Things to do in
Bilbao

This port city offers a pretty coastline, mountainous landscapes, and a taste of Basque culture and cuisine.

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Our most recommended things to do in Bilbao

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.

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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.

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From Bilbao: Basque Country Tour

3. From Bilbao: Basque Country Tour

Follow the river road of Bilbao towards the coast and admire the old industrial areas that once powered Bilbao. You will visit the Transporter Bridge of Bizkaia, the oldest bridge of this type in the world, still active and considered a beloved icon by locals. Afterwards, you will see the neighborhood of Neguri and its old mansions owned by rich industrial managers before you head towards the interior of the province. Admire the traditional local houses and farm house structures, and discover the imposing old Castle of Butron. Arrive at the coastal village of Bakio, a popular summer holiday destination among Basque natives, before you follow the beautiful and wild coastal road, eventually arriving at your second stop, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. This place is said to be one of the most beautiful locations along the Basque coastline. It is a huge rock on the top the old hermitage of San Juan, and it is connected to the mainland by means of a long stone stairway. Next, you will continue to the fishing town of Bermeo. Here, you will stop to visit the narrow streets, the Juradera Church, the Ercilla Tower, the old port, and the Town Hall, among other sites. There will be free time for lunch, and your guide will suggest a selection of recommended local restaurants. Later, you will stop at Mundaka, a beautiful site with magnificent views of the Urdaibai Biosphere, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Afterwards, you will arrive at the village of Gernika to visit the Basque Sacred Tree and Casa de Juntas, or old Law House. Finally, you will return to Bilbao around 14:00.

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Bilbao: Guggenheim Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line

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

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

Meet your guide outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to begin a 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 collections of modern art at your own pace.

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Bilbao: Old Quarter Walking Guided Tour

6. Bilbao: Old Quarter Walking Guided Tour

Over 500 years of history will be explored on this walking tour. From the Cathedral of Santiago, Plaza Nueva, the Church of St. Anton and the ruins on which it stands, to the Mercado de la Ribera. This is where the town was born, this is where the port was, and from where the city opened to the world - serving as a bridge between northern Europe and the Hispanic kingdoms. You'll be guided by your professional tour guide in a small group. Learn the history that took place in the streets that Miguel de Unamuno once walked through. Your guide will also take you on a traditional “txikiteo” or “poteo” (bar crawl) to the area's most iconic bars.

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

7. 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.

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From Bilbao: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

8. From Bilbao: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

See villages trapped in between mountains like the villages of Durango, Eibar and Elgoibar! Arrive at the core of the province, and after the industrial village of Azkoitia, you will arrive at your first stop, the Sanctuary of Loyola, hometown of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. Here you will visit the Basilica and the tower house where he was born and lived. Depending on the time, you may wish to attend a ceremony. Next you follow the route towards the coast on the north, passing through Azpeitia. You will also pass through Zestoa, a famous natural spa village with healing waters that attracted the royalty of Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Later you will arrive to the coast at Zumaia, a beautiful village very much appreciated by Basque summer tourists. Following the coastal road you will arrive at your next stop, Getaria. A unique medieval fishing village and hometown of famous figures like captain Juan Sebastian Elcano (the first man to travel around the world by sea), and Cristobal Balenciaga, the famous designer. Then you will pass by Zarauz, a beautiful tourist spot with the largest beach in the province of Gipuzkoa. You will arrive finally to San Sebastian (or Donostia) where you will do a panoramic tour of the city. After lunch, you will do a walking tour into the old quarter visiting the most interesting streets and locations before returning to Bilbao in the evening. Follow the highway towards the east, into the province of Gipuzkoa. On the way to the Sanctuary of Loyola, you will be able to admire the areas of inner Basque Country, combined with rural valleys and industrial

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Bilbao: Guided Pintxos Tour

9. Bilbao: Guided Pintxos Tour

Take a journey to mix with the locals. Take a tour through the bars of the old town of Bilbao with a local guide, who was born in Bilbao. This unique gastronomic experience is a must when visiting the Basque Country. Delve into the lifestyle and traditions of the inhabitants of Bilbao, explore the old part of the city and taste the most traditional pintxos.  Learn about the origin and development of the city by visiting four traditional places to taste typical pintxos, one of the specialties of the exquisite Basque cuisine. The pintxo is the Basque version of the Spanish tapa and is taken with a typical drink, usually wine or txakoli. They are delicious gourmet sandwiches that you can find everywhere.

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Bilbao: 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour

10. Bilbao: 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour

Explore Bilbao by bike like a local, on an easy 3-hour tour of all the city’s main sights, accompanied by a knowledgable guide who will tell you the history of the fascinating city and its old and new attractions. Departing from the central Calle de Villarias, follow your guide along bike lanes and pedestrianized streets to avoid the busy traffic. Follow the course of the river to learn why it was essential to the development of the city. Encompassing contemporary and historic sites, the tour will stop at the dramatic Guggenheim Museum, which opened on the banks of the Nervión River and was designed by the architect Frank Gehry in the 1990s. Marvel at the Euskalduna Conference Centre, built on the site of the old shipyards, and see the new San Mamés football stadium. Explore historic Bilbao at sites such as the Neo-baroque Teatro Arriaga. Cycle the narrow streets and wide plazas of the Casco Viejo (Old Town), and discover the site of the old city walls by the San Antón Bridge, linking Bilbao La Vieja and Casco Viejo.

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Frequently asked questions about Bilbao

What top attractions are a must-see in Bilbao?

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

  • Language
    Spanish
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +34
  • 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

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,421 reviews

We were alone as a couple with the guide, so very cozy and interesting. The guide was also very attentive and helpful when I lost my wallet. Javier is truly a fantastic man and very committed to his audience. Great experience, thank you very much!!!

Our guide (Stefan) was extremely pleasant and informative. We felt the tour was very good value and a great introduction to Basque culture.

the guide (Javier) was very good and added a lot the th wonderful experience of visiting this amazing museum.

Very good trip, in time, comfortable bus, nice places, informative. Very nice guide.

Javier couldn't have been more professional and helpful.