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Useful Information


Not To Be Missed


Bilbao by Land, Sea and Air


Green Route


Athletic Experience


Cultural Agenda Exhibitions








Holy Week Processions


Fine Dining


Bilbao at Night


Bilbao for Families




Basque World


basque FEST






Come and discover the “Basque Passion” this Easter. Bilbao is where you will find a cocktail of sensations where architecture, design, culinary heritage, nature, beach, tradition and character are combined with the quality of its tourist services and its first-rate shopping. Immerse yourself in our culture and enjoy the range of contemporary leisure that is still in touch with its roots. Bilbao will delight you as you discover all it has to offer on foot. The route along the river banks takes you past buildings and works of art by some of the best architects and artists of the world and captures the history of a city and the endeavours of its inhabitants to transform difficulties into success. Another gift that Bilbao offers the visitor is its closeness to stunning historical towns, green spaces and the coast. Less than half an hour away on the Metro underground, you can enjoy magnificent beaches and cliffs with views over the rough Bay of Biscay and go surfing. Then, there is the internationally renowned culinary heritage, which combines tradition with cutting-edge techniques and which has positioned some of its dishes, chefs and traditions among the creme de la crème.



USEFUL INFORMATION Opening hours for Bilbao Turismo Tourist Information Offices

Bilbao Bizkaia Be Friendly Bilbao is a modern city, brimming with opportunities, and known as a tourist-friendly destination in Europe scene, where you will find a select variety of bars, restaurants, fashion boutiques and many other establishments where people get along together.

Ensanche Office 28 - 31 March: from 11.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. Closed on 1 April. Guggenheim Office (next to the museum) 22 March - 1 April from 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. Arraiga Office (ground floor of the Arriaga Theatre) 23 March - 1 April: 9.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 to 7:30 p.m.

Bilbao and its Pavement Tiles

Bilbao Card

BALDOSA DE BILBAO PAVEMENT TILES This pavement tile dates back to the first half of the 20th century, when it was introduced to make life safer for pedestrian in a wet clime such as Bilbao and it is now one of the best known symbols of the city. Its design features on many souvenirs and gift items, and its shape has even inspired a delicious cake that you can try at the cake shops of Bilbao. This type of pavement tile with its rosette style design features grooves in the shape of a flower, one for each of the four quadrants with channels draining water off to the sides. The drawing is repeated four times on a 60 x 60 cm square tile.

The Bilbao Card lets you use the urban public transport at a special rate. You will also get significant discounts on guided visits of the city, tourist buses, at museums, leisure establishments, shops, restaurants, for shows and other services. The Bilbao Card is available for 1, 2 or 3 days. It is available from the Bilbao Turismo offices or from the website.

Booking Centre is the official Bilbao Turismo service to make it easy for visitors to book any tourist service in the city. Tel.: 902 877 298.

GREEN PAVEMENT TILES Bilbao has 250 tiles used as signs with information that indicate the path to the wooded parks of the greenbelt that surrounds the city. These are nine G.R. (Long Distance) routes that cover around 70 kilometres. These tiles are in addition to the signs that are already in place at different strategic points of the city to indicate the way to the Bilbao mountains and their recreational areas.

Shop Opening Hours At Easter, the shop windows in Bilbao are already dressed for the spring season. New colours, the latest trends, new emotions... Just the right time to come to Bilbao and browse the shops that are open from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m., except on bank holidays.

Wi-Fi Bilbao has a free network of 45 Wi-Fi zones located in the main tourist centres and in all the districts of the city.

Useful Phone Numbers • Ertzaintza (Basque National Police). Sos-Deiak: 112. • Local Police: 092. • Bilbao International Airport: 902 404 704


ECO-FRIENDLY TILES The design and resistance of this tile is the same as that of the “Bilbao Pavement Tiles”. It special feature is that “GeoSilex” is used to make this paving that allows CO2 to be absorbed. Bilbao is the first city in the State that uses this environmentally sustainable system. They are laid in pedestrian areas. Family outings All the activities that appear in this leaflet may be modified.


Come and discover everything Bilbao has to offer this Easter. Activities to know its history, traditions and architecture, outstanding and eye-catching exhibitions, music, dance, etc. Here are some of our “musts” to really enjoy your time in Bilbao.

Get to know about Bilbao, its culture and character through the “basque FEST”. At Easter, a comprehensive programme of concerts, theatrical performances, country sports, basque dances, etc will be organised, along with some delicious culinary initiatives. The basque FEST guide is available from BilbaoTurismo offices and hotel establishments.

La Ribera Market The recently refurbished La Ribera Market, a temple to gastronomy on the banks of the river estuary, is another must in the search for succulent food. It is a retail flagship for the whole of Bizkaia. Thousands of people flock to this food market everyday in the certainty that they will find the best tasty products there.



Route around the AlhondigaBilbao columns Let yourself be seduced by the stunning designs of the 43 columns that make up the main courtyard of AlhóndigaBilbao. This former wine warehouse, which was refurbished and transformed under the watchful eye of Philippe Starck, has become an innovative culture and recreational centre.


Txikitos and pintxos The food and wine ritual par excellence in Bilbao is to go from bar to bar, tasting the pintxos and txikitos (traditional wine glasses), while you enjoy the good company and atmosphere. Casco Viejo, Maestro García Rivero, Deusto, Ledesma, Licenciado Poza… are some of the favourite spots with the local to enjoy this age-old tradition.

The streets of Bilbao are the backdrop for thirteen processions with over two thousand brethren. Their artistic heritage is a true treasure built up over four centuries of perseverance. A unique opportunity to enjoy the major works of the imagery of the Bilbao Holy Week is the Procession of the Entombment [Santo Entierro] on Good Friday, which is the most important in terms of the crowds and the quality of the images in the procession.

