Skip to main content

Top things to do in Bilbao

Attractions, tours, and activities in Bilbao

Recommended museums in Bilbao

Where to find art and culture in Bilbao

Bilbao: the city's best neighborhoods

Find a great area to stay in Bilbao

About Bilbao

Including tips for the best time to visit Bilbao

A Spanish treasure, Bilbao is a sprawling urban city filled with world-leading museums, avant-garde architecture and a buzzing food scene.

The Basque Country's largest city is home to a dizzying number of cultural institutions, led by the stunning Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Designed by influential architect Frank Gehry, the titanium building is considered one of the most important examples of contemporary architecture and is packed with artistic treasures. Elsewhere, you can discover a huge collection of Basque, Spanish and European art at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.

Modern and medieval architecture alike give Bilbao its distinctive edge. Check out the stylish culture and leisure centre Azkuna Zentroa – 43 eye-catching columns add a surreal charm to its new-age aesthetic. Another highlight is Bilbao’s oldest church, the 14th-century Santiago Cathedral. Fronted by a Gothic Revival facade, the monument stands as strong as ever, towering in heavenly-white above all in Casco Viejo.

Bilbao’s dining scene is a real treat for the tastebuds. Michelin-starred restaurants, lively pintxo bars and family-run eateries offer their own take on Basque cuisine. Hit the old town for a Bacalao al Pil-Pil, a favourite local dish featuring cod, garlic and olive oil that's best enjoyed with a delicious Spanish wine.

Bilbao Airport is located north of the city, about 12 kilometres from the centre.


From $61 per night

This weekend

From $162 per night

Next weekend

From $295 per night

Most popular time to visit October-December
Cheapest time to visit January-March
Local currency € 1 = $1.07
Language Spanish
Average weekend price $110 per night
Average weekday price $115 per night
Average stay 2 nights

Points of interest in Bilbao

Stay near the top sightseeing spots in Bilbao

Bilbao reviews

What other travelers say about Bilbao


It's a small city, easy to get around perfect for a...

May 30, 2023

It's a small city, easy to get around perfect for a short break of 2 or 3 days. If shopping is your thing you are well catered for. Architecturally the Guggenheim building is a must, but the exhibits were rather disappointing. There are other museums though, including the very interesting Museo de Bellas Artes. The old docks and pathway along the river have been upgraded and make for a very pleasant walk. In the local colourful restaurants you will find an excellent choice of pintxos (tapas) for lunch and dinner. The historic old town area with the cathedral and the Ribera Market are great places to visit. Happy to recommend Bilbao as a tourist destination.

patricia United Kingdom

Interesting city, lots to see and do for a couple of days...

May 29, 2023

Interesting city, lots to see and do for a couple of days and great fun doing the pinxtos bar crawls. Would recommend going up the furnicular and also going to Plaza Nuevo in the old town for food and drink

Sue United Kingdom

The Guggenheim museum is a must but take comfortable shoes,...

May 26, 2023

The Guggenheim museum is a must but take comfortable shoes, the building itself is amazing to walk around though there are places to sit and have a rest and admire the art. Eating out in Bilbao is cheap, pinxtchos are available everywhere and good.

Susan United Kingdom

Bilbao is lovely city.

May 25, 2023

Bilbao is lovely city. Very busy! Amazing culture, atomsophere. The foods are so lovely. People are friendly! Be aware of the barik card , if you bring up to 10 or less you can tap one a time. We didn’t know and we got fine for 20e

Paula Ireland

Bilbao is beautiful modern city attracting not only artists...

May 25, 2023

Bilbao is beautiful modern city attracting not only artists but young people from all over the world due to its climate, closeness to the sea and mountains, cleanliness, greenery and infrastructure. Historical part is well preserved and food is absolutely delicious.

Martina Czech Republic

Beautiful architecture, clean city and locals mostly...

May 22, 2023

Beautiful architecture, clean city and locals mostly friendly. Pintxos are everything - we stayed in new town but if I went again, I’d book a hotel in old town. That’s where the culture and vibrancy lives. Riverside is good to see and nice walks along to Guggenheim. Bilboats cruise along river was ok. we had a great pintxos and wine tour one night with our tour guide Oskar (Tourné Bilbao) - highly recommend.

Jenny E
Jenny E United Kingdom

Popular places to stay in Bilbao

Stay in some of the best accommodations Bilbao has to offer

Other attractions and activities in Bilbao

More things to do and see in Bilbao