First Time Tourists Guide in Bilbao, Spain

Image by Miguel Angel from Flickr - Bilbao City View

In the Casco Viejo, you can find numerous city heritages like Catedral de Santiago de Bilbao, the Archeological Museum, the Plaza Nueva, and several beautiful architecture churches.

Bilbao is a paradise for foodies with more than 40 Michelin restaurants.

Stroll and stop by the restaurants and cafes along the Plaza Nueva that is located in the city downtown.

La Ribera market is not only a shopping center but also an iconic landmark of the city.

As a culinary paradise, of course, there are numerous authentic dishes you can try in the city. One of the local food you can try is Bacalao pil-pil.

Let's start your adventure!

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SIGHTSEEING

Have a walking tour along Casco Viejo street. As part of Bilbao’s Old Town, you can find numerous city heritages like Catedral de Santiago de Bilbao, the Archeological Museum, the Plaza Nueva, and several beautiful architecture churches. You can also take a boat ride to tour along the Ría de Bilbao or Estuary of Bilbao. It is an estuary and tidal river of Bilbao. You can enjoy the city's landmarks of the city with a professional guide by the city boat tour.

Catedral de Santiago de Bilbao

Catholic cathedral dating to the 14th century with an understated Gothi-revival facade.

Address : Done Jakue Plazatxoa, 1, 48005 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

DOWNTOWN

Bilbao downtown offers a complete package trip for you. Stroll and stop by the restaurants and cafes along the Plaza Nueva that is located in the city downtown. If you visit the plaza square on Sundays, you can find many local stalls selling numerous unique antiques. To be short, this neoclassical designed square is the best spot to see and to be seen by people.  

Plaza Nueva

Plaza Nueva is a neoclassical square in the city center includes a colonnade with pubs, restaurants & shops.

Address : Kale Barria, 14, 48005 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

SHOPPING

Decorated in Art Deco-style, La Ribera market is not only a shopping center but also an iconic landmark of the city. This traditional market has a unique magnet that will attract tourists and locals in Bilbao, not only for shopaholics. Once you arrive in the market you will see the amazing architecture of the market. The highlight of the architecture itself is the windows with its beautiful floral decorations. You can find almost anything like souvenirs and the locals' produces. There is also a local food section in the market.

La Ribera market

Historic marketplace in Bilbao with a wide array of foods including produce, fish, meats, bread & pickles.

Address : Erribera Kalea, s/n, 48005 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

FOOD & DRINK

As a culinary paradise, of course, there are numerous authentic dishes you can try in the city. One of the local food you can try is Bacalao pil-pil. It is a codfish dish fried with garlic and olive oil. It has a crispy texture outside and tenders inside. And for the drink, you can try txakoli. It is a dry white wine with low alcohol content. This wine is only produced in Basque Country's cities.

CULTURE

As part of Basque Country, Bilbao has unique cultures and language as well as traditions from other Spanish cities. The people are Spanish nationality, but they speak in Spanish with different dialects. They also speak in Catalan, Galician, and Basque. They have several festivals of folk music events, dancing festivals, and rural sports.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

You can plan a trip to Bilbao around May, June, and September. With nice weather in Bilbao and less crowded time, you can maximize your trip to the city. August is the most crowded time to visit. You can avoid visiting the city around the time if you want to visit places in the city with fewer crowds.

HOTEL

If it's your first time traveling in Bilbao, make sure you choose the most strategic and suitable hotel to your trip itinerary. If you want to explore the old town Casco Viejo, you can choose s place to stay in the downtown area. Ganbara Hostel offers you a comfortable and affordable sharing room for traveling. It takes only 18 minutes to reach the vibrant Plaza Nueva from the hotel. This hostel has include breakfast and hot drinks during your stay here. There are also a sharing kitchen, lounge, and terrace to spend your leisure time. Buy, if you want a luxury stay in the city downtown, Hotel Tayko Bilbao may be the answer. With the view of Estuary of Bilbao, this hotel offers you a well-decored room with reasonable prices. Decored in warm tones, every room in the hotel features with a furnished balcony, speedy Wi-Fi, HD TV, minifridge, coffeemaking facilities, and sitting areas. Buffet restaurant and 24-hour gym are available in the hotel.

Ganbara Hostel

Ganbara Hostel is fun and modern accommodation, a proud member of Europe's Famous Hostels.

Address : Prim Kalea, 13- bajo, 48006 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

Hotel Tayko Bilbao

Hotel Tayko Bilbao located in the heart of the old town and facing the estuary.

Address : Erribera Kalea, 13, 48005 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

RESTAURANT

Bilbao is a paradise for foodies with more than 40 Michelin restaurants. Have a fine dining experience in the Zortziko restaurant. As one of the Michelin star restaurants in the city, this restaurant is operated by Chef Daniel García. Designed in the traditional Spanish Basque, The dining area is divided into two, the main room and private room with a 10 person capacity. Not only serving high-quality cuisine, but this restaurant also serves a wide selection of wines from all around the world. But if you want to go to the local vibe restaurant at an affordable price, Restaurante Cafeteria Pentxo can be one of your options. This restaurant offers you the authentic local vibe that will make you feel like one. With the old school interior design, you can try their delicious European dishes.

