northern end, with lions, seals, penguins and polar bears and a galleon nearby that belonged to the sailor and adventurer Vital Alsar.
  • Parque de Cabo MayorAvenida del Faro, s/n, (situated near El Sardinero beaches.). Covering an area of more than 100,000m2, the park is extremely spectacular on windy days, when the waves crash onto the cliffs. The Faro de Cabo Mayor is the oldest lighthouse in Cantabria. It was built in 1839, is 30m high and its light can be seen from 29 miles away. The rock formation of the Puente del Diablo (Devil’s Bridge) and the Panteón del Inglés (Englishman’s Pantheon) is nearby.

What to do

  • Picnic on Magdalena Peninsula
  • Learn how to sail
  • 5 city walks: go to the Santander Tourist Office in the city center (Old Market, near the Old Banco de Santander) and get a free city guide; the free city guide describes these 5 itineraries.   These 5 itineraries are enough to keep you busy for 1-2 days.
  • boat round trip: There is a regular boat service through the Santander Bay, boats run from Santander to Pedreña, Somo and back. For a 45-minutes round-trip you have to pay €3,90 and the boats starts at least every hour.
  • Enjoy the beaches. Walk up to the lighthouse at Cabo Mayor, visit the museum and enjoy the view from the top.

Beaches

Santander has a lot of fine beaches.

  • Magdalena Beach (Playa de la Magdalena)
  • Sardinero Beaches (Playa del Sardinero)
  • Camel Beach (Playa del Camello)
  • Mataleñas Beach (Playa de Mataleñas)
  • Magdalena Peninsula (see the penguins in the ‘mini-Zoo’) & Magdalena Palace (Palacio de Magdalena)
  • Lighthouse at Cabo Mayor (faro de Cabo Mayor), and the devil’s bridge (puente del diablo), a bizarre rock formation.
  • Playa de Bikinis, safe and lovely beach on the Peninsula de la Magdalena, protected from big waves, very calm.
  • Playa de Covachos, Cotero (Santa Cruz de Bezana), one of the most attractive beaches,
  • Playa de El Bocal, Corbanera, peaceful and quiet,
  • Playa de El Camello, Avenida de la Reina Victoria, near Magdalena Peninsula,
  • Playa de El Puntal, Somo (Ribamontán al Mar),
  • Playa de La Concha, in the middle of Sardinero,
  • Playa de La Magdalena, Ensenada del Sardinero, with fine views of the bay,
  • Playa de La Maruca, Monte,
  • Playa de la Virgen del Mar, San Román, peaceful and quiet,
  • Playa de Langre, Langre (Ribamontán al Mar), spectacular situation between the cliffs,
  • Playa de Los Molinucos, small beach north of Segunda Playa,
  • Playa de Los Peligros, Avenida de la Reina Victoria, quiet beach in a sheltered bay,
  • Playa de Mataleñas, between Cabo Mayor and Cabo Menor, the ‘luxury’ beach of Santander,
  • Playa de Somocuevas, Liencres (Piélagos), with fine golde sands,
  • Playa de Valdearenas, Liencres (Piélagos), fine sand dunes,
  • Playa Primera de El Sardinero, Plaza de Italia, the most famous beach of Santander,
  • Playa Segunda de El Sardinero, Playa de Castaneda.
  • Somo Beach is a little bit outside of Santander. It can be reached from downtown Santander by boat. Boats leave every 10 minutes and the boat ride takes about 10 minutes. Somo Beach is about 3 km long and is less crowded than beaches in Santander.

