Bilbao

🇪🇸 Spain
A Rich Cultural Experience in Northern Spain

Bilbao - Vacation Briefing

Bilbao is a vibrant city located in the Basque Country of Spain. Known for its rich cultural heritage and modern architecture, it offers a blend of tradition and innovation. The city is famous for its world-class art museum, the Guggenheim Bilbao, which showcases contemporary art and striking architecture. Alongside the museum, Bilbao's historic old town charms visitors with its narrow streets, traditional Basque cuisine, and lively atmosphere. Nature lovers can explore the surrounding mountains and coastline, offering breathtaking views and outdoor activities. With its unique blend of traditions and modernity, Bilbao is a destination that offers something for everyone.

Popular Sights in Bilbao

Things to do during your Bilbao vacation

Bilbao is a vibrant city in northern Spain known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and delicious food. Whether you're a history buff, art lover, or food enthusiast, there is something for everyone in Bilbao. Explore the charming streets, visit world-class museums, and indulge in the local cuisine. Here are some of the top things to do in Bilbao.

  • Guggenheim Museum: Marvel at the iconic architecture of the Guggenheim Museum and explore its impressive contemporary art collection.
  • Casco Viejo: Wander the narrow, medieval streets of Casco Viejo, the Old Quarter, and discover beautiful architecture, charming shops, and delicious pintxos.
  • Bilbao Fine Arts Museum: Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, which houses an extensive collection of Basque, Spanish, and European artworks.
  • Mercado de la Ribera: Visit the Mercado de la Ribera, one of Europe's largest covered markets, and experience the vibrant atmosphere while sampling local produce and delicacies.
  • Basilica of Begoña: Climb up to the Basilica of Begoña for breathtaking views of Bilbao and admire the beautiful Gothic architecture of this important religious site.
  • Euskalduna Palace: Catch a performance or exhibition at the Euskalduna Palace, a striking modernist building located along the riverfront.
  • La Salve Bridge: Take a stroll across the iconic La Salve Bridge, which offers panoramic views of Bilbao's skyline and the Guggenheim Museum.
  • Iberdrola Tower: Marvel at the sleek design of the Iberdrola Tower, Bilbao's tallest building, and enjoy panoramic views from its observation deck.
  • San Mamés Stadium: Visit the San Mamés Stadium, home to Athletic Bilbao, and experience the passion for football in this legendary venue.
  • Plaza Nueva: Relax at Plaza Nueva, a historic square surrounded by traditional Basque buildings, and enjoy a drink or a meal at one of the lively outdoor terraces.
  • Boat Trip along the Nervión River: Take a leisurely boat trip along the Nervión River and admire the cityscape of Bilbao from a different perspective.

Why you should visit Bilbao

Overall
7.2

Bilbao, Spain is a vibrant destination with a unique blend of modernity and history. While it may not be considered truly amazing, it offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors.

Safety
6

Bilbao has an average safety rating. While it generally has a low crime rate and is politically stable, like any other city, it is important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

Culture
9

Bilbao is rich in culture and offers a plethora of museums, historical sites, and cultural experiences. The city is renowned for its world-class art museums, such as the Guggenheim Museum, and its traditional Basque culture.

Nightlife
8

Bilbao has a lively nightlife scene with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment venues. It offers a great variety of options for those looking to enjoy the city's vibrant atmosphere after dark.

Adventure
7

Bilbao provides opportunities for adventure with activities like hiking in nearby mountains, surfing along the coast, and exploring the picturesque Basque countryside. However, it may not be the ultimate destination for extreme adventure enthusiasts.

Relaxation
6

While Bilbao does not have extensive options for relaxation like beaches or lakes within the city, it does offer beautiful parks and green spaces where visitors can take a break and enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Best time to visit Bilbao

Bilbao offers a pleasant travel experience throughout the year, with its mild climate and vibrant culture. However, the best time to visit is from June to September, when you can enjoy warm temperatures and outdoor activities without the crowds.

