Bilbao, Spain

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Bilbao, Spain

Region: Biscay (Bizkaia

Geographic Coordinates: 43.256900, -2.923600
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 30.0°C (50°F to 86°F)
Climate: Mild and rainy winters, and warm summers with occasional thunderstorms.
Population: 775000
Language: Spanish

Bilbao is a bustling city located in the northern region of Spain, Known as Basque Country. It sits on the banks of the Nervion River and is surrounded by verdant hills, Making it an idyllic spot for visitors. Over the past few decades, Bilbao has undergone a significant transformation from an industrial center to a cultural hub. Today, It is one of Spain’s most thrilling cities with its contemporary architecture, World-renowned art museums, Delectable cuisine and vibrant nightlife. The Guggenheim Museum is one of Bilbao’s most iconic landmarks.

Designed by Frank Gehry in 1997, This edifice boasts titanium cladding and hosts contemporary art exhibitions from all over the globe. Its extraordinary design has made it an emblem of modern architecture worldwide and attracts millions of visitors annually. Another must-see attraction in Bilbao is Casco Viejo (Old Town). It features narrow streets flanked by historical buildings dating back to medieval times. This area also offers excellent restaurants serving traditional Basque cuisine such as pintxos (small snacks served on bread), Fresh seafood dishes and local wines. For those who love outdoor activities, There are numerous options available in Bilbao too.

The Artxanda Funicular takes visitors up Mount Artxanda where they can relish panoramic views over the city and surrounding countryside. There are also several parks nearby including Doña Casilda Park which boasts beautiful gardens and fountains. If you’re seeking nightlife options then you won’t be disappointed with what Bilbao has to offer either! From chic cocktail bars to customary taverns serving local beer or cider known as Txakoli – there’s something for everyone here!

One popular location is Plaza Nueva which comes alive at night with its many bars and restaurants offering live music performances or DJ sets until late into the night. if you’re visiting during August then don’t miss out on Aste Nagusia (Great Week) festival. It’s a week-long celebration of Basque culture and traditions which includes street performances, Concerts, Bullfights and fireworks displays. Bilbao is a city that caters to all interests. Whether you’re fascinated by art, History, Food or nightlife – there’s plenty to keep you engaged here.

It’s no surprise that Bilbao has become one of Spain’s most popular destinations for tourists from all over the world!

Important Landmarks

  1. Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
  2. Casco Viejo (Old Town)
  3. Zubizuri Bridge
  4. Plaza Nueva
  5. San Mamés Stadium
  6. Basque Museum (Museo Vasco)
  7. Arriaga Theatre (Teatro Arriaga)
  8. Euskalduna Palace Conference Centre and Concert Hall
  9. La Salve Bridge
  10. Ribera Market (Mercado de la Ribera)

Primary Industries

Major Industries and Businesses in Bilbao, Spain

  1. Manufacturing
    • Steel
    • Machinery
    • Chemicals
  2. Port and Shipping
    • Important hub for international trade
    • Various goods passing through the port each year
  3. Tourism
    • Cultural attractions such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Casco Viejo (Old Town)
    • Increasingly popular tourist destination
  4. Technology
    • Software development
    • Digital marketing
    • E-commerce
  5. Energy
    • Electricity generation and distribution services
    • Several energy companies providing services to the region
  6. Finance
    • Several banks serving local residents and international businesses operating in Spain
  7. Retail
    • Numerous retail outlets throughout the city selling everything from fashion items to household goods
  8. Food Production
    • Renowned for its cuisine including seafood dishes like bacalao (salt cod) or pintxos (tapas-style snacks)
    • Many food production companies based in or around Bilbao

Noteable History

  1. The founding of Bilbao in the 14th century as a small fishing village.
  2. The construction of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 1997, which transformed the city into a cultural and architectural destination.
  3. The Battle of Bilbao during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, which resulted in heavy destruction and loss of life.
  4. Basque separatist movement ETA’s bombing campaign throughout the city during the 1980s and 1990s.
  5. Famous Basque painter Francisco de Goya was born near Bilbao in Fuendetodos, Aragon.
  6. Spanish explorer Juan Sebastián Elcano, who completed Ferdinand Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe after Magellan’s death, was born near Bilbao.
  7. Basque writer Miguel de Unamuno taught at the University of Deusto in Bilbao for several years before being exiled by Franco’s regime.
  8. Athletic Club de Bilbao, one of Spain’s most successful football clubs, has been based in Bilbao since its founding in 1898.
  9. The Euskalduna Shipyard played a significant role in modernizing Spain’s naval fleet during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  10. Industrialization transformed Bilbao into one of Europe’s major steel-producing centers during the late 19th century and early 20th centuries.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Guggenheim Museum Bilbao: This museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts because of its impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.
  2. Casco Viejo: The historical Old Town of Bilbao boasts charming narrow streets, picturesque squares, and beautiful architecture.
  3. Euskalduna Palace: This concert hall and conference center hosts various cultural events throughout the year, offering stunning views.
  4. Zubizuri Bridge: Designed by Santiago Calatrava, this pedestrian bridge offers breathtaking views of the Nervión River and city skyline.
  5. Basque Museum (Museo Vasco): Learn about Basque culture and history at this fascinating museum located in Bilbao’s Old Town.
  6. San Mamés Stadium: Athletic Bilbao football club’s home stadium offers guided tours that allow visitors to explore behind-the-scenes areas such as locker rooms and press rooms.
  7. Arriaga Theatre (Teatro Arriaga): Opera, ballet, theater performances, concerts are hosted at this historic theatre throughout the year.
  8. La Salve Bridge: La Salve Bridge is another impressive bridge spanning the Nervión River in Bilbao that looks especially striking when lit up at night!
  9. Fine Arts Museum (Museo de Bellas Artes): Located near Doña Casilda Park in central Bilbao, this museum houses an extensive collection of Spanish art from medieval times through to contemporary works.
  10. Plaza Nueva: One of Bilbao’s most popular public squares features beautiful neoclassical architecture surrounding a lively market area full of bars and restaurants serving pintxos (Basque tapas).

