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BilbaoSpain

This former industrial city is now a major European arts center, home to cultural attractions including the famous Guggenheim Museum.

Bilbao, in northern Spain, was once an industrial center, but today is better known for its thriving arts and cultural scene. Come to visit world-class museums, dine at sophisticated restaurants or head out into the surrounding countryside.

Start your visit by climbing the Mallona stairs from Plaza Unamuno to Parque Etxebarria or take the Artxanda funicular railway to enjoy some of the best views in the city.

Many travelers come to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, one of the most renowned art institutions in Europe. The remarkable modern building, with its curved glass and titanium walls, houses art from the mid 20th century to today. Other art attractions include the Fine Arts Museum and the Basque Museum. Bilbao also has a full annual program of cultural events featuring many important exhibitions and performances. See some of these events at the Palacio Euskalduna, a striking modernist building in the city center.

The city is revered not just for its modern architecture, but also for its buildings dating back to the 14th century. Visit the Gothic-style Cathedral of St. James and the Alhondiga, a complex containing a library, several bars and restaurants, a cinema and a rooftop pool with a glass floor.

Bilbao is known for its sophisticated dining scene, with a host of Michelin-starred restaurants. Try local cuisine such as baby squid and lamb stew.

As well as art and food, Bilbao is a city keen on sport. In town there are 18.5 miles (30 kilometers) of cycling lanes, as well as many swimming pools, gyms and parks. Around Bilbao there are nature reserves and hiking trails, as well as several nearby golf courses.

Rent a car and drive out of town to enjoy the countryside or coast surrounding the city. There are traditional fishing villages along the nearby bay. Further down the coast you’ll find picturesque and quiet beaches. An inland route will take you to hiking trails through mountainous scenery. Check the weather forecast before planning your beach day, as the mild climate brings more rain than in other parts of the peninsula.

Where to stay in Bilbao

Top Hotels in Bilbao

Hotel ILUNION Bilbao
Hotel ILUNION Bilbao
3 out of 5
Calle Rodriguez Arias 66, Bilbao, Vizcaya
The price is ¥5,765 per night from Feb 7 to Feb 8

Located in Abando, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall and San Mames Stadium. Bilbao Fine Arts ...

4.1/5Very Good! (527 reviews)
Clean and comfortable

"Comfortable and clean"…"

Reviewed on Sep 16, 2020

Hotel ILUNION Bilbao
Hotel Gran Bilbao
Hotel Gran Bilbao
4 out of 5
Indalecio Prieto Hiribidea, 1, Bilbao, Vizcaya
The price is ¥6,386 per night from Jan 29 to Jan 30

Located in Santutxu, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and within 3 mi (5 km) of Plaza Moyua and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Atxuri ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (688 reviews)

"Very large rooms, great room service and friendly staff."…"

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2021

Hotel Gran Bilbao
Holiday Inn Express Bilbao
Holiday Inn Express Bilbao
3 out of 5
Zarandoa Kalea, 5, Derio, Vizcaya
The price is ¥7,081 per night from Jan 29 to Jan 30

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Monte Artxanda, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and San Mames Stadium. Basilica of Begona and Etxebarria ...

4.2/5Very Good! (990 reviews)
ok

"Buena estancia"…"

Reviewed on Sep 7, 2020

Holiday Inn Express Bilbao
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Bilbao

Apartamentos Turisticos Atxuri
Apartamentos Turisticos Atxuri
2 out of 5
Av de Miraflores 17, Bilbao, Vizcaya
The price is ¥6,614 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25

Located in Santutxu, this apartment building is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and within 3 mi (5 km) of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and San ...

3.8/5Good! (225 reviews)

"Apart-hotel. Location was not bad, but a bit farther from the restaurants and shopping and museums than I would have liked. Still walking distance, but through a rough section of town. The building was clean, but the apartment was showing its age. All of the furniture was IKEA type and old, not the ..."…"

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

Apartamentos Turisticos Atxuri
Bilbao City Center by abba Suites
Bilbao City Center by abba Suites
3.5 out of 5
Calle Huertas de la Villa 15, Bilbao, Bilbao
The price is ¥9,693 per night from Jan 23 to Jan 24

Located in Castaños, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Funicular de Artxanda and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. San Mames Stadium is 1.3 mi (2.2 ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (20 reviews)

"The spacious and comfortable apartment, the tremendously helpful and friendly staff and the central location, ideal for the Old City and the Gugenheim."…"

Reviewed on Mar 15, 2020

Bilbao City Center by abba Suites
Near Guggenheim | Walk everywhere | Elevator | 2 BR |
Near Guggenheim | Walk everywhere | Elevator | 2 BR |
Bilbao, Basque Country

Located in Abando, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ensanche, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and San Mames Stadium. Church of San Francisco de Asis ...

5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Muy recomendable

"Muy acogedor. Muy limpio., moderno y bien decorado. Buena situación. 10’ del centro de Bilbao y Casco Antiguo. El propietario muy amable. Estuvo en todo momento pendiente por si necesitábamos algo. Sin duda alguna lo recomendaría."…"

Reviewed on Sep 1, 2020

Near Guggenheim | Walk everywhere | Elevator | 2 BR |
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Bilbao

Top things to do in Bilbao

Reviews of Bilbao

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
149
5 - Excellent 66.81614349775785%
4 - Good
65
4 - Good 29.14798206278027%
3 - Okay
8
3 - Okay 3.587443946188341%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 0.4484304932735426%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 4, 2020

I loved Bilbao. It's walkable, friendly, and had a lot to see and do. The weather was a bit crazy in early March, sunny one minute raining the next, which I hear is usual. There are many day trips that are an easy drive, also.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 8, 2020

we would like to visit Bilbao again in future/

5/5 - Excellent

Deanna

Dec 18, 2019

Private tour is the way to go. I highly recommend Aitor Delgado Basque Country Private Tours

4/5 - Good

P.K.

Nov 21, 2019

Beautiful city!

5/5 - Excellent

D

Oct 30, 2019

Vicinity around Bilbao is amazing. Mountains and charm cities.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 25, 2019

I think it’s a lovely area for dining/ museums and walkability

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