Something sweet in Bilbao Butter buns, Carolinas and rice cakes are just some of the pastries made by the local bakeries. You shouldn’t leave the “botxo”, as Bilbao is known, without giving in to this sweet temptation

The Flower Market “Art in War. France 1938 – 1947: from Picasso to Dubuffet”

The traditional Flower Market is held in the Arenal sheds from 9.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on Sundays. Branches, plants, colours, scents and a great atmosphere are what make this Sunday ritual special.

Abandoibarra: Open air Pritzker catalogue Discover on foot, by bike and from the river one of the most sophisticated areas of Europe, which boasts buildings by some of the best architects in the world such as Gehry, Moneo, Siza, Isozaki, Pelli or Calatrava.

Art District Bilbao Art District is an area of the city between the Maritime Museum, Albia Gardens, Colón de Larreategui and the Paseo Abandoibarra. It is a unique setting with galleries, museums, booksellers, restorers and a sample of openair sculptures by artists of the ilk of Dalí, Chillida, M.Lüpertz, Galarza, Tucker, Rückriem, Koons or Sir A Caro.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Guided tours Book a place on the tours organised by Bilbao Turismo and a professional guide will help you discover the iconic areas of the city, such as the Casco Viejo [Old Town], the Ensanche or Abandoibarra, such important buildings as the Arriaga theatre, Bilbao Town Hall or the Arriaga theatre, or plunge yourself into a thrilling journey through the artistic stained glasses of Bilbao.

This exhibition shows how, against the background of oppression experienced in France during World War II and the Nazi occupation, the artists of that era rebelled against the official slogan, by means of innovative aesthetical responses that would change the future of art. The exhibition contains over 500 works by 50 or so artists, including Georges Braque, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Alberto Giacometti, Vasily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso or Joseph Steib.

“Néstor Basterretxea. Form and Universe” Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. It is the most important retrospective held so far of the work of Néstor Basterretxea, considered to be one of the main reformists of Basque sculpture. This exhibition features nearly 60 years of an intense creative journey where he has worked with many different artistic techniques and expressions.



Tours Of The Town Hall And The Ibaigane Palace Building Learn everything there is to know about two iconic buildings of Bilbao: The Town Hall and Ibaigane Palace. During the visit to the Town Hall you will be able to visit rooms such as the Assembly Hall or the spectacular Arab Room, the finest example of Neo-Arabe decor in Spain. The tour to the Ibaigane Palace, the official headquarters of the Athletic Club de Bilbao football club, is an opportunity to discover all the details of an iconic building in the Neo-Basque style. Open on: 24, 28, 29, 30, 31 March and 1 April. Tour times: 11:00 a.m. Duration: approximately 2 hours. Price: €3. Languages: Basque-Spanish-English. Ticket sales: Bilbao Turismo Office located n the ground floor of the Arriaga Theatre.

You just have to choose the best way to discover Bilbao and the one you prefer. We have come up with different ways to visit the city that capture its essence and history. By land, sea and air, different and spectacular perspectives of a Bilbao brimming with history and spots to be photographed.

Guided Walking Tours Discover Bilbao as a professional guide takes you around two areas that capture the feel of the city: the Casco Viejo (Old Town) and Ensanche-Abandoibarra. CASCO VIEJO at 10.00 a.m. Meeting point: Bilbao Turismo Office located n the ground floor of the Arriaga Theatre. Price €4.5. ENSANCHE-ABANDOIBARRA at 12.00 noon. Meeting point: Bilbao Turismo Office located next to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Price €4.5. Every weekend and on 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 March and 1 April. Duration: 90 minutes. Languages: Basque-Spanish-English.


Sightseeing Bus A convenient and different way of discovering the city. Bilbao Tour Sightseeing Bus provides a comprehensive and privileged view of the city. Ticket valid for 24 hours. Tour times: 28, 29, 30 and 31 March: 11.00 a.m.12.00 noon - 1.00 - 3.00 - 4.00 - 5.00 and 6.00 p.m. From 1 April: 1.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. No service on Tuesdays. Further information: Tel.: 696 42 98 47 / 696 42 98 48

Sailing Through Bilbao Learn about the history of Bilbao as you sail along the River Estuary and enjoy the magnificent views of the city. With Bilboats you can sail past the city’s cutting-edge architecture, immerse yourself in its industrial past and get to know the real Bilbao with all the facts and figures, traditions and outstanding points of interest of a city that has always been closely linked to its river. Sailing through Bilbao: from 28 March to 1 April: 1.00-4.00-5.30 and 7.00 p.m. Sailing to Sea: from 28 March to 1 April: 10:30 a.m. Tel.: 94 642 41 57 y 644 442 055

Rowing along the River Estuary Enjoy the views from the river estuary as you row along. Come along and try out the experience of rowing in an enjoyable and easy way. This activity is for anybody who wants to have a go and no prior experience is necessary. Dates: from 28 March to 1 April. Time: from 11.00 a.m. to 14.00 p.m and from 16:30 p.m. to 19.00 p.m. Departure point: Pío Baroja pier (opposite Bilbao Town Hall). Price per person: €5. Contact: Directly at Pío Baroja at the times given or by calling 646 682 060.



From the Artxanda Funicular railway station to the San Roke chapel

Panoramic view of the city

By Bike, Segway or Kickbike

One of the best panoramic views of Bilbao is from the top of Mount Artxanda which is easily reached by the funicular railway that dates back to 1915. You can enjoy the magnificent views of the architectural landmarks of the city and the River winding through it. It is also an ideal spot to enjoy being outdoors, do some sport or enjoy a traditional dish.

