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