The Basque city of Bilbao is a spellbinding capital of art, design and gastronomy. With one of the world’s finest buildings - the Guggenheim - at its heart, Bilbao dazzles with style and energy, boasts a unique identity and speaks Europe’s oldest and most enigmatic language.

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A Walk Along the River

From the ultra-modern Conference Centre and Concert Hall Palacio Euskalduna Jauregia, walk East along the riverbank, which is filled with beautiful sculptures and some very impressive modern architecture. You will pass the Guggenheim and Santiago Calatrava’s stunning Zubi Zuri Footbridge, which spans the Nervión between the Guggenheim and the Ayuntamiento.

Euskal Museoa - Basque Museum

The Museum of Basque Archaeology, Ethnography and History is a cosy little museum in Plaza Unamuno, at the heart of the Old Town. This is a great place to visit on a rainy day before or after an aperitif of pintxos and drinks in the nearby bars of Casco Viejo. Learn about the ins and outs of Basque history, culture and language in this three-storey museum and let yourself in for a journey from the Paleolithic to the present day. Most of the signs are in Basque and Spanish, although rooms have leaflets in English with translations of some of the signage.


Bermeo is one of the finest restaurants in Bilbao, popular with the great and the good of Basque society, from politicians to artists. Enjoy classical Basque dishes, such as fresh thistles sautéed with ham or partridge with glazed shallots; dessert of truffle figs is simply divine.

Ercilla Kalea 37-39, Bilbao
Guggenheim Bilbao

For a slightly less expensive taste of Martin Berasategui’s new Basque cuisine, head to his restaurant at the Guggenheim Museum. The menu includes some real gems like tempura hake with sautéed mange-touts and Biscay cheese. It's not possible to order one dish at the restaurant, but you'll pick a menu which consists of a traditional starter, main dish and a dessert or pintxo's. All the more fun, now you can choose from dishes that you are unfamiliar with.

Abandoibarra Etorbidea 2, Bilbao
Mercado de la Ribera

Located in the centre of the old town are the impressive halls of Mercado de la Ribera. Dating back to the 1930s, this building is a meeting point for food lovers. The area is buzzing during the mornings, and you can get nearly any local product you can think of. It was distinguished by the Guinness Book of Records in 1990 as being the largest food market in all of Europe. It may not be the largest in Europe anymore, but it's still an extremely impressive building.

Erribera Kalea, Bilbao

This is an upmarket shopping mall where you will find exclusive designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Massimo Dutti, and Antonio Miró. There are currently more than 50 shops, a cinema, supermarket and restaurants. Zubiarte is located near the Guggenheim and the Iberdrola Tower, which is right in the city centre. Here you can shop everything from clothing to accessories, electronics and interior design items.

Lehendakari Leizaola 2, Bilbao


Spain can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travellers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.


Bilbao Airport is located 6 miles (9,6 kilometres) northwest of the city. BizkaiBus A3247 departs from outside the main terminal to Plaza Moyua and Gran Vía (central Bilbao) every 30 minutes from 06.15 to 00.00. The journey takes around 30 minutes. Taxis from the airport to and from the centre of town can be hired easily.

Bilbao Airport, Bilbao