We have a James Bond World, a James Bond Island, why not a James Bond Balcony?
This week I was in Bilbao, Spain, where the opening title sequence was shot for The World is not Enough. My favourite Pre-Title sequence of the entire franchise.
In this article I will give you the full run down of my itinerary following James Bond in Bilbao; what I wore, where to stay, and the address of the location.
I’m also going to reference the fantastic book by Martijn Mulder On the Tracks of 007, a road map of all the great James Bond locations.
Where to stay in Bilbao?
I stayed at the Mercure Jardin hotel in Bilbao which is a functional 4-star business hotel, with a decent breakfast and bar. Very central and located on the river.
It will cost you 26 euros in the taxi (20-minute cab ride) and from there it’s a 15-minute walk along the river to the Guggenheim.
The opening shot where Pierce walks across the street to Credit Suisse is located down CAlle Iparraguirre, although I walked up and down that street and could not find a point of reference.
I’m assuming the signs have since gone.
However, the second establishing shot is far easier as the Guggenheim is in the background.
The easiest way to find the building that James Bond leapt from is to walk straight down that street towards the Guggenheim, it’s the last white building on the right before you cross the Alameda De Mazarredo.
The Alameda de Mazarredo is a street located in the centre of the town of Bilbao .
Can anyone just walk up to the balcony?
It’s not an attraction open to the public and the door is locked and accessed only through intercom.
Luckily for me, the door was open as a cleaner was moping the floor.
I got to the elevator where I met a gentleman who showed me to the top office. (4th floor. Although, from the outside you’ll count 6 levels).
I was kindly let in by some office staff and unbelievably, they showed me through to the office where the scene was shot.
Quickly I bustled my way on to the balcony and got some shot.
I didn’t want to do any filming inside as people were working and I didn’t want to be disrespectful.
The main differences I’ve found since the film is the road looks to have had an additional crossing, and red brick work has been implemented on the street corner.
The view is fantastic and I managed to find the guy who ran the office on Instagram.
I asked him if many people came to see to the balcony he said ‘not that many’.
I imagine that will change over time. Maybe they could include a ‘James Bond in Bilbao‘ piece of art of a man hanging from the balcony? Come on Jeff Koons, get on it!
What else did James Bond do in Bilbao?
After he landed safely he wondered across the Puente de la Salve bridge.
You can see there has been development on some of the buildings in the background.
If you’re interested in going into the Guggenheim it costs around 12 euros and they have audio guides in multiple languages.
You’re not allowed to take pictures, I took a couple discreetly.
It’s very Tate Modern, but perhaps with a bit more nudity. Which was nice.
The restaurant I went to was called La Despensa del Extanobe and the menu was quite terrific.
From the A La Carte Menu I’d recommend the Green asparagus in tempura, the scampi (not on the menu, ask the chef) or the Pigeon with it’s toast (there is a tiny drum stick of toast, the pigeon is phenomenal thought) and for desert ask for a spicy chocolate and gold nuggets.
It arrives in this white porcelain receptacle, molded to the shape of a cocoa plant leaf.
Big enough to share unless you’re a greedy sonofabitch.
Finally what I wore?
I wore my trusty Base London Hi Shine loafers every step of the way. This Base London Strike slip on loafer is available in saucy Hi Shine Black, Navy, Tan & Bordo.
I got mine in Tan which offered a nice contrast to my green jeans and blended well with my tan chinos.
The resin soles & seam stitching adds an extra attraction to this style.
At this time of year (late June) the weather was warm but not overly hot. You’ll want some smart shoes to change into because the restaurants are quite upmarket.
Through the day and night it’s jeans and t-shirt weather. The city is very accessible by foot, you’ll want to walk around a lot especially down the The Nervión river.
In total I clocked up 19km by foot and the Base London loafers were with me every step of the way.
Lastly I want to give a special thanks to the good people in the office building whom later found me on Instagram.
I asked if the gentleman who was in the office (the actual office from the film was shot in Pinewood) if he gets many visitors, he replied ‘not that many’.
This article about James Bond in Bilbao was written in collaboration with Base London Shoes and all the thoughts and actions are mine.
Check out the James Bond Location section on my blog for more articles like these.