Bilbao at Christmas is simply magical. Every corner in the cutting-edge megapolis has a Christmas feeling; opulent holiday window displays, sparkling decorations, lighted facades and serenading carolers invites you to a delightful stroll around the city.
The Christmas splendor of lights on the Gran Vía, the decorations of the Corte Inglés department store, the traditional St. Thomas’s Market and the spectacular Christmas parades are but a few of the season’s highlights that make the capital of Biscay especially enchanting during this time of the year.
It´s beginning to look a lot like Xmas…
Thousands of LED bulbs brighten up the nights in winter enveloping the entire Gran Vía in a very special glow. Walking along the main street bathed in blue light is utterly romantic. The main street comes alive with the sound of Christmas carols.
Throughout the holiday season, Bilbao‘s finest flower shops display all their beautiful flowers right outside on the sidewalks to brighten up our holidays. Don´t forget to visit “Retama” located on Colon de Larreategui street, you will fall in love as soon as you step into it.
In the same street, you will also find “Arnaga” store, the most beautiful gift shop in the city. The legendary shop will delight you will its unique window display.
There´s something about a speakeasy bar that makes everything a little more…exciting! All across the city, sophisticated lounges are serving up craft cocktails prepared by some of Bilbao´s best bartenders in sultry spaces like Basque and Antigua Cigarrería both on Astarloa Street.
Christmas is a time to enjoy delicious pleasures. Every patisserie in Bilbao hosts an impressive window display filled with buttery croissants, flamboyant cakes, eye-catching éclairs, glossy fruit tartles, brightly colored macarons as well as other tempting treats.
One of my favourite indulgences is the classic Roscón de Reyes. The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated with this traditional treat which is literally translated as “Kings Cake”. The delicious pastry hides a special surprise inside- a small porcelain figurine. If your slice of cake has the prize you have to buy the savory desert next year.
The ring-shaped delicacy beautifully adorned with candied fruit and a sugary glaze, looks like a king’s crown full of colorful jewels. Often filled with whipped cream, chocolate cream, meringue, or custard cream, the roscón is absolutely divine!
Arrese, one of the oldest patisseries in Bilbao, is an incredibly popular place to order the classic Spanish pastry. Founded in 1830, Martina de Zuricalday is known for its gorgeous king´s cakes. The fabulous Zuberoa patisserie is also reputed for its divine Roscón de Reyes.
Made from almonds and honey, Turrón (a hard crunchy nougat) is the most famous traditional Christmas candy in Spain. Eating Turrón at Christmas is a gastronomic tradition that has persisted over centuries. Every winter, I send a packet of rich and creamy Turrón to all my friends from overseas so that they can savor this wonderful Christmas confection. I always have some delicious Turrón for dessert or while having a bountiful Christmas breakfast.
During your trip to Bilbao, you can´t miss the opportunity to sample our Turrón de Soconusco Nougal. Chocolate, white praline, toasted praline, and truffle. These are the basic ingredients of this popular Basque treat.
Dating back to 1860, Turronería Ivañez located right behind the beautiful Saint James Cathedral in the Old Town, is the oldest nougat shop in Bilbao. In addition to their utterly delicious turrón, the historic turronería also offers amazing marzipans, polvorones, sugared fruits, candies and sugared almonds.
Christmas At Home