Where the hell is Bilbao? That was my first thought when someone told me: Hey, Till, do you wanna fly over to Bilbao? Some of you may think now – Jesus, Geography – I am a wimp in Geography! But – God bless, we have internet – and while googling Bilbao – I thought that this is going to be an amazing day trip to Spain: palm trees, sunshine and good food. AND all these wishes came to pass.
However, let’s start right from the beginning: After a three hours flight to Bilbao, I was kind of surprised: right at the airport I felt the first sun rays on my skin and I saw palm trees for the first time this year. My heart was jumping quickly and I forgot immediately that my trip would only last 24 hours – but I will make the best of it. First, check into the hotel. Arriving there, I could not believe what I saw: modern, fancy, high-value and completely urban – that’s the Barceló Bilbao Nervión.
hotel recommadation: Barceló Bilbao Nervión
The hotel is located downtown at the river „Nervión“, which runs through the entire city. This city lies – exactly like Stuttgart – in a pocket – the only difference: in Bilbao, one could see the high mountains with snow on top!
Back at the hotel – I would call it a „fancy desing hotel“. I took the lift to the 7th floor to see my room. I quickly opened the door with my keycard and there I found nice welcome gifts: fruits and an astonishing view – I really wanted to start screaming because I was so excited and overwhelmed by this paradise-like view. The room – 70m² – had a curved glass front starting from the floor to the ceiling. That’s how I imagine my own penthouse in Stuttgart.
Culture and architecture of Bilbao
After a quick jumping session on the bed, I started my journey to visit the beautiful historic city. Remember I only had 24hrs. The Basque country in the North of Spain is not only known for tapas, sun and the close distance to the sea, Bilbao has an unique architecture: a mixture of century-old houses and modern sky scrapers. Right in the middle, located near the river, lies the “Guggenheim Museum” – embedded into this mixture of architecture.
The story of the „Guggenheim“ lies directly in front of the museum: a gigantic dog puppy – made of plants – was placed there for the museum’s opening and should have been torn down after the opening. But the Bilbao people wanted to keep the “plant puppy”, so they had 100.000 people to sign a petition in order to keep “Puppy” (that’s the actual name of the art piece by Jeff Koons) in Bilbao. And the succeeded. Probably this fact explains that almost every citizen owns a dog.
My 5 Bilbao Must-Sees
I made it: I have explored everything of Bilbao which one could make within 24hrs including a coosy night in my kingsize bed at the fancy hotel suite. If you are considering to visit Bilbao, that’s what you really need to see:
- Barceló Bilbao Nervión , Desin hotel with fancy rooms including an amazing view and affordable
- Old Town, Historical City with lots of bars and restaurants
- Promenade at Nervión River, strolling promenade – it’s not like a „seeing-seeing“ – it’s more like relaxing and enjoying yourself.
- Guggenheim Museum, one of seven in the entire world featury a exhibition about „Africa“ – and „Puppy“
- Ropeway Artxanda, ropeway which brought me to the city’s „Kesselberg“ if you want to see the city from above – you’re in for 80cents.
Bilbao is always worth a journey and not only made for a 24hrs-visit.
For the research of this article we were invited to Bilbao by „Barceló“. Thank you for the amazing stay at your hotel and the overwhelming view out of my hotel suite. I’ll be back soon!