Once upon a time Bilbao was seen as the industrial city of Northern Spain, somewhat neglected and abused. The shimmering edifice that is the Guggenheim Museum, opened in 1997, put paid to that and the city has transformed itself into a bustling, cultural hotspot famed for its fabulous food, art and galleries, and a cracking nightlife! The medieval streets of the old town (known as the Seven Streets, Las Siete Calles) offer an atmospheric antidote to its modernist influences.


Set in one of the world’s more temperate zones, the Basque Country has a wonderfully mild climate with few extremes of temperature. The climate, the influence of the sea, and an attractive mixture of villages, mountains, hills and abundant greenery (due to its plentiful rain), all make the Basque Country a place of natural surprises.

GETTING THERE: Puente en Bilbao al anochecer

Bilbao has an international airport that operates flights to all major cities in Spain as well as other international airports in the UK (Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester), Ireland (Dublin), Germany (Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hannover, Frankfurt, Stuttgart), Belgium (Brussels), France (Paris), Italy (Milan, Rome) and Portugal (Lisbon).


Bilbao has a wide range of hotels of all categories. Perhaps the most striking in the city is the Gran Hotel Domine, an ultra-modern hotel created by the one of Spain’s most famous designers, Javier Mariscal, and located opposite the Guggenheim Museum.


Basque cooking enjoys a reputation for being one of the best cuisines in the world. It is traditional cooking based on the quality of local products and their simple preparation. Another of the curiosities of Basque cooking are the “pinchos” or “tapas”, small portions served in most bars and restaurants. Bilbao boasts an array of Michelin-starred restaurants that combined with the cute pintxos bars and authentic regional tastes make it a must visit city.


A novel destination with a great future and a personality of its own!