Set off the Gran Vía shopping district, and amidst a park of towering trees and manicured lawns, you'll stumble upon one of Bilbao's most worthy, albeit lesser known sights, San Vicente Martír de Abando Church.
The church, constructed back in the mid-1500s, sits sandwiched between other neighborhood buildings that line the Albia Gardens, a park-like square of tree-shadowed patches of flowers and plush lawns. From a bench, you can spy and admire the San Vicente Martír's rather modest Renaissance facade, which is decorated with a triple-slotted bell tower and a soaring arch entrance.
Unlike the exterior, the interior is really anything but basic, with many people even hailing it as more alluring than its more famous Bilbao counterpart, the Santiago Cathedral. Indeed, within its relatively humble outer walls, you'll find a sparkling baroque altar that glows under towering white-washed ceilings and stone-vaulted arches.
Given that it's cost-free to enter, and has a picnic-able park at its front door, San Vicente Martír Church should make for a worthy addition to any Bilbao itinerary.
San Vicente Martír Church is located in the Abando neighborhood, just about a five-minute walk from central destinations like Plaza Moyúa and Gran Vía (Gran Vía Don Diego López de Haro, to be exact). The church is free to enter, and open every day of the week from 10:30am to 1pm, and then again from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.