Coordinates: 43°19′10″N 3°1′10″W / 43.31944°N 3.01944°W / 43.31944; -3.01944
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Portugalete (Portugaldeta)
Noble Villa de Portugalete
Portugalete from Vizcaya Bridge
Portugalete from Vizcaya Bridge
Flag of Portugalete (Portugaldeta)
Coat of arms of Portugalete (Portugaldeta)
Location of Portugalete
Coordinates: 43°19′10″N 3°1′10″W / 43.31944°N 3.01944°W / 43.31944; -3.01944
Autonomous communityBasque Country
ComarcaGreater Bilbao
 • AlcaldeMikel Torres Lorenzo (PSE-EE)
 • Total3.21 km2 (1.24 sq mi)
26 m (85 ft)
 • Total45,826
 • Density14,000/km2 (37,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Portugalujo/a, Jarrillero/a, Portulano/a
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Official language(s)Basque and Spanish
WebsiteOfficial website

Portugalete is a town lying to the west of Bilbao in the province of Biscay in the Autonomous Community of Basque Country, northern Spain.

The town has 45,766 inhabitants (2019 census) and is part of Bilbao's metropolitan area. It is located at the mouth of the Estuary of Bilbao, on the left bank. Its land area is only 3.21 km², resulting in a population density of 15,908.4 persons/km², the fifth-most densely populated municipality in Spain (following Mislata, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Benetússer, and Santa Coloma de Gramenet). It was established in 1322 by María Díaz de Haro.[2]

Despite its name, it is not near the Spanish border with Portugal and its name is not etymologically related with that country: it derives, instead, from a phonetic adaptation of its Basque name (Portu-Ugaldeta) (edges of the port) to the Spanish language.

The transporter bridge[edit]

The town has the Vizcaya Bridge, a transporter bridge inaugurated in 1893.[3] The car ferry is suspended from a frame by wires attached to wheels on tracks above the cabin and moves from one side of the River Nervión to the other (Getxo) via a traction system.

This bridge was declared a World Heritage Site in 2006.[4]

Events and festivals[edit]

San Roque Festivals[edit]

The festivals officially last four days, from 14 to 17 August, the main festivities occurring on 15 and 16 August, San Roque Day. The people sing the song "La Diana Portugaluja" outside the Town Hall in the morning of 15 August to mark the eve of San Roque Day.


Monuments in Portugalete include the 15th century Basílica of Santa María, Salazar's Tower and the town hall in addition to the mediaeval arches and streets in the older part of the town.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.
  2. ^ "Portugalete". Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2024.
  3. ^ Mateos, Adrián (4 August 2018). "El primer puente transbordador del mundo: 125 años de éxito". abc.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  4. ^ "Vizcaya Bridge". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 4 February 2024.

External links[edit]

Portugalete town hall.