Two days in Bilbao without a car-The Basics

8 02 2010

Right, you´ve come to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim. A city you´d never thought in your “to visit” list, but the museum is a “must-see” and you´ve read very good reports about the area. So you arrive at our new (small and convenient) airport, take a taxi to your hotel on the city centre (20 Euros, aprox.) or the bus (1,50, I think). There you are, 10AM and the full morning to see the museum.

Good, you´ve spent 4 hours inside it and you´re now hungry. I´d go to the Old Town (Casco Viejo) to have a drink and a couple of pintxos. You can either take the tram that leaves you in front of the Arriaga theatre in 5 minutes or walk along the promenade by the river. You´re now in the Plaza Nueva, if it´s nice sit outside and enjoy your drink. It´s 14:30, time to have lunch. I´d suggest to have a “menú del día”, where for 11-12 euros per person you will have a first, a second, a dessert, bread and wine or water. There´s a wide choice all over Bilbao, but as you´re in the Old Town I´d suggest Jardines Street or El Perro Street, and any of its restaurants. I particularly like Harrobia, in El Perro, www.harrobia.com.

16:00 and you´re feeling tired. You may take a nap in your hotel, and by six or so you may want to walk the Gran Vía and parallel streets, full of shops and interesting buildings. Or you may want to explore the Old Town, the cathedral and the 7 original streets of Bilbao, as well as take some pictures of the Arriaga theatre and the riverfront.

20:00 and you notice that there are lots of people on the streets, hanging around and socializing while having a drink. You may want to enter in Café Iruña, http://www.cafesdebilbao.net/cafes/caf_iru.php, serving drinks and food since 1903, together with its “brothers” Café La Granja and Café Boulevard (soon to re-open), and order a glass of wine (1,60 euros per glass) or a “zurito”, half a glass of beer. Next, at Ledesma st, you will find many other interesting bars, such as the Artajo or Taurino.

I´d go on a pintxos crawl for dinner on Bilbao city center, there will be people until 09:00PM or so. If tired, you may want to go back to your hotel. If not, you can walk to Licenciado Poza street where you will find more people and more bars open. I assume you´re not going clubbing tonight…correct?

Next morning, take the funicular train to Artxanda and enjoy the spectacular views of Bilbao, the Guggenheim, the mountains and the sea from above. http://www.bilbao.net/funicularArtxanda/jsp/home.jsp?idioma=9&color=rojo& Then, after all the pictures and maybe some exploring of the area, get down to town again and get the metro to Areeta-Las Arenas. From there you have a 5 minute walk to El Puente Colgante, the hanging bridge, a Unesco World Heritage Monument, one of a kind, over a 100 years old and running 365/24, as a public service. You may want to climb to the top for stunning views of Bilbao stuary and the beaches. www.puente-colgante.com. Walk then all the way to Ereaga beach and enjoy a meal at Tamarises restaurant or at the cozy fishing port of Algorta (google “puerto viejo algorta” for images).

From there you can take the elevator to Algorta city centre and then the metro back to Bilbao. Once in Bilbao, step off at Indautxu station and look for García Rivero street, and enter in El Huevo Frito, for great pintxos and a zurito. Or in the Okela, for more elaborate ones.

It´s getting late and you haven´t visited the Museum of Fine Arts, second to El Prado in importance in Spain. Well, maybe for next visit…

This itinerary is based on a medium budget, for those of you without a car and short of time. Of course, there are many alternatives, but this one may be a good option if you want to make the most of Bilbao in just a day and a half.


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7 responses

8 02 2010
Two days in Bilbao without a car-The Basics « Mugalari – Crossing …

[…] You find the original post here mugalari.wordpress.c … | Mugalari […]

22 02 2010
Iker

Un texto soberbio. Felicidades. Lo utilizaré con amigos que van a venir de fuera, citando por supuesto su origen.

22 02 2010
Mugalari

Muchas gracias. Si se te ocurren más sitios (la lista es larga, he puesto algunos de los que más me gustan), estaré encantado de ponerlos.

27 02 2010
Cova

Hola Mikel,
muy buena ruta, especialmente para los que dicen que lo único que se puede ver es el Guggenheim …

Un día tienes que hacer una ruta de pastelerías. Hace años la hice con unos amigos australianos, y perdimos al marido en la Suiza, que le estaban dejando probar de todo …

¡ Qué no os lleve el viento !

28 02 2010
beo

Cova, me alegro mucho de verte por aquí. Cualquier sugerencia tuya es más que bienvenida, así que no te cortes…

28 02 2010
Cova

intentaré no cortarme, pero es que llevo 2 meses de “traslado” en Madrid y me he declarado “fuera del mundo” …

23 03 2010
Pedro

I would just like to mention that El Boulevard café has been reopened, exactly as it was, on March 22nd. Established for more than 100 years, it has always been hiving with writers, actors, actresses and playwrights from the theatre nearby; also influential politicians of the times and good, “not always” honest townspeople.
Although it sounds like a reminder of times passed, it has added a new cocktail bar to combine modernity and tradition

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