A convenient, practical and sustainable way of visiting the city. Rent a bike, Segway or Kickbike and go off on your own to joined a guided tour around Bilbao.

Bilbao artistic stained glass route Come along on this breathtaking artistic journey through light, glass and colour to discover an essential part of the architectural heritage of Bilbao. The buildings and churches of Bilbao bear its hallmark and know-how of the main European workshops: Casa Dagrand, Maumejean, Mayer de Munich, Gustave-Louis Dhuamel and José María Muñoz. Tours: 28 March to 31 April. Tour times: 5:00 p.m. Duration: 90 minutes. Languages: Basque-Spanish-English. Price: €4.50 Ticket sales: Bilbao Turismo Office located n the ground floor of the Arriaga Theatre.

URBAN BIKE Bike hire and guided bike tours. 2-hour tours around Bilbao with a Guide. Dates: Guided tours from 28 March to 1 April. Departure time: 10.15 a.m. Return: 12.15 p.m. Departure point: URBAN BIKE (C/ Villarías 3). Price per person: €18.80. Telephone: 944 077 373. IBILBI Kickbike hire and guided tour. Routes. Dates: 27 March to 2 April. Departure time: 10.30 a.m. Return: 1.30 p.m. Departure point: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Price per person: €29. Children 6 and under free in the trailer. Children aged 6-12 on kickbike junior: €15. Telephone: 633 03 20 70. SEGWAY Hire a Segway and set off to discover the city. Contact address: Alameda Mazarredo, 67, bis (Opposite the Guggenheim). Telephone: 94 423 81 14. Hotel Miró and the Ganbara youth hostel also have bikes for hire.

The mountains surrounding Bilbao loom up over the city. They are the perfect spot to enjoy nature and a pleasant walk. Our suggestion is an stroll of less than 2 kilometres in all, when you will be able to wind down and enjoy magnificent views over Bilbao and the surrounding area. The route starts from the Funicular railway that takes you to Artxanda, one of the best lookout points over Bilbao. From there, you go across the park, cross the road and take the San Roque path, a tarmac route that goes past several of the restaurants to be found here. After walking for 800 metres, take the path going off to your left, which climbs up through a grove of Holm oak trees to the chapel. There are magnificent panoramic views to be enjoyed from here over the Txorierri valley, Uribe Kosta and Bilbao River Estuary. This strategic position meant that defensive trenches were dug in the area around the chapel during the Civil War. Artxanda now offers a variety of culinary experiences, thanks to its many restaurants.. The area also has open-air recreational areas, with picnic tables and children’s playgrounds.

San Roke chapel

Artxanda Funicular

“La Huella” sculpture



Long life Athletic ATHLETIC CLUB - GRANADA La Liga match. Monday 1 April. Time: 8:00 p.m.

Athletic Bilbao stores SAN MAMÉS San Mamés Stadium. Felipe Serrate, 5. 48013 Bilbao. Telephone: 94 441 36 08. Opening times: Monday to Friday: 10.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. 10.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. on Saturday 30 March. Sunday 31 March: Time to be confirmed. Please check website Monday 1 April: 10.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. to the end of the match.


ATHLETIC CLUB REKALDE Alameda Rekalde, 44. 48011 Bilbao. Telephone: 94 410 08 43. Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 to 8.00 p.m. Closed on Thursday 28 March and Friday 29 March.

Streets in red and white Athletic Club de Bilbao is much more than a football team. It represents the values of endeavours and commitment, pride in local traditions, its history and the commitment to its academy as a philosophy. You can now discover, experience and embrace the Athletic Football Club.

Athletic Football Club Museum

BIDEBARRIETA Bidebarrieta, 10. 48005 Bilbao. Telephone: 94 479 42 22. Located in the heart of San Mamés Stadium, the museum showcases the history of our hundred-year-old club by means of the kit, flags, photographs, trophies, etc. Entrance to the museum also includes a guided visit to the San Mamés stadium, internationally known as “La Catedral”, and where you visit the VIP box to the locker-rooms and benches. A veritable luxury for a 100% Athletic experience. Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 to 7.00 p.m. 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on Sunday 31 March and Monday 1 April. Guided tours around the pitch: 10.30 a.m., 11.30 a.m., 12.30 a.m., 1.15 p.m., 4.30 p.m., 5.30 p.m. and 6.15 p.m. If you want to visit the Museum, you should arrive 30 minutes before the above times.

Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and 4.30 to 8.00 p.m. Closed on Thursday 28 March and Friday 29 March.

The Licenciado Poza and Maestro García Rivero streets, close to the San Mamés stadium, have a real party feel before and after each match. A great opportunity to mix with the rojiblanca (red and white the Athletic colours) fans, known for their flair and great sportsmanship.



Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

“Ría De Bilbao” Maritime Museum

The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum boasts a permanent collection covering from the 13th century to the present, with important paintings from the Spanish and Flemish schools, along with the best collection of Basque artists.. The Museum is also currently hosting the following temporary exhibitions: “Néstor Basterretxea. Form and Universe”, and “Ramón Zurriarain”. At Easter, there will also be the opportunity to see seven works by Joaquín Sorolla and the “Art to Touch” initiative, aimed at the intellectually and visually impaired.

Located in the dock areas of the former Euskalduna shipyards, in Abandoibarra, the Maritime Museum, which is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, offers the following programme in addition to its permanent exhibition:


“A Century of Surf” During the last century, surf has gone from being something totally unknown to being something normal along our coast and one of its tourist attractions. “Portugalete Iron Dock”. Exhibition that showcases the background and the subsequent economic changes resulting from this great engineering work.


AlhóndigaBilbao is hosting “New Italian Design 2.0”, an overview of contemporary Italian design consisting of 282 projects. On the other hand, until 11 April the AlhóndigaBilbao Zinemateka is organising a film cycle dedicated to Nikkatsu, the Japanese production company, to mark the centenary of its founding. Another important date on the AlhóndigaBilbao calendar is 2 April. Intermational Children’s Book Day, when you can enjoy the “Hemen hasten da istorioa” acrobat show. Entrance is free Venue: Atrio de las Culturas. Date: 2 april. Performance times: two sessions: 12.00 noon and 6.00 p.m.

EXHIBITIONS Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

You will find here everything you need to organise your leisure time: Information, dates, opening times... for all the sporting and cultural activities available at Easter.

The most influential artists from the art of the second half of the 20th century can be seen at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Alongside this permanent collection, the “Art in War. France 19381947: from Picasso to Dubuffet” exhibition is being held at Easter. It features the aesthetical response to World War II by over one hundred artists, including Picasso, Giacometti or Kandinsky.

“Itsasturiak. People of the Sea”. This exhibition provides a new vision of life at sea by focusing on the seafarers of San Juan de Luz/Ciboure.

Basque Museum Based in a Baroque-style building in the Casco Viejo or Old Town of Bilbao, the exhibitions of this museum show the cultural and historical evolution of Basque Society. You can visit the “Traditional Dances of Bizkaia” exhibition that will be on until June. The exhibition uses dances and the main costumes used to showcase the social and ritual dances in Bizkaia.


Reproductions Museum Copies of the most important sculptures down through the ages are on show at this museum. At Easter, visitors can enjoy the “Akropolis: Mito Biziak” exhibition, which will take you through the Acropolis as a mythical and religious symbol, by means of the sculptures belonging to the museum collection.

17 In the afternoon: 6.15 p.m. on 26, 27, 28 and 29 March / 2, 3, 4 and 5 April. 5.00 p.m. on 30 March and 6 April. The Museum Piece by Piece “The Ereñozar Castle (Ereño) Incentive”: In the morning: 1.15 p.m. on 6 and 7 April. In the afternoon: 6.15 p.m. on 30 and 31 March and 6 April.

Sala Rekalde art centre This art centre in Bilbao will be hosting “Reinventing the World” where thirteen artists invite you to reflect on how you behave. The Abstract Room at Sala Rekalde will have an exhibition by the artist Fernando Villena.

Family activities and workshops are also organised: “Archaeology for a Day” from 11.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on 3, 5 and 7 April. “Arkeoginkana” from 11.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on 31 March. “Family workshops and games” from 11.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on 30 March and 2 and 4 April. Further information: 94 404 09 90 or

Ensanche Building This centric building will be hosting the “Art on Chairs” exhibitions until 1 April. It is an international project that combines art, design and creativity to foster the cultural, social and economic development of the region of the northern Portugal. The exhibitions features the 12 finalist chairs in an international contest where entries were received from professionals in 37 countries, along with the work of a group of children who made by themselves some of the chairs inspired by artists or well-known works of art.

Diocesan Museum Visitors will find over 500 pieces ranging from the Romanesque to contemporary art, which will provide a highly comprehensive view of religious art throughout the province of Bizkaia.

Benedicto Museum

Arkeologi Museoa

This museum contains enlightening paintings and important bronze sculptures inspired by the paintings of Benedicto. The permanent exhibition takes the visitors through the history of Bizkaia by means of the materials unearthed archaeological digs. The museum runs a comprehensive programme of guided tours at Easter: “Roots”, main exhibition: In the morning: 11.00 a.m. on 28 and 29 March 11.30 a.m. on 1 April. In the afternoon: 5.00 p.m. on 26, 27, 28 and 29 March / 2, 3, 4 and 5 April. “Vasconia: Middle Land”, temporary exhibition. In the morning: 12.15 p.m.. on 28 and 29 March. 12.30 a.m. on 1 April. 12.00 noon. on 6 April.

CONCERTS Bilbao Ars Sacrum, Bilbao Sacred Music Festival Musical works that reflect the spirituality of different beliefs are featured at the Bilbao Ars Sacrum, BAS. The Church of La Encarnación will be the venue for the musical performance of the religious traditions of different peoples in a wide repertory of styles, genres and beats. FLOREA MUSIC Date: 22 March. Venue: Church of La Encarnación. Time: 8.30 p.m. LACHRIMAE CONSORT Date: 23 March. Venue: Church of La Encarnación. Time: 8.30 p.m.

CHAMBER CHOIR OF THE SALZBURG MOZARTEUM UNIVERSITY Date: 25 March. Venue: Church of La Encarnación. Time: 8.30 p.m. MOSCOW “MUSICA VIVA” CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Date: 26 March. Venue: Church of La Encarnación. Time: 8.30 p.m.



“Il Trovatore” Opera This opera by Giuseppe Verdi is a melodramatic drama set in Medieval Aragón and Bizkaia during the early 15th century. Date: 24 March. Venue: Arteria Campos Eliseos Theatre. Time: 7:00 p.m.

Charles Walker in concert – Musiketan 2013 The Charles Walker Band exudes energy, spontaneity and joy wherever they perform. They are not only exceptions artists of the blues, R&B and superlative funk, but the passion that they show in each performance thrills the audience. Date: 7 April. Venue: Sala BBK (Gran Vía 19). Time: 8.00 p.m.

