This past weekend reached scorching temperatures in Madrid of 103° F (40°ish C). Having learned of this prediction a few days in advance, we (the boyfriend and I) decided to dip and avoid that torture all together. We chose the city with the lowest anticipated temperature within a 4 hour driving radius… Bilbao was it!
I’ve made it sound like a desperate decision, but in actuality I’ve been dying to visit this beautiful city and the Basque region in general. So we escaped the furnace of Madrid, and I’m relieved to say it was one of the best decisions we could’ve made. While the sweltering city of Madrid was sitting in it’s own stale heat with no relief, Bilbao was a pleasant 78-80° F (25/26° C) all weekend with refreshing coastal breezes. Not to mention exploring over the weekend in such a chilled out city was so fun and beautiful.
Of course one of the main points of interest is the Guggenheim museum, which is just as funky on the outside as it is on the inside.
Pinxos (pronounced “peen-chose”) and a beer at Mercado de la Ribera was just enough for lunch.
I’d recommend a pinxo crawl for dinner too. Since summers are quite hot, a light dinner will keep you from feeling heavy and sluggish.
And of course no trip to the coast is complete without a scenic drive and a beer by the beach. The touristic San Juan de Gaztelugatxe provides scenic views from afar, but the hike all the way to the church isn’t necessarily worth it. If you have enough time, make the hike down to one of the secluded beaches.
Sleep : Poshtel Bilbao
Breakfast : Café Wiché Bakery
Lunch/Dinner : Pinxo crawl in the old town, Mercado de la Ribera