The Basque city of Bilbao is a spellbinding capital of design and gastronomy. With one of the world’s finest buildings - the Guggenheim - at its heart, Bilbao dazzles with style and energy and boasts a unique identity as well as Europe’s oldest and most enigmatic language.
Population
372.000
Currency
Euro (EUR), €1=100 cents
Weather forecast
+10 ...20°C
Bilbao has many interesting sites to visit, both historical and modern and there is something for everyone. There is a wide range of museums and historical sites to explore like the famous Guggenheim Museum or the vibrant square Plaza Nueva. In addition Bilbao's many pedestrian streets make it easy to discover the city on foot. All you need to do is to find your favorite sites.
A Walk Along The River

From the ultra-modern Conference Centre and Concert Hall Palacio Euskalduna Jauregia, walk east along the riverbank, which is punctuated by beautiful sculptures and some very impressive modern architecture. You will pass the Guggenheim and Santiago Calatrava’s stunning Zubi Zuri Footbridge, which spans the Nervión between the Guggenheim and the Ayuntamiento.

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao only opened in 1997, but it has since become one of the most revered buildings in the world. The museum’s collection focuses primarily on 20th-century American and European art.

​Address: Avenida Abandoibarra 2, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 35 90 00 ​Website: http://www.guggenheim-bilbao.es​Opening hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 - 20.00, Monday closed.
Museo de Bellas Artes

The Museo de Bellas Artes has an exceptional collection of traditional works by well-known masters such as El Greco, Goya, Gauguin, Francis Bacon, Picasso and Velazquez.

​Address: Plaza del Museo, 2, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 39 60 60​Website: http://www.museobilbao.com​Opening hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 - 20.00, Closed Mondays
Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro

This museum is housed in a former convent and was founded in 1515. The museum has an intriguing selection of religious art and crafts dating back to the 12th century, including sculptures and paintings by Basque artists.

​Address: Plazuela de la Encarnación, 9, Bilbao​Phone: +34 94 432 0125​Website: http://www.eleizmuseoa.com​Opening hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30 - 13.30 / 16.00-19.00, Sunday and holidays from 10.30 - 13.30, Closed Mondays
Museo Marítimo Ría de Bilbao

The Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum is a place to uncover Bilbao’s past as a shipbuilding and seafaring hub. Outside there are striking floating exhibits with special exhibitions.

​Address: Muelle Ramón de la Sota 1, Bilbao​Phone: +34 946 08 55 00 ​Website: http://www.museomaritimobilbao.org​Opening hours: Winter opening hours Tuesday to Friday 10.00 - 18.00 Saturday, Sunday, bank holidays 10.00 - 20.00 Monday closed, Summer opening hours Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 - 20.00 Monday closed
Teatro Arriaga

The original theatre burned down in 1914 and a second was built, resembling the Opera House in Paris. Today, it remains the major cultural venue in Bilbao. Beautifully located on the banks of the Nervión, the theatre is host to world-class opera, classical music concerts and ballet.

​Address: Plaza Arriaga, 1, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 79 20 36​Website: http://www.teatroarriaga.com
Cross The Puente Colgante

Just outside Bilbao, between Getxo (Las Arenas) and Portugalete in the Region of Bizkaia, is one of Bilbao’s main attractions Puente Colgante, also known as the “Hanging Bridge.” There are two dramatic ways of crossing it: by gondola or along the crosswalk itself.

​Address: Barria 3, Las Arenas​Phone: +34 94 480 10 12​Website: http://www.puente-colgante.com
Take A Pintxo

There is nowhere better to take a tapas crawl, or as the Basques call it, a Pintxo, than through the Casco Viejo and Licenciado Poza. Favourites include Gatz on Calle Santa María in the Old Town, where you can sample delicious cod tarts.

A Coffee On Plaza Nueva

There are 64 arches around this enclosed square, which is the oldest surviving square in town. Built in 1849, it’s a perfect place to stop, drink coffee and watch the world go by.

​Address: Plaza Nueva, Bilbao
The Bigger Picture

If you want to escape the city streets, take the delightful funicular from Plaza Funicular up to spacious gardens. Here you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the city.

