12 Instagrammable places in Bilbao
Get your Spain visa, travel to Spain, and you are always in for a treat! The food, the weather, nature, and above all - the wonderful culture and warm-hearted locals. If you are eager to earn your most liked photo on Instagram, why not choose an unlikely but mesmerizing destination like Bilbao? There are tons of instagrammable places, and you will surely be stunned by some of the suggested places to visit in Bilbao, I promise! This is why I will try to offer a shortlist of the visually best places in Bilbao, along with a few hints on what you should do there.
Where is Bilbao, after all? Located on the North-Western coast of the Iberian peninsula, this city is relatively close to the French border and has been one of the most important Spanish ports throughout history. It is definitely important to mention that this city is located in the Basque Country, and that is unmistakably a super important part of this region’s identity. When visiting some of the instagrammable places, you will also notice the difference in the language because the Basque language is quite different from Spanish! Remember to mind the difference - locals are very proud of their cultural heritage and are fighting to gain independence from the Spanish state for a very long time. Ready to find out some of the most instagrammable places of this less likely gem? Then let`s start!
1. The best panoramic views from Mount Artxanda viewpoint
One of the most prominent instagrammable places, this viewpoint will give you a great view of the whole city and the surrounding mountains too. But what is even better is the red Bilbao tourist sign that will be the best stamp on your Instagram wall to manifest the fact you have arrived there! Head there on foot or take a funicular, the best shots with this instagrammable sign will be some time around midday or afternoon.
2. The ironic Bizkaia suspension bridge
You can’t leave Bilbao without making a picture with this unique bridge. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was built in 1893, but since then has become one of the most popular photography objects of the region. Take most liked Instagram photos with the bridge in the background, go up with the lift to cross it on foot, or use the small cable car to cross the river suspended from the red structure of this architectural masterpiece.
3. An episode of Game of Thrones in Gaztelugatxe
Okay, let’s set this straight. This picturesque islet is not one of the places to visit in Bilbao just because of GOT. You should go there because it is absolutely breathtaking, and I bet this will be the spot where you will make your most liked photo on Instagram. Just imagine a small islet and a man-made bridge of countless steps reaching from the coast up to the tiny chapel on top of it. If you have set your mind to conquering the path, please also keep in mind that it will take your breath literally - the steps are not easy to climb if you are not physically prepared. And definitely bear in mind to book your entrance beforehand in the time for sunset (you will be gobsmacked!)
4. An epic futuristic sight at the Guggenheim
Razor-sharp edges and unusual shapes of glass, titanium, and limestone make one of the most epic buildings in Europe. Surely, you had heard of this name even before you knew where is Bilbao; it is the name of the famous art museum and foundation in New York, after all. In 1997 they opened a new chapter in Bilbao, and since then, it has been one of the largest museums in Spain, but not only that. It is also one of the most important and instagrammable places to visit in Bilbao!
5. An authentic small-town vibe in the Old Port of Getxo
If you are looking for an opportunity to visit some instagrammable spots with an authentic small-town vibe, then this might be one of the best places in Bilbao to do it! Puerto Viejo or the Old Port is an incredibly picturesque place with both city vibes and hidden cobblestone streets for you to roam. Getxo, located just about 20 km from Bilbao city centre, is especially beloved also for the beautiful beaches and amazing cliffs. And the instagrammability-meter just hit the roof!
6. Everything local in Mercado de la Ribera
Anywhere you travel, the local market is one of the Instagrammable places to observe the local food and the culture, as well as the people. Mercado de la Ribera, housed in a one of a kind building (instagrammable!), will be a great place to capture some local cheeses, Iberian sausages and ham, and above all - pintxos (more on those in the next point). Just make all of your followers salivate and put your belly full of those authentic treats!
7. Foodie heaven in snack size - pintxos!
To make it easier for you, pintxos is just a way to say tapas in the Basque language, and believe me, they mean the world for the locals. Bite-sized snacks to enjoy alongside a drink together with friends or colleagues in almost any of the bars in the early evenings is just something you can not skip if you travel to Spain. First, they look absolutely finger-licking good. Imagine anything deep-fried, imagine cheeses, imagine pickles, and olives, and Spanish omelette. #yumm on your Instagram feed and stories! And second, you can do a Pintxos crawl to try all of the typical local foods in small amounts and become a connoisseur of Bilbaoan cuisine. Sounds good? La Ribera market is one of the places to visit in Bilbao for the best selection of pintxos. Or alternatively, go through more than 20 places in Plaza Nueva to get a more local vibe!
8. All the beaches to your liking
Do you remember where is Bilbao? It is right on the coast, and the particular geological composition in the region has really created way too many amazing and diverse beaches for people enjoying the water and people (like you) taking stunning pictures. Just choose what you prefer - rocks (Gorrondatxe-Azkorri), neverending greenery enclosing sandy beaches (Izuntza), or surfer’s paradise too (Laidatxu-Mundaka). These will be some of the most exotic beaches you have seen, and surely, will your followers appreciate that great as well.
9. Gather gourmet foodies with photos from Azurmendi
I just can’t stop with the food, because it is so great in this region! To try the best of the best and get transported in another culinary dimension, visit Azurmendi. It is a three-star Michelin restaurant just 15 minutes away from the city centre. Besides serving mind-blowing dishes, it is fully sustainable and located on the side of a mountain. Great views from the inside and the outside too!
10. The typical cityscape at the waterfront of Nevion River
Bilbao is located at the delta of the Nevion River, and it beautifully runs through the city, creating its character. It is no news that lots of travellers enjoy taking instagrammable pictures of picturesque waterfront houses, and this is one of the places in Bilbao to do that. Or rather a row of the places. Enjoy a chill afternoon just walking down the promenade, take countless pictures of the architecture, and marvel at your own creations while enjoying a drink on the banks of this prominent force. Expect to see both - the modern and the classic side of this city. And a lot of bridges!
11. Green bits of the city in Dona Casilda Iturrizar Park
It is a wonderful English-style garden and a plaza of charming beauty. Combining a variety of styles, the creator Pedro de Ispizua has created a pristine corner of peace and culture amidst the buzzing city. Nowadays concerts and other events are being held in this plaza. The centrepiece, and probably also what should be the main object of your pictures, is the beautiful cybernetic fountain and the palm trees right behind it. You will ask what is cybernetic? Simple enough - this fountain offers sound and light shows for the entertainment of the viewers and for your Instagram stories too.
12. Authentic cafeteria atmosphere in Cafe Iruna
This historic cafe has been around since 1903 and will charm you in a second with beautiful arches, colourful tiles, meticulous woodwork, frescoes, and a classic marble bar. It is the formula for instagrammable success - the amazing interior details will be emphasized by the fact that it is one of the best places in Bilbao to observe the locals. And don’t forget to order some of the great local delicacies to make #foodandtravel snaps too!
Let’s agree on one thing - Bilbao is definitely a place to discover, and even if you have not been considering putting this on your list when you travel to Spain, I strongly suggest reconsidering! It has everything to get your number of likes skyrocket and earn your most liked photo on Instagram. Super instagrammable food, nature, and the unexpected corners to surprise your followers with new and creative angles!
Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday.