Questions & Answers
Where do Bilbao Bizkaias visitors come from?
We have approximately 50% Spanish visitors and the other half are foreign, mostly from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy.
What would you recommend me to do in 4 days in Bilbao Bizkaia?
We would recommend you 2 days for visiting the city, its museums and other cultural activities, restaurants… One more day to visit the coast nearby Bilbao and the forth one to visit one of our stunning natural parks.
What´s the best time to go to Bilbao Bizkaia?
Emma – Oslo
We would recommend Emma and her clients to come all year round. Every time of the year has its charm. Cultural activities and events are always taking place in Bilbao at any time during the year and we have mild temperatures all year round.
Is Bilbao a safe city?
Timo – Zurich
Of course it is. In fact, you know the INE, the Office For National Statistics. Well, according to the latest INE data, the Basque Country is the 4th safest region in Spain, after Ceuta, Melilla and La Rioja.
How does Bilbao´s nightlife look like?
Marco – Milano
Bilbao is a lively city also when night falls. Lot´s of concerts from rock music to opera, pubs, theatre… there is always so much fun!
What does Bilbao offer for LGBT people?
Thomas – Frankfurt
We are an inclusive society where LGBT people are guaranteed their rights as any other citizen. In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating our PRIDE, which has more and more international audiences and people from other places in Spain. We will also be launching 2 LGBT guided visits. One of them is a journey through the history of LGBT people in Bilbao and their struggle for their rights during Franco’s regime. We have our own Stonewall here. And the other tour is about LGBT nightlife and leisure in the city. An Axel hotel is also being built in the nightlife area of Bilbao.
Is it easy to rent a car?
Inga – Rotterdam
Of course it is. But we would recommend to use the public transport to move around the city and the nearby areas. We only use the car to get to the mountains and wild beaches.
Is it neccessary a PCR to enter Bilbao?
Laura – Bari
Yesterday we received more good news on this issue. EU citizens with a vaccination schedule completed at least 14 days before travel or with proof of having overcome the disease will be able to enter Spain without a covid test. And here in the Basque Country the evolution of the epidemic have a positive trend due to vaccination.
How much does a menu at a Michelin starred restaurant cost?
Suzanne – Nürenberg
There are very different kind of Michelin restaurants. The price also depends on the number of stars. Let´s say around 100€ a menu at a 1 star restaurant and 225€ at a 3 star one (wine not included).
How are our beaches, quality of water and perfect season for bathing?
Adela – Match Live host
We have so wild beaches, as well as more familiar ones, so quality just depends on your preferences, but you will find all of them perfect foy your enjoy. Summer (between may and october) is the perfect season to have a bath. Don’t forget sunscreen.
Walking routes through the coast.
Which one is the preferred by visitors?
Adela – Match Live host
Gorliz’s lighthouse Route, that beging in Gorliz Beach and continues to reach the lighthouse, with fantastic views.
Ogoño route: through an small mountaing with cliffs falling directly in the sea.
Where was shoooted Game of Thrones?
Emilie – Stockholm
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (Dragonstone) and Barrika (King’s Landing).
Are there boats that travel all along the coast?
There are different routes, departuring every day from different places along our coast. You can also take a boat from Bilbao city center and reach the sea through Bizkaia Bridge, as well as renting a sailboat or a private boat to travel with family or friends.
Can a visitor reach fishing villages by public transport?
Mathias – Köln
There is a wide transport network providing train, bus and metro services to reach the coast. If you want to get to the wildest places you will need a car.
Tells us that he liked the “pelota” activity.
Can this be organized for groups?
Jonas – Bern
Of course, it can be organized for groups.
I have senior clients and I want to ask about the accessibility of fishing villages.
Julie – Munich
Fishing villages are so adapted for visitors, no matter the age. They can be reached easily by bus (if there is a group) directly to the town centre.
Are there wineries in Bilbao or near Bilbao?
Arnette – Ginebra
There are txakoli wineries 20 minutes away from the city center, as well as red wine wineries in Rioja Alavesa. All of them near Bilbao.
For what kind of MICE event is Bilbao Bizkaia an ideal destination?
Thomas – Stuttgart
Kepa Olabarrieta: Bilbao – Bizkaia is perfect for any kind of event, but normally those in connection with the local business activities are our favorites. Talking about formats any product launch, congresses, conferences…Nowdays these formats are changing but the city of Bilbao adapts to any of them. In conclusion Bilbao is ready for any kind of event.
