A former industrial City, stricken in the 70s and 80s, Bilbao made a dazzling comeback on the international scene in just a few decades.
The capital of the Basque Country has transformed from a declining City to a world-renowned example of urban renewal.
In which City would you begin your holiday visiting the underground from the Airport?
Maybe in Moscow or Saint-Petersburg, or …. in Singapour, just to taste if you would be really whipped for eating Durian in front of terrified bankers and traders.
It all began in 1991 when the City, against all the odds, was selected to host the European branch of the Guggenheim Foundation.
This project was entrusted to Frank Gehry, who was already a world-renowned architect. In just a few years the Guggenheim Museum came out of the ground and was immediately recognized, with its titanium wave shapes, as one of the most beautiful contemporary architectural achievements in Europe and the World.
From Gehry to Calatrava, an architecture tour of Bilbao
Since then, great architects, designers, and artists from around the world made Bilbao their playground, which surprises for a City of this scale. You can achieve here a real tour of contemporary architecture from the end of the 20th century.
Santiago Calatrava built the bridge that connects the Museum to the Old City, as well as a part of the airport, Norman Foster built up Metro. César Pelli, Philippe Starck, Robert Stern
In the evening you have to take a tour of the Old City and walk through the 7 Calles (the Seven Streets), especially to taste the local specialties in one of the many Pintxo Bars, the Basque version of the famous Spanish tapas bars.
The most famous are Sorginzulo, Berton or Claudio bar, where you will taste an innovative and refined cuisine, which makes it without a doubt of Bilbao one of the capitals of Spanish gastronomy.
A stop at the Ribera market, known for the quality of its products, or a drink at the legendary Café Iruna, will make you fall in love with this City.
Gay nightlife in Bilbao concentrates in the neighborhood of Las Cortes.
While the gay venues are not as numerous as in Madrid or Barcelona, the atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming with tourists. And beautiful Basques will be delighted to see new faces arriving.
From Bilbao, you can easily visit two other exciting and very gay-friendly cities: San Sebastian, the very chic seaside town, and Pamplona, known for its annual bull race.
And who knows, you may find surprising atmospheres and sexy Basque guys from the mountains.
To know a bit more about Spain, you can have a look as well on our Gay Guides for Barcelona, Bilbao, Malaga, Zaragoza or Alicante. And of course on Sitges Maspalomas, and Torremolinos for Spanish beach party.