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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Green Parking Meters

    by johngayton Written Jul 25, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The city planners have done quite a good job of creating a relatively uncongested city centre and traffic signals are noticeably pedestrian-friendly. Public transport, basically the Metro and Bilbobus, is good with frequent, inexpensive services.

    There is however no escaping the ubiquitous infernal-combusting engined machines and whilst most car parking is underground there is some street parking available for which tickets have to be bought from the machines. At least the machines are doing their green bit by being solar powered!

    Green Machine!
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Photography

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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Getting Your Bearings In The City Centre

    by johngayton Written Jul 25, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: For a first-time visitor to Bilbao the easiest place to start is the central Plaza Moyua. This is accessible by both Metro and the local Bilbobus and from here the eight radial roads lead to pretty much everywhere you need to visit.

    If you are not sure which way up your map is stand in the middle of the plaza and look for the landmark Hotel Carlton - this is South - finding your way around becomes easy after that.

    For a useful interactive city map click: HERE

    Pic below shows the southwards view from the Plaza with the Hotel Carlton behind the red Bilbobus. To the left is one of the Metro exits.

    Plaza Moyua
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Budget Travel

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  • timtregenza's Profile Photo

    Something for everyone

    by timtregenza Written Mar 29, 2008

    Favorite thing: Bilbao offers something for everyone, art (modern, classical, and Basque), shopping (high end such as Gucci through to local markets), and a range of dining experiences from High cost stylish menus to simple menus, and don´t forget the pintxos (tapas) that you graze going from Bar to bar.

    Often bars and restaurants cluster together, facilitating the eat, drink, and move eating habit that the the bilbao people use.

    Try the casco viejo (old quarter), or around Pozas / Indautxu

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Food and Dining
    • Beer Tasting

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  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    Bilbao Jocundity

    by DanielF Updated Dec 10, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Bilbainos are a humorous bunch of people. Their easily recognisable accent and their ebullient personality have turned them into the target of thousands of jokes told all around Spain, including Bilbao. In these jokes, Bilbainos are depicted as exaggerated and boastful people who show, in particular, an immense proud of being from Bilbao. These jokes are spiced up with the peculiar tune that Basques have when speaking Castilian, truffled with a great quantity of swear words, and therefore hardly translatable into other languages.

    A typical Bilbaino conversation would be something like:

    - Which was the greatest proof of humbleness that Jesus Christ gave us?
    - Well, while he could have chosen Bilbao, he chose to be born in Bethlehem.

    Bilbao seen from the air Greater Bilbao seen from the air

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  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    Nervion river

    by DanielF Updated Dec 7, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: As the famous Basque writer Pío Baroja once said, the Nervión River is the aorta of Bilbao. Furthermore, it is the main reason for its development as a port city. The Nervión is a very short river, since it has its source at only 72km from the Bay of Biscay, in the Altube Heights (Province of Alava). At its source, it drops in a spectacular waterfall in the Delika canyon. It meets the Ibaizábal River at Basauri and forms a 15 km long estuary from Bilbao's old town.

    This estuary forms a great natural harbour, which became the most important seaport in the North of Spain, the estuary remaining navigable thanks to the canalisation works of Evaristo Churruca.

    Today, port activities are concentrated in the external part of the estuary, where a mega-port has been developed in the last decades (at the Abra in Santurtzi). This has allowed for the dismantlement of industry and port facilities in order to recover the river banks for the leisure of the citizens. Thus, different urban development projects have been carried out in this area, and some of them are still on-going, such as the Zaha Hadid master plan for the Zorrotzaurre Island.

    At the same time, a lot of energy has been put in cleaning the river, which after so many decades of intense industrial activity, had become one of the most polluted in the world.

    Reflection on the Nervion river
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Wine Tasting

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  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    The Cradle of the Industrial Revolution in Spain

    by DanielF Updated Dec 5, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Bilbao was the cradle of the industrial revolution in Spain. The abundance of iron and coal in the area as well as an incipient bourgeoisie resulted in an extraordinary development of the city since the end of the XIX century.

    This heavy industry damaged seriously the environment: the high furnaces and steelworks expelled black and thick fumes, the river stank and was biologically dead, immigrants were crammed in unsalubrious homes... Things could only go worst with severe industrial crisis in the late 1970s. The often gray skies, the grimy buildings and the abandoned factories were not exactly inviting.

    Bilbao had then to reinvent itself and look for new sources of wealth to become again one of the most dynamic cities in Spain.

    Downtown

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  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    Architecture in Bilbao

    by DanielF Updated Dec 5, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: If the Guggenheim effect cannot be denied, it would be too simplistic to believe that the renaissance of Bilbao is owed exclusively to the works of star architects like Calatrava, Foster or Gehry. No matter how grandly conceived the museum and other spectacular pieces of architecture were, nothing would have happened without an ambitious and audacious urban planning that has been on for more than one decade and which has transformed almost all the boroughs in the city.

