A boat motors under the Zubizuri or 'White Bridge', Bilbao, Spain

9 excuses to be lured to Bilbao, Spain

In Europe, Featured, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Spain, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

You’ll wonder why you never visited sooner

Bilbao is one of those cities that may often get overlooked due to it having a large port, and your immediate reaction might be, “what does it have to offer?”

One Louise Bourgeois's Maman Sculptures outside the Guggenheim  , Bilbao, Spain

I must admit I thought the same, until Gary and I gave this Basque beauty a chance, and now I wouldn’t hesitate in returning again.

This is what we loved about Bilbao, and I’m sure you will do too.

A helpful guide

I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books.  I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used this version of the book to plan the northern part of our Spanish road trips.


Casco Viejo

The Casco Viejo is the old Medieval part of the city and was originally walled.

The narrow streets of ‘Las Siete Calles’ the historical ‘Seven Streets’, draw you in and you are unable to resist in discovering further.

'Las Siete Calles' or the historical 'Seven Streets', Bilbao, Spain
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The Guggenheim

The iconic Guggenheim museum is so synonymous with Bilbao that this really is one to be ticked off of your list.

It’s located along the Nervion River and was opened in 1997 by Juan Carlos I of Spain.

The sculptures and pieces of art that are on display outside of the museum are worth seeing on their own.

The Guggenheim looks great from so many angles, Bilbao, Spain

Why not?

Start creating your own Spanish adventure and discover the colourful city of Bilbao yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.


Strolling the River Nervion

A boat motors under the Zubizuri or 'White Bridge', Bilbao, Spain

Just the simple things about taking a stroll along a river are usually enjoyable, and in Bilbao, the Nervion River was really pleasant. The banks have been made family friendly, so it encourages all ages to go for a wander.
Or even just sit watching the world go by.


Visit an old-style cafe

Inside Café Iruña, Bilbao, Spain

Now becoming a bit few and far between are the old-style cafes/bar in Bilbao. Café Iruna established in 1903 is one to search out, with its lovely traditional wall tiles and its excellent selection of pintxos.


Mercado de la Ribera

Inside the Mercado, Bilbao, Spain

Surely everyone loves visiting a local food market, and the one in Bilbao is the largest covered market in Europe.
Originally built in 1929 not only is Mercado de la Ribera full of local produce to conjure up meals for yourself, but it also has some fantastic cafés & bars.

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Tempted to?

Discover more of historic Spain and its picturesque countryside or even visit the windmills on the plains of La Mancha. You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.


Plaza Nueva

Plaza Nueva, Bilbao, Spain

While wandering the ancient lanes of Casco Viejo, you need to search out Plaza Nueva. I just didn’t expect to find a plaza of this size, off such narrow streets. It was amazing wandering through an archway and being greeted by the neoclassical square, encircled by an arcade with little shops and bars.


Elegant Architecture

Beautiful architecture abounds in Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao has some really eye-catching architecture, the Art Deco and Art Nouveau buildings that line the bustling streets are fantastic. They have been so well preserved and are a credit to the city.



Pintxos at the Mercado, Bilbao, Spain

Now as you may know Bilbao is in the Basque region of Spain and here the word ‘tapas’ is not used too often. The wonderful culinary delights that are offered here are ‘pintxos’, and boy they know how to produce some tasty ones.
Some of the best we have tried..



Kalimotxo or Calimocho - red wine & coke, Bilbao, Spain

Kali what? I hear you cry……well its Kalimotxo in the Basque region, however, in other parts of Spain it is known as Calimocho. We first tried it in Bilbao it is red wine & coke, with ice.  

Now I know this sounds odd but don’t mock it until you have tried it, it is actually very refreshing & tasty.

On a summer's day back home we love a Kalimotxo

Kalimotxo or Calimocho - red wine & coke, Bilbao, Spain

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Have You?

Visited a town that you really didn’t expect to be so captivating?

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9 excuses to be lured to Bilbao, Spain

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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