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Bilbao, Spain for the day Via Princess Cruise

Bilbao, Spain for the day Via Princess Cruise

Mar 13th, 2018, 10:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 37
Bilbao, Spain for the day Via Princess Cruise

Docking in Bilbao for the day via Princess Cruise. Love to tour on our own. Any tips, Cab, Bus, love to walk.
jdp08050 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2018, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi jdp,

We were less than impressed by the Guggenheim museum.

ira is online now  
Mar 13th, 2018, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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For a different opinion, we were surprised how much we enjoyed the Guggenheim. I had heard the architecture was interesting but the art inside was not. We, however, found we enjoyed quite a bit of the art and loved the inside and outside of the building. The old town is quite nice to stroll through. We took a trolley between the old town and the Guggenheim.
KTtravel is offline  
Mar 13th, 2018, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Have you looked in any guidebooks to see which of Bilbao's many wonderful options suit YOUR interests? I thought the Guggenheim's architecture well worth admiring from inside and out; the Museum of Fine Arts is quite good; there's a wonderful museum on Basque culture; some great streets for roaming; a UNESCO World Heritage Site bridge a bit out of town....
kja is offline  
Mar 13th, 2018, 09:46 PM
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,076
Bilbo for the day

There is more then enough to keep you busy for one day, and even more if you are interested in indulging in great cuisine. I suggest you take a look at Maribel’s Guide to Bilbao to get an idea of what to do and where to eat. If you want to enjoy a decent lunch, you’ll need reservations.
Robert2016 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2018, 01:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I live in Bilbao, so I may be of help. First of all, the cruise dock is not in Bilbao, but in Getxo, about 9 miles from Bilbao city center. You´ll either need a taxi, walk to the nearest metro station (Gobela, 20min) or use the shuttle (if any) provided by the cruise company. We have a great old quarter, authentic, void of tourist traps. "Pintxos", the Basque version of tapas, would be a good choice if you don´t want to sit down for a meal. We have one per bar, with a glass of wine or a small glass of beer, cider...And we do have hundreds of bars (ironically, you don´t go to them to drink...hard to explain, but it´s a place to socialize with family and friends) Very close to the cruise dock, two must sees: Puente Bizkaia, a unique construction, UNESCO World Heritage, and the Puerto Viejo de Algorta, with houses from the 17th century in a quaint fishing town atmosphere.

In Bilbao, the Guggenheim, obviously. Impressive from outside, and moreover from the other side of the river. Also, the 103 year old funicular train to top of Artxanda, very special, for the best views of the valley where Bilbao is located (green mountains all around the city). And the Azkuna Zentroa, how a former wine warehouse has been transformed in to a civic and cultural center. Walk in the Gran Vía, check the house where John Adams slept during his visit to the BAsque Country to learn about our laws, see his statue by the impressive Diputación building...and enjoy the lovely atmosphere of this walkable town (by the way, a great metro system). Bilbao has been declared best European destination for 2018, the transformation of this city has been awesome. But, of course, I´m biased...
mikelg is online now  
Mar 14th, 2018, 06:58 AM
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Mikelg nails it. Bilbao is scenic, atmospheric, historic, tasty -- and a vibrant example of how a rusty industrial city can turn itself into a centerpiece (sparked by the one-of-a-kind Guggenheim.)
Southam is offline  
Mar 14th, 2018, 10:04 AM
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Just FYI - the place you dock, Gexto, is actually very scenic - a long waterfront promenade with lovely old mansions. You could go into Bilbao, do a pinxtos stroll, see the outside of the Guggenheim and finish with a stroll in Gexto. You might want to consider a tour / day trip to San Sebastion - we did that using local transportation but in retrospect, not a very good idea, took up too much time.
suec1 is online now  
Mar 15th, 2018, 11:44 AM
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Thank you so much. I have been notified that the ship will not provide any transportation, other an a booked tour to Bilbao. The tours are expensive
and short ( hate taking photos from a buss or given time to shop only on the walk back to buss).
Is it safe to book a cab from the port to Old Town and are there local tour providers at the port?
We are very active walkers and in our 70's and find visiting and mixing with locals a treasure not to be missed, but worry about trust issues and getting back to ship on time, sometimes too much. Ship will be in port 9:00AM to 10PM
jdp08050 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2018, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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You can walk a bit to the subway, I think, that will take you into Bilbao. Go to Cruisecritic, ports section, for details. You have plenty of time! You can probably get a cab at the dock altho they may want to give you a tour, rather than just take you into the city. Celebrity had shuttles, for a price of course, are you sure Princess is not extending that option? But again, you have plenty of time to get into Bilbao and spend some in Gexto as well.
suec1 is online now  
Mar 15th, 2018, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Taxi drivers will not speak English, so maybe a taxi tour is not that suitable. But true, plenty of time to get to Bilbao, taxis are readily available and it´s absolutely safe, top class service.
mikelg is online now  
Mar 15th, 2018, 05:36 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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Bilbao has a marvelous subway system, clean and easy to use. And I would have no concern about safety of taxis.
Mikelg himself (poster on this thread) is a renowned local guide who could formulate an itinerary for you. We were all set to go with him last year but I neglected to confirm the date so we missed out!

There are some wonderful restaurants in Bilbao, and I think the Gugg is well worth visiting. The exterior and the Serra works are highlights for me, but we once caught an excellent exhibition in the temporary galleries. Sunset is a great time to be outside. And the Casco Viejo, the old part of the city, is most atmospheric.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 15th, 2018, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jdp08050 View Post
We are very active walkers and in our 70's and find ... mixing with locals a treasure not to be missed
Then take public transportation -- easy, convenient, reliable.
kja is offline  
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