A day, for most of the cities I’ll say that is not sufficiently and even if Bilbao is a big reality… 24 hours, in my opinion, are more than enough!
I’ve to admit that Bilbao is not my kind of city, is too giant for tourists with most of the sights scattered all around the town, not so much history, huge streets and too many people! Bilbao is a nice city, but in my opinion not so good to visit, while is the perfect city to be: is full of life and transport are excellent, fast and really good served.
24 hours in Bilbao:
My hostel was in the ‘Casco Viejo’ the old part of Bilbao, for this reason I’ll start the list from this characteristic and lively zone.
9.00 -Wake up/breakfast/shower
10.00 -Casco Viejo
San Nicholas Church in Plaza Nueva
Take time to explore around: visit Santiago Cathedral, La Ribera Market where you can only find typical local fruit, vegetable, meat and fish; and Plaza Nueva and Arriga Theatre.
12.00 -Follow Ria de Bilbao
From Plaza Nueva follow the river in its north side, as soon as you see this bridge, the Zubizuri, you’ll see on your right hand side the indication for the Funicular railway.
13.00 -Mont Artxanda
With 1,90€ (0.95 per way, you have to buy the tickets separately) and few minutes you’ll reach a very high point with a lovely panoramic view over Bilbao.
My suggestion is to reach the Guggenheim Museum and have something to eat around that area that is full of restaurants and bars.
15.00 – Guggenheim Museum
I’m not a museum lover, indeed I didn’t enter…I know, I know, I should anyway! The online ticket was 16€ -probably few euros more if you buy it at the desk- and my wallet was nearly empty. Due a little bit for my finance, but mostly for my ignorance in modern art: I preferred to have a stroll around, for free! It is a really enjoyable zone.
If you want to visit the museum, it will take around 1h and half.
17.00 -Casilda Iturrizar Park
Following down the river form the Museum you’ll find lots of park, but that one is worth a visit with its big fountains.
18.00 -Gran Via Don Diego
Have a look in the ‘Big street’, jam-packed of shops, cafe and restaurants. Is really hectic, pay attention not to flow away with the mass at the lighters!!
As you see you’ll have time to visit something else in a day maybe the Bullfight Museum or Plaza Toros, Palacio de Congresos de la Musica or Museum of Fine Arts. If you’re in hurry I really feel to suggest the Metro: 1,50€ one way, easy, fast and cheap.
If you want to try different Pintxos at different places, the best thing to do is go back to the Old part and eat at ALL the bars one pintxo each in Plaza Nueva! HAVE FUN GLUTTONOUS!
The adventure is out there!