Can't live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Surprising, beautiful and challenging Bilbao

(Last Updated On: 16/04/2017)
I didn’t know what to expect from Bilbao yet from the very first moment the city made it to the top of my favorite Spanish places list. It was beautiful, stylish and charming and the location along the Nervion river with the hills gently rolling down to it added up to the perfect scenery. I just couldn’t believe how come this place isn’t overcrowded with tourist and hardly ever makes to the list of top Spanish attraction. And funny thing, if it wasn’t for my trip to South America I’d never visit Bilbao which would be a huge, HUGE shame!

Bilbao, Spain

Back in spring 2014 I found extremely cheap flights across the Atlantic Ocean – to Sao Paulo and back from Buenos Aires for less than 300€. The trick was I had to fly out from either Bilbao or Malaga and since Andalucia is more likely a place I’d eventually visit I’ve decided for the first option. I didn’t have many hopes for Bilbao, I knew next to nothing about it and the only thing two things I could recall about the city were Basque Country and the Guggenheim Museum with its funky shape. But again it turned out to be for the best as I let Bilbao surprise me and enchant me!

Bilbao, Spain

Right from the moment when I stepped out of the fast train from Barcelona I knew I made the right choice coming to Bilbao with a day to spend. The Abando train station was so pretty, with an incredible stained glass work showing some of the typical Basque jobs and on the right a promising view across the river to the Old Town. I was so excited to enter the maze of the narrow streets and see what they hide! Fortunately I booked my accommodation few steps away from where I arrived so I just quickly left my backpack there and set off to explore. The weather was on my side and I knew I will have few lovely hours to get to know Bilbao.

Bilbao, Spain

The Old Town, known also as Casco Viejo, was probably the reason why I felt in love with Bilbao so much. It was one of the prettiest and most charming I’ve ever seen and nothing like the rest of Spanish cities I’ve been to. Even if I happened to be there on beautiful Saturday afternoon the place felt abandoned at first and while walking around I kept wondering what could have happened. Quickly I’ve found my answer – it was lunch time and even if the streets were empty numerous bars and restaurants were bustling with people who came in for a small snack accompanied by the glass of wine. Some places were so full that customers had to stand outside but that didn’t seem to be a problem and everyone was joyfully enjoying the food and the company. I was impressed how big the groups of people were, usually 10 or so friends met together to catch up over lunch but then I’ve realized its’s Spain after all, a place where food and people are two most important things.

Bilbao, Spain

My walk around Old Town left me awestruck. How come I’ve never really heard of this place before?? Casco Viejo is a great example of Middle Ages urban planning, the seven streets that are the core of the district date back to the 1400s, until the 19th century the place was surrounded by the walls. Now the narrow streets create a maze where getting lost is a pure pleasure. Beautiful colourful houses opened their doors not only to lively bars but also to independent shops and quirky boutiques. The architecture of the Old Town reminded me a little bit of La Valletta, the capital of Malta (a country I yet have to visit) – every second building had a distinctive bay window that made the whole place look unique and so different.  Surprisingly enough there were hardly any tourists around, I’ve spotted maybe 10 more besides me. I really would expect from the place as charming and stunning as this to be a visitors hub of Bilbao as Casco Viejo surely can win many hearts with its undeniable beauty…

Bilbao, Spain

Eventually I found myself on Plaza Nueva – the main square of the Old Town, reminding me a lot of Plaza Mayor in Madrid – where the rehearsal before the big evening concert took place. You see, I happened to be in Bilbao on the weekend when Scotland held the voting of the independence, the issue so close to the inhabitants of Bilbao and surrounding region. The event on Plaza Nueva was a way to show support to Scotland and other autonomous regions in Europe that would like to create separate countries, especially to Catalonia and well, Basque Country.

