Abando is a centrally located neighborhood of Bilbao full of wide streets and elegant English-style buildings with a plethora of shops. The heart of this upscale residential neighborhood has always been known to house the most expensive and prestigious homes of the city. The Arenal bridge, known for its elegant street lights, connects the old city and the new city.
The center of this district houses the Gardens of Albia which were originally located in the Plaza Mayor. One of the most famous places of this tree-lined zone is the Café Iruña known for its Mudejar design and literary meetings. The Cafe Iruña and the Café La Granja, in the Plaza Circular, have not lost their charm and class through the years.
The Gran Via is one of the most emblematic streets of Bilbao extending from the Ensanche to the Sagrado Corazon Square, the financial and shopping district of the city. Here you will find the street full of people, the most important buildings of Bilbao and the best residential apartments of Bilbao.
In this district you can find some of the most emblematic points of interest of the city such as the Palacio Chavarrí, the Arenal bridge, the Santander station, the Campos Eliseos theatre (an art-Noveau jewel), the city council palace and the Basque Gothic Church of the Martyr San Vicente.
Finally, worth mentioning is the Ensanche market which houses governmental offices, cafes and the best of restaurants where one can enjoy fresh products such as fruit, vegetables and fish.
Bilbao la Vieja
This is the oldest neighbourhood in Bilbao, even older than the medieval Casco Viejo on the other side of the San Antón bridge on the left bank of the estuary.
In recent years the area has undergone major changes thanks to the city council’s projects to restore the somewhat dilapidated old city centre to its former glory. Similar projects have been carried out all over Spain and Bilbao La Vieja is one such example.
The neighbourhood also has a high concentration of alternative exhibition spaces and art shops that reflect the latest trends.
Bilbao La Vieja has more and more gay-friendly shops and bars, which have helped modernise the area and breathe new life into its shops and nightlife.
There are lots of highly recommendable bars and restaurants.
Its main sights include:
The former La Merced church, now known as BilboRock, a former 1700 monastery that has been turned into a famous concert venue and theatre. It is a key piece in the city’s cultural life.
Many beautiful, architecturally interesting buildings: Casa Cuna, a 1912 modernist building close to the San Antón bridge, the Corazón de María church next to the square with the same name, Casa Galera and the Urazurrutia studios, a renovated building that is now a cultural centre, as well as many others...el Convento de la Congregación de las Siervas de Jesús, las Escuelas de San Francisco, la Fábrica de Harinas Ceres, la Casa de Socorro de Urazurrutia and el Cuartel.
You can walk to the area directly from Abando station, next to the Casco Viejo, through the Ribera tunnel, and across the Merced and San Antón bridges.
There is no Metro station in the area; the closest ones are at Abando and Casco Viejo.
There is a taxi rank in Plaza Corazón de María.
The Casco Viejo(Old Town) of Bilbao is located on the shore of the Nervion River forming the picturesque “Siete calles”( Seven Streets) full of historical monuments making it one of the most popular destinations of the city. This area boasts a great atmosphere during the day and night thanks to the numerous bars and restaurants that offer all of the culinary delights and nightlife of Bilbao. Here, you can find traditional taverns, trendy bars, pubs and anything you can imagine. Tradition is still present in the small shops that conserve charm and hospitality.
Close to the San Anton church, you will find the largest and the traditional Ribera market known for being the best place to buy fish.
The sixth Century old Santiago Cathedral is a great surprise with its impressive tower. Outside you can find traditional candies that honor it. The Plaza Nueva, a must see especially on Sundays, is a marketplace with with birds, stamps, coins, antiques and other fascinating objects that appeal to all. The Café Boulevard and the Bar Tilo are two interesting bars that have entertained patrons for decades that you will find on the shore in front of the Arriaga theatre where Basque culture and the Basque Museum, dedicated to Basque ethnicity and anthropology can be found.
The Deusto neighborhood is one of the largest and most populated neighborhoods of the city. It is a neighborhood that maintains its strong personality and identity. In fact, it is not uncommon to the people from the diditrict say “We are going to Bilbao” when crossing the bridge that connects to the Ensanche neighborhood.
