Unique Places in Bilbao

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Bilbao

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    Day Trip to San Sebastian

    by AnnS Updated Apr 4, 2011

    If you fancy a break from the city, catch a bus from Bilbao's Termibus Bus Station to San Sebastian on the Basque coast. The journey takes about 90 minutes.

    Be careful to sit in your allocated seat on the bus. I didn't realise the tickets were numbered and caused a commotion by sitting in someone else's seat. The bus was only a third full but obviously the locals take the seating arrangements very seriously.

    San Sebastian is interesting but you can easily see all the main sights in a day.

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    Las Arenas - Hanging Bridge

    by DanielF Updated Dec 13, 2007

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    The first Basque site listed by UNESCO as World Heritage is a rather unsuspected one: It is the Biscay Bridge and it is linked to the industrial tradition of Bilbao. UNESCO considered that with its innovative use of lightweight twisted steel cables, this bridge is one of the outstanding architectural iron constructions of the Industrial Revolution. Not only is it the first World Heritage Site in the Basque Country, but also Spain's first Industrial World Heritage Site.

    This bridge was an innovative solution to straddle the mouth of the Bilbao estuary without disrupting maritime traffic and without the need for long ramps to save the height difference. Opened in 1893, it is the world's oldest transporter bridge: it carries people and vehicles on a suspended gondola. Many bridges across the world copied this system subsequently, but, as far as I know, this is the only one with remains in operation.

    It was designed by the Bilbao-based architect Alberto de Palacio, a disciple of Eiffel's who was also responsible for Madrid's famous Atocha Station.

    Although the official name is Biscay Bridge, I have always heard people referring to it as the Puente Colgante, that is Spanish for Hanging bridge, although the same word is used for Suspension Bridge, which this is obviously not. Many people call it also Portugalete Bridge or Las Arenas Bridge, as these are the localities connected by the bridge.

    The bridge operates 24 hours a day all year round and it takes less than two minutes to cross the river. As a tourist, it is also possible to climb the two pillars to walk on the bridge's platform, from where the view is terrific.

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    Explore the Rest of Getxo

    by DanielF Updated Dec 6, 2007

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    The closest beaches to Bilbao (Las Arenas, Arrigunaga, La Salvaje…) are located in the Municipality of Getxo, an affluent residential area on the right-hand side of the estuary. The main districts are Las Arenas, where the Hanging Bridge is located, Algorta, with its picturesque old fishing port, Neguri And Santa Maria.

    From the Biscay Bridge, you can take a long and interesting promenade alongside the coast, from where you will see the Royal Maritime Club and the impressive homes of the Bilbao well-heeled families on top of the cliff. They are mostly inspired by the Old English style, with Basque Regionalist elements and, in some cases, the Monterrey Style. Manuel María Smith, the favorite architect of the local bourgeoisie is responsible for the design of many of these palaces (Kai-Alde Palace, Luis Allende Palace, Cisco House, Lezama-Leguizamón Palace, Mudela Palace, Ampuero Palace, Caserío Aizgoyen and many others).

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    Feeding the ducks

    by timtregenza Updated Jan 23, 2007

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    OK, this is not for those who come to Bilbao for the nightlife, or even for the modern art, but if you have kids, this may be just the thing.

    In Parque Dona Casilda, there is a duckpond and peacock pen that will provide amusement for young kids.

    In addition, there is a carousel that they will enjoy a ride on. (Cost about 1.50 Euro).

    **Stop Press - Due to Avian Flu, the ducks have all been removed**

    Related to:
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    Non-touristic Drinks and Pintxos

    by timtregenza Written Jan 23, 2007

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    In calle Zugastinovia, a small pedestrianised street that runs between Plaza La Casilla and C/Gordoniz, there are about a dozen bars.

    These bars vary in quality and the pintxos they provide, ranging from a Pena Bar (a football club supporting bar) with very good pintxos to a slightly surreal "country and western" bar with photos of route 66 on the wall!

    As always in Spain, when you go will depend whether the street is solid with people, or absolutely deserted. Weekend evenings around 8pm can be a good time, also saturday and sunday lunchtime (after 1pm).

    What is attractive here is that this is not a tourist area, the bars are local bars for local people. It is not posh.

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    Tintas

    by jorgejuansanchez Written Sep 25, 2006

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    This is great library in Bilbao downtown devoted mainly to travels. The staffs are travel specialist and will give you good advice.
    They organize travel books presentations and talks about expeditions to far away destinations.

