Bilbao
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Bilbao Culture & History

Bilbao: 1- or 2-Hour Sightseeing Boat Tour

1. Bilbao: 1- or 2-Hour Sightseeing Boat Tour

Embark on a sailing tour through the heart of Bilbao. Get a new perspective of this beautiful city from the estuary. The boat has a capacity of 80 people and seating both outside and inside. On the one-hour tour, set off from the City Hall Bridge in Pio Baroja Square through the heart of the Villa. Head toward Zorrozaurre riverbank and finally to the entrance of the Deusto Canal. Conclude the tour where you began. On the two-hour route, begin from the same jetty in Pio Baroja Square. Cruise past Bilbao's most significant landmarks and buildings and then on a tour of the estuary to the Puente Bizkaia area.  Listen to an audioguide, available in Spanish, Basque, English, French, German, and Italian, to pick up insights into the particular route being sailed and the history of the city and its buildings, bridges, and other constructions.

Bilbao: San Mamés Museum and Stadium Tour

2. Bilbao: San Mamés Museum and Stadium Tour

Access the Museum between gates 19 and 20 of the famous San Mamés stadium where the tour visit begins. Then experience a unique insight into the world of football at grass level. Live the experience of a real-life footballer as you run out onto the field from the tunnel, wander through the locker rooms, and imagine the buzz of excitement in the press room. Along with the stadium tour, visit the modern and innovative Athletic Club museum, home to a wide selection of fascinating football memorabilia. Explore the museum and marvel at its collection of 500 original football-related objects that have been collected over more than a century. See the past and present of the club come to life as you admire trophies, costumes, graphics and audiovisual material celebrating the Red and Whites. There’s plenty to see and do at the museum with 4 audiovisual productions, 13 interactive systems, 600 videos, an immersive video-wall, and a playroom equipped with entertainment for all ages.

Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

3. Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Meet your guide outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to begin a guided tour of both the inside and the outside of the museum. Skip the ticket line and discover more about one of the foremost symbols of the city. Learn why Bilbao was chosen as the home for the stunning Frank Gehry-designed building, and discover the structure of the building and the outdoor sculptures that surround the museum.  Then, get to know the most important works of the Guggenheim's permanent and rotating collections as you wander through its galleries, atrium, and terrace in the company of your guide. Admire its undulating, serpentine forms, among large-scale works of art that will surprise you due to the material used.

Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Private Guided Visit

4. Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Private Guided Visit

A professional local guide will meet you at the entrance to the museum. Discover the temporary and permanent exhibitions in the museum during your 1.5 hour tour. This spectacular building adds to an area where the Nervión makes its marks with pleasant riverside walks. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is surrounded by promenades, parks and recently-built squares, where you can see the work of artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Eduardo Chillida, Yves Klein, Jeff Koons, and Fujiko Nakaya. Since opening in 1997, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao's acquisitions have focused on works from the mid-twentieth century to the present day, thus complementing the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and forging a unique identity at the same time. Visited by about one million people every year, one of its main attractions is the ArcelorMittal gallery, which is a large space where eight works by sculptor Richard Serra are permanently displayed. Of the 24,000 square metres occupied by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, 11,000 are reserved for exhibition spaces. The architectural heart of the 20 galleries that make up the museum is the atrium, a large open space of curved volumes, surrounded by large glass curtain walls and crowned by a large skylight. 

Bilbao: Hop-on Hop-off Boat Trip

5. Bilbao: Hop-on Hop-off Boat Trip

Your boat route through the Bilbao estuary and the Bahía del Abra will start in the capital of Vizcaya, a few meters from the town hall bridge. From there, board a traditional boat with interior and exterior seats and enjoy a panoramic route along the Nervión Estuary. This trip can last up to 2 hours and 45 minutes. During it, see places like Canal Deusto, the Hanging Bridge of Portugalete, the city of Getxo or the fishing port of Santurtzi. In Bilbao, Getxo, Portugalete or Santurtzi, you can go down to the mainland to visit monuments freely and without haste with 24 hours to enjoy this pass.