Trasnoches flamencos

Bilbao Municipal Band This year, the guest artists performing with the municipal band will be students from the Dance and Choreography school of Igor Yebra, the famous dancer. Date: 24 March. Venue: Euskalduna Concert Hall. Time: 12:00 noon.

An opportunity to enjoy the art of Fernando de la Morena. This gypsy singer put his own hallmark on all his songs and is noted for his bulerias, fandangos and solea. He has also recovered old favourites such the trilla. His recitals are sought after at festivals of the ilk of Bienal de Sevilla, Festival de Jerez and the Nîmes Festival.

Bilbao Symphony Orchestra Concert The BOS programme for Easter includes three concerts. An excellent opportunity to enjoy classical music. Date: 25 March , 4 and 5 April. Venue: Euskalduna Concert Hall. Time: 8.00 p.m.

FERNANDO DE LA MORENA (Cante. Jerez). Domingo Rubichi (Guitars). Chícharo (Palmas and Jaleos). Date: 5 April. Venue: Hotel NH Villa de Bilbao. Time: 10.00 p.m.

Txistularis Municipal Band Date: 27 March. Venue: Euskalduna Concert Hall. Time: 10.00 p.m.


CICLO 365 JAZZ BILBAO ROCÍO FAKS QUARTET The roots of this Quartet lies in South American folk. Traditional melodies from South America are combined with Flamenco yearnings and are integrated in an Afro-Peruvian Lando. Date: 29 and 30 March. Venue: Hotel Hesperia Bilbao. Time: 11.00 p.m. LIZZ WRIGHT Lizz Wright, the jazz singer, showcases its latest work “Fellowship”, where she mixes her Gospel roots with more contemporary versions and works. Date: 4 April. Venue: Arteria Campos Eliseos Theatre. Time: 8.00 p.m.

This original play is all about appearances, specifically plastic surgery. Date: 22 and 23 March. Venue: Arteria Campos Eliseos Theatre. Time: 8.00 p.m. on 22 March. 7.00 and 9.30 p.m. on 23 March.

Las Criadas (The Maids) Jean Genet’s play, which premiered in 1947, “The Maids” was based on a real event that shocked French society, the murder of two women, mother and daughter, by their two servants, the Papin sisters. Date: 22 and 23 March. Venue: Arriaga Theatre. Time: 8.00 p.m.


Puppet Sundays PINGÜIN Bobo, a sweet penguin from the South Pole, is going to have a “mysterious adventure”: His mummy and daddy have told him that he is going to have a little brother. From 3 years old. Date: 24 March. Venue: Arteria Campos Eliseos Theatre. Time: 12:30 and 5.30 p.m.

Yerma This new production, which features the music of the great Flamenco singer and composer Enrique Morente, boasts an outstanding cast, with Silvia Marsó in the role of Yerma, and is directed by Miguel Narros, one of the leading Spanish theatre scene. Date: 4-7 April. Venue: Arriaga Theatre. Time: 8.00 p.m. on 4, 5 and 6 April. 7.00 p.m. on 7 April.

Even though processions were already held in Bilbao much earlier, the Holy Week was founded in 1554 with the arrival to the capital of Vizcaya of the “Lignum Crucis”, a splinter of the Cross of Jesus, which led to the first brotherhood being set up: the Santa Vera Cruz [Holy True Cross] to which the City entrusted the organisation of the penitential processions.

SPORTS Rowing XXXIII Engineers’ Rowing Regatta – Deusto This traditional race was first held in 1981 as the result of the sporting gauntlet that the Bilbao Engineering Faculty threw down to Deusto University. They are the city’s two oldest university seats of learning. Date: 28 March Starting time: Start from the Portu dock in Erandio at 1.00 p.m. Finish at Bilbao Town Hall at approximately 1.25 p.m.


Football 1 April: Athletic Club – Granada Time: 8:00 p.m.

A restrained and austere Holy Week, typical of the City whose streets are the backdrop for thirteen processions over ten days and in which over two thousand brethren take part. Its artistic heritage, whose value exceeds 12 million euros, is a real treasure built up over four centuries of perseverance by the brotherhoods and the generosity of the residents of Bilbao, with the carvings by such masters of religious imagery as Juan de Mesa, Raimundo Capuz, Quintín de la Torre, Higinio Basterra, Ricardo Iñurria, Coullat Valera, Tomás Parés... Two popular characters, the joker Kakanaru de Anatxu and Fracagorri, stand out among the figures accompanying the processions. This Holy Week with over 450 years old of history is celebrated with renewed vitality by old and young, parents and children alike.



Procesiones 22 MARCH FRIDAY OF SORROWS Our Lady of Sorrows Procession 8.30 p.m. Point of departure: Parish Church of San Vicente Mártir in Abando. This night-time procession that sets off from the Parish Church from San Vicente Mártir de Abando is the fourth oldest of Bilbao’s Holy Week, which was recovered by the Brotherhood of the Passion in 1994. Floats: Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lord Jesus of the Passion. 23 MARCH EASTER SATURDAY Procession of Our Lady of La Amargura 7.00 a.m. Point of departure: Jesuit School in Indautxu. This procession is attended by representatives from many points of Spain, who accompany the Penitential Brotherhood of the Holy Eucharist, the first in Bilbao to accept women as brethren. Floats: Jesus Tied to the Cross, Our Lady of Bitterness, Ecce Mater Tua. 24 MARCH PALM SUNDAY Procession of Christ Riding on the Donkey 12.00 noon Point of departure: Parish Church of San Vicente Mártir de Abando. Children holding palm leaves and branches flock to this popular procession that sets off at noon on Palm Sunday to welcome the figure of Christ mounted on a little donkey. Floats: Our Lady of Palms and the Rosary, Christ Riding on the Donkey. Procession of Our Lady of Charity 6.30 p.m. Point of departure: Parish Church of La Santa Cruz (Mallona). It is noted for being the only procession in Bilbao when two floats are carried on the bearers’ shoulders, for the slopes of Begoña, and for its music, where the sound of drums and cornets are joined by the Basque txistu flute and by poems and improvised verses. Floats: Christ of Humility, Our Lady of Charity. 25 MARCH HOLY MONDAY Procession of the Nazarene 8.30 p.m. Point of departure: Parish Church of San Francisco de Asís (Fifth Parish). Saetas and religious hymns, floral offerings, popular fervour in a colourful procession that captures the multicultural wealth of Bilbao La Vieja, to worship a religious figure that awakens great