Cultural events

  • Centro Cultural Caja CantabriaTantín, 25.  The buildings is also known as “Modesto Tapia”. It was designed by the Catalan architect, Domenech i Muntaner, a contemporary of Gaudí, and was inaugurated by Alfonso XIII in 1907. It incorporates many Modernist architectural features and was completely re-modeled in 1994. The Social and Cultural Office of Cantabria Bank offers theater performances, rock, pop and jazz concerts, conferences, art exhibits and workshops in drama, painting and photography.
  • Centro Cultural Doctor MadrazoCasimiro Sainz, s/n, (near Tetuán Tunnel and Puerto Chico).  Organized by the Cultural Bureau of Santander’s City Council.
  • Palacio de Festivales de CantabriaGamazo, s/n.  Designed by Javier Sáenz de Oiza, opened in 1991, classical music concerts, ballet and dance performances, home to Cantabria’s School of Dramatic Arts

Festivals

  • Fiestas Virgen del Mar (Lady of the Sea festival): May 19
  • Los Baños de Ola: July 16 until 20
  • Fiestas de Santiago (St.James’s Festival): July 25
  • Mercado medieval (medieval market): second half of August
  • Romería del Faro (pilgrimage to the lighthouse): August 23

Buy

  • Lupa (big supermarket chain), Avenida de Parayas, s/n.
  • Mercado de la EsperanzaEl Mercado, s/ (Behind the Mercado de la Esperanza in Plaza de la Esperanza is an open-air market selling clothes, fruits and flowers. Mon to Fri 8AM to 2PM and 5 to 7:30PM, Sat 8AM – 2PM).  busy market built in 1897 and restored in 1977, oldest surviving market in Santander after the Mercado del Este, built in 1839, was recently demolished
  • Santa María PescadosSan Francisco, 12 (fish market located in the San Francisco complex). Mon to Fri 9AM to 1:30PM and 4:30 to 8:30PM, Sat 9AM – 1:30PMoffering fresh seafood from the Cantabrian Sea, shellfish, hake, sea-bass, sardines, squid, octopus lobsters, percebes (goose barnacles) and crayfish
  • HilarioGeneral Dávila.  Mon to Fri 9AM to 2PM and 5 to 8PM, Sat 9AM to 2PMmeat shop located at the Hospital Santa Clotilde

Learn

The Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo offers summer courses for university students, including Spanish language courses for foreigners, that take place both at the Magdalena Palace and at Residencia Las Llamas.

The Universidad de Cantabria offers Spanish language courses of 4 to 10 weeks duration throughout the year through the Centro de Idiomas (CIUC). CIUC also coordinates exchange students at the university.

Eat

  • The best area to eat fish is the district close to fishing harbour (Barrio Pesquero), although locals usually regard this as a tourist trap.
  • Santander is known amongst Spaniards for its many Regma ice-creamery outlets. At times it can seem that they have an outlet on every corner. Their very generous serving sizes of 8 popular flavours of ice cream have been melting down the hands of locals for years, even throughout the winter months. Other chains such as Capri on Paseo de Pereda provide a greater range of choices.
  • Señores Patatas on Calle Santa Lucía offers student-priced meals of fries and hamburgers. Try the ‘Five Sauces’ (Cinco Salsas) plates with five types of fry cut and five types of sauce.
  • Taj Mahal on Calle Santa Lucía is the only Indian restaurant in town and serves a tasty alternative to the Spanish staples.
  • Sakura near Cuatro Caminos serves Japanese dishes.
  • La Casona del JudíoResconorio 35.  40 €.
  • La BombiCasimiro Sainz 15.  42 €.
  • La MulataTetuan sn.  30 €.
  • CañadioGómez Oreña, 15.  45 €.
  • La Posada del MarCastelar 19.  45-55 €.
  • ZacariasHernán Cortés 38.  one of the best restaurants in Santander, owned by the best known chef de cuisine in Santander, Cantabrian and seafood dishes, 45 €.
  • El SerbalAndrés del Rio, 7.  1.30 until 4PM, 8.30 until 11:30PM, closed Sun evening and Mon55 €.
  • Bar del PuertoHernán Cortés 63 ,  fax+34 942219393 60 €.
  • La Sardina de PlataPlaza Doctor Fleming, 3restaurant in nautic design, serving regional cuisine, cheese mousse, beef fillet with truffles and cognac, fish salad, € 20 to 40.
  • Bodega CigalenaDaoíz y Velarde, 19 (Zona: Puerto Chico).  1 to 3PM, 8PM to midnightCastilian bodega, popular with younger people, serving fish soup (sopa de pescado) and shellfish paella, great selection of wines from Castilia. € 30.
  • AltamiraAvenida Reina Victoria, 27.  Serves traditional cuisine.
  • Copa CabanaReina Victoria, 46.  spectacular views
  • El CormoránSegunda Playa del Sardinero.  dining by the sea
  • FigónCisneros, 7.  home-style cuisine
  • GelínNueva Montaña, s/n.  Traditional and rustic
  • Horno de BurgosLa Unión, 4.  Traditional Castilian cuisine
  • Peña PrietaVargas, 35.  Fresh fish
  • La MejilloneraPlaza de la Leña, 4.  Mussels
  • CapitolFrancisco de Quevedo, 7.  seafood tapas
  • El Estanque de GamaGama (Next to the N634).  One of the most beautiful restaurants in Cantabria. 20 min. from Santander towards Bilbao. It is also an elegant cocktail bar in the middle of the Santoña`s Nature Reserve Marshes. €20.

