The Bizkaia Bridge has reached its 125 year anniversary, as such, 2018 is set to be filled with celebrations in honour of this construction, declared a UNESCO Heritage Site. Furthermore, this is the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The Basque Government and the Bizkaia Regional Government have organised various cultural and sporting activities to commemorate the anniversary of the world’s first transporter bridge.
The world’s first transporter bridge was officially opened on 28 July 1893, where else if not in Bizkaia. Forged in iron from our mines, it was constructed with the main objective of joining both river banks (Left Bank and Right Bank); without obstructing navigation. This model was later adopted by Argentina, France, England and Germany. In 1984, the Basque Parliament classified this infrastructure as a historical-artistic monument; whilst in 2006, it was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site. It was the first asset in the Basque Country to receive such recognition, the first Spanish industrial site and the first UNESCO site to be located in a port.
2018 is set to be full of celebrations, especially being the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The promoters of the 125th anniversary of the Bizkaia Bridge want to involve all citizens, since it is a symbol that goes far beyond its mere historical legacy. It is the bridge that unites our different cultures and realities.
This year, six organisations are to participate in collaboration with the Basque Government and the Bizkaia Regional Government. In addition to music festivals and various events related to folklore, bertsolarism, literature and art, sporting activities are to be organised close to the river, such as regattas and races, amongst other options, all aimed at promoting culture and industrial tourism.
If you visit the Bizkaia Bridge, we suggest that you go to the top and walk the 45 metres of the upper infrastructure. We remind you that this iron construction is composed of four towers measuring 61 metres in height, joined by a 160-metre beam with pedestrian access. From this upper part, you will enjoy incredible views: to the north, beyond the Txurruka headland, you can admire the magnificent Cantabrian sea. On the other side, you will be able to glimpse Bilbao on the horizon.
How to reach us
It is easy to reach the Vizcaya Bridge, both in public and private transport. The Bizkaibus lines stop just next to the bridge; there is also an underground station close by (Las Arenas).
If you are travelling by car, from Bilbao, take the N-637 towards Getxo. Bear in mind that OTA traffic regulations apply in the Las Arenas area (until 8:00pm).
Where to eat
You will love the culinary offering of Getxo, from its elegant restaurants in Las Arenas, to the simple taverns of the old port in Algorta, which are full of charm and mouth-watering delicacies. Whichever option you choose, fish is undoubtedly the star product: marmitako tuna stew, cod, anchovies, etc. The traditional taverns will delight you with their wide range of pintxos, which fill their bar-top counters.
Likewise, in the old quarter of Portugalete, you will find a similar culinary offering. In the bars of its narrow streets, you can sample glorious, small bites of battered prawns, pintxos with surimi, cheese and jam…
In summary: true culinary works of art on both sides of the centennial Bizkaia Bridge.
Where to sleep
In Getxo, you can find several hotels to stay at, especially in the Las Arenas area. If you go a little further out, to Romo or Algorta, for example, you will also find guesthouses, hostels, etc. Likewise, on the other side of the Bizkaia Bridge, in Portugalete, there are fantastic hotels in the centre, as well as guesthouses and hostels.