The LGBT movement Bilbao is neither small nor boring, and the best of everything is right at one’s fingertips. There are two districts where the pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes are mostly located: the Old Town (Casco Viejo) and the area near the Abando subway. Here’s a brief but comprehensive local guide for travelers who want to know more about the gay scene in Bilbao.
I can recommend three places where you can eat at various times, two of them offer a good, mixed environment and the other is a gay bar known for its burgers. The first is the “Fogón de Beni”, a gay-friendly restaurant specializing in traditional cuisine with a contemporary twist that’s only a 10 minute walk from the Guggenheim Museum. To get there, cross the Zubizuri bridge and turn at the first corner, at Mujica and Butrón streets. Another place you should visit for great food is the restaurant “Kasco”, which is located in the Old Town on Santa María street. They specialize in Basque cuisine with contemporary influences. It also has a nice piano bar and often showcases interesting exhibitions by artists. The last place offers pintxos and burgers. It’s called the Auskalo bar, and it’s a gay bar located in the Bailén street, very close to the metro Abando. I’ve heard their burgers are delicious and that the attentive owners ensure a pleasant atmosphere.
Coffee or afternoon beer
There are three cafés that concentrate on serving Bilbao’s gay clientele. The first of these is the Café La Merced, a nice place where you can eat in a mixed environment or simply have a coffee or beer in a nice ambience. Another that I would recommend is called Lamiak, a well-known lesbian bar that is welcoming to everyone. It’s a special place to have a drink before a trek in the city as well as to stop for something light to eat in the quiet daytime hours. And last but not least, there’s the gay bar “Nerbion”, which is located on the La Naja street. This is a good choice for pintxos and beers as well as to meet people.
Bars and starting out the night
Bilbao has a wide variety of gay bars. I recommend four: The first is the one I named previously, Lamiak. The second is the Crystal Ball, which offers drag shows every week. Check their schedule regarding performances. The other two are the Seventh Heaven, which is always has a great vibe on weekends and High, a bar that attracts an older crowd but is also popular among gay men.
Start to finish
I’m just going to recommend two more places in this section: “El Balcón de la Lola” and “Conjunto Vacío”. These are two different but equally enjoyable venues, so you can choose which you prefer. The first is located in the Bailén street and the second is in the Muelle de la Merced.
Of course, I have left you a few surprises… but you’ll find out more soon enough. Have a good trip and enjoy the beauties of Bilbao!
And if you want to tie up all the loose strings before you arrive, rent one of our accommodation in Bilbao apartments . This is especially great if you´re traveling with friends for a few days to enjoy the culture and entertainment of the capital of the Basque Country.