A guide to Bilbao

Today’s post ventures away from our usual North American destinations and takes us all the way to Bilbao, Spain…

Bilbao is the capital city of Spain’s Basque Country region and is famous for its rich history and magnificent architecture. Here are some of the most exciting things to see and do while visiting Bilbao.

Casco Viejo 

Also known as the Old Quarter, this is one of the most atmospheric sections of the city and features historical landmarks such as the enchanting 64 Graceful Arches as well as excellent shopping and dining opportunities. The 16th century Basilica de Begona can also be found in Casco Viejo and boasts an illuminated image of the Virgin Mary as well as enormous paintings that were created by Luca Giordano.

Guggenheim Museum 

This is one of the most popular and impressive museums in the whole of Bilbao and it is located inside a stunning building that was designed by Frank O Gehry. The Guggenheim Museum can be found close to the enchanting Puente de la Salve Bridge and features a prominent collection of 20th century art created by artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Young Basque and Robert Motherwell.

Sunday Flea Market 

People who like to shop until they drop are sure to enjoy browsing for bargains in this vibrant market. The Sunday Flea Market is held each week from 08:00 and can be found in Casco Viejo. Just about everything imaginable from antiques to tapas can be found at the Sunday Flea Market and the area is pedestrianised while the market is held.

Bilbao BBK Festival 

Music lovers will not want to miss this vibrant festival, which usually takes place in the month of July. The Bilbao BBK Festival attractions famous musical acts from all over Europe and previous line ups have included the Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand and the Prodigy.

Mid-August Festival 

This is the perfect time to visit Bilbao, as the city really comes alive at this time of year. Visitors will be able to enjoy a large number of free song and dance performances as they wander through the streets of Bilbao and one of the most popular pastimes during the Mid-August Festival is wandering from bar to bar to enjoy special offers on food and drink and catch up with friends along the way.


The Casco Viejo section of the city features an excellent range of nightlife options to choose from including cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs and pubs. Most vibrant venues in the city heat up at 22:00 or later and remain open until the early hours of the morning. Many venues provide visitors with stunning views of the Nervion Estuary and offer a wide range of treats from cool cocktails to beers and tapas.

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