Kakanaru de Anatxu This character is the biblical figure of the high-priest Ananias, who appears here as the insolent Kakanaru de Anatxu, who mocks Jesus with one hand while he uses the other covers the hole in his trousers. This carving can be seen on “The Crown of Thorns” float from 1745.

devotion: the Christ of Medinaceli, with his pained expression and his flowing real hair. Floats: Our Father Jesus Nazarene, Mary Magdalena. 26 MARCH HOLY TUESDAY La Piedad (Piety) Procession 8.30 p.m. Point of departure: Parish Church of San Nicolás de Bari. The broad capes of undyed wool and the sky-blue masks worn by the brotherhood introduce a note of colour into the sober atmosphere that accompanies this procession, where all eyes are drawn to the throne of Our Lady of Pity, the artistic gem of Bilbao’s Holy Week. Floats: Our Lady of Piety. 27 MARCH HOLY WEDNESDAY Procession of Our Lady of Solitude 8.30 p.m. Point of Departure: Point of departure: Jesuit School in Indautxu. This procession features a popular character incorporated by the people Bil-

bao as their own original contribution to Holy Week: The mocking Fracagorri in his red breeches, blowing his horn on the float depicting Christ carrying the cross. Floats: Christ Carrying the Cross, St. John and Our Lady of Solitude. 28 MARCH MAUNDY THURSDAY Procession of the Last Supper 7.15 p.m. Point of departure: Santos Juanes Parish Church. Special mention should be made of the great wealth of the religious carvings and the variety of styles of this procession. The depiction of the Crown of Thorns is perhaps one of the finest pieces of sculpture in terms of composition anywhere in Spain. Floats: The Last Supper, Christ Washing the Feet of the Disciples, The Prayer in the Garden, The Taking of Christ, Christ before Ananias, The Scourging, Christ Tied to the Column, The Entombment, The Crown of Thorns, Father Jesus of the Passion, St John and Our Lady of Solitude.


Fracagorri This carving is on the “Jesus Carrying the Cross” float from 1700. Its name comes from the Basque (praka, breeches, and gorri, red). It is a ragged character who is dragging Jesus with a rope and blowing on his horn to open up the way through the crowd.

Highlights The Procession of Christ Riding the Donkey, awaited eagerly by children who stand outside the church of San Vicente with palm and olive branches. The Procession of the Nazarene, attended by fervent crowds who throw floral offerings and pour out their feelings in song as the floats Process along Calle Las Corte. The Procession of Silence, held with austere dignity and restraint in flickering candlelight in the early hours of Good Friday. The Procession of the Entombment [Santo Entierro] on Good Friday, which is the most important in terms of the crowds and the quality of its religious figures.

For the first time… You can see the whole of the allegorical Float of Jesus Christ of Humility of the Brotherhood of Begoña, work by the master of religious figures, Enrique Ruiz Flores from Cordoba. This float made up of six figures depicts the time when Jesus prayed on Calvary, immediately prior to being crucified.

Did you know that… Did you know that the figures that appear on “Los azotes” float are modelled on different local residents? They include a well-known policeman and a stevedore. You can see this float in the Entombment procession on Good Friday.

25 29 MARCH GOOD FRIDAY Procession of Silence 05.30 a.m. Point of departure: Parish Church of San Nicolás de Bari. In this impressive procession the members of the brotherhoods process solemnly and in silence passed the convents and churches of the Old Town in the early hours of the morning. In a solemn and restrained medieval style, in keeping with the Basque character, the members of the brotherhood and the general public walk along together in this unique procession. The Stations of the Cross 7.30 a.m. Point of Departure: Plaza Miguel de Unamuno square. The procession is headed by one of the holiest treasures of the Brotherhood of the True Cross: the Lignum Crucis, an ebony cross embossed with silver, to the Basilica of Begoña. Floats: Lignum Crucis. Procession of the Meeting 12.30 p.m. Point of Departure: Parish Church of Our Lady of El Pilar. A procession marked by the red and white habits worn by the members of the Brotherhood of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools [Madres de Dios de las Escuelas Pías] as they carry their standard woven of silk and thread of gold creating a multicolour effect. Floats: The Meeting.

