What to Do and See in Bilbao, Spain?
Nestled in the Basque region of Spain, Bilbao is an old city with a modern vibe. It’s well-known for landmarks such as the stunning Guggenheim Museum, but the city offers much more to explore. With its lively tapas culture and the stunning Bay of Bilbao, there’s something here for everyone. Let’s take a look at what to do and see in Bilbao, Spain.
Visit the Guggenheim Museum
One of Bilbao’s main attractions, the Guggenheim Museum was designed by architect Frank Gehry and opened in 1997. Over the years, it’s become an iconic symbol of modern Bilbao, showcasing work from more than 200 artists including world-famous names such as Picasso and Matisse. The building itself is a winding sculpture of steel and glass, a fitting backdrop for the amazing works of art found inside.
Pluskiza Park and Famed Marketplace
Pluskiza Park is another must-see area of Bilbao. It is a large city park with lots of green space, perfect for a stroll or for bike riding. It’s nestled near the busy market of Ensanche de Bilbao, where locals and tourists alike come to purchase a range of goods. Here, you’ll find stands selling everything from clothing to home furnishings and much more. The vendors are all extremely friendly and are more than happy to give out advice and recommendations on what to buy.
Tapas Not To Be Missed
What would a trip to Spain be without sampling some of its classic tapas? In Bilbao, there are plenty of tapas bars that serve up traditional dishes such as garlic shrimp and patatas bravas. For seafood lovers, bite into a plate of fried squid, clams or razor clams. And for those with a sweet tooth, try a slice of tarta de queso (cheesecake).
Explore La Vieja (The Old Town)
La Vieja (The Old Town) is an integral part of Bilbao’s charm. It contains many historical sights such as the Church of St. Anthony and the Iron Bridge, both dating from the 14th century. La Vieja is full of narrow cobblestone streets and colorful antique stores – perfect for a busy afternoon of sightseeing and shopping.
Bay of Bilbao
Last but not least, no visit to Bilbao is complete without exploring the gorgeous Bay of Bilbao. Here, you’ll find miles of beaches that offer wonderful chances to relax and soak up the sun. Take part in a variety of water activities such as kayaking, sailing or snorkeling. Or even better, charter a boat and sail along the Biscay Coast. For those looking to stay on land, head to the waterfront promenade and enjoy some beach volleyball or eat at one of the many outdoor restaurants along the waterfront.
Bilbao is an incredible city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for modern art at the Guggenheim Museum, classic tapas spots or just laid-back fun on the incredible Bay of Bilbao, there’s something here that will appeal to all traveler tastes. So if you ever have the chance to visit this stunning part of Spain – seize it – you won’t regret it! For more information on what to do and see in Bilbao, check out Visit Bilboa.
An Insider’s Guide to Bilbao, Spain: What to Do and See
Located in northern Spain, Bilbao is a city that should be on every traveler’s list. It may not have the same level of recognition as Barcelona or Madrid, but Bilbao is a city filled with jaw-dropping architecture, delicious food, and cultural experiences that will spark your wanderlust. Follow this guide to discover what to do and see in Bilbao, Spain.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is one of the most famous attractions in the city. This iconic museum is known for its impressive titanium exterior and houses a variety of contemporary artworks by some of the world’s most celebrated artists.
The Casco Viejo or the Old Town is another must-visit location in Bilbao. This quaint section of the city has winding cobblestone streets and medieval architecture. Explore the small shops, cafes, and bars for a glimpse into the everyday lives of the locals.
A visit to Bilbao would not be complete without stepping inside the Bilbao Cathedral. This Gothic-style cathedral is a beautiful piece of architecture that dates back to the 14th century. Take a closer look at the intricate details of the stained-glass windows and its spires.
When in Bilbao, eating pintxos is a must. Pintxos are small bites of food that can be easily eaten while walking around the city. Visit Bar Nestor, a local favorite that serves the best tortilla de patatas (Spanish potato omelet) in town.
For a more upscale dining experience, try the award-winning restaurant, Mina. This Michelin-starred restaurant offers contemporary Basque cuisines with unique fusion dishes.
When you’re in the mood for a good steak, Asador Etxebarri is the place to go. This restaurant is known for their perfectly cooked steak with a smoky flavor.
One of the most popular cultural experiences in Bilbao is watching a Basque Pelota game. Basque Pelota is a fast-paced court game that puts players’ hand-eye coordination to the test.
Another cultural experience is visiting the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. The museum houses a permanent collection of Spanish art and some of the best Basque art. From the Renaissance to Modern Art, the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum has works that will leave a lasting impression.
The Mercado de la Ribera is one of the oldest markets in Bilbao. It has been around since 1929 and is a great place to buy fresh produce, meat, and fish. This market also has a pintxos area where you can try different kinds of pintxos while enjoying a glass of wine.
The Zubizuri Bridge is another piece of history worth exploring. This iconic bridge over the Nervion River was designed by Santiago Calatrava and completed in 1997. Walk across the bridge to admire its unique architecture and enjoy the beautiful views of the river.
If you’re looking to escape the crowded city, go to Artxanda. This hilltop park offers the best view of Bilbao. Ride the funicular to the top of the hill to get a panoramic view of the city.
For a unique experience, take a day trip to Gaztelugatxe. This small island off the coast of Bilbao is known for its stunning views and hiking trails. Climb the stairs to the top of the island to see the 10th-century hermitage and ring the bell three times for good luck.
In conclusion, Bilbao offers a unique travel experience with a mixture of art, culture, history, and gastronomy. With so many things to do and see, Bilbao is definitely a must-visit destination.
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