Bilbao, Spain

It was then that the importance and the uniqueness of the place I’m in has struck me. I’ve been noticing around strange language or red-green-white flags that I haven’t seen before but it was there, at Plaza Nueva that I finally could reflect at the issue a little bit and give it a proper thought. All the issues of borders, languages and the identity confuse me a lot and visiting Basque Country was pretty challenging as well. Until 1978 all the languages other than Castilian Spanish and all the national movements were forbidden and persecuted. The new constitution of Spain has changed that, giving the Basque Country (that consist of three provinces: Araba, Biscay and Gipuzkoa) the status of the autonomous region with the capital in Vitoria-Gasteiz (though Bilbao is the biggest city). The region is known for its different language (some sources say it is related to Albanian), distinctive cuisine and, unfortunately, the terrorist attacks. Now, with the ETA’s ceasefire, the place is very safe but there were times when this national organization ruled the place and it was best to avoid the region. With all the autonomous areas of Europe it’s Basque Country that has the most tragic troublesome recent history and is a reason why Spain doesn’t recognize Kosovo as an independent country.

Bilbao, Spain

Even if I just adored the Old Town and could have stayed there much longer, just wandering around, there were more places I wanted to see in Bilbao and the time was running out. The walk along the Nervion river took me all the way to the famous Guggenheim Museum – the highlight of Bilbao and probably the whole Basque Country. The Museum was opened in 1997 and was a way to bring more tourist into the city – it worked as the increase in the number of visitors coming to Bilbao was huge!  Even if I didn’t go in (I was there too late) I was impressed by the place – and so were lots of other people as that’s where I finally saw a significant number of tourists in the city. The building itself is a masterpiece, resembling the big ship it is often named one of the most spectacular architecture creation of 20th century. Even if I’m not good at design etc I could clearly see this place is really special and already from the outside has a huge value to the modern world of art. The numerous quirky statues around – such as the giant spider – only added up to the awesomeness of the place!

Bilbao, Spain

I was slowly running out of the time but there was one more place I wanted to check – Plaza Moyua and Gran Via. That’s where the heart of Bilbao is, were the important institutions have their premises and where small yet busy and intense shopping district can be found. Even if the Casco Viejo is just a short walk away these two parts of Bilbao couldn’t be much different but equally interesting! The sun was slowly setting down, the streets were full of shoppers and for the first time I could really feel I’m in a big city. And while I really wanted to stay there longer, join the crowds getting ready for the evening out in the city it was time for me to get early to bed and prepare for the long journey to Brazil…

Bilbao, Spain

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I must admit I’m not a big fan of Spain. I never really fell for Barcelona, Madrid was pretty good but Sevilla and Valencia just ok. But It was in Bilbao that I felt the unique atmosphere of the place and where I finally understood why so many people are crazy about Spain (even if this city isn’t as Spanish as the rest). I just don’t know why there aren’t as many tourists as the place deserves to have but that might actually work out for good as that way Bilbao has chances to stay authentic for much longer…

Bilbao, Spain
Have you been to Spain? What is your favourite Spainsh city? Would you like to visit Bilbao?

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love, kami 2

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6 Sty '15

There are 65 Comments.

  1. Tam Gamble
    20:18 06/01/2015

    The only time I have heard of Bilbao discussed as a port of travel is when people are looking to cross the water from the UK and Bilbao is the stop off. I never even considered that it would actually be worth visiting but after looking at your great photos I think we might need to make a stop off there at some point in the future.

    • kami
      19:47 07/01/2015

      it really is worth visiting as the city is just amazing! hopefully you will be able to go there soon! :)

      • Linda
        18:52 06/02/2016

        Thank you for the beautiful description. I have spent my childhood in Bilbao & LOVE IT. BUT you mentioned that Bilbao ‘deserves’ more tourists.. – lovingly I would disagree. So much of Spain has been bombarded with tourists… so Bilbao with less tourists has that authentic feel. It is nice to have some tourists.. but no need to exploit it. I’ll say let Bilbao stay the way it is. No need to change it. Let it be!
        Thank you again for reminding me of my childhood place.. been gone for many years. By the way many tourists go to Spain because of the sun. Bilbao has a different weather. ** Blessings!

        • kami
          22:34 15/02/2016

          Thank you for your nice comment Linda! Bilbao must have been a lovely place to grow up at, even with not so good weather :) As for tourists inviding it – I don’t think it will ever happen but a slightly bigger number of tourist would definitely help the city, even economically. That’s always a benefit. And I’m sure Bilbao would not lose its authenticity then.

