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Living guide

Living guide for GTI-Boroa

City: Boroa, País Vasco

Language: Español y Euskera

Timezone: Central European Time (CET)

Currency: Euro 

International dialing code: +34

Climate: Bilbao has a humid oceanic climate, with predominantly West winds, that make temperatures milder and favour temperate weather throughout the year. Given its proximity to the sea, the climate is mild and without extreme temperature changes between the seasons: with an average temperature 8ºC in winter and 20ºC in summer. 

Visa: A visa is not compulsory for coming to Bilbao, but you might need one depending on your place of origin. Citizens from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland only need their passport or national identity document.

For stays of under three months, a visa is also not necessary for people travelling from: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, El Salvador, USA, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Rep. of Korea, Romania, San Marino, the Vatican, Singapore, Uruguay, Venezuela and the special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China (Macau and Hong Kong).

There are several types of visa depending on the purpose of the visit: transit, long-stay, residence, work and study. You must apply for these documents at the Spanish consulate or embassy in your country of origin. The processing cost will vary depending on the type of visa, the number of entries or the place where it must processed.

Banks: You can find branches of virtually all of the banks and saving banks in the city centre and in its suburbs.

Their normal opening hours are Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 14:00 and Saturdays from 09:00 to 13:00 (except in the summer). Some branches also open in the afternoon, specifically from 16:00 to 17:30.

Wi-Fi zones: If you visit the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, the Plaza Nueva, the Basilica of Begoña and many other tourist attractions in the city, you can connect to the internet and use your mobile phone, tablet or portable device to look up whatever information you need. Bilbao has spent several years rolling out an extensive Wi-Fi network that now has over 150 free open hot-spots.

Health: Bilbao has extensive healthcare infrastructure that covers the needs of its citizens through the Basque health service, Osakidetza. For people from abroad, basic health cover is provided through the interaction of the national health systems and through medical insurance.

Traditional food: The most commonly used products are beef, fish and seafood, although a lot of lamb and chicken are also eaten.

Here are 10 recommendations for things to try when you come to Bilbao:

1. Spider crab au gratin pintxo at El Globo

This is the star pintxo of this bar on calle Diputación, and this is really saying something given how excellent its pintxos are. Unmissable. 

2. Gildas at Nuevo Portu Berria

This Bilbao pintxo, named after the film starring Rita Hayworth, can be found in all of the bars in el Botxo. The ones at Portu Berria are the most famous and are delicious.

3. La Viña's ham sandwiches

La Viña del Ensanche has excellent pintxos, but if it stands out for one thing, it is its ham. One of its mini-sandwiches at mid-morning is a 100 % Bilbao treat. 

4. Omelette with “Divisa” at the Taberna Taurina on calle Ledesma

Even if you don't like bullfighting, ignore the decoration and try the omelette at this classic Bilbao bar, on calle Ledesma. The “divisa” in question is a spicy pepper that is split down the middle. As omelettes are very subjective, don't miss the ones from Bar Kirol on calle Ercilla, the best in Bilbao according to many people. Whether or not this is true, they are certainly delicious.

5. Squid (and spicy mussels) at Artajo

Fried squid on Sundays in Bilbao is like a religion for many people. The ones from Artajo, also on Ledesma, are delicious and are some of the best known (if you go, don't miss their famous spicy mussels as well).

6. Mushrooms from Bacaicoa

This bar in Plaza Unamuno is a real classic, and its mushrooms a la gloria in particular. I do not know what they put in them, but they are definitely the best in Bilbao. Also, don't miss their inferno chorizo.

7. Mussels from  Baste

These are the star pintxo at this bar on calle María Muñoz and they have become a real Bilbao classic. Well worth trying!

8.Oysters at El Puertito

This bar on calle García Rivero has only been open in Bilbao for a couple of years, but its oysters are already unmissable.

9.Bollos de mantequilla from Don Manuel

These are one of Bilbao's classic pastries, and are delicious from any bakers, but served with a good coffee the ones from Don Manuel are irresistible. 

10.Croquettes from Txiriboga

The home-made croquettes from this bar on calle Santa María have been famous for decades in Bilbao. They can be bought individually as a pintxo and are delicious.