    What is more, even before the arrival of the world-class architects, Bilbao and its Ensanche in particular was a space of high architectural value. Excellent Bilbaino architects have left a legacy of fine buildings which bears almost no comparison in other cities of similar size. Achúcarro, Ispizua, Galíndez, Chapa, Rucoba, Gimón, Amann, Smith, Alardén, and many others, fueled by an entrepreneurial bourgeoisie, have designed the most amazing buildings in a variety of styles, ranging form eclecticism to rationalism and expressionism or art deco.

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  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    The Botxo

    by DanielF Updated Dec 4, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Bilbao is often referred to by locals as the Botxo, which means hole in Basque. This is due to the fact that the city is located on the bottom of a bowl shaped valley totally surrounded by hills (Artxanda, Guribikolanda, Mikoleta, Orueta, Artagan, Arbolantxa, Pastorekorta, Pagasarri, Ganeta, Restaleko, San Bernabé, Banderas, Santo Domingo, Avril, Enekuri... ). They protect the city from the strong winds and create a somewhat suffocating heat in the most torrid days of the Summer. On the other hand, the vision of the green hills from almost every corner of the city is a great counterpoint to all the industrial feeling of the city, and reminds you of the fact that nature is never far away. That contrast was particularly pleasant during the days when Bilbao was a much gloomier place than it is now.

    View from Iparraguirre Street with the Guggenheim View of Arriaga Theater View from Mallona The Old Town

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  • timtregenza's Profile Photo

    Finding information before you go

    by timtregenza Written Apr 6, 2007

    Favorite thing: Apart from this site, there is one other excellent source of information on Bilbao, and that is provided by the city itself.

    The city website at: http://www2.bilbao.net/bilbaoturismo/index_ingles.htm give itourist information in English (it is also available in Spanish and Basque).

    The website as a whole http://www2.bilbao.net/ is full of good information such as bus timetables, and traffic flow.

    Bilbao web site
    Related to:
    • Work Abroad
    • Architecture
    • Business Travel

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  • timtregenza's Profile Photo

    Children's play area

    by timtregenza Updated Apr 6, 2007

    Favorite thing: A new children's play area opened in July 2004 next to the Guggenheim.

    This play area, aimed at the active c.10 year old features many scrambling nets and similar equipment. There are also things for small kids, all done with style.

    Bilbao is full of small playparks, in particular along the river on the Deusto side (start opposite the river museum and head towards the centre of the city).

    The play area next to the Guggenheim - stylish
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • jorgejuansanchez's Profile Photo

    Ciberlocutorio San Mames

    by jorgejuansanchez Written Sep 22, 2006

    Favorite thing: Very convenient internet café situated just in front of the bus station to Madrid, Barcelona, or other parts of Spain.
    The price for half an hour is 1 euro.
    They also make photocopies and have international telephone.
    address: Calle Luis Brinas 25, Bilbao
    Tf. 94 4395020

    Fondest memory: people are the best

    Related to:
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    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel

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  • xstacey's Profile Photo

    Txakoli

    by xstacey Written Jan 31, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Northern Spain is known for their Txakoli - a nice refreshing white wine. It's light but still has body. Not too dry and not sweet. Very easy drinking. This wine is hard to find in the states unfortunately, so if you like it be sure to bring a bottle or two back with you!

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting

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  • timtregenza's Profile Photo

    Pintxo tip no.1

    by timtregenza Written Apr 11, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: When in a bar, forget what your mother told you and put the dirty things (e.g. serviettes) on the floor. They will sweep it up regularly.

    The rule is clean things on the counter, dirty on the floor. If you don't believe me, look at the floor of a busy pintxo bar!

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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  • daryll's Profile Photo

    Marathons Spring in Bilbao

    by daryll Written Apr 3, 2005

    Favorite thing: It so happen that during my visit was a Marathon period. Some band and live telecast, accompanied with several stalls providing local delicacies and beverages for free. My lunch was free on that day!!

    Band & local crowds
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Backpacking
    • Food and Dining

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  • daryll's Profile Photo

    Procession of Our Lady of Bitterness

    by daryll Written Mar 22, 2005

    Favorite thing: The climax of the whole procession.
    It tooks about 1 and 1/2 hours.

    This event took place right in front of the Ercilla street where the hotel that we're staying.

    Pictue shown was the shrine of Our Lady of Bitterness carried by 15 man at least. You should seen how they carry this heaven shrine.

    The shrine
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking

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Bilbao Hotels

See all 64 Hotels in Bilbao

Latest Bilbao Hotel Reviews

Sheraton Bilbao Hotel
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Golden Tulip Gran Hotel Ercilla
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