  2. Jowita
    20:28 06/01/2015

    Ja również się w Bilbao zakochałam! W ogólę uwielbiam Hiszpanię i moim ulubionym miastem jest Walencja, w której spędziłam pół roku! Powinnaś dać jej drugą szansę, bo zasługuje na więcej niż OK :D

    • kami
      19:48 07/01/2015

      może kiedyś się nadarzy okazja :) póki co Walencja była miła, ale nie powaliła mnie. Ale Bilbao mega daje radę, kto by przypuszczał?!

  3. Marek i Kasia
    20:46 06/01/2015

    Bilbao is on pur list of places to visit. We love difficult history, Spanish food and pretty towns :). Also, Basque Country is well-known from great landscapes and hiking resort. Did you have chance to go out from the city, or one day was not enough?

    And, BTW, great photos :).

    Cheers from Lisbon!
    Kasia and Marek from aguadecoco.pl

    • kami
      19:49 07/01/2015

      no, unfortunately one day wasn’t enough even for the city itself. But I loved the landscape around and hiking there must be pretty good too! You are so nearby so you definitely should plan a trip to Bilbao, I think you would like it too!

  4. Chris Boothman
    22:41 06/01/2015

    Your pictures are stunning and really make Bilbao look a particularly inviting place to visit! We are heading to Spain in April for TBEX and we are hoping to have some time to explore some of the country so this definitely will be near the top of our bucket list! Looks gorgeous, thanks for sharing with us.

    • kami
      19:51 07/01/2015

      You definitely should go to Bilbao when you go for TBEX! it’s some 6 hours away from Barcelona by train but so worth the effort! The city is just stunning and makes a perfect alternative to popular Barcelona or Andalucia. I actually had a big problem when choosing pictures for this post as most of them looked great – that’s how Bilbao really is!

  5. Lauren
    01:52 07/01/2015

    I’ve never heard of this place either! But it looks like such a charming place to visit with great history. I’d like to check it out!

    • kami
      19:53 07/01/2015

      It is so underrated and so amazing! Definitely my favourite destination in Spain!

  6. Hannah
    01:57 07/01/2015

    umm sorry, I’m still stuck on the cost of your flight. Dang!! Lucky girl- good for you! Bilbao looks really pretty, the buildings are gorgeous and that stained glass in the station…WOW. Dislike the massive spider though, we have one here in Ottawa and I hate it- yuck! Thanks for sharing, I’ve only ever been to Barcelona in Spain but would absolutely check Bilbao out after reading this post!

    • kami
      19:54 07/01/2015

      I know, right? I just couldn’t resist this price as it doesn’t happen very often the flights are so damn cheap! Bilbao was a lovely bonus to this trip that happened to be one of the highlights of it ;) If you go back to Spain be sure to visit it too!

  7. Jessica (Barcelona Blonde)
    07:20 07/01/2015

    I love Bilbao too! Lots of people like nearby San Sebastián better, but I actually liked the vibes more in Bilbao.

    To answer your question, my favorite Spanish city is still Barcelona though! :)

    • kami
      20:15 07/01/2015

      I gave Barcelona two chances but we just didn’t click… well, it happens. but I fell for Bilbao big time and now I’d love to explore more of the Basque Country!

  8. Jon Dunn
    13:30 07/01/2015

    Great article and stunning pix! I got a cheap flight to Bilbao several years ago from the U.K. but missed all the best bits you saw :(
    I decided it was a bit too ‘industrial’ so jumped on the first bus to San Sebastian – which was totally brilliant. I then did a circular tour, taking in Pamplona, Logroño (I used to be involved in the wine trade and love Rioja!) Laguardia and Vitoria.
    I guess I was too quick to dismiss Bilbao without exploring fully enough. That’s what your blog tells me, anyhow.

    • kami
      20:20 07/01/2015

      You definitely should give Bilbao a proper chance! Or maybe it has changed so much recently? I really loved it and I’d love to spend more time there, also in the area and visit all the places you’ve mentioned as they all sound amazing!

  9. Sam
    14:14 07/01/2015

    I visited Bilbao about 10 years ago with my mum for a long weekend and loved it immediately too! I’d love to go back with Zab some day and rediscover it more thoroughly. What a strange coincidence that you found cheap flights from there to South America!

    • kami
      20:24 07/01/2015

      I really hope you guys will go there soon as I’m sure Zab would love it as much as you and me did :) I’m sure the city has changed a lot over the years but I really enjoyed what I saw! :) And yeah, Iberia can have these crazy prices from totally random cities – even if I had to fly via Madrid the ticket was twice cheaper when I started in Bilbao! Go figure!

