Visit Bilbao with Holiday Inn Express Bilbao Airport

The port city of Bilbao, situated on the northern side of Spain, close to the coastline and nearby beaches, is the largest city in the Basque Country and the capital of the province of Biscay (Basque: Bizkaia; Spanish: Vizcaya).

With more than one million inhabitants, spread along the length of the Nervión River, Bilbao is the sixth-largest city of Spain. Bilbao is divided into eight main districts, which are broadly grouped into two regions, the Old Quarter (Casco Viejo) and New Town / Central Town (Ensanche).

Bilbao is a beautiful city and one of the liveliest city of the Basque region, with its cultural treasures, attractions, gastronomic cuisine, its nightlife and its wide range of restaurants, bars and shops.

The city offers several main attractions such as the famous Guggenheim Museum or The Euskalduna Palace. The Old Town is another must-see, known for its narrow alleyways, historic buildings, small boutiques, tapas bars and street entertainment. New Town stands close to the central Nervión River and is home to the main train stations and shops, particularly around the Plaza Moyúa area and Gran Via.

Basque cuisine is among the best in Spain, and Bilbao boasts some of the region's leading restaurants.

Bilbao is a large city and has excellent transport links with the rest of Spain and all the major European capitals. The city is home to an international airport, a seaport, a convenient and efficient bus, train and tram network as well as a brand new metro system.

Places to see travelling from the hotel

From Holiday Inn Express Bilbao you can get shortly to a long list of places.

If you take the road to Munguia, you can get to the Basque Coast in 20 minutes and travel the road between Bermeo and Getxo. You can visit Bermeo, San Juan de Gaztelugache, Bakio, Armintza, Gorliz, Sopelana and Getxo.

You can also head to Gernika and visit the Assembly House, the Peace Museum, the Oak Tree Of Gernika, Omas Forest and the Santimamiñe Caves. All these are next to Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and Mundaka Beach.

 

If you direct west, to Cantabria, you can visit Balmaseda, Loizaga tower and its Vintage Car Museum, The Pozalagua Caves in Carranza and Karpin Abentura.

On the road to San Sebastian, you will find Urkiola Nature Reserve.

Apart from all these, there is little more than an hour to Vitoria, Donostia or Santander.

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Useful Information about Bilbao and the Basque Region:

Population of Bilbao: > 353 000 inhabitants
Population of Greater Bilbao Area: > 1 million inhabitants
Area: 41,6 square kilometres
Climate: Mild. Maximum average temperature in winter: 8°©/ in summer: 28°©
Official languages: Spanish and Basque
Currency: the Euro
Local time: GMT +1
Electricity: 220 volts

Ferry Service to Portsmouth

Brittany Ferries operates since March 29th 2011 with the Cap Finistere, a 204-metre long ferry built in 2001. For the time being, it sails twice weekly in both directions. Once a week, it includes a call at the French port of Roscoff.

The Cap Finistere service improves the Bilbao link with the south of England since not only is sailing time reduced by three hours, but the vessel also provides more passenger comforts in addition to a greater capacity for lorry and trailer embarkation.

The new ferry berths at Dock A3 of the Port of Bilbao enlargement, close to the start of the Zierbena breakwater.

Dock Address

Terminal de Brittany Ferries
Puerto de Bilbao

Muelle A3

Zierbena

48508


GPS coordinates: 43.35378, -3.07035

By car, take the A8 heading to Santander and the exit number 130 to Santurtzi and Portua, after that follow the yellow signs to the port.

 

In order to improve services for cruise passengers, the Bilbao Port Authority has built at a cost of 1.9 million euros, a new maritime station, which has been in operation since early September 2010. The building is divided into several distinct areas including baggage check-in, luggage collection, waiting room, services and tourist office.

Three companies operate from the Bilbao Port:

Ibercruceros with the ‘Grand Mistral

MSC cruises with the liner ‘MSC Opera

Pullmantur with the liner ‘Empress

Getting By taxi from the hotel the cost is around 30€.

