Top 10 best things to do in Bilbao


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Bilbao is a city in Spain, surrounded by amazing green mountains and in a chilled out environment. Unlike other major Spanish cities, Bilbao is much quieter, though it is still a very vibrant city in terms of culture and tourist attractions. The city is the capital of the Baroque area of Spain and has such amazing things to do and experiences. 

Here are ten interesting things to do in the beautiful Bilbao!

1. Guggenheim Museum 

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The Guggenheim Museum is probably the first thing that you will notice when you get to the city. It is an amazing piece of art in itself and one of the most visited places in the city! Frank Gehry is the man behind the spectacular design of the museum which was constructed in 1993 and opened its doors in 1997. Get an amazing view of some of the most spectacular paintings lining the walls illuminated by light let in by massive windows. There are many other collections showcased in tens of galleries around the museum. Do not forget to take a photo with Puppy, the dog made of flowers by Jeff Koons. 

2. Plaza Nueva

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In the middle of Casco Viejo is the Plaza Nueva, a site with a great and amazing history. The square has a neocolonial feel and was built in 1821. It has arches that act as an entrance to arched buildings. The Biscay Government was housed here but when the palace was built at the end of the 19th century, the plaza became the home to the Basque Language Royal Academy among other offices. Now, you can have access to restaurants, bars, and shops where you can buy souvenirs, and of course, take good photos! 

3. Catedral de Santiago

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If there is something very outstanding about Europe, it has to be the spectacular churches! In every city that you visit, there have to be one or a few churches whose designs ad beauty will blow your mind. The Catedral de Santiago is in the middle of the Old Town part of the city so one cannot miss it. It was built in the 19th century in the Neo-Gothic Style to replace the church that was destroyed by fire and was built in the 16th century. The interiors of the church are spectacular, with arches, vaulted ceilings and the design incorporates the original 16th Century shrine so it has an amazing history!

4. Relax at the Doña Casilda de Iturrizar Park

This is set in a very serene environment, complete with palm trees and a small lake and walkways is a perfect way to catch a break from the busyness of the city! Take a walk, enjoy nature, have a picnic, read a book, and take some good photographs in this amazing park! You can also feed ducks at the lake, enjoy some rowing, enjoy music, merry go round, and a whole lot more. If you have children, this will be the perfect place to take them to run around!

5. Visit the Marítimo Ría de Bilbao Museum

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This is a very unique museum! Not like most other museums. First, it showcases maritime items collected over the years, secondly, its placement, and construction is conspicuously unique, as it is in a former shipyard. It has outdoor exhibitions of restored ships and an indoor exhibition mostly full of history of the maritime activity in the area, and the people whose jobs involved maritime activity! Very interesting!

6. De la Ribera Market

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One of the best ways to enjoy a place is to visit its markets. It gives you a chance to mingle with the locals and savor local cuisines as well as pick a souvenir or two out of the usual ‘touristy’ places! This market is very beautiful, and is the biggest indoor marketplace in the whole of Europe, covering 10, 000 square meters! Wow! Merchants and stalls sell many kinds of things for one to choose from and are also decorated very well. 

7. Take a Cable Car ride

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Want to view the town of Bilbao from the top of the mountain? If you don’t like hiking, do not worry, because, for only three minutes, you get to enjoy a ride to the top of Mount Artxanda, and when you are up there, you get a spectacular view of the Bilbao! The cable car, which was built in 1915 is picked from the Plaza del Funicular every fifteen minutes and once up there, you can stroll and enjoy the mountains as well as take photos and just enjoy the view of the town. It is a sight to behold.

8. Visit the Gaztelugatxe

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Some sun and sand are very important. If you fancy a road trip, the Gaztelugatxe is a short distance from the city of Bilbao. The island dates back to the 9th century and is accessible by a brick bridge; which in itself is accessible by stairs- not very many of them, just about a hundred. A few things stand out about the island; people ring a bell and make a wish three times once on the island, and some scenes from the famous Game of Thrones were shot here! The Bay of Biscay is simply spectacular. 

9. Food!

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You have to try local food in every place you visit. It is part of the adventure, and in Bilbao, some restaurants and foods stand out! The city’s pintxo bars are amazing. You will find bread topped with chorizos, ham, cheese, and anchovies; explore restaurants which serve Basque-style food, a true reflection of Bilbao, you must try seafood like cod, and also try some cake and tart famously known as pastel Vasco at Pasteleria Don Manuel and many other joints across the city! Soma wine is also a great plan; and all restaurants have great wine! Enjoy!

10. Shop at El Ensanche 

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There is a lot to do in Bilbao, food, great cathedrals, parks, museums and many more. Now, you get to finish your trip with a shopping spree. The El Ensanche area Bilbao has all the restaurants and shopping areas you will want. You will be able to take a stroll on the streets, catch a drink, and just enjoy Bilbao without very much pressure. You do not even need a car to move around. A very beautiful place indeed.