Bilbao travel guide

Bilbao Tourism | Bilbao Guide

You're Going to Love Bilbao

The largest city in Spain's Basque Country, Bilbao is a cultural magnet, attracting millions of art lovers to its galleries and museum. But it's more than that; with great food, sport and coastal attractions in the area, Bilbao rewards everyone who visits.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Bilbao

1. The Bilbao Guggenheim

Opened in 1997 and designed by superstar architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim is one of Europe's most spectacular galleries and is packed with modern and post-modern masterpieces.

2. Plenty of Other Museums and Galleries

A great complement to the Guggenheim, the Museum of Fine Arts houses a wonderful collection of pre-19th-century art, there's an engaging Basque Museum and an equally fascinating Archaeological Museum to explore.

3. The Beautiful Riverside Old Town

Central Bilbao (the "Casco Viejo") dates back over a thousand years. Don't miss churches like San Nicolás de Bari and the cafes and boutiques on the Siete Calles.

4. A Gorgeous 19th Century Cathedral

Another gem of the city's attractions is the Cathedral of Santiago, a key link on the pilgrimage route to Compostela. It's a stunning work with Gothic decorations and an astonishing feeling of peace and tranquility.

5. Lively Cultural Festivals

If you love rock music, July's BBK Live is one of Spain's biggest events, while the BAD dance and theater event in October is a showcase for the finest Basque talent.

Where to Eat in Bilbao

Bilbao has some of Spain's finest tapas restaurants, but standouts include the Michelin-starred Zortziko, Mandoya at the heart of the old town and Irrintzi, specialists in "pintxos" (tapas served skewered on a toothpick). Expect main meals to cost around EUR20-25 and tapas to cost EUR3-5 per portion.

When to visit Bilbao

Bilbao in March
Estimated hotel price
C$ 99
1 night at 3-star hotel
Bilbao in March
Estimated hotel price
C$ 99
1 night at 3-star hotel

Weather-wise, June and July are good times to go, with sunshine and warm weather almost guaranteed. You can see the sights (and perhaps avoid peak season crowds), while the beaches of San Sebastian are within reach as well.

Data provided by weatherbase
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Bilbao


Plenty of regional airlines fly into Bilbao Airport. From there, take Bizkaibus A3247 (EUR1.45, 25 minutes).


Renfe trains run from Madrid and Barcelona. Fares from both cities range from EUR14-30.


From Barcelona, take the AP-2, then the AP-68 at Zaragoza, before taking the AP-15 at Alfaro. From Madrid, take the E-5, the AP-1 and then the AP-68.


ALSA and PESA run intercity buses into Bilbao from San Sebastian, Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Burgos. Buses from Madrid take around 5 hours and cost EUR15.

Airports near Bilbao

Airlines serving Bilbao

Good (1,097 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,341 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,786 reviews)
Good (264 reviews)
Air France
Good (271 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (952 reviews)
British Airways
Good (774 reviews)
Excellent (2,564 reviews)
Excellent (308 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (854 reviews)
Good (553 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (483 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (161 reviews)
Good (332 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (69 reviews)
Good (1,031 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (271 reviews)
Good (360 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (177 reviews)
Good (228 reviews)
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Where to stay in Bilbao

The Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao is a great option near the Guggenheim. The Hotel NH Collection Villa de Bilbao is a good city center upscale alternative and the Meliá Bilbao is another comfortable luxury option.

Popular neighbourhoods in Bilbao

Casco Viejo - Bilbao's oldest neighborhood, Casco Viejo is utterly charming, featuring attractions like the cathedral and hundreds of cafes, restaurants and stores.

Indautxu - The city's liveliest neighborhood Indautxu is crammed with bars and clubs and is also home to Athletic Bilbao, one of Spain's biggest soccer teams.

Deusto - One of the best places in town to try Basque tapas, Deusto is home to gourmet eateries like Antioqueño and La Gabarra as well as thousands of students.

Where to stay in popular areas of Bilbao

Most booked hotels in Bilbao

Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao
Excellent (9.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 263+
Hotel Gran Bilbao
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
C$ 124+
Hotel Carlton
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
C$ 175+
NH Collection Villa de Bilbao
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
C$ 172+
Hesperia Bilbao
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
C$ 159+
Hotel Melia Bilbao
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
C$ 194+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Bilbao

Public Transportation

Bilbao has a subway, buses, trams and regional trains. Single journeys cost EUR1.20 minimum and you can save money by purchasing a rechargeable Barik Card.


Taxis in Bilbao charge a meter drop of EUR4, followed by around EUR3 for every subsequent mile.


Car rental options in town include Thrifty, Avis and Budget, with rates starting at around EUR15 per day.

Car rental agencies in Bilbao


Find car rentals in Bilbao

The Cost of Living in Bilbao

Shopping Streets

Gran Via and the Plaza Federico Moyua are the city's main shopping areas, where you'll find elite apparel stores like Max Mara or Carolina Herrera and plenty of international chains.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets include BM Supermercados and Opencor, where you can expect to spend around EUR3.30 on a gallon of milk.

Cheap meal
C$ 17.39
A pair of jeans
C$ 111.90
Single public transport ticket
C$ 2.10
C$ 2.22