Because of its diversity and cultureSpain is one of the most attractive destinations in the world. A country boasting good living, its people enjoy outdoor life and with family and friends.
Spain is diverse, with each region having its own traditions and cuisine. A land of wines and joy, of flamenco, dances and traditions. Spain always surprises those who visit it.
On top of its amazing and varied culture, and along with the warmth of its people, you will discover a country of contrasts, of alluring cities and incredible natural scenery. Travel to the centre of this bountiful peninsula to discover Castilian Spain. Unearth Northern Spain's magical locations that include amazing grasslands and green forests, watered by the Atlantic sea.
Or its Mediterranean coast and islands, fresh and green, where the sea breeze will give you an unforgettable stay. Without forgetting the richness of Andalusia, famous inspiration artists like Hemingway.
Spain, an enchanting country whose inspiration is truly intoxicating.
Description of the area
Its stunning landscapes, unique heritage, rich traditional culture, well-known and prestigious cuisine make this one of Spain's major tourist destinations, and one to consider when it comes choosing your holiday. The city is surrounded by a fertile landscape, with woods, mountains and wonderful beaches that transform Bilbao into a truly magical city.
Bilbao stands out in Europe as one the most important reference points of architecture and contemporary art. Let yourself be seduced by the art of the Guggenheim Museum, the Congress Palace or Calatrava Airport, and take time to savour a miniature art, presented as "pintxos" (tapas).
Without a doubt, an unmissable place to visit for people that appreciate art and good food.
Bilbao's cuisine is internationally renowned giving the city a festive atmosphere that fills its squares and streets.
Fish is a Bilbao speciality, and is used in many popular dishes: hake in green sauce, hake "a la koskera", "a la ondarresa" or simply fried and battered. Cod al pil-pil, or "al ajo arriero"; and tuna "a la laqueitia", fried, or with tomatoes.
Although fish certainly plays an essential role in Basque cuisine, meats and vegetables are also an important part of Basque cuisine. Some traditional dishes are ox T-bone steaks and young lamb, and "porrusalda" (a sauce made from leeks).
Other typical specialities of the region include "marmitako", a delicious combination of garlic, olive oil, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes; "txangurro", or spider crab meat; a stew made from vegetables, tomatoes, wine and brandy. "Pintxos" (tapas) are also very popular: works of art in small portions.
Txacolí,, an acidic wine with either a fruity aroma, is an excellent way to accompany any typical Bilbao meal.
The most popular desserts are fresh "cuajada" (a yoghurt-like dessert), rice pudding, San Marco cake, and delicious "canutillos" from Bilbao.
Bilbao offers an irresistible variety of cultural activities. Once there, you should visit:
Santiago Cathedral. A stunning example of Gothic architecture, it also has a fabulous Neoclassical altarpiece inside. San Antón Church. This temple was built in the 15th century on the ruins of the old Alcazar Bilbao's.
Plaza Nueva. Neoclassic plaza built in the 19th century. Many social activities and festivities are held here.
Arriaga Theatre Recently restored, today this emblematic building stages all kinds of artistic and cultural events.
Palace of the "Diputacion del Senorio de Vizcaya". Magnificent eclectic building, with impressive paintings inside.
Begoña Basilica. This Gothic basilica, built in 1588, houses the statue of Amatxo de Begoña, patron saint of Vizcaya.
Museum of Fine Art. One of Spain's most important art galleries, it holds priceless collections of Dutch, Flemish and Italian paintings, as well as works done by the main Spanish masters.
Guggenheim Museum. On the banks of the Nervion Inlet. Its architectural design is, in itself, a work of art. Along with its permanent collection, the museum houses interesting temporary exhibitions, concentrating on cutting-edge contemporary art.
The most typical hand-crafted products in the region are carved wooden figures, decorative cast iron figures, wicker items, and traditional Basque ceramics. The busiest shopping area is the Old Quarter, where visitors can find these items in some of the city's most traditional shops.
In the centre of Bilbao, you can find the most modern shops and the city's shopping centre. Small shops that have been there since old times coexist alongside both large department stores and shops selling top brands.
The Ribera Market is the main market in the region. The biggest in terms of number of merchants and stalls, and also the largest indoor market in Europe. Situated in the Old Quarter, it is easy to get to no matter which type of transport you choose.