If you go by car the GPS coordinates are:

  • Latitude 43º 20' 48''N
  • Longitude 003º 01' 42'' W

 

Bilbao Pastries

There are pastries in Bilbao that you are not going to find in any other place: bollo de mantequilla (butter bun), carolina, pastel de arroz (rice cake) and the pastel Ruso (Russian cake)

The bollo de mantequilla (butter bun) is a traditional pastry that you will only find in Biscay. It´s been made here for more than 100 years. It´s made with a swiss bun filled with a delicate paste of sweet butter.

The carolina was created by a Bilbao baker as a birthday gift for her daughter Carolina. It has a puff pastry base with meringue on top painted with egg and chocolate.

The pastel Ruso (russian cake) is not exclusive of Bilbao but, is higher and fluffier, made of meringue and cream.

The pastel de arroz (rice cake) has no rice at all. It´s made of a pastry base forming a little casserole and creamy interior.

Biscay Gastronomy

Bilbao and Biscay are known worldwide for their cuisine.

Here you can find a short list of some of the traditional dishes of the Basque cuisine.

Potatoes, tomatoes and peppers didn´t arrive in the Basque Country until the XVIII century.

Before discovering America, Marmitako was made with water, fish and some kind of fat, mostly porks, and bread. 

According to the stories of the arrantzale, every member of the crew had to add a piece of bread to the dish during the preparation. The bread would then be removed once the dish is ready.

For 4-6 people:

  • 1 kg of tuna
  • 1 kg of potatoes
  • 3 green peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 spoonful of chorizo pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 cayenne pepper
  • Chopped parsley

 

For the fish soup:

  • Leeks
  • 1/2 head and tuna skin
  • 1 l water
  • Salt
  • 2 sprigs of parsley

 

For the soup, put the leeks, the parsley and the head and skin of the tuna to boil in a pot with water and a pinch of salt. It should be ready in 20 minutes

Chop the onion, the tomatoes, the green peppers and the garlic and fry it in a pan with a bit of oil.

Once it is well poached, add the peeled and chopped potatoes and fry them for a couple of minutes

Afterwards, add the chorizo peppers and the cayenne peppers. Add the strained soup. Leave the heat on until the potatoes are cooked. This should take 15-20 minutes. After that, add the diced tuna. Boil it for another three minutes, add salt and parsley, leave it to rest for one minute before serving.

The Porrusalda is a soup made with leeks, pumpkin and potatoes. It´s a well-known dish of Basque cuisine and a good choice during the winter. Depending on the region, people may add other ingredients such as carrots, garlic, cod or pork.

For 4-6 people:

  • 6 leeks
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 chicken skeleton
  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Parsley

To make the soup, put the chicken bones in a pressure cooker with a lot of water. Add the parsley and a pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes once boiling starts. Degrease the soup, coat it and set it aside.


Peel and chop the onions and fry over a low heat with a bit of oil, without letting them get brown. Pour the soup and add the clean, chopped leeks. Add, the carrots and the peeled and chopped potatoes. Salt it and leave it to cook for 18-20 minutes. Serve the Porrusalda in a bowl.

The "gupilada", which is the act of moving the cod casserole, is the rite that defines "Pil Pil". In this way, the previously desalted and boneless fish releases gelatin, this thickens with the oil, water and garlic, forming a fine sauce.

 

For 4 people:

  • 4 slices of unsalted cod
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cayenne pepper
  • 300 ml. of virgin olive oil

Place the oil on a low and wide stewpan. Peel and fry the garlic. When brown, take them out and set them aside. Clean the cayenne pepper and cut it in four pieces, fry for a bit and then set them aside.

In the same oil, fry the cod slices (first with the skin upwards). Fry each side for four minutes and put them aside. Put the serum they release into a bowl.

Move the oil to another bowl and leave the cod to cool down for a bit.

With the help of a strainer, gently mix the warm oil with some of the cod serum. Pour it little by little until the “Pil Pil” sauce is thick. Afterwards, add the cod and heat it.

