What to do in Bilbao

If you haven’t visited Bilbao yet, you will certainly be surprised. In addition to being the largest city in the Basque Country, Bilbao impresses with its architectural richness, artistic atmosphere, and lively gastronomic offer.

Here are some suggestions of what you can do, see and experience in this avant-garde city.

Visit the City Hall of Bilbao – This baroque-style building is incredibly beautiful and, if you visit its interiors, you will be dazzled by the exquisite rooms, such as the Arab Room with its neo-Mudejar decoration.

Take the red cable car to the Mount Artxanda Viewpoint – From the Town Hall, take the Artxanda funicular stop to reach the viewpoint of Mount Artxanda, where you can enjoy the best panoramic views of Bilbao and its surroundings.

Stroll on the Zubizuri Pedestrian Bridge – This pedestrian bridge, completed in 1997, features a glass brick walkway and an elegant white arch (hence the name Zubizuri, which translates to “White Bridge” in Basque).

Spot and photograph the Salve Bridge – The Salve Bridge, which leads to the Guggenheim Museum, was built in the 70s and has an emblematic red arch that captivates photographers.

And then visit the Guggenheim Museum – After crossing the Salve Bridge, you’ll come to the sparkling Guggenheim Museum, inspired by fish scales and ship shapes. This building, made of titanium tiles, has become one of the city’s most famous attractions, in part due to its iconic design. Nearby, you can also admire some works of art worth admiring.

Go to the Abando Train Station – The Bilbao-Abando train station amazes its users and visitors with its stunning stained-glass windows relating to the city’s history.

Visit the Museum of Fine Arts – The Museo Bellas Artes, open since 1914, has one of the best collections of fine art in the Basque Country, with pieces ranging from Gothic sculptures to pop art. The work is divided into three sections: classical art, contemporary art and Basque art. Artists on display include Paul Gauguin, Francisco de Goya, El Greco, Francis Bacon, and Eduardo Chillida.

Enjoy the Doña Casilda Iturrizar Park – Relax in this pleasant, romantic French-style garden, which includes paths lined with trees, sculptures and fountains.

Visit the Basilica de Begoña – This must-visit 16th-century basilica rises above the historic center of Bilbao and is surrounded by mountains.

Go to Plaza Miguel Unamuno – On your visit to the historic center, delight in the colorful Plaza Miguel Unamuno, where you can find several pleasant terraces.

Explore the historic center of Bilbao – The streets, squares, cathedrals, centuries-old bridges, shops and cafés, full of charm and character, will be the highlight of your stay in Bilbao.

Go to the district of La Vieja – If you cross the San Antón bridge, you can visit this place of alternative shops, street art, art galleries and restaurants.

Have lunch at Mercado de la Ribera – Located on the site of the old city market, which dates back to the 14th century, it is currently one of the largest covered markets in Europe, where you can buy a wide range of local products and enjoy the wonderful Basque cuisine.

Visit Plaza Nueva – This square surrounded by neoclassical buildings offers several restaurants and cafés with terraces, as well as being often the stage for shows, fairs and a weekly market, on Sundays, where you can buy second-hand items and antiques.

Visit Teatro Arriaga – With an impressive neo-baroque outside, it offers a program of concerts, shows and plays that is worth checking out. You can also join one of the guided tours that take place during the weekend and take visitors behind the scenes.

Did you feel like visiting Bilbao? From July to September, we offer direct flights once a week, on Saturdays, between Ponta Delgada (Azores) and Bilbao. Book your flights now!

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