Bilbao: S. Juan de Gaztelugatxe Getaria & San Sebastián Tour

6. Bilbao: S. Juan de Gaztelugatxe Getaria & San Sebastián Tour

From Bilbao, leave for San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, an islet that can only be accessed by a pedestrian path. Make a panoramic tour of the area and learn the area’s dreamlike cliffs, a feature of the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones. Continue to the Guipuzcoan town of Getaria, where we will enjoy a guided tour of its historic quarter, and where we can admire its traditional fishing port, the church of San Salvador, and the monument in honor of Juan Sebastián Elcano, a sailor who turned the world and that he was born in this small town. Take a moment to eat in one of its many restaurants at Getaria. Enjoy the gastronomy of grilling local fish and seafood. From here, leave for San Sebastián for a guided tour of the city. See the Church of San Vicente and the Basilica of Santa María del Coro before heading back to Bilbao.

From Bilbao: Gaztelugatxe and Gernika Tour

7. From Bilbao: Gaztelugatxe and Gernika Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Bilbao, and then get back to nature on a trip to the amazing rock islet of Gaztelugatxe, located on the coast of Bizkaia just 35 kilometers from Bilbao city center. Arrive at the viewpoint and get 2 hours of free time to explore independently. Use the time to climb to the 10th-century hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, where you can touch the bell of the chapel three times and make a wish. Soak up the stunning views of the Bay of Biscay before traveling to Bermeo to take a walking tour of the charming fishing village. Continue to the historic town of Gernika, site of one of the first aerial bombings by Nazi Germany, and visit the Casa de Juntas (Assembly House) with the famous Tree of Guernica that symbolizes the traditional freedom of the people.

Bilbao Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

8. Bilbao Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

Explore Bilbao with a friendly local who is passionate about the city and eager to share all the tips and tricks that will help you make your visit even more enjoyable. Choose a 2, 3 or 4-hour duration for this customized tour. Meet your guide where you're staying so that you can start out getting familiar with the neighborhood. The local guide can provide loads of useful information about the easiest way to get around, the top things to see and do and the best places to eat and buy groceries. By the end of the tour, you'll feel more comfortable navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to make the most of your time in Bilbao.

From Bilbao: Half or Full-Day Game of Thrones Guided Tour

9. From Bilbao: Half or Full-Day Game of Thrones Guided Tour

Dive into the real Game of Thrones experience during a tour of the incredible filming locations for Season 7. Walk in the footsteps of Tyrion, Daenerys, and Jon Snow as you explore incredible landscapes. First, walk along King's Landing beach, filmed at Muriola Beach in Barrika. Explore the location where Davos Tyrion and Gendry had to flee from the Gold Cloaks. After that, head to a medieval-like castle at Butron Castle. Take some photos with cloaks and swords and feel like a Lord or a Lady of Winterfell. Next, continue the tour with a visit to the Dragonstone Fortress at San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Bermeo. Climb up 241 steps just like Daenerys and feel like a true Khaleesi. Take a lunch break in Bermeo where you can enjoy pintxos, tapas, and a local white wine called txakoli. Finally, make the last stop at Dragonstone beach where Daenerys first walked when she finally came back home. Filmed at Itzurun Beach in Zumaia, this 60million-year-old beach was the perfect choice to set Dragonstone.

Bilbao: Guggenheim Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line

10. Bilbao: Guggenheim Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line

Meet your guide outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to begin your 120-minute guided tour of both the inside and the outside of the museum. Learn why Bilbao was chosen as the home for the stunning Frank Gehry-designed building, and discover the structure of the building and the outdoor sculptures that surround the museum. Then, get to know the most important works of the Guggenheim's permanent and rotating collections as you wander through its galleries, atrium, and terrace in the company of your guide. Your museum entry is good for the day, so at the end of the tour, you may continue to explore the modern art collections at your own pace.

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What people are saying about Bilbao

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 231 reviews

This was one of the highlights of our trip to Bilbao, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in art, culture, history and people. Our guide Txema was extremely knowledgeable and his enthusiasm for the art scene in Bilbao was addictive! We saw areas of the city we would probably not have gone to on our own and learnt a lot more about the post-industrial history of the city than through any guide book. Inspirational!

Really good value for a lovely tour of the city. Some of the audio was a little tedious but does tell you some interesting facts. A great way to view the city from the river, and the boat doesn't wobble much at all so not a problem if you get sea sick.

Fascinating exploration of an absolutely wonderful building. Richard Serra installation an eye opener, but the building itself is the star. We over 60s started to tire after 2 hours, but for the under 60s I’m sure it will not be a problem!

We had a very nice trip and our guide, Inigo, was very helpful and explained many things very clearly in English.

Best way to see the city very informative and lot of amazing sights