How to spend a day in beautiful Bilbao, Spain

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First of all, I would like to mention that this blog post about Bilbao should have been published right after my post about San Sebastian. But the only thing that just can’t happen to a travel blogger, happened: I lost my memory card with all the pictures! After looking for it for weeks and calling all hotels we have stayed at during our road trip, I found it… under my bed… Ups… But better late than never, right?

During our time in San Sebastian we decided to head to Bilbao for a day. It’s just an hour by car and well worth a visit. The city is very clean, pretty and perfect in size to explore by foot. I believe that one day here is enough to get a taste of city life in the Basque Country and if you follow this one day guide you will get around pretty well.

9.30 a.m. – Trimmer

Start the day with breakfast at the concept store Trimmer. Inside the store there is a little cafe and three tables on the pavement. They serve toasted bread with avocado, fresh orange juice and coffee. You will sit by men in suits as well as chattering girls.
After breakfast you should go explore the store. They have a well assorted selection of clothes, shoes, accessories and some home decor. I left with a special edition of Converse sneakers. The place is owned by a couple and we had the chance to meet the lady, who was super sweet.

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Visit the website here

Location: Colón de Larreátegui Kalea 35

10.30 a.m. – Guggenheim

No trip to Bilbao without a visit to the stunning Guggenheim museum. The museum is designed by Frank Gehry and opened back in 1997. It is a spectacular piece of art made of titanium, glass, and limestone. The building is quite amazing from the outside, so take your time to walk around it and enjoy it from every angle. The exhibitions change, so check their website beforehand if you have any special interests. We went for the architecture and not the art and it was definitely worth it!

TIP: Buy the tickets in advance and save waiting time in the queue

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Visit the website here

Location: Avenida Abandoibarra 2

1.30 p.m. – La Viña del Ensanche

After a morning at the Guggenheim and wandering around the building it’s time for lunch. At La Viña del Ensanche you will get a local experience and some quality food for a reasonable amount of money. They have a tasting menu for 30 €, where you get five dishes. Like at Trimmer, you will be surrounded by locals and really get into the Spanish way of living, where food is a central point of the culture.

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Visit the website here

Location: Calle Diputación 10

3 p.m. – Discover the metro stations

Norman Foster designed the metro stations in Bilbao back in 1995. At that time they were one of a kind and brought natural daylight down into the usual dark metro stations. Coming from Copenhagen, where we have a new metro system (only 10 years old) with bright metro stations, it wasn’t such a big deal seeing the ones in Bilbao. But for people coming straight from the dark and crowded London Tube, I believe that these stations will impress.

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Location: Around the city – the ones on the picture were snapped on Plaza de Don Federico Moyúa.

3.30 p.m. – The Zubizuri bridge

Head down to the river to see the Zubizuri bridge designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava (the man behind The Turning Torso in Malmø, The City of Science in Valencia and Brookfield Place in Toronto, just to mention a few of his works). It is inspired by a boat and beautifully floats over the river connecting the two neighbourhoods. Pass it and walk along the canal to the old town.

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4 p.m. – The Old Town

Spend the rest of the day in the old town. There are lots of beautiful little streets, squares and shops to keep one entertained for hours. Buy in icecream an enjoy the lively atmosphere on the main square.

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7  p.m – Baster

For a light dinner, head to Baster for some tapas. It is located in the heart of the old town and the perfect place to end the day in Bilbao.

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Visit the website of Baster here

Location: C/Correo 22

End of the day and time to drive back to San Sebastian or wherever you are staying 🙂

– Christina

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