Any season of the year is a good time to visit Bilbao. There will be a number of public holidays in the next few months, that will provide a great opportunity to visit the capital of Bizkaia. So, why not get away to Bilbao this autumn!
Visiting Bilbao in autumn
Bilbao combines the charm of its past and a present that has made the Bizkaian capital a popular tourist destination the world over.
This is largely thanks to the appeal of the Guggenheim Museum, a museum dedicated to contemporary and modern art, which opened a quarter of a century ago on October 18, 1997. It was designed by architect Frank O. Gehry and is distinguished by its roof made of 35,000 sheets of titanium. It is a wonderful art gallery, both inside and out.
This museum (one of many in the city, such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Maritime Museum) is one of the hallmarks of modern Bilbao.
Bilbao has never forgotten its roots either, which are in the Casco Viejo (the Old Quarter – the so-called Seven Streets), the oldest neighbourhood in the city. Located next to the estuary, it is home to such emblematic monuments as Santiago Cathedral and the Church of San Antón (Saint Anthony the Great), and famous sites such as La Plaza Nueva. It has been recognised as a Historic-Art Monument since 1972. One of the things you must try is a ‘pintxo’ in any of the city’s bars.
If you want to take some typical local gastronomic products home with you, don’t forget to visit the Mercado de la Ribera (Ribera Market), recognised as the most complete municipal food market by the Guinness Book of Records in 1990. There are more than 180 traders to visit in what, thanks to a floor space of more than 10,000 square metres, is the largest covered market in Europe.
One of the other features that make Bilbao an ideal destination is that it is a city with excellent transport links and a range of means of transport (metro, tram, train, bus…), but it can also be explored on foot without taking too much time or effort.
One of the most recommended options for those who enjoy walking is to go up to the top of Mount Artxanda on foot (although you can also take the funicular railway). Once there, you can look down from the viewing point, which is 300 metres above sea level, onto the Bizkaian capital in all its splendour, including the churches and traditional buildings in the Old Quarter and the Gran Vía, not forgetting the Nervión estuary.
A red-and-white moment
However, a visit to Bilbao is not complete without a trip to San Mamés, a stadium where you can take in AC Museoa, the Athletic Club Museum, and learn about the history of the team and its red-and-white strip. Its 125 years of history are closely linked to La Catedral, and you can take a tour of the stadium thanks to the San Mamés Tour.
Once you have finished your tour, you can buy Athletic Club merchandise in the shop located within the stadium itself, one of the four Athletic Club shops.
When it comes to recharging your batteries and eating, San Mamés is also the ideal place to go. The stadium boasts San Mames Jatetxea, a restaurant where you can enjoy Bizkaian cuisine in an unbeatable setting, La Campa de los Ingleses, a bar restaurant with daily and weekend menus, and Geuria!, the San Mamés sports bar with a wide range of snacks, salads, hamburgers, baguettes, sandwiches…
This autumn, be sure to visit Bilbao!