The Deusto University, the neighboring colleges and the language school make Deusto a university neighborhood that welcomes thousands of students on a daily basis. The student atmosphere gives a lot of life to the area with it Gyms, Sports facilities, cinemas, etc.
The businesses of Deusto are mostly small traditional businesses. The main streets are Lehendakari Aguirre, Avenida Madriaga and Blas Otero. The Deusto neighborhood is also well known for the poteo ( going out for beer and wine) with the numerous amounts of bars and restaurants that serve exquisite pintxos and boast a great atmosphere.
There is a beautiful walk that goes through the Botica Vieja Park, next to the Bilbao River that leads to the Old Town of Bilbao. Furthermore, the neighborhood has good public transportation with the metro and several bus lines. Deusto is a neighborhood that never disappoints thanks to the energy, the student life and quality of life it has to offer.
On the right bank of the Bilbao estuary at the mouth of the River Nervión. It forms part of the Greater Bilbao county and the Bilbao metropolitan area. It is famous for its mansions built by the upper classes as the area underwent industrialisation.
The original neighbourhood is Santa María de Getxo, which forms the heart of the town; it has since expanded to take in six neighbourhoods: Las Arenas, Neguri, Algorta, Aiboa, Santa María de Getxo and Romo. The first two, with their charming late-19th-century mansions, were built as residential areas for the Biscayan industrial bourgeoisie. Algorta is the most populous neighbourhood in Getxo: it grew in the 1970s when middle-class families decided to find a more comfortable place to live.
The late-August neighbourhood festivities in Algorta and Remo are very popular. Santa María de Getxo boasts many houses and villas built in the 1990s.
Getxo has excellent transport connections. You can get here by road on the La Avanzada road (BI-637), the road along the estuary or the Uribe Kosta road. A number of bus routes link Getxo with Bilbao, Baracaldo and Lejona, as well as the University of the Basque Country’s Lejona –Erandio campus.
The most popular means of public transport in Getxo is the Bilbao metro (part of it runs on the old Bilbao–Plentzia railway line), which connects most of the districts of Greater Bilbao and links up with some Cercanías–Renfe suburban rail services and Abando Indalecio Prieto railway station in Bilbao (for onward journeys to most major Spanish cities)
Designed by Norman Foster, the metro is one of the most modern and attractive underground systems in Spain.
Las Arenas has excellent transport connections with Bilbao by metro (20') and bus; with Plentzia and its popular beach by metro (35'); with Portugalete using the Puente Colgante bridge; and with Artea shopping centre and Lejona university campus by bus.
Indautxu, similar to the Ensanche district, has wide streets and borders the Gran Via and Sabino Arana streets which surround the Plaza Indatxu Square making it an important meeting point of the city. The circular gardens and numerous infamous lamp posts are the new landmark of Bilbao.
Indautxu is an excellent neighborhood for Shopping with its trendy boutiques on the Iparraguirre, Ercilla, Rodriguez Arias and Maximo Aguirre streets. Furthermore, you will find traditional bars and taverns that host some of the best pintxos of the city.
Here, you will encounter some of the most representative buildings of Bilbao. The Alhóndiga, ancient winery, is one of the trendiest places full of activity and culture. Knowledge, culture and fun can all be found in this innovative space. This is the perfect place to share, learn and enjoy the company of friends and family.
Campo Volantín is possibly the most well known street in the Uribarri district. It is a beautiful promenade along the Bilbao River that starts at the City Hall and ends at the Plaza Salve, one of the city´s recreation areas. Close by, you can find the street Calle Castaños which has the Plaza Funicular. Here you will see the modernist Castaños market which is now used for art exhibits, art courses, a library and ludotecas.
One can take the Artxanda funicular which will take you up the mountain offering views of the “garden city”. At the top, there is lookout point giving a beautiful perspective of the city. This area known as Artxanda is an extensive urban zone with plenty of greenery, txakolis, picnic areas and top quality restaurants that attract many people from Bilbao on weekends.