If you’re planning a trip to Bilbao, you’re in for a treat. This vibrant city in northern Spain has a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving arts scene. Whether you’re interested in art, food, or history, there’s something for everyone in Bilbao. In this guide, we’ll give you some tips on what to see, where to eat, and where to sleep during your three-day visit to Bilbao.
What to See in Bilbao
Bilbao is a city that’s best explored on foot. Here are some of the most important places to see:
- Guggenheim Museum: This iconic museum is a must-visit for any art lover. Its stunning architecture, designed by Frank Gehry, is worth the visit alone.
- Casco Viejo: This charming old town is filled with narrow streets and historic buildings. Take a stroll through the streets and stop for a pintxo (a type of Basque tapas) at one of the many bars.
- Basilica de Begoña: This beautiful church is located on a hill overlooking the city. The views from the top are breathtaking.
- Plaza Nueva: This bustling square is lined with bars and restaurants. It’s a great place to grab a drink and people-watch.
- Puente Colgante: This UNESCO World Heritage site is a transporter bridge that connects the towns of Portugalete and Getxo. Take a ride across the river for some stunning views.
These are just a few of the many sights to see in Bilbao. We recommend taking a guided tour to learn more about the city’s history and culture.
Routes in Bilbao
If you’re short on time and want to see the highlights of Bilbao, we recommend taking the following routes:
- Route 1: Guggenheim Museum, Casco Viejo, Plaza Nueva: This route will take you to some of the most iconic sights in Bilbao. Start at the Guggenheim Museum, then make your way to Casco Viejo for some pintxos, and finish at Plaza Nueva for some people-watching.
- Route 2: Bilbao River Walk, Mercado de la Ribera, La Ribera Market: This route will take you along the river and through some of Bilbao’s most vibrant markets. Start at the Bilbao River Walk, then make your way to Mercado de la Ribera for some local produce, and finish at La Ribera Market for some souvenir shopping.
Of course, there are many other routes you can take depending on your interests. We recommend checking out the official tourism website of the city of Bilbao for more ideas.
Where to Sleep in Bilbao
Bilbao has many great accommodation options to suit any budget. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Hotel Carlton: This historic hotel is located in the heart of Bilbao and offers luxurious rooms and top-notch service.
- Pension Arias: This budget-friendly option is located in Casco Viejo and offers clean and comfortable rooms.
- Miró Hotel: This stylish boutique hotel is located near the Guggenheim Museum and offers modern and spacious rooms.
Of course, there are many other great hotels and hostels in Bilbao. We recommend booking your accommodation in advance to ensure availability.
Where to Eat in Bilbao
Bilbao is famous for its pintxos, but there’s much more to the city’s food scene than just that. Here are some of our favorite places to eat in Bilbao:
- La Vina del Ensanche: This traditional bar in the city center is famous for its pintxos, especially the gildas (a type of skewer with olives, anchovies, and peppers).
- Mina Restaurant: This Michelin-starred restaurant serves modern Basque cuisine using local ingredients.
- Beltz: This trendy restaurant in Casco Viejo serves fusion cuisine with a Basque twist.
- Café Iruña: This historic café in the city center is a great place to stop for a coffee or a light meal.
These are just a few of the many great places to eat in Bilbao. We recommend trying as many different types of cuisine as possible during your visit.
Free Tours in Bilbao
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to explore the city, there are many free tours available in Bilbao. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Free Bilbao Walking Tour: This three-hour tour takes you to some of the city’s most iconic sights, including the Guggenheim Museum and Casco Viejo.
- Bilbao Art District Tour: This two-hour tour takes you to some of the city’s most important art institutions, including the Guggenheim Museum and Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
- Bilbao Pub Crawl: This free tour takes you to some of the best bars and pubs in the city, giving you a taste of Bilbao’s vibrant nightlife.
Of course, there are many other free tours available in Bilbao. We recommend checking out the official tourism website of the city of Bilbao for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best time of year to visit Bilbao? The best time to visit Bilbao is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
- Is Bilbao a safe city? Yes, Bilbao is a very safe city for tourists. However, as with any city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid pickpockets.
- What is the currency used in Bilbao? The currency used in Bilbao is the Euro.
- Do I need a visa to visit Bilbao? If you’re a citizen of the European Union or the United States, you do not need a visa to visit Bilbao for up to 90 days.
Bilbao is a city that’s full of surprises. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or food, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. During your three-day visit, be sure to check out some of the city’s most iconic sights, try some delicious Basque cuisine, and take advantage of the many free tours available. We hope this guide has been helpful in planning your trip to Bilbao.