​Address: Plaza Funicular, Bilbao​More info: The funicular departs every 15 minutes from Plaza Funicular.
Plentzia

Plentzia is a happening resort just outside Bilbao, in the Region of Bizkaia, on a hilltop centre that leads to lovely sandy beaches. Plentzia is a popular weekend destination and there are bars and cafés of which many are serving dishes straight from the sea.

​Address: Plentzia​More info: It’s the last stop on Metro Line 1
Day Trip To San Sebastian

This town is set between two hills around the beautiful La Concha Bay in the region of Gipuzkoa. San Sebastian makes an unforgettable day trip where you can take in the glorious Belle Epoque balustrades and visit its world famous restaurants.

​Address: San Sebastian​More info: Take the train from Bilbao’s central Atxuri station and you will arrive in 2 hours. You can also take the bus to San Sebastián.
Doña Casilda Park

Doña Casilda Park is situated at Paseo Don Jose Anselmo Clave, next to Museo de Bellas Artes. The park was built in 1907 by an architect called Ricardo Bastida. When you stroll around at this park you will see a pond with ducks, a dancing water fountain, two basketball pitches and a pavilion for live performances.

​Address: Doña Casilda Park, Bilbao
City Sightseeing By Bike

Explore the city by bike either by yourselves or with a guided bike tour. This is a different way to get to know Bilbao and to learn more about its culture. The guided bike tours are in different languages.

​Address: Villarías 1, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 24 94 65​Website: http://www.tournebilbao.com
Basilica Of Begona

You will find Basilica of Begona at Calle Virgen de Begoña on the top of a hill. The church construction started in 1511 and is dedicated to the patron saint of Biscay and the Virgin Begoña. This is claimed to be one of the most beautiful churches in Bilbao.

​Address: C\ Virgen de Begoña, 38, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 12 70 91​Website: http://www.basilicadebegona.com​Opening hours: Open Monday to Saturday 10.30 - 13:30 / 17.30 - 20.30 Sundays Open during mass
Bilbao is the home of Basque cuisine, considered the most inventive cuisine in Spain. Bilbao is famous for a lot of dishes, like delicious tapas-like appetizers called pintxos. Seafood forms the heart of Basque cooking. Bacalao dishes, based on cod, are very popular as is merluza, or hake. Many visitors to Bilbao are known to return again and again for the food alone.
Bermeo

Bermeo is probably the finest restaurant in Bilbao, and popular with the great and the good of Basque society, from politicians to artists. Enjoy classical Basque dishes, such as fresh thistles sautéed with ham or partridge with glazed shallots. Bermeo’s dessert of truffled figs is simply divine.

​Address: Calle Ercilla 37-39, Bilbao​Phone: +34 94 470 57 00​Website: http://www.hotelercilla.es​More info: Hotel Ercilla
Guggenheim Bilbao

For a slightly less pricy taste of Martin Berasategui’s new Basque cuisine, head to "his restaurant" at the Guggenheim Museum. The set menu includes some real finds like tempura hake with sautéed mange-touts and Biscay cheese.

​Address: Avenida Abandoibarra 2, Bilbao​Phone: +34 94 423 93 33​Website: http://www.bistroguggenheimbilbao.com
El Viejo Zortzi

El Viejo Zortzi has a modern take on traditional Basque food, such as fillet of cod in pil-pil sauce and fresh hake in garlic sauce. The choice of wine here is exceptional.

​Address: Calle Licenciado Poza, 54, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 41 92 49​Website: http://www.viejozortzi.es
Etxanobe

This post-modern restaurant has a great view of the Guggenheim. Top Basque cuisine and creative dishes such as chocolaty oxtail crépinettes and cold anchovy lasagna in tomato soup is served here.

​Address: Avda. Abandoibarra, 4, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 42 10 71​Website: http://www.etxanobe.com
Gaminiz

Located in Zamudio, slightly out of the centre of town is Bilbao’s most famous restaurant. Cod is the main menu item in this restaurant, but don’t forget to try other dishes, like the Squab with peach puree.

​Address: Ibaizabal 212, Parque Tecnológico, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 31 70 25​Website: http://www.gaminiz.com​More info: In Zamudio, 10 km from Bilbao City Centre
Asia Di Roma

Asia Di Roma offers a good mix of different tastes of Japanese and Italian cuisine. The attentive staff serves exquisite food like seafood soup with tofu, beef in sauce, Peking duck fettuccine and classic Roman pizzas.

