Re: Bilbao gay information
ilargitxo: "gay-friendly" is a common term for places that welcome gay people (not only that "allow them to enter" ;o)
Tom: for how long are you staying in Bilbao?
if it's just a short cruise stop, I'd say it really don't mind where you go. If you're staying just 1 overnight, or a few hours, it will be a shame you'll miss the local way of enjoying life, that is basically bar crawling, having 1 or 2 "pintxos" (basque kind of tapas, more elaborated and... delicious!) with a glass of local wine (txacolí the most famous, white and very aromatic) or beer, moving to the next one, etc. This is usually done at night, but it will not be so strange having pintxos for lunch, wandering the old town.
If you are staying a few days... did you tried google? this is the second entry (the first was in Spanish only): http://www.gayiberia.com/bilbao/
I can't tell you for sure (not being gay) but I used to go quite often to Bilbao. I can't remember many rainbow flags or specific places (I guess there are) but mostly a mixed crowd everywhere. I don't think there are specific gay-oriented shopping (even Bilbao is a great place for shopping, for everyone) and probably there is not a single restaurant that will be flagged as "gay-friendly" but as said above, everyone is welcome everywhere. Is this way in most of Spain (at least the areas I'm more familiar with): there are not really gay ghettos, and I do think this is a great thing
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