Things to do in Bilbao
The Basque city of Bilbao has become a vital hub of art, architecture and design and is home to many museums, galleries and architectural wonders. But the city is not only a work of art to view, but it also has a beach for a beautiful day of relaxation, lovely terraces, tapas restaurants and a charming city centre. I have listed the best things to do in Bilbao for you!
The Guggenheim Museum
If there is one thing you should not miss in Bilbao, it is the Guggenheim museum. Even if only to see the outside of the museum. The architecture of the building is exceptional, and the big spider and the flower dog are also worth a photo. You have the best view of the museum from the high La Salve bridge. Besides, it is, of course too lovely to visit the museum. The exhibitions on the ground floor are a highlight, and the museum offers Dutch-language audio tours.
A wonderful day. BEACH!
The beach! The perfect activity for a nice quiet (and free) day of lazing. Bilbao has many beaches. You even have different types of beaches, for the adventurer, you have Playa de Arrigunaga, for the whole family there is Playa de Ereaga, and for those who just want to sunbathe there is Playa de Plentzia. Something for everyone. A perfect “relax day” after a day of exploring the city.
Stroll the streets of the Casco Viejo
Known as the Casco Viejo, Bilbao’s Old Town is an exciting place to explore, full of narrow winding streets, colourful architecture and an excellent selection of shops and bars. Some of the top attractions in the old town include the Catedral de Santiago de Bilbao, the Archaeological Museum, the Plaza Nueva and the San Nicolás and San Antón churches.
Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro
A journey through Spanish history! The former monastery opened its doors to the public in 1995. In the museum, several rooms are divided into different eras, from the Middle Ages to the present. The halls contain many sacred images, paintings, clothing and jewellery from that time. It is worth a visit here.
View from the Artxanda mountain
For a beautiful view of Bilbao, take the tram that runs on the Artxanda mountain. You will find the tram stop in the Matiko district, near the Zubizuri bridge. A ride up the hill costs a few euros and you have a fantastic panorama over the city.
The beautiful theatre “Teatro Arriaga”, which is named after the Spanish composer Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga, was built at the end of the nineteenth century. This composer was nicknamed “Spanish Mozart”. The building has regularly suffered from fires and floods. Nevertheless, they succeeded in refurbishing it as authentically as possible. Inside you still experience the great allure that you can expect from such a historic theatre.
The seat of government is located in the stunning Palacio Chávarri building, on Moyúa square. Although it looks like an ancient building from the time of the Renaissance, it was built in the early twentieth century. The maker of the painting “Samson and Delila”, which hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao, is also responsible for the decoration of some rooms in this palace.
Bilbao’s historic city hall (Ayuntamiento) is located on Plaza Ernesto Erkoreka. The architectural style is eclectic, which means that different techniques have been used. Beautiful details such as beautifully shaped statues, a cute clock tower and an exceptional interior, including an Arab space.
Perhaps even more fun than the cable car: a ride on the suspension bridge. The El Puente Bizkaia bridge renamed Vizcaya Bridge in Dutch, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and became known as the world’s first suspension bridge. It is precisely where the river meets the sea and connects the places Portugalete and Las Arenas across the Nervión. If you look at the bridge, you may see something familiar, something reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. It is possible because the maker of the bridge, Alberto de Palacio, was a student of the Frenchman Gustave Eiffel.
Mirador de Artxanda
They always say that from a height, you only see the real beauty of a city. True or false, you are sure to experience Bilbao at its best from the El Mirador de Artxanda viewpoint. You can drive, hike or catch the funicular (funicular) that departs from la Plaza del Funicular, not far from the beautiful bridge Puente Zubiri. Without a doubt, one of the best things to do with your child when you are in Bilbao.
Mercado de la Ribera
The more than ten thousand square meters covered market “Mercado de la Ribera” in Bilbao is home to everything that is thought to belong in a market. Due to its unique location, right in the heart of the centre and on the water, it attracts thousands of daily visitors. Do not forget to pay attention to the beautiful stained glass windows during a visit.
If you go to the north of Spain, you have to try the famous pintxos – a kind of snack – the ham, cheese, vegetables, sauces and tortilla de patatas are displayed on the bars of the many restaurants. In any case, you should take a look at the Plaza Neuva square and settle down on one of the lovely terraces, such as the one in Café Bar Bilbao. Do you want to bet that your child will also love those mini treats?