Spanish course at Christmas time

18 Nov 2018

During Christmas Bilbao becomes a city enriched with festive decorations and music. On December 1st the Christmas lights will be turned on and the city will transform. The streets will be alight with vibrant colours, each shop window will try and out shine the one next door and the smell of baking Christmas snacks will fill the streets. It’s a wonderful time to be in Bilbao, but just to make sure you make the most of it, here are a few things that are worth visiting this December in the Biscay capital. We offer Spanish couses at Christmas time!!

The artisan fair “Gabonart”

This festival was born as a promotion and commercialisation of artisan in Bizkaia. Held from the 16th December until the 5th January, and just 30 seconds walk from Instituto Hemingway, there will be stalls offering ceramics, jewellery, toys, leather, carved wood, textiles all of the highest quality and from the local area. On 26th December we will be taking our students to enjoy what’s on offer!

The Festival of Saint Thomas (Feria de Santo Tomás)

This is an annual festival taking place on 21st December. During this day Bilbao, and many neighbouring towns in the Basque Country, transform into rural markets selling food and artisan goods all from the local area. The main attraction is undoubtedly chistorra, a local sausage made from either pork or beef. The origin of the festival is unclear but probably lies in the celebration of a popular market that coincided with the day that taxes were paid back in the Middle Ages. On 21st December we will be taking our students to visit this wonderful festival.

Crib exhibitions

Various places throughout Bilbao host marvellous crib exhibitions, showing the nativity scene in various artistic ways. It’s worth keeping an eye out for these wonderful pieces of art. Perhaps the most outstanding exhibition is in the portico of San Nicolás de Bari, where numerous spectacular cribs are on display. The Diocesan Museum will be holding a crib exhibition.

Be sure to look out for many of the other things going on in Bilbao around this time. On more or less every street there are Christmassy things for people to engage in. Outside of the Arriaga Theatre there will be a large marquee set up where people can gather and soak in the Christmas spirit next to the wonderful Christmas tree that has been installed there.

So, if you are in Bilbao this December make sure to enjoy everything that the city has to offer. Here at Instituto Hemingway we will be taking our students to enjoy as many of the wonderful events happening in Bilbao as possible. If you are free over the Christmas period and would like to learn Spanish in a fascinating city, then do not hesitate to join us at Instituto Hemingway. We will be open throughout the festive period. If this interests you then please email us at

Happy holidays!

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