Top attractions in Bilbao
Top 7 things to do in Bilbao
Bilbao has all the best parts of urban culture and nightlife, while maintaining a small mountain town feel. What to do in Bilbao isn’t the question—what can’t you do here?
1. Guggenheim Bilbao
Modern and contemporary art lovers will be thrilled with all the specialized works inside this architectural wonder along the Nervion River.
2. Bilbao Fine Arts Museum
The Fine Arts Museum has stood since 1908. Its gigantic collection of more than 6,000 objects from the 12th century to the present day should not be overshadowed by the Guggenheim.
3. Plaza Nueva
This giant Neoclassical square is surrounded by gift shops, restaurants, Sunday flea markets and folk festivals—the perfect place to take in the local culture.
Walking across this curved steel suspension bridge is a must during your visit. Zubizuri means “white bridge” in Basque, the indigenous language to the region.
5. The Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall
Check the schedule of this monumental expo center—there’s an auditorium for opera, a theater, four conference rooms, eight meeting rooms, a press room, a gallery, and a restaurant.
6. Doña Casilda Iturrizar park
This century-old park is the green lung of Bilbao. Pack a lunch or a book and relax by the duck pond in this picturesque English-style park.
7. Teatro Arriaga
This stunning neo-Baroque opera house shows modern and classical works. Seeing a performance in the golden dome of Arriaga’s hall is an absolute treat.
Planning Your Visit
Bilbao Climate: Pack for Rain
Northern coastal Spain can get pretty rainy. Bring an umbrella and some waterproof shoes.
Pintxos Are Not Tapas
The regional pub snack, the pintxo, is called such for its ‘spike’ or toothpick through them, and they’re a staple of Basque culture. Unlike tapas, they’re typically served earlier in the evening, so don’t be surprised when Bilbao restaurants stop serving around 9:00PM or 10:00PM.
Take Advantage of the Bilbao Metro
For a city of its size, Bilbao, Spain, is amazingly well connected. Public transportation is clean, safe and can take you just about anywhere in the city and surrounding countryside—even the beach.
Good to know
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- Late spring or early fall are the best times to go, when the temperatures are still warm but the crowds are dying down.
Other Sightseeing Options in Bilbao
Want to discover all there is to do in Bilbao? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Bilbao
Stephan was an absolutely fantastic guide - very nice man, very funny and very knowledgeable about history and the Basque culture. This was one of the best trips of stay in the Basque country and we have learnt so much from him. We are also thankful to Stephan for his recommendations for places to eat for the best Pintxo's and the fantastic Txakoli wine! You were right! Eskerrik asko Stephan - you're the best! From Stephanie and the Egyptian Maori
Benat was a great guide and ambassador for his city. We so enjoyed our tour around downtown and beyond - we saw so much! We really appreciated his enthusiasm and his love of Bilbao. We learned a ton of history and were delighted with the perspective he brought to our tour. We asked a ton of questions and he was so happy to answer all of them - he was very patient.
This is great way to get to know the area you are visiting before setting out on your own. We had the two hour tour on our first morning. Our guide was Inigo and he was wonderful. He showed us many places of interest and he gave us lots of information. He did this in a sensitive and intelligent way. We highly recommend this tour.
Trip was great. Loved it. Was exactly what we were looking for. Great for GOT fans. Get your guide has the wrong pickup location. They also have a large markup on the tour. I should have done some more research to book direct but that’s not always easy. All in all, I’d still book with these guides.
Javier explained the architectural history of the building and provided insights about all of the permanent exhibitions. The tour was both inside and outdoors. We learned so much about the Guggenheim. I highly recommend this tour.