Architecture: Some of the best architects in the world have been involved in Bilbao’s transformation over the last few years.
Beaches: The beaches are beautifully clean and the water clear and blue but the best part is that they are relatively undiscovered so you can enjoy them in peace.
Culture: The Basque region of Spain has its own language and culture with street signs still written in both Basque and Spanish. The Basque language is ancient.
Doña Casilda Park: It´s probably one of the biggest parks in Bilbao. Its official name is Doña Casilda Park, but it’s widely known as Parque de los Patos (Park of the Duck) because there’s an artificial lake there with many ducks and swans.
Education: The Basque Country has a bilingual education system in which you can choose between four linguistic models, these differ between the prevalence of Basque and Spanish used, the most common of these being Basque as the vehicle language and Spanish taught as a subject. See more on our “Schools in Bilbao” page.
Food: With an abundance of rich and fertile soil in the green countryside of the Basque Country there is an endless supply of fresh fruit and vegetables and with its proximity to the sea, seafood is a staple of the local cuisine in Bilbao. Lunch in a restaurant is around 10€.
Hidden Treasure: Sure the beaches of the Costa Blanca or the Costa del Sol are appealing but the international hub that is Bilbao is the place to be right now.
Iberdrola: This is a huge tower in the centre of Bilbao which was built in March 2009 and officially inaugurated in February 2012 by King Juan Carlos.
Jeff Koons: At the main entrance of the Guggenheim is a stunning flower covered giant “Puppy” which is the work of Jeff Koons. It uses more than 40,000 plants.
(BB)K: This is Bilbao’s biggest live music event which takes place in July over 3 days.
Links: Bilbao airport is only 9km outside the city, there is also the famous ferry port, an underground, above ground trams, trains and buses, see more under transport options in Bilbao. (Read more here).
Mercado de la Ribera: This huge indoor market is on the banks of the river Nervion in Bilbao’s old town. Here there are hundreds of stalls selling everything from seafood to fruit and vegetables to local cheeses and olive oils. It claims to be the worlds largest indoor market, don’t quote me on that!
North South divide: Bilbao and the Basque Country in general are a world about from the south of Spain. If cities and culture are your preference to a laid back beach lifestyle then the north is where you want to be.
Old town: The centre of Bilbao has been lovingly restored and its hundred year old buildings have been preserved with charm. There are no end of tapas bars and restaurants and it has a great night life.
(The) Passer-By: In the square of Arbieto between The Deputation and Library buildings is this bronze sculpture. It is a piece known as ‘The Passer By’ and was created by José Ramón Gómez Nazabal,who as well as being a sculptor is a teacher and novelist. He wrote “Crónica sentimental de Bilbao”.
Quay: La Naja Quay is a number of buildings on the left bank of the Nervion with an arcaded promenade and flanked by two towers. They constitute one of the most peculiar images of the industrial Bilbao. Like the rest of the area, most of the buildings have been recently renovated or are going to be refurbished soon.
Riverside walks: walking from the Guggenheim you can take a good walk on the two banks of the Nervion, crossing the river by the Deusto bridge and along to the town hall and the old quarter. Sights include the Deusto University, the beautiful fronted Old peoples Servants of Jesus health and home, the Zubizuri bridge and the town hall of Bilbao.
Size matters: You can get to most places in the city easily on foot with a sturdy pair of walking boots, everything is within easy reach.
Transformation: The city of Bilbao has transformed itself in the last few years, from an industrialized town to a bustling cultural metropolis.
University: Just opposite the Guggenheim is the University of Deusto which has a great reputation in Northern Spain and is one of the most popular universities in the whole of Spain.
Views: From stunning modern architecture to lush green countryside and beautiful unspoiled beaches, Bilbao really does have it all.
Weather: The temperature is mild and comfortable for most of the year so if searing heat isn’t for you then Bilbao is an ideal location. The temperature rarely rises above 30 degrees and the winter is pleasantly mild. (Read more here).
Xavier: The name derives from the Catholic Saint called Francis de Xavier, where Xavier refers to the saint’s birthplace. This birthplace name, in turn, has Basque roots. (This is stretching it a bit but X is NOT easy!).
Yohn Palace: Yohn Palace, popularly known as La Bolsa: a sober 18th century late Baroque urban palace built on one of the corners of the former city wall. It was first an aristocratic residence and then purchased by the Yohn family, where they established “La Bolsa”, a famous hardware store in Bilbao. The building was abandoned after the 1983 flood and then purchased by the municipality. It hosts now the civic centre of the district.
Zurito: In each bar you should ask for a “txikito” (a small wine) or a “zurito” (a small beer), you should only stay in each bar for 15 minuts or so, so you need to ask for these small drinks which are literally a mouthful or you will be completely drunk without having tried nearly enough delicious food.