​Address: C/ Hurtado de Amézaga, 14, Bilbao​Phone: +34 946 07 65 42​Website: http://www.asiadiroma.com
El Charro Loco

If you are craving for Mexican food, head over to El Charro Loco. The ambiance is friendly and the staff serves mouth-watering dishes for a good value for money. In addition there is a drink menu with delicious cocktails like strawberry margarita and caipirinha.

​Address: Alameda Recalde, 11, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 24 90 89​Website: http://www.elcharroloco.com
Gure Toki

At this small bar you can relish fantastic pintxos which are wonderfully executed with a creative touché. This is a popular place so it might be crowded but well worth the wait. You will find this highly recommended pintxos bar on Plaza Nueva.

​Address: Plaza Nueva, 12, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 15 80 37​Website: http://www.guretoki.com
Porrue

Enjoy well-prepared Spanish food at this cool and modern restaurant. The fresh food is inventive and tasty and served by attentive staff. Try the 8-dish course with lots of different and exciting flavors accompanied with a good Spanish wine.

​Address: Alamedia rekalde 4, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 23 13 13​Website: http://www.porrue.com
Mao

If you want to tickle your taste buds with Japanese food of the highest quality you can visit the restaurant Mao. The chefs use excellent raw materials and the food is prepared in front of the diners. On the wine list you will find more than 150 different references.

​Address: Ibanez De Bilbao 11, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 23 68 18​Website: http://www.restaurantemao.com
Restaurante Mina

Mina is a gastronomic restaurant with only 8 tables for 25-30 guests. The menu reflects each season and the chefs use local produce from the market and nearest farms. Restaurante Mina is located in the heart of Bilbao and to book is essential.

​Address: Muelle Marzana, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 79 59 38​Website: http://www.restaurantemina.es
Irrintzi

This is a place where you can have modern and interesting pinxtos which are well-presented. The ambiance is modern with a minimalistic design with orange and white colours. Irrintzi attracts a younger clientele and is situated in one of the most tranquil streets of the Old Quarter of Bilbao.

​Address: Santa Maria 8, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 16 76 16​Website: http://www.irrintzi.es
Restaurante Yandiola

Restaurante Yandiola is housed in a beautiful old building. The building alone is worth a visit. Here you can enjoy your dinner at the lovely rooftop terrace with an amazing view over Bilbao. The chefs create Spanish food with the best ingredients from earth and sea and they do it with a passion.

​Address: Plaza Arriquibar 4, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 13 36 36​Website: http://www.yandiola.com
Restaurante Lar

Restaurante Lar is a small family run restaurant and serves traditional Spanish food. The specialty is seafood which is carefully prepared. This charming restaurant has a simple decoration with family photos hanging on the walls. The atmosphere can be described as cosy and warm.

​Address: Amistad 3, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 24 48 02​Website: http://www.restaurantelar.com
Kasko

At this restaurant you can indulge in modern Basque cuisine. Kasko is located in the Old Quarter of Bilbao and offers a great mix of traditional and modern food. The portions are huge so make sure to come here with an empty stomach.

​Address: Santa Maria, 16, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 16 03 11​Website: http://www.restaurantekasko.com
Bilbao has an enviable coffee culture, people take every chance they get to sit down, hang out and catch up. After a long day with sightseeing do as the locals -enjoy a cup of coffee or tea at one of the cafés the city has on offer.
Café Iruña

This is a classic coffee house that dates back to 1903 with Arabesque motifs, carved columns and medieval ceramics. Café Iruña has a wide variety of snacks, sandwiches, pintxos and other mouth-watering refreshments.

​Address: Jardines de Albia, Bilbao​Phone: +34 94 423 7021​Website: http://www.cafesdebilbao.net
El Globo

Great place for a wide variety of pintxos and tapas, good wine and finding new friends among the locals of Bilbao. El Globo is located right by the metro beside the Palacio de la Diputación.

​Address: Calle Diputación 8, Bilbao​Phone: +34 94 415 42 21​Website: http://www.barelglobo.com
Bar El Eme

Bar El Eme is famous far and wide for their sandwiches. They’re tasty, they’re big and they’re cheap, so what are you waiting for? A typical place in Bilbao and always full of people.

