Hotels near Plaza Moyua

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Hotels in El Ensanche near Plaza Moyua

5 Reasons to Go to the Bilbao Semana Grande at Least Once in a Lifetime

For nine days each August, Bilbao's Semana Grande festival delights locals and visitors with live music, bullfights, fireworks and street parties. The festival has grown from its founding in 1978 to be one of the biggest parties in Spain. If anyone loves seeing a city come alive with spirit, this event should be on his or her must-see list. Music lovers will have plenty of choices as bars and performance venues feature a variety of artists. These shows often go all night long. In this area of Northern Spain, the Basque culture is strong, and the Bilbao Strongman Contest is a classic competition with events like wood chopping and boulder lifting. Bullfights take place each day, and a spectator can see firsthand how imposing the animals are. No matter how you pack the activities into your week, you'll need to save some energy to stay up for the fireworks displays each night. We think watching the display from the top of the Artxanda hill can be a great way to end a day before heading back to a hotel near the Semana Grande event venues.

Bilbao and the Semana Grande – Not-to-be-Missed Highlights

Spain is well known for its bullfighting, and the Plaza de Toros de Vista is one of the most iconic spots to watch the bulls and the brave toreros who handle them. The adjacent Museo Taurino de Bilbao can give people more information about the role that these animals have played in Bilbao's history. Other sporting events include rowing competitions held on the Nervion River, which meanders through the center of the city. The Zubizuri footbridge crosses the river and is a great place to view the regattas or the amazing fireworks display held each night of the week. A hotel room along the Nervion can also be a nice place to watch the athletes. The footbridge can lead people to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which along with the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao attracts many art aficionados. On the other side of the river is the Plaza Nueva, an open air square surrounded by neoclassical buildings, taverns and shops. It's a popular gathering spot, and during the Semana Grande, it hosts many concerts.

How to Arrive and Where to Stay for the Bilbao Semana Grande

On the eastern shore of the Nervion River, there are many hotels near the Semana Grande parties, particularly in the Casco Viejo area, or the old quarter of Bilbao. This area is densely populated, so within minutes of leaving the hotel room, one can be in the middle of a Semana Grande street party. Other hotels that are near Semana Grande activities are just across the river near the Albia Garden and the Parque de Doña Casilda de Iturrizar. These patches of open space give people a chance to appreciate the elegant architecture in the city. The Metro Bilbao and the extensive bus system make getting around fairly simple, but we think the best way to explore the area is on foot. From a hotel in "The Hole" (a nickname given to the city because of its location in between two mountains), one can walk to most of the attractions and festivities. Since the late summer season and the Semana Grande bring in a lot of people to the city, we suggest reserving your hotel room near the Semana Grande as early as possible.