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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to Bilbao next week to watch the Athletic v Mallorca match. Where is best to go before and after the match to saviour the matchday atmosphere (bars etc)? Is there an official Athletic club supporters bar I can visit?

Are there any areas of the city to avoid being an English tourist?

Any other advice anyone can give that may improve my first trip to Bilbao would be much appreciated.
 

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You will probably find a lot of information in older threads... Read them!

The first thing I would do is to get tickets at San Mames or in BBK multi-service ATMs. You'll find prices at the official home page.

When it comes to atmosphere, it is quite easy. There are several bars just outside the stadium to give you the right atmosphere. After the match you should walk to the casco viejo in the street where you will have the official shop just behind you. In that street there is also a lot of bars to celebrate the victory (I hope you are more lucky than me; I have experienced 4 disappointments...).

I don't think there is a lot of areas to avoid, but you should definitively spend a lot of time eating pintxos in casco viejo. It's nice as a tourist at plaza nueva, but also to eat your pintxos in siete calles.

It is probably also possible to go out to the beach with the metro. I have done it by car, and there is a lot of nice areas. Depends on how much time you have...
 

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Lehendakari
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A couple of threads which you might find useful: http://www.xtratime.org/forum/showpost.php?p=5205873&postcount=5 and http://www.xtratime.org/forum/showthread.php?t=220099&highlight=tickets. I would also check the official site for info on ticket prices and ticket office opening hours.

When I went last April I was able to get my ticket on the Saturday afternoon but I would advise getting yours as soon as you can. It isn't a big game though so you shouldn't have much trouble getting a ticket.

If you want to see any of the smaller teams while you're in Bilbao, Sestao and Portugalete usually play at home on the same weekend of Athletic home matches, Sestao on Sat evenings and Portu on Sun mornings. Both are easy to get to on the metro.

There is also the Guggenheim and Puente Colgante (near Portugalete) to look at, as well as the beaches which mellansnack mentioned. Either Getxo or Plentzia which is a bit further on.

Hopefully you'll have a great time and see an Athletic win (we really need one).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I see the fixture time & date has finally been confirmed. I don't get to Bilbao until around 1300 on the Saturday (match day), should I still be able to get a ticket ok?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the great information, much appreciated.

This trip seems to be best with problems. Due to the late confirmation of the fixture time / date we can't get cheap accommodation due apparently to ACDC & Cirque du Soleil being in town. Also we are not likely to be in Bilbao now until around 1400 / 1500 so won't be able to purchase match tickets until then which is a worry.

Additionally we were also hoping to watch Sociedad on the Sunday at the Anoeta but this has also now been moved to Saturday as well now so thats a non-starter.

Hopefully we'll be ok for tickets and we watch an Athletic victory. Rescinded cards for Susaeta & Amorebieta are a bonus.
 

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Are there any areas of the city to avoid being an English tourist?
People told me to avoid the area around the calle San Francisco, not too far away from the Casco Viejo. :)

Additionally we were also hoping to watch Sociedad on the Sunday at the Anoeta but this has also now been moved to Saturday as well now so thats a non-starter.
There's probably enough to hop, don't have much time at the moment but have a look at www.futbolme.com for all fixtures, they will be confirmed in the next few days for lower leagues probably.
There are a lot of beautifull grounds in Basque Country, Arrieta mentioned already some.

Don't worry too much about tickets, I'm 99% sure you'll get them on the match day, but go as quick as possible to the taquillas!
Otherwise don't hesitate to call Athletic because I heard for fans from abroad they sometimes reserve tickets.

Best of luck, and before I forget, 'ongi etorri' to the forums! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sound, i'll bear that im mind, thanks again.

i've already emailed the club via the official site, will see what come of that.

i notice that one of your teams is fc utrecht. i'm a liverpool fc season ticketholder and i my understanding tis that dirk kuyt id a former palyer of yours. is he still held in high regard (at utrehct) or not following his move to feyenoord?
 

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Lehendakari
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Additionally we were also hoping to watch Sociedad on the Sunday at the Anoeta but this has also now been moved to Saturday as well now so thats a non-starter.
Portu are playing Amurrio at Sun 11am with Portu 1st and Amurrio 2nd.

Also Getxo (just across the river from Portu) are at home to Basconia (Athletic's third team). Not sure what time that is, but could be interesting to see some of Athletic's youth players.
 
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