  10. The Guy
    15:57 07/01/2015

    I agree with Chris Boothman, your pictures are truly stunning. Little wonder it is such a wonderful place to fall in love with.

    I’ve never been to Spain but I’ve read a few people saying they prefer Bilbao to Barcelona or Madrid. I think I’m already falling for the place too.

    I love the head statue picture you took leaving the station too :-)

    • kami
      20:35 07/01/2015

      Thank you! Barcelona was too overcrowded for me, it didn’t matter if I visited it in February or July, there were always too many people around and therefore the city has lost its unique charm. Bilbao was a different story, maybe that’s why me and others have enjoyed it so much! If someone goes to Spain that’s the place I’d definitely recommend!

  11. Meg Jerrard
    20:12 07/01/2015

    Looks beautiful, and such a bonus that it’s not overcrowded with tourists – that’s one thing I try and avoid like the plague when traveling – I’ve very quickly grown tired of overcrowded and touristy destinations. Really impacts upon your ability to truly experience a place. Great photos!

    • kami
      20:38 07/01/2015

      I’m exactly the same, I might hate even the most beautiful place as I just can’t stand crowds, pushing around etc. That was the story with me and Barcelona, I was there twice but nothing could change my mind about it. Bilbao was such a pleasant alternative! Thank you!

  12. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)
    23:48 07/01/2015

    Wow, Bilbao sounds lovely and authentic and it’s great to hear it is still a little less crowded and touristy. I had never really known much about it either but your photos and descriptions of it sound great and perhaps it really is one of Spain’s best kept secrets then?!

    • kami
      18:34 23/01/2015

      I really think it is a hidden gem of Spain and I’m really surprised not so many people have discovered Bilbao, it is such an amazing destination! I really hope you will be able to go there one day :)

  13. Toccara
    01:03 08/01/2015

    I had never even heard of Bilbao before coming across this post. What a charming town! I, too, love the fact that it isn’t overrun by tourists. We very much prefer smaller, not crowded towns over huge cities, so thanks for giving me one more place to put on my list! I’ve only been to Spain once, but definitely want to get back to explore more!

    • kami
      19:09 23/01/2015

      It’s actually a fairly big city, just for some reason not a very popular one! Which is good as everyone who gets there will be enchanted as much as I was :) I’m not a big fan of Spain, to be honest, but places like Bilbao make me change my mind :)

  14. Danny
    16:45 08/01/2015

    Hi Kami! I really find interesting your article about my city and I feel so glad to know you enjoyed and liked it. As I can see, you have been able to get the good vibes of the city in less than a day, that is what usually happens with Bilbao in almost cases, you love it from the first sight or you definitively don’t like it. I am a Basque Country and Bilbao tourist guide as well as Basque philologist, as you have said, probably the most known attractives of the city are like in the rest of the Basque Country, the worldwide known basque gastronomy, the mountains and green landscapes that surround the city and you can see from almost corners of the city, the cultural contrast (nothing to do with Spanish culture) and those other that are uniquely attached to Bilbao that are traditions and the people and its peculiar idiosyncrasy, and the mixture of tradition and avant-garde you can appreciate in all the city, mainly in its architecture due to the huge urban reconversion occured in last 20 years (from a grey, ugly and industrial city to current city). Apart from that I would like to explain better two points of your article: first of all the matter of the Basque Language, Basque has no relation with albanian, actually Albanian it’s an indoeuropean language as the 95% of languages and language families of Europe (romance, germanic, celtic, slavic…) those come 20,000 years ago to Europe from Africa to take the place of European native languages, from those days the only survivals of that replacement that are spoken nowadays are just the finno-ugric languages and Basque, the only total isolated language of Europe and probably the oldest one. (Here u could fine more info; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/language_family)
    Another important matter that I would like to explain are all the false myths around basque politic situation, well, as all of us know politics matter is a delicate issue that sometimes if u are not in front of an open-minded, tolerant and emphatic person is better to avoid. It is totally true that few years ago unfortunately there was a terrorist group who reivindicate a State for the Basque Nation. But what it´s completely necessary in every bilateral conflict is to know deeply the history, situation and versions of both parts to be able to understand the most objectively what really happens. Because of its own national and economic interests spanish government has taken advantage of the conflict while basque and spanish citizens have been fighting one against another while government has been promoting mutual hate by discrediting and disparaging basque culture, language and idiosyncrasy over the spanish and international media taking advantage of its enormous power and capacity of influence, that our little and unknown country with so bad reputation definitively has not. Therefore that is why Basque Country has been the spanish region less visited by tourists, even our region has the lowest rate of delinquency of all Spain, they used to terrify people by saying them if they would visit us probably ETA would put a bomb to them. Something that was completely improbable. Fortunately many people here has got past the hate, and we have create a open-minded and even a kinder society who receive and welcome spanish and international tourists the best way we can. To finish I want to thank you for writing about us about our piece of world, Bilbao it’s a great city, a wonderful city. But as I have read, you have missed so many things to see in the city and in the surroundings, so I invite you to come again whenever you want to show you all those places, if you liked Bilbao, you should know that Bilbao in my opinion represents just the 3% of the total charm, culture and indispensable things to visit in the whole Basque Country… LASTER ARTE! (see u soon!) Here you have my FB if you want to be in contact Danny Tourist Guide