When the oil is warm, put a bit in the casserole with a bit of the cod serum and mix it with a strainer moving it softly. Add the rest of the oil little by little. When half the oil has been added, add the rest of the serum without stopping the strainer. Add the rest of the oil, keep moving until the pil pil is thick. Add the cod and heat it.

Serve the cod slices with the sauce and decorate it with the garlic and Cayenne peppers.

The Canutillo is made with puff pastry and cream.

For 4 people:

  • Puff pastry
  • Cream
  • Icing sugar

 

Spread the puff pastry out on a working surface until thin. To give them some shape, roll them on thin metallic tubes while leaving the extremities open. Place them in the oven. Remove from the oven once they are ready and remove the tubes.

Serve them hot, filled with cream and covered in icing sugar.

  • sheep milk
  • rennet

If it's raw milk first it is necessary to boil it. Wait until it has cooled to recomended temperature by the rennet manufacturer.

If it is pasteurized milk, heat it until it reaches the temperature.

In a pot, put the rennet (6 drops per person) and add the milk. Wait a while until it solidify and leave it in the fridge. Once cool it will be ready to eat.

The sukalki is a dish made with meat and potatoes.

The meat has to be sauteed first to create a protective layer, this way it doesn´t lose its juices during the cooking.

During the summer, the sukalki forms part of all the towns partys. They make competitions to elaborate the best dish of sukalki involving entire families, groups of friends, txokos components and gastronomic societies, in short, all those who love Basque cuisine. 

The uniqueness of the act is to make a collective event, staged outside the home, which incorporates quality products in order to create exquisite dishes. The competition is part of the beauty of the act and the effort to improve the quality of the dishes is evident each year. 

For 4 people

  • 2 red onions
  • 1 green pepper
  • Half leek (optional)
  • 1 small carrot
  • Pulp of chorizo peppers
  • 1-1,5 kg Zancarron beef
  • 1 glass of white wine or splash of cognac
  • 1,5 kg potatoes
  • olive oil and salt

Chop and fry the onions.

Add a chopped green pepper, half leek and the carrot. Once everything is poached add the chorizo peppers that you should have soaked in watter since the day before. Fry for a while.
Add the beef choped in big pieces. Fry to seal the meet and add the wine or cognac. Boil

In a pressure cooker estimate half and hour in a pot, 3 hours until the meat is tender. Generally it is not necessary to add water because the meat release it own juices , if you have to add water add the minimum necessary.

Remove the meat and grind the vegetables. Clean the meat of the fat and nerves and chop it in smaller pieces. Put again in the pot. 

Cut the potatoes the size of golf balls, puncture them with a fork. Add to the pot and boil everything slowly. When the potatoes are half cooked add the salt.

Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

For 4 people

  • 1 kg. Hake kokotxas
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1 tablesoon flour
  • 1 white wine glass
  • water
  • virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • chopped parsley

Clean the kokotxas thoroughly and cut the extra skin. Spread them on a clean cloth to dry. salt them and left them aside. Place in a casserole two fingers of water with a sprig of parsleysalt and the kokotxas. Let it cook.

Peel and laminate the garlic and chilli and fry them in a wide pan with oil . Cook over low heat and do not brown to much the garlic. Remove the garlic and chilli and set it aside in a bowl

Add to the pot a spoonful of flour and saute wellPour a glass of white wine and a little broth.

Stir wellthen add the chopped parsley and the kokotxasCook for 2-3 minutes. At the last minute sprinkle the chopped parsley and confited garlic  and chiliServe hot.

Also known as Angulas a la bilbaina, it is served in a clay pot with garlic and chili.

  • 250 grs. angulas
  • Virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 piece cayenne pepper

Place in a small clay pot, virgin olive oil along with a sliced clove of garlic  and a piece of chilli over high heatWhen it boils, add a quarter kilo of angulas, which should be stirred continuously with a wooden forkAfter a short boil, serve directly in the pan.

The fresh ink is a poison that loses its neurotoxic action on heating during cooking.

About the size of the squid there are many discussions in the field of gastronomysince, some prefer smalland other large or begiandissliced.