Jan
Mild weather and cultural events
6°C - 14°C
Feb
Quiet and moderately cold
6°C - 14°C
Mar
Spring blooms and pleasant weather
8°C - 16°C
Apr
Mild temperatures and fewer tourists
9°C - 18°C
May
Ideal weather and cultural festivals
11°C - 20°C
Jun
Warm temperatures and outdoor activities
14°C - 24°C
Jul
Sunny and vibrant city atmosphere
16°C - 26°C
Aug
Warm weather and cultural events
16°C - 26°C
Sep
Mild temperatures and outdoor activities
14°C - 24°C
Oct
Autumn colors and fewer tourists
12°C - 20°C
Nov
Mild weather and cultural events
8°C - 16°C
Dec
Festive atmosphere and moderate cold
6°C - 14°C
December in Bilbao brings a festive atmosphere with Christmas markets and decorations throughout the city. The weather is moderately cold, but you can still enjoy indoor activities like visiting museums or trying Basque cuisine.

A guide To your first day of Bilbao vacation

morning

  • Start your day with a visit to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, an architectural masterpiece that houses impressive contemporary art collections.
  • Take a stroll along the riverfront to explore the charming Old Town, known as Casco Viejo. Explore its narrow streets, colorful buildings, and traditional shops.

afternoon

  • Head to the Mercado de la Ribera, one of the largest covered markets in Europe. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and sample local delicacies.
  • Visit the Artxanda Funicular for breathtaking views of Bilbao and its surrounding landscapes. Take a ride up the mountain and enjoy a picnic while admiring the panoramic vistas.

evening

  • Indulge in pintxos, Basque tapas, at one of the many traditional bars in the city. Try local favorites like txistorra and bacalao al pil pil.
  • Experience the vibrant nightlife of Bilbao by visiting popular bars and clubs in the city center. Dance the night away to live music or enjoy a cocktail at a trendy rooftop bar.

night

  • Catch a performance at the Teatro Arriaga, a stunning neoclassical theater that hosts a variety of concerts, ballets, and operas.
  • Take a leisurely walk along the riverfront to enjoy the beautifully illuminated buildings and bridges, creating a magical atmosphere at night.

How to get to Bilbao

By Plane

Bilbao Airport (BIO) is the main international gateway to Bilbao, offering frequent connections to major European cities. Located just 12 kilometers from the city center, it allows for hassle-free transfers. The airport is well-equipped with modern facilities and has multiple transportation options to get you to your desired destination.

By other means

Bilbao has an efficient public transport network, with a central train station and bus terminals connecting the city to various destinations. The Bilbao Abando Indalecio Prieto train station offers regional and high-speed connections, making it easy to explore nearby cities. Buses provide convenient access to different parts of the city and surrounding areas. Additionally, Bilbao's port offers ferry services to the United Kingdom and other European countries.

Tips for Booking Your Trip

Planning a trip can get tricky, right? Don't worry, we've got some solid advice to make your life easier. Here's how you can find flights and accommodations without a hitch.

Flights: How to Score the Best Deal

First things first, check out Google Flights. Their price calendar and nearby airport options are really useful. Found a good deal? Great, but hang on a sec—make sure you compare it with prices on Kayak, Skyscanner, Momondo, and Kiwi. A little research can go a long way.

Accommodation: Find Your Ideal Spot

For places to stay, start by scanning Booking.com and Airbnb to get an idea of what's out there. Then, level up your search by looking at Hostelworld and Agoda. Oh, and a quick tip: the hotel's own website might have some special offers, so give that a look too.

Ready to make some moves? The links you need are right below. Happy booking!

Flights

Accommodation

Best for travelers who are ...

Art and culture enthusiasts, history buffs, and nature lovers

How long to stay in Bilbao?

A recommended stay of 3-4 days to fully immerse yourself in the city's cultural and natural attractions.

Nearby

If you're already in Bilbao, Spain you might want to consider visiting these nearby destinations: