Bilbao (Basque: Bilbo) is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is also the largest city proper in northern Spain The Bilbao metropolitan area has roughly 1 million habitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain. Bilbao is also the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region. Bilbao is a port city which prospered due to the local iron industry, but it has refitted itself for the modern age with some landmark buildings.

What can you do in Bilbao?

  • For culture: The word ‘starchitecture’ was coined after Frank Gehry’s extraordinary Guggenheim Museum updated Bilbao’s profile, but Philippe Starck’s Azkuna Zentroa culture centre is as impressive.
  • For atmosphere: Known locally as the ‘Seven Streets’, Bilbao’s old town is closed to traffic and features the dramatic 14th-century Santiago Cathedral as well as a large indoor market.
  • For fresh air: A trip along the banks of the Nervión is highly recommended – up the west bank as far as the gleaming Zubizuri bridge, then cross and come back along the other side.

Eating and drinking

Food is at the heart of Basque culture, with pintxos – bite-sized rounds of toast topped with everything from salt cod and sea urchin – a must, especially the ‘gilda’ (a combination of olive, anchovy and pickled chili pepper). Piperade pepper stew mirrors the colours of the Basque flag, and local txakoli and rioja wines are excellent, while the region specialises in cider, served in special cider houses, Sagardotegi, often accompanied with cod in a thick pil-pil sauce.

Football in the city

Athletic Club are the first and last word in club football in Bilbao; formed in 1898, they were founder members of the Liga and have the honour of never having been relegated. The Lions’ principle is to field only players native to the greater Basque region, and the red-and-whites’ main local rivals are the blue-and-whites of Real Sociedad, based 100km east in the region’s other big city, San Sebastian.

Get out of the city

The Basque region is beautiful, with plenty of picturesque walks and beaches within reach of Bilbao, and there are plenty more attractions within an hour’s drive of the city: San Sebastian with its urban beach, historic Vitoria-Gasteiz, the vineyards of the Rioja Alavesa region and the city of Pamplona.

Useful links


The old San Mamés undoubtedly served as benchmark that was vital to the world of football and was considered legendary at an international level. For this, it became known by the nickname with which it ultimately went down in history: La Catedral. It was inaugurated in 1913 in the same place where, a hundred years later, the current stadium stands, proud of its legacy, and as such, still the same ‘Catedral’. With a capacity of 53,000 spectators, it has been designed according to the most exacting standards, those of the UEFA Elite Category.

  • A statue of goalscoring legend Pichichi was moved from the old stadium to the new; visiting club captains traditionally present a bouquet at the statue to mark their first visit.
  • The new venue will host the 2018 European Rugby Challenge Cup and Champions Cup finals before holding matches at UEFA EURO 2020.
  • Building of the Year, Sport Category, WAF World Architecture Festival 2015, Singapore

EURO 2020 Ambassadors

Julen Guerrero and Carlos Marchena, ambassadors for the Volunteers’ programme at the EURO2020 in Bilbao.

Julen Guerrero, ambassador for the Volunteers’ programme at the EURO2020 in Bilbao

Nowadays, Julen Guerrero, is the Spanish national coach of U-16 and U-15 teams. Linked to Royal Spanish Football Federation as a coach since July of last year. He has developed his career as a football player between Athletic Club and the Spanish national team, where he went through all the lower categories and debuted with the first team at the age of 19 years old.

Along the international journey that he had, Guerrero played two FIFA World Cups (USA 94 and France 98) and one European Championship (England 96). Formed in Lezama, Athletic Club was the axis of his career where he wore armband´s captain from 1995 until his retirement in 2006. He was part of the first Athletic Club team during fourteen seasons (1992-2006) in which he played a total of 372 official games and scored 101 goals.

Carlos Marchena, UEFA EURO 2020 Ambassador

Carlos Marchena, ex-football player from Seville, he has an extensive professional curriculum and an extensive relationship with the Spanish national team. Marchena played in two World Cups, one in Germany, 2006, and the other one in South Africa 2010 where he won the World Championship. In 2004 he also won the European Championships in Portugal as well as in Austria and Switzerland in 2008.

As a professional, he played for Sevilla, Benfica, Valencia, Villarreal, Deportivo de la Coruña and Kerala Blasters. He won two leagues, a UEFA Cup and a Copa del Rey with Valencia. At the present time, he is linked to the technical department of Sevilla Football Club.


Would you like to be part of the UEFA Euro 2020?

Ciudad del Fútbol S.L.U. is looking for candidates to fill new positions in the organization of the UEFA Euro 2020 in Bilbao. Depending on the job position, the hiring process will either take place in 2019 or 2020 and all positions will finalize as the event comes to an end in Bilbao, from June 29th onwards. To join the UEFA Euro 2020 family check our current vacancies and send us your CV, both in English and Spanish, to Please be sure to specify the vacancy you are applying to and to list your applications in order of preference, for more than one application.