For 4 people:

  • 16 squid
  • 2 slicesof bread
  • 3 onions
  • 2 clovesof garlic
  • 1 cupketchup
  • Inkenvelopes1-2
  • 1 glass ofwhite wine or txakoli
  • water
  • extra virginolive oil
  • salt

Put the bread to soak with white wineAllow to soak it upSet it aside.

Clean the calamari and reserve tubes, tentacles, fins and inkStrain and reserve the ink.

Chop the tentacles and fins and sauteDrain and reserve the filling.

For the sauce, chop the onions and the garlic. Fry in a pan with a little oil. add salt.  Add the tomato sauce, slices of bread soaked and inksPour a little water and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Blend the sauce and pour it into another pot (if it is thick light it with a little water).

Salt the little squid tubes and fillPut them in the sauce pancover and cook for 20-22 minutes over low heat.  

The sokonusko is the traditional nougat in Bilbao

It has three colors, white, tan and black, from the three pralines that is made off. Whiteslightly toasted almond with white covertoasted almond-covered with milk , and blackmore toasted almond and black chocolate coatingThis is lined with another chocolate coating.

The dried cod, which someone called "fish mummy", was discovered by arrantzales or Basque fishermen centuries ago in cold northern banks,especially in Newfoundland and Icelandwhen they went behind the whales. To keep it, given the large distances that ran the boats,they  salted it, becoming a regular dish at our ports.

For 4 people:

  • 4 cod loins 
  • 1 dl of olive oil

For the sauce Biscay:

  • The pulp of ten peppers choriceros
  •  8 onions (4 red and 4 white)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 50 gr of bacon
  • salt

Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a clay pot with the codconfit for four minutesRemove and reserve separately. If the cod is salteddesalt itpreviously putting it in cold water for about 36 or 48 hours and change the water several times

In the same panadd the other ingredients of the sauce chopped (oniongarlic and baconand fry over moderate heatWhen everything is very tenderadd the meat and let the peppers fry another 20 minutes

If the sauce is dryadd fish stockCheck the salt and pass the sauceIt should be light and tied.

Place the cod loins in the saucegiving a slight boil and serve.

Whether you want to savour local basque cuisine or enjoy your favourite food, you will not be disappointed dining out in Bilbao: the city is home of many diverse restaurants!

Traditional restaurants and Tapas Bars, serving authentic Basque Country food are well represented in Bilbao. So don’t miss the Basque Cuisine specialties including fried fish, meats, tortillas (omelette) and codfish (bacalao). Apart from Spanish-style restaurants, central Bilbao offers other dining alternatives from Chinese to German and Mexican restaurants.

You will also find other cuisines and restaurants catering for all tastes and budgets. Arabic, Chinese, Mexican cuisine… the choice is yours!

Around the hotel you may find:

Restaurante Artebakarra

Carretera Derio-Mungia, km14 Derio tel. 94 454 1292

Derio tel. 94 454 1292
Derio tel. 94 454 1292

Con un amplio parking, jardines y txakoli de sus propias viñas.

Restaurante Oso Pardo

Gorbea Kalea,3 Derio tel. 94 454 0027

Asador Taskas

Parq. Empr. Aeropuerto (E.S. Avia) Derio tel. 94 674 1210

Taberna Pozgarri

Gernikako Arbola etorbidea,4 Derio tel. 94 454 3599

Restaurante San Isidro

Mungialde Etorbidea,25 Derio tel. 94 454 0798

Restaurante/ Cervecera Eneperi

Gibelorratzagako San Pelaio,80 Bakio te. 94 619 4065

Restaurante Urrutia

Aurrekoetxe Auzoa,11 Laukiz tel. 94 615 1367

Sidreria Andraka

Andraka Auzoa,14 Lemoiz tel. 94 687 9394

Sidreria Loiu

Zabaloetxe Etorbidea,18 Loiu tel. 94 453 0077

Restaurante Aspaldiko

Zabaloetxe Etorbidea, 14 Loiu tel. 94 453 1421

Etxanobe

Located near the Guggenheim Museum, Etxanobe is sited inside the second iconic building, the Euskalduna Palace.