​Address: General Concha, 5, Bilbao​Phone: +34 94 443 42 98​Website: http://www.baremebilbao.com
Casa Vasca

This is a typical Basque establishment in the Deusto district near Bilbao’s university. Try their delicious arroz con leche, a rice pudding with a twist.

​Address: Lehendakari Agirre, 13-15, Bilbao​Phone: +34 94 448 3980​Website: http://www.casavasca.com
Pasteleria Don Manuel

A pasteleria is a Spanish pastry shop, and this one in particular has an excellent assortment of croissants, chocolates, cookies and pastries. You can find a hearty breakfast for a good price here.

​Address: Calle Alameda Urquijo, 39, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 438 672​Website: http://www.pasteleriadonmanuel.com
The Casco Viejo is the best place to head to for bars, particularly around the Plaza Nueva. In central Bilbao it’s Urquijo Gallerias, Calles Ledesma and Licenciado Poza that are the main areas to go bar hopping and drink local favourites – kalimotxo, coke and red wine. For a unique night out, visit a cider tavern – sidrería – where you eat lots of char-grilled meat and drink copious quantities of cider.
Café Bar Bilbao

This is a great bar for a late night drink off the Plaza Nueva. Café Bar Bilbao never seem to shut off the lights so it is perfect for taking in the spirit(s) of the city.

​Address: Plaza Nueva 6, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 151671​Website: http://www.bilbao-cafebar.com
Cotton Club

The Cotton Club is a great place for live music. Lots of jazz and blues bands play here, while on other nights, DJs keep up the groove.

​Address: Gregorio de la Revilla 25, Bilbao​Phone: +34 94 410 4951​Website: http://www.cottonclubbilbao.es
Rock Star

As kitsch as you can get, this is the place to head to if you want to party like a rock star. A video wall and Zebra-skin decorations add to its decadent atmosphere.

​Address: José María Ugarteburu 9 bajo, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 45 92 95​Website: http://www.salarockstar.com
Distrito 9

This is one of the city’s hottest alternative dance clubs, located near the Guggenheim Museum. There’s hard techno music, refreshing drinks, and a mixed clientele.

​Address: Alameda Recalde 18, Bilbao​Phone: +34 658 05 09 55​Website: http://www.distrito9.net
Kafe Antzokia

Kafe Antzokia used to be an old theatre but refurbished and turned into a multi-purpose venue. It is known as a live music venue with a vibrant atmosphere where both local and international artists make their performances. Every weekend the place becomes a popular night club with DJs playing until late.

​Address: San Vicente 2, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 24 46 25​Website: http://www.kafeantzokia.com
Bilbao’s main thoroughfare, the Gran Via, is where you will find all the department stores, boutiques and designer shops, from Gucci to MaxMara. Handicrafts and local wine can be picked up in markets such as the Mercado de la Ribera. Basque specialities like wood carving and weaving can be found around the Casco Viejo. In the Casco Viejo, you will also find lots of independent shops as well as chain stores. Best places to go are Calle Askao, Artekale, Bidebarrieta, Somera, Correo and La Cruz. Be warned, nearly all shops are closed on Sundays!
Zubiarte

This is an upmarket shopping mall where you will find exclusive designs such as Tommy Hilfiger, Massimo Dutti och Antonio Miró. Here you can shop everything from clothes, accessories to electronic and interior design.

​Address: Lehendakari Leizaola, 2, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 27 73 80​Website: http://www.zubiarte.com
La Casa del Libro

La Casa del Libro is a bookshop with an extensive range of books and maps, including English language books.

​Address: Alameda de Urquijo, 9, Bilbao​Phone: +34 902 02 64 08 ​Website: http://www.casadellibro.com
Sombreros Gorostiaga

Many visitors like to return from Bilbao with a chic beret, which locals call txapelas. Sombreros Gorostiaga is a family-owned business since 1857, that have an extensive selection.

​Address: Calle Victor 9, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 16 12 76
El Corte Inglés

You are guaranteed to find what you’re looking for at this Spanish institution. From luxury to the everyday, El Corte Inglés is likely to have it.

​Address: Gran Via 7-9, Bilbao​Phone: +34 944 25 35 00​Website: http://www.elcorteingles.es
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