Exploring Metro Bilbao: Urbinaga Station
Urbinaga Station is an elevated metro stop located on line two of Metro Bilbao. It is one of two stations located in the suburb of Sestao. More of an industrial area than residential, there are some interesting spots to check out, murals to see, and a walk along the estuary. Located on the hillside is the residential area that provides some great city views.
Urbinaga Station is the second stop along our journey to visit all 41 stations managed by Metro Bilbao. In the first edition of this series we visited Algorta Station and explored some of the best places to check out within a short walking distance. In our Urbinaga addition we explore the juxtaposition of the residential neighbourhood against the industrial complex.
Construction of Urbinaga Station was completed in 2004 by infrastructure company Acconia. It is located on Line 2, in zone 2, between Bagatza and Sestao stations. It is one of two Metro Bilbao stations that services the roughly 28 thousand residents of Sestao. Metro Bilbao does have a English version of their website as well as a mobile app.
It is a raised open air platform that is accessed by elevator, escalator or ramp. The curved viaduct is 108m long and located beside the Galindo water treatment plant and above the Renfe Cercanias rail. The Sestao Station for Renfe's C-1 line, Abando-Santurtzi, is a short walk away.
The route goes up the staircase next to the apartment buildings on the hill. At the top of the hill is the first mural that recognizes March 8th as International Women's Day. Continue down the hill on Gran Via (Main Street) and then make a left at Rivas Kalea (street). Walking along Rivas Kalea you will see Portopin Parkea above you on your left and Renfe's Sestao Station to the right. Beyond the station is an industrial park.
The next mural is at the far end of the park on the wall of the ramp up the hill you should take. Continue up till you see a plaza with colourful glass terraces. Pass through the Plaza and leave on the far upper side. At the street take a right and at the crossroad you can see the next mural.
Go back up the street you just came from until it ends. The next mural will be directly in front of you. Afterwards, follow the street on your right up the hill until you reach Gran Via.
Gran Via is the main street of the city and goes on for quite a while. In fact if you wanted to, you could carry on until you get to the next Metro Bilbao station named Sestao. For our adventure we are only going to go up a short distance. We will cover Sestao Station in a future article.
When you reach Gran Via, turn to the right and head up; there is a small plaza and a playground. This area is a very popular spot in the neighborhood. Around this crescent shaped plaza are a few different stores and a couple of restaurants that have patios. It's a very vibrant area. Further up the street is a public school with a nice covered playing surface.
Near the top of the hill there are a few short streets to the left that take you to the edge of the hill the town is built on. From these locations you get a very interesting view of the valley. Heading back down the hill there are some nice townhouses with small yards. Once you pass these townhomes you'll want to enter Portopin Parkea.
Portopin has a covered section of the park that is a nice retreat on a hot summer's day. There is a jungle gym and a playground with a couple of swing sets. It is a good sized area with lots of room to run around.
When you leave this section of the park there are a few paved trails that meander down the hillside. The trails offer many different access points to the surrounding neighborhood. The lower section of the park offers a roofed outdoor workout area.
Leaving the park, continue down Gran Via till you get back to the International Women's Day Mural. Go right of the mural on San Ignacio Kalea until it ends at a gravel parking lot. At the far side of the lot is a trail that takes you to the river.
There are trails on both sides of the river. They go from the Bilbao Estuary upstream about two kilometers. There are a few pedestrian bridges that allow you to switch sides of the river with ease. The Barakaldo side of the Riverwalk is paved and has a bike path. Saunter along the riverwalk on your way to Riberia Park. This is one of the nicest places to spend some time. When you're ready, walk back along the river on your way to Urbinaga Station.
There has been a plan in place for over ten years to make Urbinaga Station a hub in the Bilbao transit system. The idea is to have Urbinaga Station link up with a new Renfe Sestao Station. Instead of Sestao Station being up the tracks from Urbinaga it would be moved directly beside with a pedestrian bridge connecting the two transit systems.
There is also a plan to have a new tram in Barakaldo and a tram that would start in Urbinaga and terminate at the University of Basque Country in Leioa. The two tram systems would be linked through a new Urbinaga tram station.
Urbinaga Station is located in one of the least populated areas compared to other stations. It has some nice qualities to it and some fun things to do in the area. Currently it's mostly a blue collar and industrial area, however, that could change dramatically in the future. If the plans for Urbinaga come to fruition, it will become a major player in the movement of people through the city of Bilbao. Time will tell, but it's exciting.
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