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Weird & Wonderful

Top Rated Shopping in Santander

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Mercado de la Esperanza

This popular, busy market was built in 1897 and carefully restored in 1977. Now that the Mercado del Este, built in 1839, has sadly been demolished, this is the oldest surviving market in Santander. It's a fine example of functional, late-nineteenth century architecture. Markets are always great places to soak up the local atmosphere, and this one is no exception. There are fishmongers on the ground floor as well as the expected fruit, vegetable, butcher and bakery stalls. Behind the building, in the Plaza de la Esperanza, a daily open-air market sells clothing, fruit and flowers.


Cortefiel, which sells men's and women's fashions, is well-known in Spain, with stores throughout the country and also some stores in neighboring Portugal. The chain has won recognition in various competitions for some of its stores. One of its Madrid branches won the Rosa de Plata award in the international interior design competition for stores. If good taste has been recognized by interior design experts, it isn't difficult to imagine that everyone likes its fashions, including the modern and casual styles as well as the very elegant ones. They also sell designs by Pedro del Hierro.


Carot is a designer boutique that has been in existence since 1980. Selling designs of popular designers such as Pepe Mateu, Nenette, Cape Horn, Sete di Jaipur, Alpha and many others, this boutique is a must visit if you're in the city to shop. You're unlikely to find the clothes and accessories from this store anywhere else.

Alameda de Oviedo

This boulevard is in the western part of Santander's city center and runs from Cuatro Caminos Roundabout in the west, to Plaza de Numancia in the extreme east, specifically between the two streets, Calle de San Fernando and Calle Vargas. Most of Santander's citizens seem to walk down here at least once a day, and the streets running off to the sides are full of bars, shops and various organization head offices. Street vendors will likely try to sell you jewellery, bags and scarves, plus flowers on Sunday. Take a stroll under the enormous trees on a hot afternoon and enjoy the shade.

Calle Burgos

Everything from books, clothes, music, shoes and CDs can be purchased here. Take time to relax in one of the busy pavement cafes which cluster around Plaza Rey Juan Carlos I at the far western end of the street. As indicated by the name of this street, it used to be the main road to Burgos. It has now been pedestrianized, so you don't have to worry about traffic when visiting its many shops. Unsurprisingly, this is one of Santander's busiest thoroughfares, made more attractive by the unusual blue street lamps and the old Teatro Gran Cinema, built in the 1920s and now housing the regional headquarters of Spain's national lottery, the ONCE.


This is the most famous bookshop and stationer's in Santander. At the beginning of each academic year, hundreds of students form never-ending queues to buy text books. The shop also sells books on every imaginable topic, including art, culture, poetry, novels, politics, computing, cookery, tourist guides on every country in the world, etc.On the first floor, there's a stationery section, and there are thousands of items, such as the best makes of fountain pens and biros, including Mont Blanc, plus notebooks and pencil cases.There's another branch of Estudio in Paseo de Pereda, just opposite the main post office.

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