Bilbao city breaks are a curious mix of modern and traditional. The lively city center offers visitors a warm welcome and a great choice of delicious Basque cuisine and trendy bars. The buzzing pedestrian streets of the Casco Viejo old town rival anything in Madrid and Barcelona, the medieval streets wend their way around the pretty Plaza Nueva, the city's main square. A short stroll away, the daily Ribera market bustles with activity as locals throng the stalls with exotic cuts of meat and seafood, and you will find a fantastic display of fruit and vegetables.
Although the Guggenheim Museum is the star attraction of Bilbao, it is no way the only one. The entire area around Guggenheim, what was the city's shipyards, has undergone massive changes and is still being developed as a center for art and culture. Most notable among these developments is the Euskalduna Conference Center. It is this contrast between old and new that makes Bilbao such an interesting place to visit.
Mostly though, the weather is pleasant and milder than in many other parts of the peninsula. There is also more rain, and the green hills of Bilbao can, especially in the summer, be a welcome relief after an extended stay in the dry plains in the south.
Bilbao has a coastal climate, generally mild, with not too extreme temperatures. January average temperature is 9C and July average 21C. Precipitation is around 1200mm per year, almost entirely rain, although every winter is snows now and again.
Extreme heat is also common a few days each summer, mainly when strong winds from the south blow through the mountains and makes the temperatures rise.