5 Reasons to Visit Bilbao

Other | Thursday 7th November 2013 | Linh

Those who plan to visit Spain often overlook Bilbao, located right at the north, and instead, go for major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. However, Bilbao offers to the world some of the greatest landmarks and museums, such as the Guggenheim, famous for both for its content and architectural structure, and the Museo de Bellas Artes, home to artists such as Francis Bacon and Anthony Caro. Bilbao belongs to the Basque Country, an autonomous community which consists of other cities alike. Although situated in Spain, Bilbao and other Basque cities have their own culture and cuisine separate from the Spanish. Aside from being a hub for the circulation of art and culture, Bilbao bestows upon the world some other exciting discoveries:

1. Mercado De La Ribera Market       

This indoor food market by the river is one of the biggest in Europe, covering 10,000 square metres, and a must see for lovers of cuisine. But it isn’t just delicious food that makes La Ribera so enticing, but the building in which it resides. The architecture is of an art-deco style, eclectic and illuminating, mainly due to the sunlight which enters in from above. If you’re looking for both taste and aesthetics, then check this out.

2. Architecture

When we talk of Bilbao, the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, the architecture. There are the obvious ones mentioned above, but get your camera ready for these gems. Across the Nervion River is the Zubizuri Bridge, iconic for its white and modern design. And you can’t miss the Iberdrola Tower, the tallest skyscraper in the city, which towers up to 165 metres. Finally, there’s the bandstand in the Parque del Arenal, arguably the park’s most attractive sight, which tends to hold concerts every Sunday.

3. Semana Grande Festival

Bilbao’s main festival attracts over 100,000 people a year and lasts for 9 days. The festival has been celebrated since 1978, and begins on a Saturday of the 3rd week of August. Thousands of people huddle on the street for fireworks display, music, cultural activities, shopping, and general good atmosphere. This one is definitely for the family.

4. The Nervion River

This river, also known as the Estuary of Bilbao, is perfect for those who like the outdoor. The sight itself is beautiful, and the water is resplendent beneath the sun. But the river also serves as a guide for getting around. Many of Bilbao’s famous museums are located along the Nervion, including the Guggenheim. There’s also a museum dedicated to it, called the Estuary of Bilbao Maritime Museum. And of course, it’s perfect for a stroll.

5. The Basque Coast

Appreciated for its sandy beaches and spectacular rock formation, the Basque Coast is the place to go for sun, sand and sea. The coast is also home to other cities such as Mundaka, San Sebastián (only an hour away,) and the wine county of La Rioja. The coast connects those who live in the Basque Country, from fishing, surfing and eating out, to golfing, cycling and dune visits. Always, those who visit the coast are greeted by strong communal spirit.



Linh Nguyen