iAlthough Spanish is the official language in Bilbao, being a cosmopolitan area, languages like English, Germany and French are some of the widely spoken languages in most of the tourist sites in this area. With a good travel network that is facilitated by a fantastic infrastructure, Bilbao has a high tourist influx that is experienced throughout the year. The region is famed for being home to some of the world’s most fascinating tourist sites.
The city’s economic activities revolve around its major university, Deusto University and tourism. This has seen the growth of some of its outstanding attractions like the spectacular Museo Guggenheim museum that is more than a decade old and has fascinating architecture that represents the culture and ways of life of the people of Bilbao city. With all these attractions that range form the beautiful old green parks to new attraction sites that are very catchy, it’s hard for any visitor to know where to focus on, to get the exact feel of the city of Bilbao.
There are quite misleading impressions that the city is engulfed with conflicts and skirmishes about the Basque terrorism saga, language, politics and culture that are actually invisible to this wealthy city, which is very safe. In fact, all this talk and bustle is invisible to most tourists who are here to get a glimpse of what makes this city one of the world’s best tourist attractions. The main bureau Paseo del Arenal that offers quite a number of travel tips, accommodation tips, attraction leaflets, maps and brochures about the city is surrounded by other by other tourist offices and kiosks in and around the city.
If you are a visitor, it’s advisable that you utilize these services to be able to maneuver this otherwise crowded city in order to access different destinations. Since the tourist information offices are open throughout the week and partly over the weekend, you can be sure to get the reliable tourism information at the right place whenever necessary. It’s also recommended that, if you are interested in touring some of the smaller towns and villages you carry a phrase book that might come in handy in leading you through some of the regions that you require to travel to.
Although public service workers in and around this city don’t expect tips from visitors, do not be perturbed by the tipping culture that has been adopted by the habitants of Bilbao which in any case is not a bad thing, since builds some kind of bond. If you happen to tip a hotel staff or luggage handler handsomely, you can be sure to receive a warm treatment during your stay here.
Religion is one of the dearest cultures in Bilbao. Despite the fact that Spain is a Roman Catholic nation, other major religions like Protestants and Muslims are well represented. Visitors are allowed to fellowship together freely on condition that they respect the laid down religious codes of conduct, like dressing in fairly formal dress codes whenever they go to church.
As you tour some of your favorite tourist joints, you will realize that rights of non-smokers prevail over those for smokers. Reason being, smoking is highly prohibited in public places. With strict restrictions concerning this act, it’s advisable that you completely desist from any smoking since you might not actually know when it’s safe to smoke. You might not easily be able to identify the designated areas for smoking especially if it’s your first time into some of its hotels and bars. To be on the safe side, restrict yourself to smoking only when you see others around doing it freely, if you really have to smoke.
This city that dates several centuries back uses the Euro currency that has beautiful holograms and shades of other colors that is identical throughout Europe. Regardless of the country of issue, it can therefore be used in any of the member countries. Although old currencies are not accepted as legal tender, most banks will gladly convert them into Euros, whenever you need one. Therefore, you really don’t have to worry whenever you want to buy your favorite Basque t-shirts, flags or pay for some bills. Note that Bilbao is hub of exploring other cities like San Sebastian, which is about 90 minutes bus trip away. It will be up to you to choose some of the places that you want to visit during your stay.
Bilbao is not without some of the pitfalls that befall any crowded business hub across the world. One of its major security threats are bag snatchers and sometimes pickpockets. It is always advisable that you carry your precious items very carefully to avoid falling victim to these thugs who are always scheming new techniques of stealing.