Last year we spent our summer holidays in northern Spain. We rented a room in Bilbao for one week via airbnb. This city is not a typical tourist destination but sure has a lot to offer. From hipster cafés, design bars, traditional pubs with huge selection of pintxos (basque version of tapas) to famous Guggenheim museum (second one you can visit in NYC). You can get easily to the beautiful beach by underground which is pretty awesome (can we get that in Prague please? 🙂 ). We spent in the city 4 days which was enough to see everything (sure I can imagine to spend there more time, especially on that beach), other 3 days we were traveling around with rental car. We visited some really amazing places, but those I will cover in next blog post.
I would like to share with you few tips what to do in Bilbao:
If you are a fan of modern art you can not miss the visit of the Guggenheim museum. Admission is 13 Eur and you will need around 3 hours to see everything. I am not so much into museums and art so I can not judge if the art collections are “worthy” 🙂 Anyway the building is really impressive inside out.
Mercado de la Ribera
Do you enjoy shopping at farmer’s markets? If so I can really recommend you local market hall which is apparently the biggest one (covered) in Europe. There are modern style stalls offering local products like fishes, seafood, meat, mushrooms, veggies and fruits in the first floor. On the ground floor you can find cafe, bars and several food stands. As the market hall was near our airbnb place we came there few times to have a breakfast. Interior is really beautiful and not usual for a market hall.
You will find pintxos anywhere and anytime. It is a finger food you probably know as tapas. My favourite one is definitely “tortilla de patatas” (kind of egg omelette but higher with thin slices of fried potatoes or vegetables and cheese). One piece of pintxos costs usually around 2 Eur. Instead of usual lunch/dinner in the restaurant we were often going to typical bars and ate few pieces of pintxos. It was really delicious – especially paired with tasty spanish wine 🙂 We really liked bars “El Globo” and “Café Iruña”
We visited Bilbao at the end of August, when there is every year huge festival called “The Aste Nagusia” Each night there were fireworks and parties in the streets. Riverside was lined with various decorated tents with drinks and snacks.
Although Bilbao is not one of the prettiest cities it has really great atmosphere and I would not mind to visit this city again in the future. Did you ever been there? How was your impression? Let me know in comments 🙂