What does it mean for the clients to have a international brand in the city?
Paulina – Milano
Adrián Vicente: This is very common question when we are promoting the city all around the world and I think is important for the clients, it is a guarantee for them, the high quality standard in this case Marriott has and I think it is also important for the city the opportunity to have a international hotel and one of the biggest Autograph Collection hotel in Europe.
What MICE cliets value the most in the destination Bilbao Bizkaia?
Reiner – Munich
As hotelier I realize that talking with our clients that for them it is very important that you can walk in the city. In a very short distance you can go from the hotel to the venue in a few minutes or from the venue to the gala dinner in a few minutes. You do not need to arrange a transfer. That is very important for them, not only for the attendees but also for the agencies that orginize the event. Bilbao is a very safe city and that makes the event easier for the organizer and for the attendee.
Which are the cancellation policies in the accommodation and such as food and beverages for a group with a booking in COVID times?
Meirelle – Lyon
Adrián Vicente: I think that we all agree that it is very importanta to work together to reactivate the tourism. Not only my company, but all companies in Bilbao – Bizkaia have worked hard to make the cancellation policies as more flexible as possible and I think that our aim is to achieve a win win contract with the client, so we are opened to deal individually its contract to try to make a win win with you.
Do you hoteliers have an insurance or do we need to take an insurance ourselves?
Meirelle – Lyon
Andrián Vicente: In this case we do have a new clause in the contract to make sure that the event is possible. In case the event is not possible due to the pandemic, we can pospone it and we can keep the same details of the event for the same year or next month.
If there is a problem before, but during the stay somebody happens to be positive and what happens if we are in quarentine?
Meirelle – Lyon
Adrián Vicente: We have a protocol, our company has implement and I think all the companies in Bilbao a protocol for these issues. If you have to be in quarentine, we provide you help to be as safe as possible.
How leisure fits into the destination propositions or possibilities?
Guy – London
Adrián Vicente: We are used to attend MICE events, not only the business part of the event, but also the leisure part of it, when you can engage with your colleague or with the local community and I think in Bilbao there are plenty of activities and enjoy not only cultural, but also gastronomic activities or adventure activities within a few minutes in the area.
Are there any development plans in short term that can be shared?
Ronald – Rotterdam
Kepa Olabarrieta: We have said in the previous interview that Bilbao is a city in permanent evolution and this is also the case. In terms of urban development of the city, there are very interesting projests around the river, for example, where plenty of activities will be possible within a few months. At the same time some of the parks around the city like Artxanda area are also subject a very ambicious plan to try to activate the leisure activities Adrian refered to. And also we have too a new are which is the island of Zorrozaurre, which is a new development area in the city with the settlement of new industries and it is a really nice programme for the coming years. And in terms of our activity, we are pleased to announce new hotel companies in the city apart from Marriott, we will have a Radisson Hotel shortly and some other interesting openings. Just within a few months, they will be a reality.
How long has MICE been available and takinf part in Bilbao? And second of all when do you spect to restart your conferences post COVID in a safe manner?
Paul – Cork
Kepa Olabarrieta: Particularly this last question it is an exellent question. Of course we are looking forward to the normal activity, at least as we used to have, we have to be pacient and admint that we still have a few months to go back normal activity, but it is also true that we feel really enthusiastic at the moment, because we have lots of projects. We are being contacting by many planners from all over the world and particularly we see the same as Adrian mentioned before, that it is a common interest not having problems with the COVID situation it is also the common interest of both organizers and destinations to be succesfull in the new reality with new formarts, with this new reality. I see that there are very interesting proposals, really innovative and ambicious and we are relly proud of being your partners. So, we are ready for everything.
What not to be missed from Bilbao – Bizkaia by anyone attending a MICE event?
Olaf – Malmö
Kepa Olabarrieta: Well it is a difficult question, because we could list so many things you can not miss, but of course I think there is very good and simple piece of advice and it is try to come and enjoy the city, go out, feel the streets, fell the reality of Bilbao. Take our transport, it is very easy to move around and chose anything and enjoy. It is very easy.
Can we have an authentic and genuine experience in rural accommodation?
Adela – Match Live host
Yes, of course. Our “baserris” (farmhouses) are the ideal place to enjoy unique experiences. Our visitors get the chance to get to discover Basque culture, taste our cuisine, living in a rural environment and enjoying our daily life in the heart of nature.
What usually catches their attention the most? What they find most surprising about our land.