The Living Tableau of the Stations of the Cross in Balmaseda

Procession of the Entombment. 7.15 p.m. Point of Departure: Parish Church of Los Santos Juanes. It is the oldest procession in Bilbao as the first written mention of it dates back to 1553 and is our city’s most important one.. It is a wonderful opportunity to admire the major works of the religious imagery of Bilbao’s Holy Week as the floats are paraded through the streets. Floats: Ecce Homo, Mary Magdalene, Our Lord Jesus Nazarene, Holy Christ of the Pardon, Carrying the Cross, The Meeting, Holy Christ of Humility, The Three Crosses, Christ of the City, Our Lady of Piety, The Descent, Christ Recumbent, St. John, Lingum Crucis and Our Lady of Solitude. 30 MARCH EASTER SATURDAY Procession of Hope 6.15 p.m. Point of Departure: Parish Church of San José (Augustin Monks). This procession through the centre of Bilbao features the image of Our Lady of Hope, a modern carving made with careful attention to detail using techniques reminiscent of the baroque style, such as the use of eggshell to paint the eyes. Floats: Our Lord Jesus of Love, Holy Marra of Hope. 31 MARCH. EASTER SUNDAY Procession of Light and the Resurrection 1.00 p.m. Point of Departure: Santiago Cathedral. It is not a penitential procession but one of Glory as Jesus is risen. It marks the end of Holy Week and celebrates the Resurrection and is organised by the Guild of Penitential Brotherhoods of Bilbao. It was created under the aegis of our former Bishop, Ricardo Blázquez. Floats: Jesus Risen and St. Mary Magdalene.

The Living Tableau of the Stations of the Cross of Balmaseda is a tradition dating back to the end of the 19th century involving the residents of this beautiful and regal town of Bizkaia. Year after year, its streets are completely transformed during Hold Week and its residents perform the last moments of the life of Jesus of Nazareth with great feeling and dramatism. More than 50,000 people can gather here during some of the most moving scenes of the performances. GUIDE TO THE LIVING TABLEAU OF THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS Maundy Thursday (28 March) Re-enactment of “The Last Supper” in the Plaza de San Severino. Around 150 people take part in a performance that begins at 9.30 p.m. and lasts until around 10.30 p.m. (Price of the seats: 3 euros; general: free). Good Friday (29 March) At 9.30 morning, the re-enactment begins of the “Hanging of Judas” and the “Trial before Pilate” in the Campo de las Monjas. The different stations of the Living Tableau are then brought to life, in a performance where over 600 people take part and which ends at around 1.45 p.m. with the Crucifixion on the Campo del Frontón. This scene takes places on a truncated pyramid structure to represent Mount Calvary. (Price of the seats in the Campo de las Monjas: between 9 and 13 euros; tribune: 7 euros and standing-room 5 euros. Free access in the rest of the route). That same day, from 7.00 to 9.15 p.m., the Procession of the Entombment goes through the old town of Balmaseda and fifteen minutes later (at 9.30 p.m.), the Procession of Silence begins. A thousand people in strict silence accompany the figures of the “Christ of the Cemetery” and “Our Lady of Sorrows” from the Church of San Severino to their chamber in the Campo Santo. (Free access).

Further information by calling: 94 680 13 56.



Thanks to its privileged geographical situation, the culinary heritage of Bilbao combines first-rate raw materials with traditional and cutting-edge techniques. You can find pintxos (tapas), Michelin star restaurants, typical dishes, magnificent wines and an endless list of delicious seasonal fresh products featured in numerous restaurants, bars, taverns, etc.


Surrounded by the sea, mountains and market gardens, in Bilbao it is hard not to eat well. You will something here to please every palate. The majority of restaurants, located near to the Guggenheim, Gran Via, Casco Viejo, Alhóndiga and Bilbao la Vieja, serve traditional dishes such as cod al pil-pil, hake in green sauce or cuttlefish in its ink, along with a variety of menus where you will find red beans, seasonal vegetables or a tasty steak. There are also more avant-garde establishments, that emerged from nouvelle cuisine, in all these areas of the city. The kitchens of these cutting-edge restaurants showcase fusion, innovative techniques and produce attractive culinary proposals. And when it comes to Michelin stars, the culinary flagship has numerous representatives in Bilbao: Azurmendi***, Andramari*, Boroa*, Etxanobe*, Etxebarri*, Mina*, Nerua Guggenheim* and Zortziko*. Pintxos are another culinary art here. They are an excellent way to trying Bilbao’s cuisine and at the same time discover its streets and people. There are many and good places to try pintxos, but the most popular areas at Easter are the Casco Viejo and Indautxu.

Lent Cuisine In the lead up to Easter, the emphasis is on fasting and not eating meat. In general, the recipes for Lent combine frugal ingredients and cooking techniques but are hearty enough to help people withstand the vigil. Some typical recipes at this time of year are: chickpea and spinach stew, pulses without the meat trimmings (chorizo, black sausage, etc.), the “widowed” potato soups (without meat), cabbage seasoned with oil and garlic or white bean stew with Choricero peppers. However, the star dishes at Easter are the pastries and fish, particularly, cod. This cold-water fish is the fundamental ingredient of famous Basque recipes such as cod al pil-pil or in the Biscay style, but it is also delicious when served in simpler ways: in an omelette, battered or with tomato sauce. When it comes to the typical Lent desserts, you will find rice pudding, fruit compote or French toast served at Easter.



Bilbao’s sky turns dark blue, the sinuous shadows of the Guggenheim being to grow and a new pace begins to be felt in the city. Night falls and Bilbao is the ideal place to linger over a drink, enjoy a coffee, pintxos (tapas) and txikitos (glasses of wine), and so on. Enjoy the conservation, the culinary heritage, live music, dancing, you will find so much to choose from in the different atmospheres and areas in the city. Ensanche, Casco Viejo and Bilbao la Vieja are the liveliest areas at Easter.



Places to have a snack, feed a child, play football, change a nappy, have a dip, see a play, read a book, play on the swings… Discover what Bilbao has to offer children.

