to most travellers a decade or two ago, Bilbao’s metamorphosis from industrial port town in northern Spain to up-andcoming travel destination began with the opening of the Guggenheim Museum back in 1997. Fast-forward 20 years and its transformation is pretty much complete.
Located on the coast in Basque Country, its increasing popularity has caught the attention of the cruise industry and a new cruise terminal located in the nearby town of Getxo (about 15km north of Bilbao’s centre) has led to a growing number of lines adding day trips to Bilbao, and it’s easy to see why.
Immensely walkable, its streets are perfect for day-tripping cruisers, there’s lively restaurants and tapas bars, excellent shopping – including one of Europe’s largest indoor markets. Then there’s the city’s culinary credentials: world-class food producers, Michelin-starred restaurants, and the upcoming hosting of the 50 Best Restaurants awards following on from Melbourne last year. Combined, there’s easily enough fare to ensure that hungry gourmands will be in foodie heaven.