The Great Bilbao!
While you are in Bilbao you will hear for sure: “el Gran Bilbao”, as locals call their city. Its locals tend to think that their city is the best in the world, and you will always listen how they talk about the city in a very proud way! At the beginning I thought that my host family and the school were just exaggerating about the city, but then I realized they were talking seriously!!! After enjoying a month in the Great Bilbao I could understand why they talked in such a way about Bilbao.
First of all, the city has loads of things to do and see, as you could expect from a quite big city like this (don’t forget the Geggenheim museum). In addition to that, you can enjoy going to one of the nearby sandy beaches, going to the nearby green and fresh mountains or just going for a walk along the Ría of Bilbao. However, Bilbao is a city you really need to EXPERIENCE. I was there in August, in my opinion, a good time of the year for visiting this city.
If you would like to visit some nearby attractive villages I visited Bermeo (a traditionally fisher village) and San Juan de Gastelugatxe (an island from where you will have amazing views).
People from Bilbao love food and eating! They have what they called “pintxos”, very elaborated small “appetizers or tapas”, which they eat in the middle of the morning, in the afternoon or before dinner. I got to know the culture because I was very lucky and met many locals. They also like the “poteo”. Going the whole group of friends for one bar to another drinking wines or small beer glasses before dinner or lunch! It is lots of fun and this custom should spread to the rest of the world! They usually do it on Saturdays before going for dinner the whole group of friends together (what they call cuadrilla). If you like fish (I do!!) you will love the typical dishes of Bilbao, such as Marmitako or Cod with pil pil souce.
The Semana Grande festival takes place during this month. There is music the whole day long during this period and no matter where you go, you will find a street performance or something different to do. During the night there are also big music bands playing their music and all for free!!! I joined the party with my classmates and I will never forget that experience!
• I think that in the Gugghenheim museum is better the outside than the inside. Above all Puppy, a huge dog flower sculpture (wonderful).
• Airport: every 30 minutes there is a bus from Bilbao airport to Bilbao bus station. From there you can take a local bus or the brandnew tram and head to your accommodation.