    • kami
      19:34 23/01/2015

      Thank you for your amazing comment and for telling so many interesting things about Bilbao and Basque country! You just made the whole much more fascinating to me and I really wish to return there to explore some more! Thank you!!!

  15. balkanyrudej
    08:09 09/01/2015

    Czasem dobrze jest podjąć spontanicznie decyzję i odwiedzić miejsce, do którego nie do końca jest się przekonanym. Ja tam miałam w tym, a zasadniczo zeszłym roku z albańskim Durres. Przez miasto to kilkakrotnie przejeżdżaliśmy, ale nigdy nie rozważyliśmy opcji zatrzymania się w nim. Kiedy spędziliśmy tam sylwestra i lepiej poznaliśmy od środka (a nie od zewnątrz, czyt. z drogi lecącej na południe) okazało się, że strasznie nam się tam podoba. Nie jest tak ładne i wymuskane jak Bilbao (w końcu mówimy o Albanii, która jednak jest bardziej chaotyczna od wielu krajów Europy Zachodniej), ale sądzę, że równie interesujące.

    • kami
      20:00 23/01/2015

      to nie była spontanczna decyzja, ja tam musiałam pojechać, i na dobre wyszło ;) a o Durres akurat sporo dobrego już od dawna słyszałam i od wielu osób :)

  16. T&M podróżniczo
    09:31 09/01/2015

    Często bywam w Hiszpanii, bo bardzo lubię ten kraj. Odwiedziłem Barcelonę, Madryt, Wyspy Kanaryjskie. W Bilbao jeszcze nie byłem, ale z chęcią tam zawitam :)

  17. Gran Canaria Local
    22:59 09/01/2015

    We spent our honeymoon in Galicia, Kami. Was lovely to fly back from Bilbao. What a great city.

    • kami
      23:09 23/01/2015

      what a wonderful place for a honeymoon! It must have been beautiful!

  18. Marcin | Wojażer
    20:38 10/01/2015

    We were just talking with my colleague on a train from Krakow to Warsaw, that we want to visit Bilbao for one reason – Guggenheim! :)

    • kami
      23:13 23/01/2015

      Unfortunately I didn’t go inside, I was there around the closing time… but the building itself is spectacular and well worth taking a look at!

  19. FloatingMyBoat
    15:41 11/01/2015

    Ha, so it looks like Bilbao is one of the most underrated places in Spain. While everyone goes to Barcelona, Bilbao is probably less crowded and equally as beautiful. Great inspiration for my next travel!

    • kami
      23:17 23/01/2015

      It really is underrated! To be honest I don’t really understand the whole madness about Barcelona, I prefer places like Bilbao! Definitely try to go there if you have a chance!

  20. Natalia from biegunwschodni.pl
    18:59 11/01/2015

    Yay! Spain is on my bucket list. Thanks for the post. I’m gonna to put your travel relation to good account :)

    • kami
      23:18 23/01/2015

      Definitely include Bilbao in your itinerary when you go there!! :)

  21. Tatiana
    14:24 13/01/2015

    Akurat jestem w trakcie przygotowań do Hiszpanii. Wahamy się pomiędzy dwoma regionami szukając połączeń i najlepszej trasy. Zapisuję sobie i może akurat uda się zobaczyć. Bo miasto jest naprawdę niesamowite!

