Grupos
Experiencies
City stories
Offers
Hotels and destinations
A taste of Brussels
Brussels, Belgium
You can expect just about anything from a city capable of exporting the best chocolate in the world and home to world-famous Brussel sprouts. The Belgian capital is a city of contrasts that will always leave you with a good taste in your mouth
Be a txikitero, my friend
Bilbao, Spain

In Bilbao there are not residents, there are txikiteros. Txikiteros are names given to those who drink txikitos, small glasses of wine served in the bars.

 

Visit our hotel in the city

From Madrid to heaven (or so they say)
Madrid, Spain
One of Madrid's most popular sayings is that there's only one hard to visit the latter, let's begin with the former.
Made-to-measure offers and discounts 
They’re hugely popular! 
Our prices are good; our offers, even better. We have incredible discounts devised just for you. Find out about them by clicking here. Ah! And remember to give us your email so you can be the first to discover our offers, events and openings. 
Culture and art
A stroll through Molenbeek, the capital’s most modern neighbourhood
See more
|
Unmissable visits
Culture and art
What NOT to do in Bilbao 2024
Categories
Return
Culture and art
Bilbao through Ría and bridges
21.04.2024

Life is impossible without water. The same is true of Bilbao; the city would not exist without its Ría, the estuary. The rivers Nervión and Ibaizábal bring life to Bilbao, reaching the shores of the Cantabrian Sea.

In the same way that the Ría brings life to Bilbao, the bridges and footbridges bring life to the Ría. The people of Bilbao cross from one bank to the other every day on several occasions, today we will cross the 13 bridges that Bilbao has.

 

Bridges and footbridges in Bilbao

 

Puente de Miraflores y Viaducto Miraflores

We start our route with the first bridge we come across on our way by road to Bilbao, the one that crosses over the Miraflores Viaduct. In operation since 1995, its 45-metre-high bridge welcomes those entering Bilbao from the A8.

 

Puente de San Antón

With one foot already in Bilbao, sailing the estuary in search of the rich Cantabrian Sea, we arrive at the Bridge of San Antón, which is located next to the church that gives it its name. It is an emblem of the city, present in it since medieval times, even, according to legend, before the appearance of the town itself.

Be that as it may, its historical importance is undeniable. In fact, it is so important that it appears on the town's coat of arms. From here you can access the "beach" of Bilbao, as the low tide of the Muelle de Marzana is known.

 

Puente de la Ribera

A few steps, or strokes if you dare to take a refreshing swim in the estuary, we come across another of the city's historic bridges: the Puente de la Ribera. It is a pedestrian bridge and a true reflection of the city of Bilbao; it has reinvented itself time and time again.

It has been suspended, made of wood and rebuilt several times, and no matter what happens, it is still there at the feet of the people of Bilbao. Between the Marzana, the Casco Viejo and connecting with the Mercado de la Ribera, this piece of Bilbao's history is still very present in the city's daily life.

 

Puente de la Merced

Less than five minutes' walk along the Ribera, we come to our next bridge; the Puente de la Merced. Next to what is known today as the Bilborcok Hall, although everyone remembers it as the 17th century church that it was, the old Church of La Merced.

This bridge was built in 1886 and, as was the case with the Ribera Bridge, it has seen better days and many worse days in its history. It has undergone from remodelling, both in its structure and its name, to its complete destruction.

It is one of the bridges with the most stories in Bilbao, including the legend that says that if someone walking alone touches the winged beings that guard the bridge's lampposts, they will be lucky in love. Only a few know whether this legend is still true or not.

 

Puente del Arenal

We arrive at one of the most central bridges in the city, which welcomes the passer-by to a majestic and stately Bilbao, with an Arriaga Theatre that welcomes us like the impressive building it is, the first skyscraper in the city, the Bailén or the beautiful Estación de la Concordia, are some of the nearest buildings.

Don't forget to stroll through the Arenal Park and visit its famous Kiosk.