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  • Jontxu's Profile Photo

    The hanging bridge

    by Jontxu Written Aug 22, 2006

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    The Bizkaia Bridge is the first of Bilbao’s metropolitan monuments to be included in UNESCO World Heritage List, and the first in Spain to be featured in its catalogue of industrial heritage, and is the only one of its type still in service.
    Close the bridge in Las Arenas there is a very nice decorated italian restaurant, the atmosphere is great and if you have the chance to have a dinner there sure you'll enjoy it.
    Don Pepone, Tomás Olabarri, 15 (Las Arenas). Tel. 94 464 43 30
    Another gastronomic tip: if you are feeling like eating some pintxos, you just need to walk 5 minutes and you'll find one of the best places I know, it's always full and has a very good reputation, go there between 1pm-3pm or 8pm-10pm, you'll love these delicacies.
    Irrintzi, c/ particular de Arlamendi, (Las Arenas)

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    Getting the tube...

    by Jontxu Written Aug 22, 2006

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    If you are staying in Bilbao you should take some time and get close to the sea. Within 20 minutes by tube you can reach several towns by the seaside.
    If you have time I would recommend you to go to Las Arenas (A neighbourhood of Getxo, 20 mins from Bilbao). Getxo is been a wealthy area and there you can admire the mansions built by the bourgeois people.
    You can have a look of the hanging bridge, just at the mouth of the Nervion river, from there you can walk along the quay to Getxo's old fishing port. This walk takes around one hour but I'm sure you'll enjoy the views, at the old fishing port there are a few places where you can enjoy the local food having a really nice view. The old fishing port has been kept with the original architecture design, and it definitely deserves a look.
    From there you can walk to Algorta where you’ll find another tube station to go back to Bilbao.

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  • RudoElCojonudo's Profile Photo

    Sk8boarding in Bizkaia

    by RudoElCojonudo Updated Aug 2, 2006

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    Sk8boarding is my great passion, and I´m lucky because there are many skateparks all around Bizkaia. Here you have a little list of them:
    * Urduliz Skatepark: Little bowl with heart form.
    * Gorliz Skatepark: Little and fast banks with a dune.
    * La Kantera(Algorta): A concrete big skateparks. Ideal for pure pool riders. Complicated and strange lines.
    * Bermeo Skatepark: New skatepark. Pool and street zones. The best of the basque country.
    * El Pesebre (Gernika): It has been rebuilt in 2005. Little banks, cuarters and a pool.
    * Etxebarria Skatepark: Little banks and a spine.
    * Deusto skateparks: Little banks an a mini half-pipe. (R.I.P)
    * Zorrozaurre Skateparks: curbs, half-pipe, quarters and a fun box.
    * Mungia Skatepark: Diferent height curbs, mini half and banks.

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    The War Graves Cemetery

    by timtregenza Updated Dec 20, 2004

    There is a British and Commonwealth Wargraves Cemetery in Bilbao. It is located near Sondika (Euskotren: Sondika) on the Road to Derio (set back and easy to miss, close to the Sondika fooball ground).

    As with all these cemeteries, they are haunted, sad, but tranquil places.

    The remembrance ceremony takes place here every year.

    "Bilbao is a seaport in the north of Spain. The British Cemetery is about 8 kilometres north-east of the town, on the road to Derio. If arriving by air, turn left on leaving the airport and continue for a short distance to Sondica village. On leaving Sondica village the cemetery, located within a small communal cemetery (there is a tiny church), will be found approximately 100 metres off the main road."

    Related to:
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    British Church and Cemetery

    by timtregenza Updated Dec 20, 2004

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    There has for some time been a British Colony in Bilbao. It still exists, with its own church and cemetery (moved to its current site in 1929).

    Services are there every sunday morning.

    The church is located near Sondika (Euskotren: Sondika) off the mainroad on the way to Derio. It is set back, and easily missed.

    "Bilbao is a seaport in the north of Spain. The British Cemetery is about 8 kilometres north-east of the town, on the road to Derio. If arriving by air, turn left on leaving the airport and continue for a short distance to Sondica village. On leaving Sondica village the cemetery, located within a small communal cemetery (there is a tiny church), will be found approximately 100 metres off the main road."

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

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    Peace doves

    by SirRichard Written Sep 14, 2004

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    Last time I was in Bilbao (summer 2004) I could see these artistic doves painted in various styles and colors in some parks and big avenues of Bilbao.
    They are doves of peace, and they reminded me similar painted cows you could see in Bilbao streets last year...

    Related to:
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    The Spider of the Guggenheim

    by SirRichard Written Sep 14, 2004

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    The Guggenheim Museum has now 2 "pets", the flower dog in the front and this 10 meters high spider in the back.

    It's named "Mamá" (mummy) as is inspired in a maternal figure. Is a reproduction of a bronze, steel and marble (1999) of the French artist, settled down in the United States, Louise Bourgeois (Paris, 1911)

    Related to:
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    The painted forest

    by arlequin_g Written Sep 4, 2004

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    Other place near Bilbao and Guernika is this original place. It's a work of the artist Agustin Ibarrola. At first, appart of the painted trees there is nothing ordinary about it, but in some points there are signs and you have to stand there and look to where the arrow indicates. Then you can see when the trees get together some drawings.

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  • timtregenza's Profile Photo

    Fountains

    by timtregenza Updated Aug 31, 2004

    OK, Bilbao is not the driest city in the world, but it does have a surprising number of fountains around the city. These provide a cooling effect in the summer heat.

    The fountains are usually turned off during lunchtime, leading me to suspect that there is one man somewhere responsible for the water supply to the fountains, and that he turns the water off when he goes for his lunch!

    Check out the fountains in the park of Gran Via, and at Plazas Moyua and Zabalburu.

    There are new fountains now at the Guggenheim, to add to the water displays.

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Bilbao Off The Beaten Path

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