Zortziko restaurant

Zortziko restaurant located in Bilbao with wide, elegant and relaxing. Ideal for holding all kinds of events. Capacity: 52 diners.

Address : Calle Alameda Mazarredo, 17, 48001 Bilbao, BI, Spain

Restaurante Cafeteria Pentxo

The Cafeteria Pentxo Restaurant was founded in the Old Town of Bilbao to offer its customers in the cafeteria.

Address : Calle Belosticalle, 20, 48005 Bilbao, BI, Spain

CAFE

Stop by and take a rest in Bilbao's beautiful cafes. Caramel Gozotegia serves good pastries and coffees to boost up your trip day in Bilbao. This cafe will attract people from meters with the baking smells of the pastries. With warm tone interior, this cafe has a cozy and homey vibe that is good to rest. You can have a seat behind its large window and enjoy the city's busy life. But if you are craving for sweet and creamy cakes, Maikala is the answer. Located in Plaza Nuevo, this cafe will attract you with the beautifully decorated desserts that can be seen from outside. There are mini cakes and slice cakes you can choose. You can also order their delicious coffee or tea to accompany your cake.

Charamel Gozotegia

Charamel Gozotegia is an international and local pastry shop located in the Old Town of Bilbao.

Address : Jardines Kalea, 2, 48005 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

Maikala

Maikala offer you their custom-made cake service with perfect complement.

Address : Nueva Plaza, 11, 48005 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

BAR AND NIGHTLIFE

What kind of activity would you like to spend your nightlife in Bilbao? If you want to have pleasant drinking in Bilbao, Sir Winston Churchill Pub can be one of your options. With English 19th century club decoration, this restaurant has dark wood and red accents interior inside. With a good atmosphere, good music playing, and a friendly bartender, you can have a glass of tasty cocktail in the pub. But, if you are an enthusiast of theatrical performance, Teatro Arriaga is where you go. This Spanish opera is decorated in Neo-baroque style. You can book a check and book the ticket from the online website. The architecture of the building itself is something you can adore about.

Sir Winston Churchill Pub

Sir Winston Churchill Pub is an English pub located next to the Sagrado Corazón square in Bilbao.

Address : 1455 Rue Crescent, Montréal, QC H3G 2B2

Teatro Arriaga

The Arriaga theater is an emblematic building in the city of Bilbao, the gateway to the city's Old Quarter and a benchmark for the culture of the town.

Address : Arriaga Plaza, 1, 48005 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

INTERESTING PLACE

Make a list of things to do in Bilbao. Bilbao City is the best known for its art museums. No journey in Bilbao is completed without visiting its famous museums. Guggenheim Museum is a modern art museum designed by Frank Gehry. This museum displays a variety of 20th-century artworks. Situated on the bank side of the Nervion River, this museum presents the great artwork from Spanish and other international artists. There are numerous famous artworks displayed in the museum. One of the best artwork you can see in the museum is “Maman” by Louise Bourgeois. This iconic piece is placed on the outside of the museum. It is a giant spider statue made with materials of bronze, stainless steel, and also marble. This artwork was made for the artist's mother. Another art center to visit in the city is the Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao. This museum organizes artworks by the organized by letters and common themes.  As the second-largest museum of the city, this museum features numerous art pieces to enjoy including  El Greco, Cranach, Van Dyck, and many more. If you are an art enthusiast, these museums are a must-visit.

Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain.

Address : Abandoibarra Etorb., 2, 48009 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao

The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum is an art museum located in the city of Bilbao, Spain. The building of the museum is located entirely inside the city's Doña Casilda Iturrizar park.

Address : Museo Plaza, 2, 48009 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT

Picture the city beauty from Mount Artxanda peak. You can go to the observation deck Artxandako begiratokia to have the best view spot to capture the city nature and landmarks in one shot. To reach the mountain peak, you can ride on the Artxanda Funicular from the downtown. But if you want to picture the beautiful Nervion River, have a sunset time in Puente Zubizuri bridge. It is a pedestrian bridge designed in a futuristic tied-arch and curved walkway. In the sunsets, you will see the beautiful crystal clear Nervion River and the orange sky on the city side.

Artxandako begiratokia

Artxandako begiratokia is a funicular railway in the city of Bilbao in Spain's Basque Country.

Address : Enekuri Artxanda Errepidea, 70, 48015 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

Puente Zubizuri

Puente Zubizuri is a pedestrian bridge over the Nervión River with a futuristic tied-arch design & a curved walkway.

Address : Zubizuri, 48001 Bilbao, BI, Spain