The atmospheric historical centre of Bilbao is known as Casco Viejo, or Old Town. This area on the right bank of the river offers a welcome departure from the bustling newer part of the city, with winding streets and old buildings giving it a quaint charm.
But that doesn't mean there's not lots of activity in this small pedestrian-friendly precinct!
Apart from bustling bars serving up calimocho (red wine mixed with coca cola), there's also a few food and flower markets as well as independent shops and tapas restaurants.
There are a number of pleasant walking routes through Old Town that take you past important landmarks like the Plaza Nueva and the Gothic Catedral de Santiago.
Travel tip: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes while exploring Casco Viejo as many of the streets are hilly and cobbled!