    • kami
      23:24 23/01/2015

      to bez dwóch zdań Bilbao poleca, przepiękne miejsce! A i okolica podobno niesamowita! Już czekam na Wasz wyjazd, żebym później mogła posłuchać, poczytać i pooglądać co i jak :)

  22. Daniel
    11:47 16/01/2015

    I think Bilbao is an overrated city in Spain. The best is to visit any other of the basque cities, the superbeautiful San Sebastian or the awesome medieval Vitoria-Gasteiz.

    • kami
      21:21 26/01/2015

      I definitely would love to explore more of the Basque Country so these cities are on my list for sure! Thanks!

  23. Molly
    19:21 23/01/2015

    I am really hoping to discover the North of Spain someday.
    Thanks for sharing such great images of Bilbao.

    My favourite Spanish up to now is probably Cadiz. The atmosphere there makes it.
    But is so difficult to choose one. I love Andalusia.

    Regards from Granada

    • kami
      22:47 26/01/2015

      I haven’t really seen Andalusia yet, I was only in Sevilla for few days but it was raining like crazy and I haven’t done much there. I hope you will go to Northern Spain soon, it’s a wonderful place!

    • Lo Mejor del País Vasco
      20:42 21/11/2016


      You have described Bilbao perfectly!

      Thank you for showing us the Basque Country to the whole world!

      There are still more sites!

      Eskerrik asko,

      Lo Mejor del País Vasco

  24. Zuzanna
    00:56 25/02/2015

    hej, świetny post – oddaje klimat miasta i jego wyjątkowość. W Bilbao mieszkałam przez rok w ramach erasmusa. Jest to mój drugi dom i jedno z najpiękniejszych miejsc w jakich byłam. Codziennie chodziłam lub biegałam wzdłuż rzeki Nervión podziwiając góry dookoła, piękną architekturę, majestatyczny Guggenheim. Nie ma drugiego takiego miasta, nie wiem z czym mogłabym je porównać.
    Myślę, że tajemnica tkwi również w tym, że tego miasta nie tworzą Hiszpanie jakich sobie wyobrażamy my (czyli z Andaluzji), tylko Baskowie – niezwiązany z żadną kulturą naród, który tak silnie podkreśla swoją odmienność. Nie słyszałam o teorii albańskiego pochodzenia baskijskiego. Z tego co wiem, nie ma żadnego związku z językami indo-europejskimi (tak jak fiński czy węgierski, ale one i tak nie mają ze sobą nic wspólnego). Ja słyszałam o jakiś malutkich powiązaniach z językiem Irish. Zapewne ze względu na żeglugę. Ten język jest taki śmieszny :)
    Następnym razem, jak będziesz miała czas, bardzo polecam Ci wsiąść w metro i pojechać nad ocean, najlepiej na plażę Sopelana. Wybrzeże baskijskie jest magiczne, są tam fale największe w Europie, zachwycające klify oraz urokliwe i ciche wioski w pobliżu. Jestem pewna, że i Ciebie zachywiłby stary port w Algorcie, Getxo (koniecznie wygoogluj fotki!). Spróbuj też lokalnych kanapeczek Pintxos :)

    • kami
      23:27 28/02/2015

      hej, dzięki za świetny komentarz! :) Erasmus w Bilbao musiał być dość fantastyczny, rewelacyjne jest to miasto, chyba to jedno z moich większych zachwytów w 2014 roku! I masz rację, za bardzo nie można go z niczym porównać, jest dosłownie jedyne w swoim rodzaju! a ten język taki pokręcony, że pewnie tworzyły się po internetach teorie, żeby na siłę go gdzieś przypiąć, wytłumaczyć pochodzenie. Na moje nieznające się oko to nawet ciut do albańskiego podobny jest baskijski ;)
      na pewno jeszcze będę się starała wrócić w tamtą okolice, bo mega mi się spodobało, więc wszelkie wskazówki na wagę złota i notuję je dokładnie! Dzięki!!

