Santander[a] is the capital of the autonomous community and historical region of Cantabria situated on the north coast of Spain. It is a port city located east of Gijón and west of Bilbao.It is believed to have been a port since ancient times, due to its favourable location, and is documented as far back as the 11th century. Much of the medieval city was lost in the Great Fire of 1941. Today, its remaining old town, beach and other attractions are popular with tourists and other visitors and its economy is mainly service based. The port is still very active and a regular ferry service operates to the United Kingdom. Fish and seafood dominate the local cuisine.
As a service centre at the regional level, Santander contains important public institutions and private organisations with a large number of employees, including Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, the University of Cantabria and Grupo Santander. Activities related to culture, leisure and tourism are an important part of the city's economy, and the regional and municipal authorities look to augment the summer tourist trade with additional offerings, including conventions, conferences, cultural festivals and cruises. Banco Santander, Spain's largest bank and corporation, is headquartered here.
Santander has a population of over 172,000 people. Santander is the #211 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.4152 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.