What’s better than a music festival boasting the likes of the Prodigy, the Black Keys and Franz Ferdinand? A music festival boasting the likes of the Prodigy, the Black Keys and Franz Ferdinand set in sunny Spain of course!
Hola! And welcome to Bilbao, located in the Basque Country, northern Spain. Oozing with culture and personality, this city is worth a visit on its own, but even more so in July when it hosts the super-cool music festival Bilbao BBK Live.
This summer sees BBK Live enter its 9th year with a jam-packed line up to boot. The festival kicks off on 10th July and runs for three days. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be one helluva festival with a line up like this:
And because we love our festivals, here’s some behind the scenes access to last year’s BBK Live with Contiki:
If you need more convincing why you should head to this little pocket of Europe, say no more, for we bring you…
Pintxos that will change your life
Lining the bar counters in practically every Basque Country tavern, these little bite-sized bar snacks are all kinds of delicious. Usually served on top of a slice of crusty bread, you’ll savour seafood, salami, cheese and peppers, skewered together with a toothpick. Dining works on a traditional honour system – you collect the toothpicks as you go, and pay per toothpick at the end. There is even a local version of the bar crawl, a pintxos crawl known as a txikiteo.
A crash course in contemporary architecture
Image source: Frederique
If you love your contemporary architecture, you’ll want to visit the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, built by Frank Gehry alongside the Nervion River. The brief was ‘daring and innovative’ and when it opened in 1997 it was described as the most important structure of its time.
Flea markets to rummage through
Image source: Rhys Wynne
Each Sunday morning the grand neoclassical Plaza Nueva comes alive with a flea market, where people flock to exchange coins and stamps and to buy books and flowers. The plaza is also a lovely place to visit at other times of the week, to stop and enjoy a drink and some pintxos in one of its bars.
Ancient streets to get lost in
Image source: David Baron
Casco Viejo, or as it’s locally known, ‘Siete Calles’ in Spanish or ‘Zazpi Kaleak’ in Basque (the seven streets) formed the original medieval town of Bilbao. The atmospheric streets and the little alleyways that connect them are packed with little shops and taverns (with pintxos of course – are you sensing a theme here?), churches and markets. Perfect for getting lost in.
This summer, experience one of Spain’s most famous music festivals, Bilbao BBK Live, with our 4 day hotel break. With your ticket to the festival sussed, a guided city tour & a Contiki festival tee to boot, in one of the coolest European festival spots - it’s a not-to-be-missed experience for the music lover within.