  25. Tami
    22:39 22/06/2015

    I’ve been to Spain but mostly just Madrid. We hosted two foreign exchange students from Bilbao and really wanted to stop there when we were in Spain, but our trip got cut short due to air controller strikes and we had to skip Bilbao. Now that I’m seeing your photos, I’m even more sad we weren’t able to go. But thanks for sharing!

    • kami
      22:36 15/02/2016

      so sorry for such a late reply Tami, I’ve just seen your comment! Too bad you couldn’t visit Bilbao, it’s such a beautiful city! Hopefully you will have a chance to see it one day!

  26. Txetxu
    08:51 07/07/2015

    Thanks for the article Kami. I’m a Bilbao citizen and I would like to thank you for the article you posted.
    It is easy for me to say, but Bilbao has changed a lot, especially over the last decade. And Bilbao it is just a little bit of what you can find in Basque Country.
    A few websites for you:
    http://turismovasco.com/ (Sorry only in spanish)
    http://www.argia.eus/gida/es/index.htm (Sorry is only in basque, probably the oldest language alive in Europe, and spanish)

    • kami
      22:39 15/02/2016

      I’m so very sorry for such a late reply!!! After visiting Bilbao I really would love to explore more of the Basque Country! It’s such a fascinating region! And thank you for the links, I’m going to take a look right away!

  27. Linda
    20:41 06/02/2016

    I love this beautiful page on Bilbao. Old Spain so beautiful. But if you long to see more tourists…. just take a trip to Mallorca, Malaga, Barcelona. So many areas in Spain have been exploited… No need to make Bilbao one too. Bilbao is fine just as it is. But glad to have you & the few tourist that love it so much. Thanks!

    • kami
      22:49 15/02/2016

      I’m glad you like it Linda. Just like I wrote you above, I still think that with a little bit more of tourists Bilbao still would stay authentic. And comparing it to Barcelona or Mallorca sound pretty extreme :)

  28. Jon Dunn
    09:09 06/03/2016

    Hi Kami, I just read all the comments and see that you’re not overly struck on Spain and found Valencia and Sevilla “ok”.
    Shame it was raining all the time you were in Sevilla, that never helps, but for me it’s a stunning destination – I’ve been three times. Nearby Cordoba is also wonderful and of course Granada with it’s famous Moorish Alhambra palace is not to far with good rail and road connections – the Alhambra may be too ‘touristy’ for you but Granada has much more.
    I also visited Santiago de Compostela in Galicia a few years back and that’s divine, too. And you’d like the fact that Galicia, like País Vasco, is totally different to most of Spain. In fact it’s totally un-Spanish! But be warned – it rains there quite a lot ;)
    Keep the trips, reports and photos coming, they’re awesome!

    • kami
      23:17 18/03/2016

      Thanks Jon! Sometimes we just don’t click with some places and that’s ok. That’s how it was with some of the Spanish cities. I’m willing to give them another chance one day (with Riga it took me 3 visits to finally enjoy it a lot!). And I don’t mind touristy places, after all they are famous for a reason and it’s worth to see them! But I admit I’m more interested in this unknown Spain, Galicia is very high on my list! Thanks again!

  29. alll
    21:00 04/11/2017

    Hi Kimi, if you are interested in the unknown Spain, you should visit Casille and Leon, it has the 60% of the cultural heritage of the Spain and it´s not very touristic, with beautiful medieval cities like Avila, Segovia, Salamanca or Zamora.

    • kami
      21:59 22/12/2017

      I’ve already been to Segovia but I’d love to see more of the region! Thank you for the recommendations!

  30. Raymond Anthony
    05:58 23/02/2018

    That’s the thing with Spain. There are so many beautiful and charming cities to discover. Bilbao is certainly just one of yet another beautiful city. I’ve come to love Bilbao just like I love Madrid, Seville, Santiago de Compostela, Malaga, Granada,Santander, Oviedo etc. etc. Ahh Spain!

    • kami
      20:58 29/03/2018

      I’ve been to most of the places you’ve mentioned yet I feel like I don’t know Spain at all. Just like you said, there are so many beautiful and interesting places to visit there!

  1. Pingback: Desde Polonia: Sorprendente, hermoso y desafiante Bilbao | About Basque Country

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