Sports Teams

  1. Athletic Club Bilbao is a renowned sports team in Bilbao, Spain. It was established in 1898 and has a remarkable track record of triumphs, securing several domestic and international titles. The club’s distinct policy is to hire players who hail from the Basque Country.
  2. SD Eibar is another significant sports team in Bilbao that was founded in 1940. Although it had an unimpressive history until recently, it made its way to La Liga for the first time.
  3. Bilbao Basket represents the city’s basketball squad and came into being in 2000. They have accomplished some notable feats over the years, including clinching the Spanish Cup championship in 2010.
  4. Lastly, there exists Athletic Club Femenino- a women’s football team that competes at an elevated level within Spain. They have secured multiple domestic titles while also being runners-up on several occasions.

Cultural Events

  1. Aste Nagusia: This is the biggest festival in Bilbao and takes place in August. It includes parades, music concerts, fireworks, and traditional Basque sports.
  2. Bilbao BBK Live: This is a three-day music festival that takes place in July and features international artists from various genres.
  3. Semana Grande: This festival takes place in August and includes cultural events such as dance performances, theater shows, and street performances.
  4. Zinegoak LGBT Film Festival: This film festival celebrates LGBT culture and diversity through screenings of films from around the world.
  5. Festival Internacional de Títeres de Bilbao: This puppetry festival takes place in November and showcases puppet shows from local and international performers.
  6. Bilboko Kalealdia Street Theatre Festival: This outdoor theater festival features performers from all over Spain who come to showcase their talents on the streets of Bilbao.
  7. Basque Culinary Center Gastronomika: This food festival celebrates Basque cuisine with cooking demonstrations, tastings, workshops, and lectures by renowned chefs from around the world.
  8. Santo Tomas Fair: Held on December 21st each year this is a traditional fair where farmers bring their produce to sell at stalls set up along the streets of Bilbao’s Old Town district.


  1. Pintxos: small bites of food typically served on a slice of bread or skewer. Some popular pintxos bars in Bilbao include Bar El Globo, Bar Txakoli, and Café Iruña.
  2. Bacalao al Pil-Pil: a dish made with salt cod cooked in olive oil and garlic. It is a staple dish in many Basque restaurants, including Restaurante Gure Toki and Restaurante Mina.
  3. Chuletón: a large rib-eye steak grilled over an open flame. This dish can be found at many traditional Basque grills like Asador Etxebarri and Restaurante Boroa Jatetxea.
  4. Txakoli wine: a light, slightly sparkling white wine that is produced locally in the Basque Country. Some wineries that offer tastings include Bodega Berroja and Bodegas Itsasmendi.
  5. La Viña cheesecake: a creamy dessert made with cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and flour that originated from the La Viña bar in San Sebastian but can also be found at various bakeries around Bilbao such as Pasteleria Don Manuel.
  6. Arroz con almejas: rice cooked with clams is another popular seafood dish served at many local restaurants like Restaurante El Puertito or Casa Rufo.
  7. Marmitako: fish stew made with potatoes, onions, peppers and tuna which can be enjoyed at places such as Café Iruña or Gure Toki restaurant.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Parque de Doña Casilda Iturrizar is a large public park that boasts beautiful gardens, fountains, and a serene lake.
  2. Monte Artxanda is a hill that overlooks the city and offers panoramic views of Bilbao. Hiking trails are available for those who want to explore the natural beauty of the area.
  3. Etxebarria Park is a historic park with stunning gardens, sculptures, and playgrounds for children to enjoy.
  4. Bilbao Exhibition Centre is an excellent venue for trade shows, concerts, and other events that take place throughout the year.
  5. Abandoibarra Park is located on the waterfront and offers walking paths with stunning views of the Guggenheim Museum.
  6. Zubizuri Bridge is an impressive pedestrian bridge over Nervion River that provides breathtaking views of Bilbao’s skyline.
  7. La Salve Bridge is another popular bridge over Nervion River where visitors can experience bungee jumping if they dare!
  8. Visitors to Bilbao can tour local vineyards in surrounding areas like Getaria or Bakio beach town where they can taste Txakoli wine which Basque Country is known for producing.
  9. Surfing enthusiasts will love Sopelana beach or Mundaka surf reserve where they can catch some waves while enjoying scenic views of the ocean.
  10. Basque gastronomy tours around pintxos bars in Bilbao’s Old Town (Casco Viejo) are perfect for food lovers who want to experience traditional Basque cuisine at its finest!


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