Drink

Everybody starts their night at Plaza de Cañadío, in the centre of the old town. It is a hive for young Santanderinos and exchange students. It is surrounded on three sides by various bars and restaurants. This is where most drinking of calimocho – the red wine/coca-cola combo favoured by young Spaniards – takes place.

Later in the night (from about 2AM) the drinking action moves to bars and clubs in the area, including La EmbajadaRetrosCafe del SolLa Rana VerdeOpium and many others. Three major dance clubs are located nearby – El DivinoMalaespina and Rocaverde.

Where to stay in Santander

  • Hotel Las BrisasCalle La Braña 14, El Sardinero Cantabria.
  • Santemar Hotel, Calle Joaquin Costa 28, Tel: +34 942 272 900, in the City Centre.
  • Hotel Sardinero, Plaza de Italia 1, Tel.: +34 942 271 100, near El Sardinero Beach.
  • Hospedaje Magallanes, Magallanes 22 Entlo, Tel.: +34 942 371 421, in the City Centre.
  • Hotel Chiqui, Avenida Manuel Garcia Lago 9, Tel.: +34 902 282 700, near El Sardinero Beach.
  • NH Ciudad de Santander, Menéndez Pelayo, 13-15, +34 94 2319900.

Go next

  • Castro-Urdiales: seaside village east of Santander with a nice Gothic church and lighthouse.
  • Laredo (Spain): another seaside village to the East, the old quarter is worth a visit.
  • Potes: this small village is the key to the Picos de Europa mountain range (which is a National Park), and the Liébana region. Good eating place, and the local orujo (a strong spirits drink) is highly recommended.
  • Reinosa: the main town on southern Cantabria, it’s a good base to explore the Cantabrian mountain range (Cordillera Cantábrica), with the Alto Campoo sky resort, the Roman city of Julióbriga and several Medieval churches close by.
  • Santillana del Mar: Picturesque stone village 1 hour away by bus; visit the famous cave of Altamira.
  • San Vicente de la Barquera – Sea-side fishing village, about 30 minutes by bus. See the fishing vessels unload what Madrid will be eating tomorrow. Fantastic tides, so stay for at least 6 hours. Nice Roman bridge.
  • Valles Pasiegos: for a taste of rural Cantabria, no better place than the Valley of the Pas river, especially Toranzo, Selaya, Villacarriedo, Vega de Pas, San Roque de Riomiera and San Pedro del Romeral. Try the typical sobaos and quesadas, two traditional desserts.
  • Ethnography Museum (Museo Etnografico de Cantabria Casa Velarde), Calle de los Heroes dos de Mayo, Muriedas, Camargo (5 ml/8 km from Santander).  from Jul until Sep Tue to Sat 10AM to 1PM, 4 to 7PM, Sun 11AM to 2PM, from October to June Tue to Sat 10AM to 1PM, 4 to 6PM, Sun 11AM to 2PMHistorical 17th-century building, birthplace of Spanish artillery captain Pedro Velarde y Santillan, antiquities and period furnishings, kitchen utensils, paintings.
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