Doña Casilda Park

Lets go to the Cinema

This park at the heart of the city is home to ducks and swans and is actually known to locals as the “park of the ducks”. It is sure to delight younger visitors. First laid out almost 100 years ago, the park also features a traditional merry-go-round, a cybernetic fountain and a beautiful pergola. With a surface area of over 85.000 square metres, it contains more than 1500 species of plants including 486 exotic trees from all over the world. The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum stands adjacent to this park.

Going to see a film is always a fun family outing. Enjoy the magic of the cinema in Bilbao. Check what films are on offer here. Cinesa Coliseo Zubiarte: 902 333 231 Golem Alhóndiga: 94 431 03 10 Multicines: 94 431 03 10

Waterfront Promenade in Abandoibarra Gin Tonics And no night out in Bilbao is complete without one of its famous Gin Tonics. Their preparation is a real art and a show for the people watching. And try one of the more innovative and sophisticated combinations. Enjoy the aromas of bergamot, lime, liquorice... just have fun and enjoy this gift for the senses.

This promenade provides an excellent vantage point for enjoying the works erected in Bilbao by prestigious architect and sculptors. It also has a children’s play area featuring futuristic swings and an interactive fountain that exerts an almost magnetic attraction on children. A piece of advice: take a change of clothes.

AlhóndigaBilbao Txikiland Children’s Media Library The Txikiland media library at the AlhóndigaBilbao cultural centre has thousands upon thousands of books and films available to children. It is designed to enable parents and children to enjoy reading and watching films together in a purpose-built venue. Swimming Pools The centre also contains Bilbao’s most modern swimming pool, where the whole family is sure to enjoy taking a dip. Further information: 94 401 40 14 (from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays).




Bilbao is the capital of Bizkaia, a territory with modern and innovative amenities, with their own character, designed to meet the needs of any type of visitors.

The Urkiola and Gorbeia Natural Parks The limestone landscape of the Urkiola Natural Park is covered with beech and oak forests between rugged landscapes. And within close reach, you can enjoy the cultural heritage in the old towns of Durango and Elorrio brimming with history. Gorbeia is the mountainous giant of Bizkaia and a popular destination for hiking and mountaineering. (40 min.).

The Transporter Bridge, the beaches and the cliffs by Metro The Metro will whisk you from the centre of Bilbao to the beaches where you can relax or surf at Getxo or Soplena, cliff tops to walk along... and you can also take it to the Transporter Bridge, a World Heritage Site. (20 min.).

Markina, Lekeitio and Ondarroa Lea-Artibai is the most eastern region of Bizkaia and the coast is dotted with ďŹ shing villages of great beauty such as Lekeitio and Ondarroa.. Markina is a stunning town that is the birthplace of cesta-punta, a variety of Basque pelota. (45 min.).

Urdaibai and Gernika


The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve is a unique place where man has managed to respect the balance with an exceptional landscape of sea, beach and mountains. Gernika is the symbolic city the Basques, the cradle of their historical freedoms and rights and victim, 76 years ago, of the air-raid that Picasso immortalized to denounce human brutality. (40 min.).

Las Encartaciones or Encartaciones in the west of Bizkaia is a zone that combines wild nature with villages of great beauty such as Balmaseda. (30 min.). The Karrantza Valley is home to geological treasures such as the Pozalagua Caves or places for an entertaining family trip such as the El KarpĂ­n animal recovery centre.




Due to its geographical location, Bilbao is the gateway to the so-called “Basque World”, which ranges from the traditional wineries of La Rioja Alavesa to the palatial luxury of the ‘côte basque’ of Biarritz.

The Basque Coast Fishing villages, magnificent beaches, legendary lighthouses, battered by waves... The Basque coastline is dotted with unique coastal settings that are ideal spots for a walk and to enjoy the delicious seafood dishes. Go surfing or on a trip out to sea, or just explore the Basque coast from Biarritz to Muskiz and delight at the landscape, history and Basque cuisine.

The Basque Country and the Great Outdoors Enjoy the views and the Basque landscape from some of the Basque Country’s most iconic summits. Climb up Aizkorri, the highest peak of the Basque Country or the famous Txindoki, wander through our natural parks such as Gorbeia, Aralar, Izki… explore the Goierri and be stunned at the magnificence of this land, its forests and protected areas.

Heritage and Old Towns

Rioja Alavesa

There are outstanding declared areas of historical interest within 45 minutes of Bilbao by car. Locations such as GernikaLumo, the town where the laws of BIzkaia were drawn up, and where a civil war massacre was turned into a universal symbol by Picasso; Bermeo, the former capital of Bizkaia; the “inland port” of Balmaseda, the first town in the area to obtain its charter; Orduña, Elorrio and many more. Other sites not to be missed are the Puente de Bizkaia transporter Bridge or the Arantzazu and Loiola chapels in the neighbouring province of Guipuzkoa.

Rioja Alavesa is synonymous with excellent wine, iconic wineries, but it is also a region with significant historical heritage. Fascinating pre-historical remains, walled towns, manor houses make up a landscape where the vineyards are its international claim to fame and where famous architects of the ilk of Frank Gehry or Santiago Calatrava have left their hallmark.

Concerts, traditional dance groups, Bilbao Bizkaia 3D Mapping and the Eskutiarte craft fair at Alhóndiga Bilbao, Plaza Nueva and Muelle del Arenal.

Basque brands and designs on display and for sale at the La Ribera Market.

Herri Kirolak (Basque Rural Sports) tournament, Basque pelota and rowing workshops at the La Esperanza pelota court, Plaza Arriaga and on Bilbao’s river estuary.

Culinary side of the festival that will be held in the bars and restaurants of the Casco Viejo, Ledesma and Ensanche.



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Bilbao Passion - Easter 2013  

Find out in this guide you can do in this Easter