- 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 in advance to see how much is charged.
- In restaurants, it is not as common to leave a tip as it is in other countries (e.g. USA)
- In 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 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 dark beer.
- 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
Lunch will be available at the venue at affordable prices (cheaper than restaurants or bars), so there's no need to go elsewhere 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 nice place to have lunch or dinner (Juan de Ajuriaguerra 23)
Just in front of ETSI you will find a 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 and art 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. All bars in Casco Viejo (Old Town) are perfect for eating "pintxos" and drinking some wine or beer. Here are some of the most popular bars in Old Town:
- In "Somera" street:
- Bar K2
- Bar Motrikes: 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: