- This spring, the weather in Bilbao has been more rainy than usual, so we expect to have a rainy summer. Pack your umbrella!
- Do not expect to be able to pay with credit cards in bars and pubs. You can usually pay with a credit card in restaurants.
- There is a good network of cash machines, but expect to pay a commission. Check with your bank, how much is charged in advance.
- In the restaurants, it is not as common to leave a tip as it is in other countries (e.g. USA)
- In the bars and restaurants smoking is not allowed.
- VAT for restaurants and related services is 10%. General VAT is 21%.
- A typical lunch' is called "Menú del día" (menu of the day) and consists of a starter, a main course and a dessert. Wine and water are included. You can also ask for a coffee or tea, but these are typically not included.
- Do not expect to find a lot of vegetarian restaurants. You can always ask for two vegetable starters, though.
- Times for meals are late, in comparison to other countries:
- Lunch at 13:00 or more commonly at 14:00, but you'll be even able to get lunch at 15:00 or 15:30
- Dinner at 21:00 or 22:00. It is difficult to find dinner before 20:30.
Typical drinks served in bars: apart from beers, soft drinks, here are some local specialities:
- Caña (pronounced 'can-yeah'): a beer not from bottle but from barrel. Not easy to find black one.
- Zurito (pronounced 'thou-ree-toh'): a small beer, served in a glass or cup
- Kalimotxo (pronounced 'kal-eem-o-sho'): wine with coke
- Kalitxiki (pronounced 'kal-ee-shee-kee'): a small kalimotxo
- Pika (pronounced 'pee-cah'): beer with lemon
- Pikatxiki: a (you catched!) small pika
- Cosechero, Crianza, Reserva: red wines.
Some reference prices:
- Beer or soft drink: between 2 € and 3 €.
- Crianza: between 1.5 € and 2 €.
- Zurito or kalitxiki or pikatxiki: 1 €.
- Coffee or tea: 1.5 €.
- Average price for a "menú del día": 12 €
- Average price for a dinner: 18 €
Close to the venues
There will be lunch available at the venue for everyone at very affordable prices (cheaper than at restaurants or bars), so there's no need to go out for lunch. However, if you want to go somewhere else, here's some additional information:
- Bizkaia Aretoa
On Mazarredo street, just in front of Guggenheim Museum you will find a lot of inexpensive places. You can also walk two minutes and go to "Gambrinus", a very nice place to have lunch or dinner (Juan de Ajuriaguerra 23)
Just in front of ETSI you will find a very nice bar called "Antzi" (Luis Briñas 13) to eat some pintxos and drink a beer or wine,
Vegetarian and vegan friendly
Vegetarian, vegan friendly.
Fernandez del Campo 7, Bilbao
Also serves meat.
Gran Via Diego Lopez Haro, 55 (near Guggenhein andart museums) Bilbao
Dinner menu is meat based.
General Castillo 3, Bilbao
Vegetarian, mostly vegan dishes.
Santa Maria 10, Bilbao
Vegetarian, closed on weekends.
Gipuzkoa 7, Deusto, Bilbao
Bars and Pubs
- Maestro García Rivero
- Casco Viejo. Alls bar in the Old Town are perfect for eating "pintxos" and drink some wine or beer. Anyway here you have some of the most popular bars in the Old Town:
- In "Somera" street:
- Bar K2
- Bar Motrikes: Don't hesitate to ask for their "perretxiko" (a kind of mushroom) pintxo.
- Bar Madariaga: very good "bokatas"
- Bar Jaunak
- Bar Gambrinus
- In "Plaza Nueva" square, you'll be able to find lot of places in the four sides of the square.
- Café-bar Bilbao
- Bar Negresco
- Taberna Plaza Nueva
- Víctor Montes
- Santa María street
- In "Somera" street: