Bilbao

Bilbao

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About Bilbao

Art aficionados metropolitan paradise

Home to the internationally renowned Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao is now a major European centre of art to which thousands of regular sightseers and art aficionados alike flock every year. As a result this picturesque Basque city is well provisioned with an outstanding range of hotels, stylish stores and a hectic social calendar.

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Hotel deals to Bilbao

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City break deals to Bilbao

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Bilbao offers a large range of hotels, and is well-equipped when it comes to high-end options. Offering views of the majestic Guggenheim from its rooftop terrace, the Silken Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao (Alameda de Mazarredo 61) is a gorgeous choice, as is the superb Meliá Bilbao Hotel (Lehendakari Leizaola 29). A step down to the four-star offerings sees the elegant Sercotel Coliseo Hotel (Alameda de Urquijo 13) come into play, which is found in Bilbao’s former opera house, while Sirimiri (Plaza de la Encarnación 3) is located in the Old Town and suited to the lower budget.

Gran Via is Bilbao’s main shopping street, offering plenty of high-street brands, big names and the imposing El Corte Inglés (Gran Vía 20), a 10-floor department store that sells clothing, homeware, accessories and much more. Explore the surrounding streets to discover a range of interesting smaller shops, including stylish jewellers Sa’d Joyas (Elcano 11). Head to the historic quarter and Casco Viejo to shop a selection of independent boutiques that reside alongside large high-street names. For jamón ibérico and Basque idiazábal make for historic delicatessen Víctor Montes (Nueva Plaza 8), perhaps even stopping there for a spot of lunch.

If you’re looking for tapas then the Basque version is called ‘pintxos’, with most locals tending to sit down and enjoy an evening meal between 7pm and 9pm. Café Iruna (Calle Berastegui 5) comes highly recommended, as does the restaurant-deli Victor Montes (Nueva Plaza 8). The Basque cuisine is full of distinctive dishes, many of which are based around seafood, and chef Daniel Garcia’s Michelin-starred Zortziko (Calle Alameda Mazarredo 17) offers a menu that celebrates the style of cooking. In the lower price range La Deliciosa (Jardines Kalea 1) is worth a visit, although with most restaurants it is advisable to make a reservation as places do get booked up.

Semana Santa

March-April

Bands of drummers and trumpeters complement the solemn parades and re-enactments of Christ’s final days that mark Holy Week in Bilbao, while the nearby fishing village of Zumaia holds a questionable bull running event.

Bilbao BBK Live

July

A number of stellar bands have performed at Bilbao’s answer to Glastonbury in the past, including Kings of Leon, Depeche Mode and Green Day. Those preferring to immerse themselves in music drenched in sunshine rather than rain will enjoy this three-day festival.

Aste Nagusia

August

‘Big Week’ attracts huge crowds and sees Bilbao throw 10 days of festivals and cultural events throughout the city. Expect traditional music, dancing, concerts, boat races, sporting events and plenty of fireworks.

Festival Internacional de Títeres

November

This renowned storytelling festival showcases local traditions and beautifully made puppets as performers and spectators come to Bilbao from all over the world.

Useful Information

Key facts

Language:Spanish
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:3 hours 10 mins
Airport code:BIO
Holiday type:City Break / Summer Sun

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