Palacio Euskalduna, 4 avenida de Abandoibarra, Bilbao tel: 944 421 07

Zortziko

A few steps from the Guggenheim Museum, Zortziko restaurant is situated in a 19th century mansion. Three dining rooms are decorated in a different style but all offer a pleasant atmosphere.  With one Michelin star this restaurant is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Bilbao.

Alameda de Mazarredo, 17, Bilbao tel: 944 239 743

Guria

Guria restaurant in Bilbao is a short walk from Euskalduna Palace.

Gran Vía 66, Bilbao tel: 944 415 780

A Table

A table is a stylish little restaurant located behind the Abando train station in Bilbao. The service is excellent and the atmosphere pleasant. The menu offers outstanding dishes from the French and Basque cuisine. The courses are amazing and served in very generous portions.

Maiatzaren biko, Dos de Mayo 18, Bilbao tel: 944 154 766

Casa Víctor Montes

Victor Montes is a cafe / restaurant located on the Plaza Nueva in the heart of the old Town (Casco Viejo). The place is well known for its excellent tapas (pintxos) and its collection of empty bottles that decorate the shelves.

Plaza Nueva, 8 Casco Viejo, Bilbao tel: 944 157 067

Urbe Restaurant, next to the hotel

The Urbe Restaurant offers traditional Spanish dishes and is opened every weekday from from 13.00pm to 16.00pm and from 20.00pm to 23.00pm. Saturdays and Sundays from 13.00pm to 15.30pm and from 20.00pm to 23.00pm. 

The Urbe restaurant offers a Menu of the day for lunch and for dinner, a la carte, weekend and kids menu. The restaurant menu changes every day to keep our dishes seasonal and fresh. For the menu of the day you can choose from:

  • 3 starters
  • 3 main dishes
  • 3 home-made desserts
  • 2 vegetarian options
  • Bread, water, wine & coffee

 

For more information call the restaurant on +34. 94 454 09 86

 

Bilbao's Old Quarter is one of the most important commercial areas in Europe featuring over 800 shops, restaurants and Tapas bars.

The quarter is particularly concentrated around the public square of Plaza Nueva. It is the largest covered City Market in Europe.

The Riverside Market is a must for anyone looking for fresh meats, breads, vegetables and other local produce.

Most shops in Bilbao are open from 10am, with many shops taking a long break for lunch during the siesta hours, and reopening round 4pm or 5pm until as late at 8pm.

Shopping hours are shorter on Saturdays while on Sundays stores are closed.

Central Bilbao is host to the "backbone" of Bilbao's commerce.

Department stores, traditional shops, smaller boutiques and international firms are all here.

Most of the city's shopping is centred round the Plaza Moyúa area, where the streets of Calle Rodriguez Arias and Calle Iparraguirre are lined with stores and boutiques.

Gran Via is home to department stores like  El Corte Inglés, whereas you will find for high end fashion stores and boutiques in the Calle San Martin.

Most shops in Bilbao are open from 10am, with many shops taking a long break for lunch during the siesta hours, and reopening round 4pm or 5pm until as late at 8pm.

Shopping hours are shorter on Saturdays while on Sundays stores are closed.

Zubiarte is a modern commercial centre located in the centre of Bilbao, nearby the Guggenheim museum, where you will find plenty of shops and restaurants.

Most shops in Bilbao are open from 10am, with many shops taking a long break for lunch during the siesta hours, and reopening round 4pm or 5pm until as late at 8pm 

Shopping hours are shorter on Saturdays while on Sundays stores are closed.

Every year, Bilbao offers a great selection of festivals and events appealing to both locals and visitors.

Bilbao Semana Grande is one of the most popular holidays and takes place during 15-24th August. It is also known as Aste Nagusia.

The first day of the holiday marks the day of the Virgen de Begona. Events are held in parks and other public places. The festival commences with a rocket shot in the Arriaga Theatre Square.

During the week there you are able to attend and enjoy concerts, parades, plays and festivals. Many of these events are free to attend. They are usually rounded off with fireworks in the night.

