Walking through the Old Town of Bilbao. The best thing to visit

One of the experiences that you must live in this city is to visit the Casco Viejo, one of the best things to see in Bilbao and where a large part of the points of interest that exist in it are concentrated.

It is the oldest neighborhood in Bilbao and is a must-see, getting lost among the 7 streets that make it up and enjoying the famous pintxos that you can find throughout the Basque Country.

Here we are going to show you a list of the best things to visit in the Old Town of Bilbao. If you don’t want to miss anything in this neighbourhood, and in other areas of Bilbao, we recommend that you take this Bilbao Free Tour, one of the most recommended in the city.

A walk through the Old Town of Bilbao

Arriaga Theater

Bilbao - Arriaga TheaterThe Arriaga Theater is one of the best-known monuments in Bilbao and the gateway to the Old Town. It is not exactly in it, but one cannot be understood without the other, so it is necessary to talk about it in this article.

It is a neo- baroque building built at the end of the 19th century dedicated to one of the most important Spanish composers in history, Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga.

Its curved-convex facade will surprise you, as well as its interior with its boxes, the auditorium or the stairs.

Riverside Market

Bilbao - Ribera MarketAnother of the main places to see in the Old Town of Bilbao is the Mercado de la Ribera, located on one of its sides next to the Ría. It is the largest covered market in all of Europe and one of the country’s commercial benchmarks.

It is located in the old Plaza Mayor of Bilbao, in the same place where a market began to be held in the 14th century. At the end of the 19th century it was already a modernist-style covered market where all kinds of products were sold.

Its appearance changed in 2010 after undergoing extensive remodeling due to various structural flaws, but it has always maintained its spirit and grandeur.

Nearby is the Palacio Arana, the oldest of those in Bilbao and whose façade we must highlight.

Church of San Anton

Bilbao Old Town - San Antón ChurchNext to the Mercado de la Ribera, and next to the Ría too, is one of the most beautiful churches in Bilbao, the Iglesia de San Antón.

It is a Gothic church from the 15th century and it is the most popular religious temple among the people of Bilbao. It has had so much importance in the history of the city and of Vizcaya that it is represented on the coat of arms of Bilbao.

Its Renaissance-style entrance porch and exterior tower stand out, while inside we can see various sculptures such as one of Pietà and another of the Virgin of Begoña. There are also remains of the old wall of Bilbao.

Not far from this church we must highlight the Emilio Campuzano Institute building, one of the old Bilbao hospitals.

Bilbao Cathedral

Bilbao - CathedralVery close to the Mercado de la Ribera is the main religious temple of Bilbao, the Cathedral of Santiago, hidden among its streets but with unparalleled beauty.

Its current façade, neo- Gothic, dates from the 19th century after being rebuilt, but the original cathedral was built in the Gothic style between the 14th and 16th centuries. From it we must highlight the rose window, its tower and its spire.

If we enter the Cathedral of Bilbao we must pay attention to its stained glass windows, its central nave, the choir, the main altar and the altarpieces of its many chapels. The cloister is also another highlight.

This guided tour of the historic center of Bilbao and the Cathedral of Santiago begins here, with which you will discover not only this cathedral but the entire neighborhood in a very special way.

The new square

Bilbao - New SquareAt last we arrive at the heart of the Old Town of Bilbao, where all the life of the city and the largest atmosphere in the area are concentrated. It is an arcaded square, one of the most beautiful in the Basque Country.

The Plaza Nueva was built in a neoclassical style during the 19th century and is home to some of the most important pintxo bars.

On Sundays it comes to life when an interesting antiques and collectibles market is set up there.

Miguel de Unamuno Square

Bilbao - Old TownAnother of the main squares to visit in Bilbao is the Plaza de Miguel de Unamuno, also very famous, with a lot of history behind it and with important points of interest in it.

It stands out for being a square built on 2 levels and for the staircase that leads to the Basilica of Begoña, leaving aside the Archaeological Museum of Bizkaia, one of the museums found here next to the Museum of the Holy Week Steps or the Museum Basque of Bilbao.

In the square there is also a statue of Miguel de Unamuno and a curious fountain. Some of the most important of the Seven Streets of Bilbao also start from it.

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