Best Markets in Bilbao
By Viator, September 2013
If you happen to be strolling the streets of Bilbao's Casco Viejo (the Old Quarter) on a Sunday, be sure to stop by Plaza Nueva to experience one of the city's most eccentric and eclectic markets. A collector's dream, the market is a wonderland of antiques, books, coins, trading cards, stamps, and even birds. Once you find that rare piece you were looking for, take advantage of your visit to do some serious bar hopping in the surrounding Casco Viejo neighborhood, so known for its abundance of pintxos (Basque-style tapas).
Mercado Rural de San Tomás
When it comes to holiday markets in Bilbao, Mercado Rural de San Tomás is the place to be. The market, which takes place in Plaza Nueva and Plaza Arenal starting December 21st (and lasts a few days), wasn't always destined to be such a festive affair. Indeed, it has origins in the late 19th century, when villagers would come to Bilbao to pay taxes, but also to hawk their goods. And thus the market was born. These days, you can still find a robust selection of regional products, such as txakoli (a dry white wine), cider and especially talo con chorizo (sausage wrapped in a tortilla-like crepe), all accompanied by Basque music and loads of locals.
Mercado de la Ribera
But then there's the mother of all markets, the Mercado de la Ribera. Famed as Europe's largest indoor market – measuring in at 10,000 square meters – the mercado has over 180 stands that span three floors, each one featuring different types of products. Come eye to eye with fresh-from-the-sea fish on the first floor, discover the world of Spanish meats on the second, and be tempted by colorful produce and artisanal baked goods on the third.