For more information or to book a stay click here

It is held between August 11th to 14th just outside of Bilbao, in the scenic Getxo area, around the Puerto Viejo de Algorta, with many fun and competitive sporting events, festivities based around food and drink, concerts and dancing, and a boat race.

The local La Magdalena Festival takes place each year on July 22nd and is held around the nearby village of Bermeo, which stands just 34 km / 21 miles from central Bilbao and includes sailing events between Bermeo and neighbouring villages along the Vizcayan coast, culminating in festivities at Mundaka, which continue well into the night.

For more information or to book a stay click here

The event takes place mid-July, held in the nearby village of Santurce, around 18 km / 11 miles from Bilbao, lasting just over one week, celebrating the patron saint of Santurce, la Virgen Del Carmen. Festivities include theatrical events, concerts and dancing, a boat race and plenty of hot food, including sardines - a local speciality.

 For more information or to book a stay click here

Aste Nagusia is a must for all those who wish to discover the festive spirit of Bilbao which, over a 10-day period, is transformed into a major centre of festivities and entertainment for people of all ages. The celebrations begin on the Saturday following the festival of Nuestra Señora de Begoña on August 15.

Read more>>

Another great event is the market of Santo Tomas. This festival is popular with locals as well as people from the surrounding areas, with an average of 300,000 visitors each year. 

The best turkeys, capons, fruit and vegetables from the "baserris" (farmhouses) of Vizcaya are also displayed on more than 300 stalls set up between El Arenal and Plaza Nueva. If it is your first visit to this fair, don't leave without first having tried a thallus with savoury sausage accompanied by a good glass of txakoli.

The event also features dances, parades and plays. 

For more information or to book a stay click here

The Bilbao BBK Live Festival is a rock and pop music festival, created in 2006 and that takes place in the summer in Bilbao. The event reunites national and international rock bands. It is set in mount Cobetas' Kobetamendi park at the beginning of July.

Read more>>

Bilbao Fantastic Film Festival takes place early May, with many film screenings and related events.

Read more>>

While we could think the traditional Basque sport - la Pelota - is the main sport in the Basque Country, football is the most popular competitive sport, followed by basketball.

The main basketball team is Bizkaia Bilbao Basket and they play at the Bizkaia Arena located in the Bilbao Exhibition Center (BEC).

In addition, others sports are well practiced in Bilbao, as the location and the great landscapes offer many possibilities. Hiking is very popular as well as rock climbing in the nearby mountains. Water sports and especially surfing is practised in the beaches of Bakio, Sopelana and Mundaka, with worldwide championship.
 
Traditional basque games are an exclusive atraction of basque country. A very popular one is "Pelota vasca", "cesta punta" and "Pala", play on a traditional Fronton. These games are also "exported" to Argentina or France.

Sokatira (people pulling a rope from each side), is an Olympic game and Basque Contry has a gold medal and worldwide recognition.
During poplar fair, every villages has old tradition games like "raising stone", dragging of stones from Ox, and different ways of chopping wood contest.

The largest football team is the famous Athletic Bilbao Club. It plays at the San Mames stadium, called la catedral del fútbol (the football's cathedral), which is Spain's oldest built stadium and which can seats 39,750 spectators. Athletic Bilbao Club was one of the founder members of the Spanish football league, La Liga, and has played in the First Division ever since - winning it on eight occasions.

Athletic Club, also commonly known as Athletic Bilbao, is a professional football club, based in Bilbao, Biscay, Basque Country, Spain.

They are known as Los Leones (The Lions) because their stadium was built near a church called San Mamés (Saint Mammes). Mammes was a semi-legendary early Christian thrown to the lions by the Romans. Mammes pacified the lions and was later made a saint.

The club has played in La Liga since its start in 1929. They have won the league on eight occasions. In the historical classification of La Liga, Athletic are in fourth place and one of only three clubs that have never been relegated from the Liga, the others being Real Madrid and Barcelona. In the table of Copa del Rey titles, Athletic is second only to FC Barcelona, having won the Cup 24 times. The club also has a women's team, which has won four championships in the Primera División Femenina.

