Since its foundation in the early 14th century Bilbao has been a commercial hub, primarily due to its port activity. Bilbao is a vigorous service city that is experiencing an ongoing social, economic, and aesthetic revitalization process, started by the symbolic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, and continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Alhóndiga, or the current renewal projects Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre.
Most tourists come from within Spain, mainly from Madrid and Catalonia. International travellers come mostly from nearby France, but also from the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.
Bilbao and the wider Basque country are home to a large and varied retail offer. Bilbao´s high street retail offering is primarily centered around two areas, Gran Via and its surroundings and the Old Town with Calle Correo and Calle Bidebarrieta. Gran Via is a pleasant wide avenue which has been partially pedestrianised to enhance the shopping experience. Most major fashion retailers are present, although there is continued demand particularly from international retailers looking for a larger presence.
Ballonti shopping centre has more than 50,000sq.m GLA and a wide range of shops and top brand fashion and accessories, such as Primark, H&M, C&A, New Yorker, Jack & Jones, White, Springfield, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Lefties, Women Secret, Deichmann, Swarovski and Paco Martinez. There is also a wide variety of cafes and restaurants, including Burger King, Foster's Hollywood, 100 Montaditos, Gambrinus, Krunch and Mr. Wok.
Calle Correo is located in the old town on the opposite side of the river to Gran Via. It houses a mixture of local and national brands including H&M, Springfield, Punto Roma and Pepe Jeans.
One of the largest shopping centres in the city Artea Shopping Mall (40,000sq.m GLA) is located in a park of the same name, in the town of Leioa (Vizcaya) in Greater Bilbao. The centre is anchored by an Eroski hypermarket. Other retailers include a mix of Spanish (e.g Adolfo Dominquez, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Cortefiel, and Zara) and international names (Hollister, Scotch & Soda, Calzedonia, H&M, Pepe Jeans, Sacoor). This mall also features a selection of restaurants and a cinema.
Calle Ercilla, a pedestrianised street, runs south west from Plaza Moyua, and has a mixture of national and international mass market and some slightly higher end brands. El Corte Inglés, Blanco, Camper, El Caballo, Calzedonia, Adolfo Dominguez and Women Secret are all present.
calle gran via don diego lopez de haro
Calle Gran Via is a wide street which has been partially pedestrianised and has a grand feel to it. The vast majority of national retailers are present on Gran Via along with a number of internationals. Retailers such as El Corte Inglés, Zara, Blanco, Cortefiel, Mango, Desigual and Massimo Dutti are represented. Demand remains high for this street and availability is extremely limited with considerable key money to be paid for good quality units. A number of the larger units are still occupied by banks such as BBVA, Banco Santander and BBK.
As with Calle Correo, Calle Bidebarrieta is also located in the old town and acts as more of a secondary retail location after Gran Via. Some major retailers (such as H&M and Mango) are present in both the Gran Via area and the Old Town.
Located on the outskirts of Bilbao, Max Center is an impressive shopping centre (59,331 sq.m), with over 160 shops, including a large Eroski supermarket, beauty stores, restaurants, a modern cinema and an array of fashion boutiques, selling both affordable clothing and more exclusive designer goods. Retailers include Zara, Mango, Punto Roma, H&M, Cortefiel, Pimkie and New Yorker.
|KEY AREAS / STREETS/SHOPPING CENTERS||CONSUMER PROFILE||MAJOR RETAILERS PRESENT||NEW ENTRANTS||TYPICAL RENT FOR UNIT OF 200 200 sqM||RANGE OF UNIT SIZES (SQM)|
|Gran Via||Mass market||El Corte Inglés, Zara, Blanco, Cortefiel, Massimo Dutti, Mango||Uno de 50, Tezenis, Skunk Funk, Calzedonia, Desigual||120€/sq.m/month||80 - 4,000 sq.m|
|Ercilla||Mass market||El Corte Inglés, Blanco, Camper, Adolfo Dominguez, Women Secret, Calzedonia, Intimissimi||85€/sq.m/month||80 - 350 sq.m|
|Correo||Mass market||H&M, Springfield, Punto Roma, Pepe Jeans||75€/sq.m/month||80 - 1,000 sq.m|
|Bidebarrieta||Mass market||Desigual, Jack & Jones, Pimkie, Mango, Bijou Brigitte||60€/sq.m/month||80 - 800 sq.m|
|Artea||Mass market||Zara, H&M, Punto Roma, Desigual, Pimkie, Bershka||Hollister, Scotch & Scoda||48€/sq.m/month||20 - 2,000 sq.m|
|Max Center||Mass market||Zara, Mango, Punto Roma, H&M, Cortefiel, Pimkie, New Yorker||42€/sq.m/month||20 - 2,000 sq.m|
|Ballonti||Mass market||Zara, H&M, Primark, Blanco, C&A, Jack & Jones, Lefties, New Yorker||35€/sq.m/month||20 - 4,000 sq.m|
Data as of January 2013
Gastronomy is an art form in Bilbao. The city is home to prestigious restaurants which offer dishes ranging from traditional cuisine to the most avant-garde culinary creations. Not forgetting, of course, all the different areas of the city in which to savour the famous pintxos (typical appetizers), which are guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding palates.
Eating well is easy, almost an obligation in Bilbao. The city is renown for being the capital of cod, because of the wide variety of dishes comprising the fish. The local custom is known as “txikiteo” (having pintxos with a drink) before having a meal. Ledesma is one of the most typical areas to “go for pintxos” and is predominantly frequented by a slightly older clientele.
San Mames - Pozas is a street visited before Athletic de Bilbao football matches at the San Mames Stadium. Local bars in the area host fans to watch the games, as many establishments have large screens to follow the “Lions of San Mames”.
The charismatic street Pozas (Licenciado Poza), full of nightclubs and bars next to The Cathedral (as the San Mames Stadium is known), holds the pre- and post match parties and has a special atmosphere not found in many other cities.
Casco Viejo, the old town of the Villa de Bilbao has two distinct environments. Shopping by day and “bar hopping” by night. Txikitero crews still walk the streets of the Casco Viejo from bar to bar, often singing songs typical of Bilbao and the Basque Country. Tapas bars are located primarily in Plaza Nueva, Nuestra Señora de María, Calle del Perro and Calle Jardines.
|KEY AREAS||CONSUMER PROFILE||FOOD & BEVERAGE OPERATORS INCLUDING||RENT FOR 350 sqm UNIT|
|San Mamés- Pozas||Tourist (matches and weekends) Locals (daily)||Audikona, Estraunza, Serantes, Aranzazú, Oriatorra||N/A|
|Ledesma||Locals (daily) Tourist (on weekends)||Nicolas, Ibaigane, Club Naútico, Zortziko, La Granja, Iruña||N/A|
|Casco Viejo||Tourist (daily) Local (daily)||Arriaga, Lapico, Saibigain, Baste Víctor Montes, Perro Chico||N/A|
Data as of January 2013