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Top Markets in Bilbao

Top Markets in Bilbao

Bilbao—the biggest, buzziest, and most cosmopolitan city in Spain’s Basque Country—hosts an assortment of well-stocked markets. From bazaars piled high with antiques and knickknacks to vast food markets where locals get their groceries, here are a few of the best places to shop in Bilbao. 

Plaza Nueva

Every Sunday, Plaza Nueva in Bilbao’s Old Quarter (Casco Viejo) rings with the din of bartering as treasure hunters trawl the stalls searching for collectibles and other items of value. The offerings at this flea market are diverse: On any given week, you might see used books, vintage jewelry, rare coins, and even live birds. It’s a must-do for anyone who enjoys sifting for bargains. The market is at its biggest and best during summer. 

La Ribera Market (Mercado de la Ribera)

The mother of all Bilbao’s markets and one of Europe’s most famous, this huge indoor market spans three floors and hosts over 180 stands selling all manner of edible goods, from just-plucked-from-the-soil vegetables and fresh-caught fish to cured meats and cheeses. Best of all, the ground floor has a food court where visitors can stuff themselves silly with pintxos (Basque tapas), including crispy, creamy croquettes and slices of bread topped with meat and cheese. 

St. Thomas’ Day Market (Mercado Rural de Santo Tomas)

This annual open-air festive market takes place in late December on Plaza del Arenal and Plaza Nueva. More than 260 sellers truck in produce from all over the Basque Country, with everything from vegetables and bread to talo con chorizo (corn tortilla with sausage) and txakoli (a lightly sparkling white wine) on offer. 

Flower Market (Mercado de las Flores)

Taking place every Sunday in the old town’s Arenal Park, this fabulous flower market is one of the most colorful in the city. In addition to flowers, vendors also hawk houseplants, fresh herbs, and seeds. Even if you don’t plan on purchasing anything, it’s worth coming just to admire the displays. 

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5 Tours and Activities

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The Premier Bilbao Food & Wine Walking Tour

The Premier Bilbao Food & Wine Walking Tour

star-5
135
Learn all about traditional pintxos (the Basque version of Spanish tapas) on a guided walking tour of Bilbao's bars. At each stop, sample one or two of these delightful little bar snacks accompanied with a glass of wine, beer, or hard cider. Get an insider's perspective of the ancient part of the city that dates back to 1300. Consider booking this tour at the beginning of your Bilbao vacation so you can return to your favorite hotspots for more pintxo sampling.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$115.40
From
$115.40

Bilbao Classic & Modern

Bilbao Classic & Modern

star-4.5
7
Get acquainted with Bilbao old and new in one trip with this small-group walking tour, ideal for first-time visitors. Stroll around the landmarks of the cobbled Old Town (Casco Viejo) and cross the River Nervion to view the turn-of-the-century buildings and avenues of the New Town, learning how it developed during the 1800s. On route, enjoy a ‘txikiteo’ or ‘poteo’ bar crawl, tasting 'pintxos' (skewered tapas) at various drinking spots.
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  • 3 hours
From
$95.87
Price varies by group size
From
$95.87
Price varies by group size

History of the old town of Bilbao and traditional food

History of the old town of Bilbao and traditional food

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1
Get an insider's perspective on the culinary scene in Bilbao with a meal at a txoko, a gastronomical club, where members come together to share recipes, talk about food, and eat. Enjoy some Basque specialties in a relaxed and festive atmosphere in the Old Quarter of Bilbao. You set the time for this experience to best suit your vacation schedule.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
From
$115.40
Price varies by group size
From
$115.40
Price varies by group size

Bilbao of legend

Bilbao of legend

Experience Bilbao's culture and history through Basque cuisine on a private tour of Casco Viejo, the city's fascinating old quarter. You'll stop to eat and drink in a series of four bars to get an in-depth look at the local food scene as you join a crowd of locals, or Bilbaínos, at each location. Morning and afternoon departures are available for this private tour, which includes four snacks and drinks per person.
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  • 3 hours
From
$59.19
Price varies by group size
From
$59.19
Price varies by group size

Bilbao: Guided Pintxos Tour

Bilbao: Guided Pintxos Tour

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4
Discover the streets and cuisine of Bilbao Old Town (Casco Viejo) in one experience on this private walking tour. Explore the cobbled lanes, and stop to visit medieval churches and landmarks that illustrate Bilbao’s history and 14th-century roots. Along the way, pause to sample ‘pintxos’ (bite-sized appetizers), at four eateries: savoring the skewered eats with drinks as your guide describes their place in Bilbao’s food and culture. Flexible itinerary, entrance fees, tastings, and drinks included.
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  • 3 hours
From
$100.40
Price varies by group size
From
$100.40
Price varies by group size