ATHLETIC BILBAO TRAINING FACILITIES

Located in the municipality of Lezama, these facilities are the foundation of the Athletic Club and its philosophy. These training facilities are located 10 minutes away from the Holiday Inn Express Bilbao Airport.

More information >>

The Old Town, the Abando and the Licenciado Pozas area are great spots where you will find everything from ballet in the Bilbao theatre to trendy bars and clubs. The nightlife in Bilbao is really an experience so just have fun!

Teatro Arriaga - Teatro Arriaga is the main theatre in Bilbao. Here you can experience world-class opera, classical music, ballet, dance, performance and even zarzuelas (comic operas).
Contact details: Plaza Arriaga 1, Tel: 944 163 533

Euskalduna Palace - The Euskalduna Palace is a spectacular cultural centre with a concert hall seating up to 2,200 people. It hosts all types of musical events, from classical and opera to jazz and rap. Fridays are reserved for classical music performed by the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.
Contact details: Avenida Abandoibarra 4, Tel: 944 035 000

Bilborock - Bilborock is a popular venue for concerts, films and theatre in what used to be a baroque church.
Contact details: Muelle de la Merced 1, Tel: 944 151 306

At night, the Old Town (Casco Viejo) remains a very popular meeting area, so don't be surprised if you find the places crowded. Most people meet to drink, usually Kalimotxo (Coke and red wine) and have some pintxos (tapas) for dinner, going from one bar to another.

Cafe Boulevard - The Cafe Boulevard is Bilbao's oldest cafe with a stylish art deco interior.
Contact details: Paseo del Arenal 3, Tel: 944 153 128

Cafe La Granja - Cafe La Granja is a pleasant bar to meet local people decorated with a French style.
Contact details: Plaza Circular 3, Tel: 944 230 813

The Iruna - The Iruna is a Moorish style bar dating back to 1903.
Contact details: Jardines de Albia, Tel: 944 237 021

The Wicklow Arms - The Wicklow Arms is the hang out of the English speaking expats in Bilbao and in particular in Wednesday and Friday.
Contact details: 30 Calle Rodriguez Arias 30, Tel: 944 425 148

The Lounge Bar - Following a busy day, the Lounge bar at the Holiday Inn Express Bilbao is the perfect place to relax, unwind or catch up with friends, family or work colleagues. The Lobby Bar offers a fantastic range of hot and cold drinks including wines, beers and soft drinks, as well as snacks. Open from 11am to midnight.

The Bilbao nightlife is teaming with clubs to dance the night away. Here is a few of our favourites.

Congreso - Congreso is a famous club in Bilbao, attracting international DJ stars.
Contact details: Muelle de Uribitarte 4, Tel: 944 247 382

Cotton Club - Cotton Club is an excellent Bilbao club with live blues and rock music.
Contact details: Calle Gregorio de la Revilla 25, Tel: 944 104 951

Distrito 9 - Distrito 9 is an ultra-modern club, with a strong gay presence, offering alternative dance music.
Contact details: Alameda de Recalde 18, Tel: 944 230 056

Somera Street - If you are looking for the basque nightlife, if you are looking for the basque culture, if you wanna know how the basque youth enjoy themselves and get party just go to Somera street. This street in the old town of Bilbao is probably the place where most people between 20 and 35 meet to drink something and have some 'pintxos' for dinner on weekends.

Bilbao is a brilliant place for live music. Visit some of the best venues and stay at the Holiday Inn Express Bilbao.

Kafe Antzokia - Kafe Antzokia is Bilbao's best live music venue with a wide repertoire from Basque music to international pop-rock bands, world music and reggae.
Contact details: San Vicente 2, Tel: 944 244 625

The Rock Star - The Rock Star is a nice star hosting local rock band.
Contact details: Calle Gran Via 87, Tel: 944 459 295

Astarloa - Astarloa offers a great range of live music in Bilbao
Contact details: Calle Astarloa 5

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