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Gay Bilbao


Bilbao, Spain.
Gay and Lesbian Hotels, Inns and Guest Houses - Reviews and Ratings. Gay and Lesbian Travel.

Nobody comes to Bilbao just for the gay scene, it really has nothing to rival Spain's gay capitals: Madrid and Barcelona. But increasing numbers of tourists, gay and straight alike, have discovered Bilbao in the past few years, thanks largely to the city's spectacular new Guggenheim Museum. The museum turned a dying port town into a world-renowned tourist attraction overnight. Did you know the Guggenheim Museum is coated in titanium, the world's most expensive metal? Just when they were trying to figure out what to use, there was a big surplus of titanium in Russia, so they bought it all up cheap and hey presto, they made a titanium-coated museum! Add to that the fact that they have a super modern metro and tram system, and old Bilbao has moved into the 21st century with a vengeance, yet still retains it's beautiful, traditional Basque County heritage. Another thing Bilbao is famous for it is gastronomy. Some of the best cuisine in Spain, and indeed Europe is served in Bilbao.

Accommodation for gay and lesbian travelers visiting Bilbao is plentiful and ranges in price and quality to meet the needs of most gay travelers. Although there are a few gay specific hotels and guesthouses, there are any number of gay-friendly hotels, inns, guesthouses and bed and breakfast accommodations throughout the city. The fancier gay-friendly hotels are located around the Guggenheim Museum but other gay-friendly hotels and guesthouses are dotted about the city.

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If you've brushed up on your Spanish ready for a visit to Bilbao, sorry, but you've wasted your time, since they all speak their own unique language. However, it really doesn't matter because you'll find it a very welcoming town with a highly localized gay scene, but a good one at that. Across the Merced Bridge is the pedestrian area of the Casco Antiguo. (Old town) By day, the cobblestone streets are full of cafés with lots of people watching, and as night approaches the area gives way to a lively gay scene.

While the main shopping streets and fancier gay-friendly hotels lie downtown near the Guggenheim, most of the gay nightlife and less expensive hotels lie across the river in the Casco Viejo, the old city. The Casco Viejo is a pedestrian zone with narrow cobblestone sidewalks, old buildings with gorgeous ochre facades, and the city's liveliest bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Most of the scene in the Casco Viejo is straight, but there's a cluster of gay bars in the San Francisco district just across the Puente La Merced (Merced Bridge) from the Casco Viejo. And it's no more than a five-minute walk away.

Bars that serve pintxos (the Basque word for "tapas") are more than just great places to get an inexpensive meal—they're the center of this region's social life. Pintxos is usually accompanied by a glass of draft beer or a small glass of wine. Some clubs worth checking out are “High”, the most popular club in town with a mostly male crowd; just around the corner to “Heaven”, where the music is louder, the crowd is younger; up the block from “Heaven” is “Sperma”, one of the quietest, classiest, coziest bars in Bilbao.

So, if you’re looking for culture, art, architecture, a lively gay scene and a destination to enjoy over a long weekend or a longer vacation, Bilbao, Spain has much to offer the gay and lesbian traveler.

Bilbao Gay and Lesbian Hotels, Inns, and Guest Houses

Properties are shown in their current Pink Choice ranking order, within one of four price bands ranging from luxury ($$$$) to economy ($).


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