Must Dos in Bilbao
1. Learn some Basque: Also known as Euskera, it’s one of the two official languages in Bilbao. Fun fact: The language is in all likelihood the oldest in Europe and has no linguistic relations to any other European language.
2. Eat, eat, eat: Don’t leave Bilbao before visiting a Pintxos bar; it’s a staple Basque country late afternoon snack that you simply can’t miss. Starving after the match? Then go for Txuletón (bone-in ribeye steak) or Bacalao pil-pil style; you won’t be disappointed.
3. Enjoy a glass of Kalimotxo, the Basque version of sangría. A refreshing summer cocktail, created by mixing wine and cola and served on ice.
4. Museums: Bilbao offers a wide range of cultural activities, and its museums are an essential part of that, such as the iconic Guggenheim Museum and the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
5. Get lost in the Old Town: ‘The Seven Streets’ (locally known as ‘Siete Calles’) laid the foundation for what has become the city of Bilbao you see today. Here, you will find beautiful artistic monuments and urban areas. And it’s the perfect place to buy your souvenirs!.
6. Visit Mercado de la Ribera, Europe’s largest indoor food market. It is a hybrid of traditional style and gorgeous art deco. The spot locals head to buy fresh food, have a drink and a snack. Are you ready for an excellent introduction to Basque gastronomy?
7. Cross the Bizkaia Bridge: This UNESCO World Heritage site connects Portugalete and Getxo as the first transporter bridge of its kind. You can either walk across it or take a ride in a gondola, suspended from a rail by 36 wheels and measuring 25 metres long, which travels along the rails of the horizontal crossbar.
8. Azkuna Zentroa: Bilbao’s old wine warehouse, reimagined in 2010 as a contemporary culture and entertaiment space. Explore inside to find the many activities and shops it has to offer, whilst marvelling at its 43 distinct columns which symbolise the infinity of cultures, architectures, wars and religions throughout history.
9. Most #instagrammable place: Abando Train Station’s stained-glass window is an unusual but fascinating place to snap a great picture.
For Football fans: Bilbao also has a mascot. Don´t leave the city without saying hi to Puppy, a 12m-tall West Highland Terrier made entirely of flowers. Created by American artist Jeff Koons, it guards the entrance to the Guggenheim Museum.
10. Best place for scenic views: It has to be the Artxanda Funicular, a red cable car connecting Bilbao to the Artxanda Mountain summit. To take a trip, go to the Plaza del Funicular, a short walk from the centre. You’ll be rewarded with a different perspective and stunning views on your ride up to the summit.
Off the beaten path
🐲 Fan of Game of Thrones?
Then you can´t miss San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a magical island beside the sea, also known as Dragonstone by viewers of the show. Retrace the footsteps of your favourite characters!
Located between Bakio and Bermeo, this idyllic place is joined to the coast by a stone bridge. Its 241-step staircase will lead you to the legendary ‘chapel’. You will need to recharge your energy afterwards with some Pintxos!
ENGLISH – SPANISH
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ENGLISH – BASQUE
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