back in bilbao is the bits and pieces we managed to steal of the city during this extended weekend. we were in town 5 years ago so this time it was more about walking around and discovering all the nooks and crannies and less about the guggenheim – which incidentally celebrates 20 years of existence this year.

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i’ll start with the beautiful metro bilbao, the work of architect norman foster.

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we stayed in casco viejo and we enjoyed it. every time you walk out the door, you find yourself in the middle of the excitement.

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this is one of the few pictures i took of the guggenheim this time around.

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this is the bilbao city hall.

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going out in casco viejo on a saturday night is a serious undertaking. you need to swim through the crowds and be skillful enough to find a place to sit. honestly, without our local friend, i know we would have failed.

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this is the view from my friends’ majical garden on the 5th floor. no, it’s not a typo. it exists and it has flowers and cats. sigh!

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this is the bilbao arena by acxt/javier pérez uribarri y nicolás espinosa barrientos .

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a rear view of the estacio abando aka estacio del norte. scroll to see a nice pic from the inside.

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if you are in town, don’t miss a ride with the funicular de artxanda. you have below only a little bit of the entire view.

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this is the zubizurri bridge by santiago calatrava. since the bridge was opened for the public, several shortcomings made themselves painfully obvious and the city hall tried to fix them. the architect sued them for ruining his design and won 30,000 euro in damages. one of the problems was the fact that the municipality covered with a non-slip carpet the entire length of the bridge originally made of glass bricks. in a city where it rains a lot… after several such mishaps and court cases, i have no idea how calatrava continues to be celebrated as he is.

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this is my favourite building in bilbao. it’s the basque health department by juan-coll barreu.

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this used to be a wine storage but has been repurposed with the help of philippe starck. it used to be called alhondiga but has been recently re-baptized to bear the name of the mayor lol, azkuna zentroa.

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this is the mercado de la ribera, by the river. a good place to buy groceries, but also to have coffee and/or pintxos.

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how cute is this art deco train station? it is called estación de bilbao-concordia or estación de la concordia.

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this is the image that, years ago, put bilbao on my list.

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the bilbao airport is called la paloma because of its two symmetrical wings and it was designed by santiago calatrava. i like it. when you arrive, do not miss the tourist info point. it’s a great place, you will leave with all the info you need.

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below, three of the pictures i took from the airplane. you can see the puente colgante in getxo, the gaztalugatxe and getaria. i loved seeing the basque country from above!

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i learned so much during this trip and i loved that. also, we were so busy we totally forgot about our everyday lives and that’s always a plus!

photo credits: little aesthete

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