Santander, Spain Sardinero Beach, Santander – Image courtesy of Pedro Lopez/Wikimedia

How to get to Santander

Santander is located 116km (72mi) northwest of Bilbao and 393km (244mi) north of Madrid on the Costa Verde, a rugged and green coastline similar to the west coast of Ireland (but with a lot more sun).

The most convenient route to Santander is by air to Bilbao Airport (BIO), followed by a bus or taxi.

From some international destinations the most convenient route to Santander is by air to Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD), followed by a connecting flight to Bilbao Airport (BIO).

By bus, Bilbao to Santander takes 1 hour 20 minutes; or 5 hours 45 minutes from Madrid.

By train, Bilbao to Santander is 2 hours 55 minutes, with multiple stops.

By ferry, Santander is serviced twice weekly on the 24 hour voyage across the Bay of Biscay from Portsmouth, England.


Flight time to Santander

The following are the most convenient and quickest flight routes to Santander via Bilbao Airport (BIO).

Within Spain: Iberia and Air Europa offer several daily flights to Bilbao Airport (BIO).

Madrid to Bilbao Airport (BIO) is 1 hr, direct flight


From United Kingdom: British Airways and Vueling Airlines offer the most convenient flights from London to Bilbao Airport (BIO), and easyJet from Manchester.

London to Bilbao Airport is 1 hr 55 min, direct flight
Manchester to Bilbao Airport is 2 hrs 10 min, direct flight


From Ireland: Aer Lingus offers convenient direct flights to Bilbao Airport (BIO), followed by bus or taxi to Santander.

Dublin to Bilbao Airport is 2 hr 15 min, direct flight


From France: Air France and Vueling Airlines offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Bilbao Airport (BIO).

Paris to Bilbao Airport is 1 hrs 35 min, direct flight


From Germany: Vueling Airlines, Eurowings and Lufthansa offer the most convenient flights to Bilbao Airport (BIO), followed by bus or taxi to Santander.

Berlin to Bilbao Airport is 2 hrs 40 min, direct flight
Dusseldorf to Bilbao Airport is 2 hrs 10 min, direct flight
Frankfurt to Bilbao Airport is 2 hrs 5 min, direct flight
Munich to Bilbao Airport is 2 hrs 10 min, direct flight

Hamburg to Bilbao Airport is 4 hrs 30 min, connecting flightˆ


From United States: Air France, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Delta Air Lines offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Bilbao Airport (BIO), followed by bus or taxi to Santander.

Atlanta to Bilbao Airport is 10 hrs 55 min, connecting flightˆ
Boston to Bilbao Airport is 9 hrs 5 min, connecting flightˆ
Chicago to Bilbao Airport is 10 hrs 15 min, connecting flightˆ
Dallas-Fort Worth to Bilbao Airport is 12 hrs 10 min, connecting flightˆ
New York to Bilbao Airport is 9 hrs 45 min, connecting flightˆ
Los Angeles to Bilbao Airport is 14 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ
San Francisco to Bilbao Airport is 13 hrs 45 min, connecting flightˆ


From Canada: Iberia, Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, KLM and Air France offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Bilbao Airport (BIO), followed by bus or taxi to Santander..

Toronto to Bilbao Airport is 9 hrs 40 min, connecting flightˆ
Montreal to Bilbao Airport is 9 hrs 35 min, connecting flightˆ
Vancouver to Bilbao Airport is 12 hrs 10 min, connecting flightˆ


From Australia: Emirates, Air Europa, Qatar Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Vueling Airlines and easyJet offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Bilbao Airport (BIO), followed by bus or taxi to Santander.

Adelaide to Bilbao Airport is 25 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ
Brisbane to Bilbao Airport is 25 hrs 40 min, connecting flightˆ
Sydney to Bilbao Airport is 26 hrs 25 min, connecting flightˆ
Melbourne to Bilbao Airport is 25 hrs 40 min, connecting flightˆ
Perth to Bilbao Airport is 23 hrs, connecting flightˆ


From New Zealand: Air New Zealand and Iberia offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Bilbao Airport (BIO), followed by bus or taxi to Santander.

Auckland to Bilbao Airport is 27 hrs 45 min, connecting flightsˆ


From Singapore: Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and KLM offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Bilbao Airport (BIO), followed by bus or taxi to Santander.

Singapore to Bilbao Airport is 16 hrs 10 min, connecting flightˆ

(ˆincludes transfer time.)


Flying in

Bilbao Airport (BIO) is located 11km (6.5mi) north of Bilbao.


Public transport

Taxi: Metered taxis are located outside the terminal on the first floor. Journey time into the city is about 15 minutes, depending on traffic conditions, with a fare starting at €6.45.

From Bilbao to Santander takes a further 1 hour 15 minutes by taxi .

Bus: Bizkaibus (tel: +34 902 222 265; www.bizkaia.net) operates service A3247 between the airport and the city centre. Buses depart every 15 minutes taking 20 minutes with a single-trip ticket of €1.45.

Bilbao to Santander takes 1 hour 20 minutes, hourly, and costs around €12.


Car rental

Car hire companies represented at the airport include Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt. Desks are situated in the parking area opposite the terminal.


Terminal facilities

Money: ATMs available in the departures and arrivals halls.

Food: There are two full-service restaurants in the departures area, along with a fast-food outlet. A restaurant in the arrivals area serves salads and snacks.

Shopping: A large shopping centre in Departures offers duty-free goods to passengers leaving the EU.

Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout Bilbao Airport. A post box is available on the third floor of the check-in area.

Other: There is a children’s play area in the arrivals hall on the first floor, and the Bilbao VIP lounge offers basic business facilities.


Disabled facilities

The terminal is fully wheelchair-accessible, and pre-arranged assistance is available for all aspects of the airport’s service.


Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) (commonly known as Madrid–Barajas Airport) is located 9km (6mi) from the city's financial district and 13km (8mi) northeast of Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor de Madrid, Madrid's historic centre.

The Madrid Metro Line connects the airport with city centre station Nuevos Ministerios in Madrid's financial district. The Barajas Line 8 offers a fast route from the underground stations at Terminal 2 (access to T1 and T3) and Terminal 4 into central Madrid.


Entry requirements

A passport valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay, a return/onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds. No visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days.


Getting around

The best way to explore Santander is on foot. City buses are inexpensive and go everywhere. Hire cars, taxis, buses and trains are all available to explore the surrounding countryside and nearby towns.


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More about Santander…



Latest update: How to get to Santander: 14 February, 2020


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