Bizkaia Bridge

Bizkaia Bridge, a dream in iron

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Also known as the "Hanging Bridge", the Bizkaia Bridge is an architectural jewel which reflects the industrial and maritime character of the Basque Country and something you’ll love to photograph.

The Bizkaia Bridge was the first ferry bridge built in the world with a metal structure. It is located at the mouth of the Ibaizabal river, at the point where the navigable estuary of Bilbao used to get to the sea until the 19th century. It was inaugurated on 28 July,1893 and its design was the work of Alberto Palacio and Elissague.

In 2006 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for being one of the most outstanding constructions of the European Industrial Revolution and of the iron architecture.

Located on the final stretch of the Bilbao’s Ría, just a stone’s throw from where it flows out into the Bay of Biscay, the bridge links Portugalete and Getxo and is therefore a perfect excuse to visit these two charming towns, the former with its winding mediaeval streets and the latter with its grand town houses.

A dream in iron

UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage Site some years ago in recognition of its incalculable importance. It was the first metal transporter bridge in the world and is considered a masterpiece of engineering of its time, a “dream in rolled iron”. Whether from Portugalete or from Getxo, we recommend that you board its famous gondola, which you can even do by car, and cross over to the other side. You’ll see what an exciting experience it is. Don’t miss the stunning view of the Ría to be seen from the top walkway at a height of 45 metres.

Also, if you’re curious, you can see the mechanisms of the gondola, the runners, motors and suspension cables close up to understand just how they work. You should also try taking the ferry from one shore of the Ría to the other, just like the ordinary residents of the area who use it every day - you’ll get a great view of the bridge.

    How to get about by public transport

    • By Metro: We recommend you to get here by metro. The stop is “Areeta/Portugalete”.
    • By Train: You could go to the RENFE train station in Portugalete and then walk to the bridge.
    • En Bus: You have the option of getting there by bus on the Bizkaibus Bilbao Line (A-3151 and A-3135).

    Nearby essentials

    Nearby routes and plans

    The Way of St. James coastal route
    The Way of  St. James coastal route
    Boat trip to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
    Boat trip to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe


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