 

Puente del Ayuntamiento

If we are talking about majestic buildings, we cannot overlook our next stop, the Town Hall Bridge, formerly the Begoña Bridge, which is connected to the Ripa Quay thanks to this bridge.

 

Puente Zubizuri

As a link between Paseo Campo Volantín and Torres Isozaki, we find ourselves in front of one of the great symbols of Basque avant-gardism and its urban regeneration.

The Zubizuri Bridge, commonly known as the Calatrava Bridge, was inaugurated in 1997, although it was not without controversy due to the poor adhesion of its floor and the constant deterioration of the glass tiles. This is the reason why it now has its characteristic carpet.

The Zubi zuri, "white bridge" in Basque, is one of the most visited and photographed monuments in the whole city of Bilbao, due to its connection with the Ensanche.

 

Puente de la Salve

Although it may appear to be newly built due to its transgressive and modern appearance, it was actually inaugurated in 1972. Its name comes from the prayer, the Salve Marinera, which sailors used to pray from their boats when entering the Ría. Why did they pray at this point? Because it is from here that the patron saint, the Virgin of Begoña, can be seen for the first time.

It is still as fashionable as it was fifty years ago, as it is located in the vicinity of one of the most famous museums in the world; the Guggenheim Museum. It also hosts the Red Bull Cliff Diving, the international diving competition, where participants jump from a whopping 27 metres.

 

Pasarela Pedro Arrupe

Wood and steel, tradition and modernity, past and present united, once again in Bilbao. On this occasion, in one of the most recent constructions over the estuary, the Pedro Arrupe footbridge.

It was inaugurated in 2004 and is named after the Bilbao priest Pedro Arrupe. The footbridge's function is fundamental as it links the University of Deusto with the Guggenheim Museum.

 

Puente de Deusto

A historic bridge that responds to a past need for Bilbao, due to its continuous growth, to connect with Deusto. It was inaugurated in 1936 and, even today, it continues to carry out its function to perfection. If we cross it, the Iberdrola tower, one of the last skyscrapers in Bilbao to be built, welcomes us. It is a metaphor for the new Bilbao, where the traditional and the modern can live side by side.

 

Puente Euskalduna

This spectacular bridge was inaugurated in 1997 and, once again, is a perfect allegory of the city's growth. Firstly, its curved shape was not only built for beauty, but also to respect historical objects and places, such as "La Carola", the beloved 60-metre red crane that recalls the era of the Euskalduna shipyards and the activity on the docks.

It passes right over the Maritime Museum, so both pedestrians and vehicles can move forward cementing their way into the most historic and industrial past of the City of Bilbao. Once again, a look at the past so as not to lose sight of the future.

 

Puente Frank Gehry

Next stop, a huge recognition that was put into operation in 2015. We arrive at the Frank Gehry Bridge, one of the most recent, in honour of the architect who designed the Guggenheim Museum. It connects the new Zorrotzaurre Island, Bilbao's Manhattan, with Deusto.

 

Puente San Inazio

We make a short stop. Although this bridge is not on our list of thirteen historic bridges in Bilbao, we must mention it because it will be part of Bilbao's more modern and brighter future. At the time of writing it is temporarily closed because it is used to cross the Ria canal, linking the San Ignacio neighbourhood, hence the name, with the aforementioned Zorrotzaurre Island.

 

Puente de Rontegi

We are leaving Bilbao, yes, but we continue with our list of Bilbao bridges, because it is not possible to understand Bilbao without its Rontegi Bridge, which began its activity in 1983 and which links Barakaldo and Erandio. We continue along the estuary until we reach the sea, our last stop, the most spectacular bridge of all.

 

Puente Bizkaia

We are at the furthest point from the Bilbao of the Seven Streets, but at the foot of the Cantabrian Sea. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006, this bridge connects Getxo with Portugalete and is also the oldest ferry in the world. Don't miss a visit to the Bizkaia Bridge, history not only of the Basque Country, but also of the rest of Spain and the world. 

 

 

Done