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Travel to Bilbao – Sights, accommodation, food, transportation, excursions

The walk along the river is very comfortable, as there are wide sidewalks.

Of course the building that stands out on the left in the river is the museum Guggenheim which has now become the symbol of the city. See our relevant post here.

Impressive blooming huge dog dominating next to the museum. See more here.

Opposite the museum is the city university – Deusto university.

The Isozaki skyscrapers stand near the shores.

The town hall It is also built on the river bank, but on the right side, however, an impressive building from 1892.

His night view!

The main pedestrian and car bridge is the Arenal Bridge, starting from the modern city and leading directly to the Old Town district.

Immediately after the bridge is the impressive Arriaga theater, one of the most beautiful theaters in the world, both externally and internally.

In the center of the old town is the imposing Gothic cathedral Santiago in the homonymous square.

From there begin the “Seven Roads”, which until the 16th century constituted the entire city of Bilbao. It looks like a maze and you will definitely get lost but it is worth it because you will discover small but modern bars that serve beer, wine and pintxos – the well-known tapas, restaurants and shops.

THE Plaza Nueve with the arches, is the most beautiful square of the city, in neoclassical style, built in 1821. Around the square there are restaurants and cafes but the prices are a bit higher compared to the shops of the rest of the city.

Even at night the square is beautiful and crowded.

At the southern end of the old quarter is the covered Ribera market. Built in 1929, it has an area of ​​10,000 sq.m. and is the largest closed market in Europe. There you will find stalls with fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and all traditional products, mainly cheeses and salami.

The building is truly amazing! The market is open daily from 8:00 to 2:00 and from 5:00 to 7:00, while on Saturdays from 8:00 to 2:30.

The modern part of the city starts from the area Abando, with the metro station of the same name. From there begins the main boulevard with shops, Gran Via. Huge sidewalks, trees and benches make walking very enjoyable.

At the beginning of the street is the well-known department store El Corte Ingles.

Definitely worth a night walk in both the old and the new city. Many buildings are impressively lit.

Moving along it Gran Via we come across many impressive buildings that every now and then will challenge you for photos!

A few minutes walk and we arrive at Plaza Moyua, the square of the new city with the colorful flowers and the fountain in the center.

On one side is the hotel Carlton, starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in “The world is not enough”.

On the other hand it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the whole city, the Chavarri Palace, in Flemish style that hosts the Spanish Parliament delegation in the region. The striking thing about the building is that none of the many facade windows is equal to the other!

Going even further you reach the central park of the city, Dona Casilda.

A place for relaxation with lots of greenery and a lake with ducks.

Opposite the park is the shopping center Zubiarte, without being something impressive has several shops and cinemas.

For their fans museums, the city has enough! Except Guggenheim to see, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Naval Museum stand out.

The city from above

For a unique view you have to go up the cable car to Arthanda hill. The cable car goes up 227 meters in 3 minutes and the route costs about 1 euro.


The best beach for swimming is in the Plentzia area, 27 km from the city, a beautiful area even for walking, picturesque, with lots of greenery, restaurants, cafes and a long sandy beach.

The beach is very popular because it is clean and quiet. It has all the amenities, such as showers and changing rooms. For this reason it gathers a lot of people!

You can easily reach the metro, about 45 minutes from the center of Bilbao.


Impressive and futuristic are the entrances of the metro stations, called “fosteritos” that remind something of … a spaceship!

Plaza Moyua Station

In general, the city has an excellent system of public transport by metro, buses and trams, which are spotless and on time!


The restaurants every noon are suffocatingly full and the reason is simple: good food at a very good price! Every afternoon from 1 to 4 the restaurants have the “Menu el dia”, ie the “food of the day”. There is a menu from which the customer chooses an appetizer, a main course, dessert, coffee and 1 glass of wine or soft drink. And all this at a price of 9 – 14 euros per person! The choices are between 6-7 dishes in each category, all very tasty, fresh and beautifully served.

We singled out the restaurant “El Txoko de la Mary” in the old town because it is a beautiful place with very tasty and good food. The portions of the main dishes are a bit small but delicious!

From traditional flavors be sure to try patatas bravas, cod and paella. For a light snack you can go to one of the countless pintxos bars, where you will choose for yourself the tapas you want from a counter full of many different things, accompanied by a soft drink, wine or beer.


Hotels have normal prices, with a large selection so you can choose the one that suits you. See here all the hotels in the city.

We stayed at Abando Hotel, a 4 * hotel around 70-75 euros per double with buffet breakfast. The rooms are simple, very clean, without much view but with the unique advantage of the central point of the hotel. It is located right next to Abando Station and Gran Via, but only a 5-minute walk from the Old Town and the river.


The city is safe, an almost zero crime, frequent police patrol in every area and especially in the old town. The only thing you may encounter are some more or less drunk, at 11pm when the pintxos bars close. But they will not bother you either !! However, in the evening, avoid the infamous San Francisco area.

The people of Bilbao are polite although they rarely speak English. However they try to serve the tourist.

Bilbao does not have much tourism and that makes it even more beautiful. We went at the end of July and met a few tourists, mostly French because France is very close, English and Portuguese.

Venezuela Square

We were impressed by the cleanliness of the whole city, there was not even rubbish thrown away, while the streets were clean and every square, even the smallest one was very neat.

Bilbao seems to be a developing city, despite Spain’s economic problems. Renovations of buildings, new constructions, extension of the metro and in general the life in the city does not look like a memorandum era !!

* Most restaurants close from 4: 00-7: 00 in the afternoon, ie as soon as the “menu of the day” ends and reopen after 7.

* In the summer there are direct flights with Vueling, while the rest of the time you have to go through Madrid. For tickets see here.

* The Bilbao card does not really give many privileges and at least we judged that it is not worth buying, since we went almost everywhere on foot.

* 1 hour only by bus is the city San Sebastian, a beautiful seaside tourist resort worth visiting or even staying. See here more information!

* River cruises take place daily, lasting 1 or 2 hours. Take the two-hour drive to the port, Portugalete and the Bizkaya Bridge – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

* Tap water, even from public taps, is drinkable.

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