Top Things To Do in Bilbao Bilbao Guide

Top Things To Do in Bilbao

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Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country, the economic capital we could say, since the administrative one is Vitoria-Gasteiz. It is located in a deep valley surrounded by green mountains and the waters of its estuary are bathed by the Cantabrian Sea. There are a lot of interesting things that the city offers, but we are going to draw up a list so you do not miss the basics.

1. Casco Viejo or Siete Calles

It is the oldest part of the city, its heart. Its narrow streets form a laby     rinth full of small stores of all life, bars, restaurants and more modern shops. It’s like a small city within the city. Do not forget to visit the Cathedral of Santiago, the Ribera market, the Plaza Nueva and the Basque Museum in the Plaza Unamuno. If what you like is good gastronomy, this is your place. Here you can taste the best pintxos and try the Txakoli (white wine from the area) or the Kalimotxo (red wine with Coca-Cola).

2. Museum of Fine Arts

No, we are not going to talk about the Guggenheim Museum because it is already well known. A few meters from our most international museum is the Fine Arts, the one of a lifetime, that although sometimes goes unnoticed, it´s great art center. The Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao, founded in 1908, and the Museum of Modern Art, opened in 1924, are integrated in this Museum. Today, it gathers, among paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings and decorative arts, more than 6,000 works, with a chronology that expands from the 12th century to the present day.


It consists of three fundamental collections:

  • Renaissance and Baroque art: El Greco, Zurbarán, Murillo, Ribera, Goya, Van Dyck, etc.
  • Contemporary Art: Gauguin, Bacon, Oteiza, Chillida, Tàpies, Barceló, etc.
  • Basque Art: Regoyos, Zuloaga, Echevarría, Iturrino, Arteta, etc.

3. Funicular

The best views of Bilbao are given by the Artxanda funicular. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century and connects the center of the city with the viewpoint of Mount Artxanda. The views are spectacular and on clear days you can see the sea from the top.

4. Bizkaia Bridge

World Heritage Site by UNESCO and inaugurated in 1893, the Bizkaia Bridge was the first metal structure ferry bridge built in the world. A marvel of the engineering of his time that would become the symbol of the whole region, since it is one of the great monuments of the Industrial Revolution. Nowadays hundreds of people continue using it to go to work or to walk and cross the estuary on its huge hanging barge. A few years ago, they opened the wooden walkway located on top of the bridge and thus enjoy views of the mouth of the Ría unbeatable.

6. A little surfing!

In Bilbao we are lucky to be able to go to the beach by metro. The beaches of Sopelana, Arrietara and Atxabiribil for example, are perfect for surfing. The views from the cliffs are beautiful and their sunsets are spectacular. Arrietara is the epicenter of surfing in this area, hosts important sporting events such as the World Bodyboard or different ASP championships. It has a half dozen clubs and three schools. The beach offers several beach break peaks. Atxabiribil is an area of beach waves that break on rocks. It hosts important sporting events such as the Projunior test of the European ASP circuit. After an intense day of surfing, there is nothing better than having a cold beer on a terrace overlooking the beach and the sunset!

Looking for a place to stay in Bilbao?

The only Hostel in Bilbao located in the centre of the Old Town in the so-called ‘Seven Streets’ district, Ganbara Hostel is the only place to stay in Bilbao.

Just 50m from the metro stop and very close to the tram, Ganbara Bilbao Hostel has a mixture of dormitory and private rooms and a massive common area and guest kitchen for you to use whenever you want to meet other travellers. From Ganbara Hostel it’s a short walk to all of the city’s famous Guggenheim Museum and the lively nightlife in the historical centre of the city. You can’t go wrong staying at Ganbara Bilbao Hostel!

Top Things To Do in Bilbao
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