Historical Walking Tour and Pintxo Dinner
Tour historic Bilbao and taste authentic Basque pintxos with drinks
Formerly a gritty industrial center known for its steal production, the Basque port city of Bilbao has recently risen to attain a new reputation as a cultural capital of Spain. The construction of the marvelous Guggenheim Museum, with its twisting waves of titanium that shimmer like fish scales in the sunlight, has drawn many visitors, who come for modern art and stay for what Bilbao does best – food.
Cross the tranquil Nervión River to Casco Viejo, the historical district also known as “The Seven Streets.” Climb the Mallona Stairs to Santiago Cathedral, then walk through bustling Mercado de la Ribera and browse regional products on offer. Join the locals on Santa Maria Street for a txikiteo (tapas crawl), trying each bar’s specialties. Bite-sized pintxos range from classics (croquettes, stuffed Piquillo peppers, creamy seafood spreads and the emblematic Gilda) to elaborate "haute cuisine" options with foie gras or truffle. Pair these with sparkling txakoli or locally popular kalimotxo (red wine with cola). Visit a sagardotegi, where Basque cider is served directly from the barrel with fluffy cod omelets, txuletón steak and Idiazábal cheese.
Basque cooking is a product of geography, with strong Spanish and French influences. A rugged mountain range separates the seafood of the coast from meats and vegetables found inland. Representative dishes include braised pigeon, grilled beef, alubiada (bean and sausage stew),marmitako (tuna pot), chicken in basquaise sauce, and bacalao al pil-pil (cod with creamy olive oil emulsion). Enjoy these classics in Plaza Nueva, built in a gorgeous neoclassical style, or treat yourself to a gourmet meal in one of Bilbao´s many Michelin-starred dining establishments.
And for a sweet treat try Gâteau Basque cake with a vanilla cream or black cherry filling.
Leave it to us, your new local friends, to map out a unique itinerary through Bilbao with special activities and foodie experiences tailored to your personal interests.