Adela – Match Live host
For example, the typical architecture of our farmhouses: the gabled roofs, the stone walls, the contrasts between the sea and the mountains that can be found on the coast of Bizkaia. The people who visit us value the direct and close relationship with the owners of the rural accommodation. As well as their advice and recommendations, and above all, the immersion in our culture. If you want to discover our rural accommodation, go to www.nekatur.net
What can you do in inland Bizkaia when the weather is bad?
Carla – Utretch
If you are looking for something to do indoors, there’s no better shelter for a cold and rainy afternoon than a museum, and there’s plenty to choose from in the capital of Bizkaia. You can enjoy an afternoon discovering our ethnographic, historical, archaeological, thematic and art museums … bird watching in places like the Urdaibai Bird Center or caves like those of Pozalagua and Santimamiñe. You can also visit the interpretation centres of our Gorbeia, Armañón and Urkiola Natural Parks.
Enjoying gastronomy is always a great plan in Bilbao Bizkaia. We recommend you try some delicious beans in La Arboleda, a menu with T-bone steak in the interior of Bizkaia or taste some delicious pintxos in any of our villages.
Can you recommend a cycling route and a hiking route for all levels?
Adela – Match Live host
If you are looking for an easy route for all levels that takes you to some spectacular landscapes, that is the Lea Ibilbidea route. If you go by bike, the Gernika-Mundaka route is impressive. And if you are one of those who love walking, don’t miss climbing Mount Gorbeia, the highest and most famous mountain in Bizkaia, and a walk in the Gorbeia, Urkiola and Armañón Natural Parks. The Itxina, Ojo de Atxular and the Superlegor Caves are very impressive.
Can you do activities in the countryside?
Alan – Cork
In the very centre of Bilbao, you can put on your hiking shoes and climb the Artxanda, Pagasarri, Avril, Ganeko mountains … Bilbao is surrounded by mountains, which we call the Green Belt, where you can walk and breathe fresh air. And, of course, the natural parks are only half an hour away, and you can reach the villages in these natural parks by bus or train. You can rent a car to discover less-visited routes.
What are the typical gastronomic products of Bizkaia?
Alan – Cork
Txakoli Denomination of Origin Bizkaia is one of our best-known products and Idiazabal Denomination of Origin cheese and cider. However, we cannot forget coastal products such as longfinned tuna or anchovies from the Cantabrian Sea and our local Eusko Label meats. And for lovers of garden produce, peppers from Gernika, purple onions from Zalla or any type of seasonal vegetable you buy at our markets are an excellent option.
Is cider made in the Basque Country?
Stefan – Frankfurt
Yes, it is made in small quantities, and it is less sweet than Galician, Asturian or Breton cider. We especially recommend doing “txotx”, an experience like no other. Doing “txotx” in a cider house is more than just a simple cider tasting. Cider houses usually offer a typical set menu for both lunch and dinner that includes a cod omelette, cod with peppers, beef T-bone steak and walnuts, cheese and quince jelly for dessert. The unique feature is that you have to go to the “kupelas” (barrels where the cider is produced and stored) so that everyone can pour their own cider. The cider from each “kupela” normally tastes different. It is the owner of the cider house who guides and opens the “txiri” (a small nozzle in the “kupela” through which the cider will come out) so that we can do “txotx”. In other words, so that we can pour the cider ourselves. Nowadays, most cider houses serve the menu at the tables, and you can eat sitting down. However, you can still find cider houses where you can enjoy the menu in the traditional way, i.e. standing up.
When is the best time to visit Bilbao Bizkaia?
Nowadays, we invite you to visit us at any time of the year, as each season has its advantages/disadvantages and, of course, its own charm. The climate here is mild and generally warm and temperate, so any time of the year is an excellent time to visit us. The autumn is a beautiful orangey colour, and our beech forests are beautiful. As it is the low season, there is not a large influx of visitors to the tourist attractions, making it ideal for getting to know them. Moreover, the days are still long and mild, and the rainfall is not as heavy.
Winter is warm, and the Christmas season is a beautiful time to enjoy the atmosphere and more atypical places. In spring, there is an explosion of colour, and there are great contrasts in the landscape. This time of year, the waterfalls have more water, and the photographs are impressive. Finally, summer temperatures are not very high and allow us to enjoy our trails, outdoor active tourism activities (kayaking, paragliding, paddle surfing …) and our Natural Parks. And our Natural Parks.