Top Things To Do During a Weekend in Bilbao

I’ve travelled to the north of Spain many times and during my last visit I had the chance to discover some spots in the Basque Country, specially Bilbao and a few surrounding towns. There is a lot to see in the area, but in this post you will find information about the places we could visit in just two days.
Some spots are located in Bilbao itself and, as the city is not really big, you can walk to all of them without problems. Others are small towns/cities where you can go with public transportation, but due to the low frecuency of buses, the trip between them may seem really long. That’s why I recommend to rent a car in Bilbao and go anywhere you want. We rented one with Sixt for no more than 60€/day (all included with comprehensive insurance).
He viajado al norte de España varias veces y en mi última visita tuve la suerte de descubrir Bilbao y sus alrededores. Hay mucho que ver en esa zona, aunque en este post os quiero mostrar lo que nos dio tiempo a visitar en dos días.
Algunos de los puntos son en la misma ciudad de Bilbao, y al no ser muy grande puedes recorrerla andando sin problemas. Otros son pequeños pueblos que, aunque hay autobuses que los recorren, la baja frecuencia de circulación hará que el viaje entre un lugar y otro se haga muy largo. Por eso recomiendo que alquiléis un coche en la ciudad y os mováis a vuestro aire. Nosotras lo contratamos con Sixt por no más de 60€/día (todo incluido y a todo riesgo).

1. Guggenheim Museum

Fachada principal del Museo Guggenheim de Bilbao
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

This museum of contemporary art is famous for the innovative building in which it is located. You can find it next to the Bilbao’s estuary and I recommend you take a walk around it because it is worth it.

Este museo de arte contemporáneo es famoso por el edificio innovador en el que se encuentra. Está situado junto a la ría de Bilbao y os recomiendo que dais un paseo a su alrededor porque vale la pena.

2. Old Town (Casco Viejo)

Calle de la Carniceria vieja, Casco viejo de Bilbao
Old Town, Bilbao

Also known as The Seven Streets, it’s the oldest district of Bilbao. It’s one of the most colorful areas of the city where you can find several historical churches as well as many shops and taverns where you can have some pintxos. It’s a good place to go out on weekends and have some drinks.

Es el barrio más antiguo de Bilbao y también se conoce como Las Siete Calles. Es una de las zonas más coloridas de la ciudad y podréis encontrar varias iglesias históricas y el Mercado de la Ribera, además de muchas tiendas y tabernas donde tomar unos pintxos. Es una zona con mucho ambiente para salir por la noche.

3. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, País Vasco
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Basque Country

This islet on the coast of Vizcaya is located about 35 km from Bilbao. It is connected to the mainland by a man-made bridge and if you go up to the top you will find a small hermitage. Although the climb may seem hard, the views from up there are spectacular and deserve the effort.

Este islote situado en la costa de Vizcaya se encuentra a unos 35 km de Bilbao. Está conectado a tierra firme por un puente y si subís hasta la cima encontraréis una pequeña ermita. Aunque la subida pueda parecer dura, las vistas desde allí arriba son espectaculares y merecen el esfuerzo.

4. Bermeo

Bermeo, Vizcaya
Bermeo, Biscay

It’s a fishing village that we visited in our trip between San Juan de Gaztelugatxe and Mundaka. I recommend getting lost in its narrow streets and stoping at a bar for a drink before heading down the road.

Es un pueblo pesquero que visitamos en nuestro camino entre San Juan de Gaztelugatxe y Mundaka. Recomiendo perderse por las estrechas calles y pararse en algún bar para tomar algo antes de seguir el camino.

5. Mundaka

Mundaka, mejor ola izquierda de Europa
Best left-breaking wave in Europe, Mundaka

This town is very well know for its surfing scene. Here you can find what is considered the best left-breaking wave in Europe. There are also some spots in the surroundings with beautiful views of the beach.

Esta localidad es muy conocida en el mundo del surf, ya que es donde se puede encontrar la mejor ola izquierda de Europa. Además podréis encontrar otros lugares con muy buenas vistas de la playa.

Where to stay

If your idea is just to spend a weekend discovering Bilbao and its surroundings you can look for accommodation in the same city, since there are options of all kinds:

    • AirBnB. From 80-90€/night you can find an apartment close to the city center. If you are not registered in the platform yet, click here to get 35€ off on your first booking.

    • Hotels. There are several categories. The rates for a 4* hotel in the city center start around 70€/night.

    • Hostels. This was our choice for the weekend. We chose the Poshtel Bilbao which is very close to the Guggenheim Museum and you can easily walk to the rest of the city. It’s a brand new hostel, with a very modern design and has both dorms and private rooms. Our experience was positive so if we ever go back to Bilbao we will stay here again.

Have you ever visited Bilbao? Which other places would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

Poshtel Bilbao, nuevo hostel
Poshtel Bilbao, brand new hostel

Si vuestra idea es pasar sólo un fin de semana y conocer Bilbao y sus alrededores podéis buscar alojamiento en la misma ciudad, ya que hay opciones de todo tipo. Las más conocidas son:

      • Hoteles. Hay de varias categorías y se puede encontrar un 4* céntrico desde 70€/noche.

      • Hostels. Esta fue nuestra elección para el fin de semana. Escogimos el Poshtel Bilbao que se encuentra muy cerca del Museo Guggenheim y se puede llegar fácilmente andando a toda la ciudad. Es completamente nuevo, con un diseño muy moderno y tiene habitaciones tanto compartidas como privadas. La experiencia fue muy positiva y de volver a Bilbao repetiríamos en el Poshtel sin duda.

¿Has visitado Bilbao? ¿Qué otros lugares imperdibles añadirías a la lista? ¡Dímelo en los comentarios!


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Lugares que ver durante un fin de semana en Bilbao
Top Things To Do During a Weekend in Bilbao

 

20 comentarios

  1. Great tips. I have never been to Bilbao but tip #2, #3, #4 look amazing and would be on my list. Such a beautiful scenery so close by!

    1. So glad you liked them! I hope you can visit Bilbao soon because it’s a great destination!

  2. I loved Bilbao! Before I went I had no idea there was a Guggenheim there. I really enjoyed the museum. The design of it is so interesting and creative.

    1. Hello Nathan! Thanks a lot for your comment. Great that you enjoyed the museum, I had no time to visit it from inside, but it’s true that the design is very interesting 😉

  3. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe looks stunning….what a lovely pic. I would love to go here on a nice sunny day for a picnic. Spain is such a beautiful country …I am off in August and cant wait to explore!

    1. It’s incredible! Actually, Game of Thrones have used it to film the last season. Better if you have a sunny day, because when I was there it was raining the whole time!

  4. I would really like to visit the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. I love modern art and quirky structures. I am wondering how much is the admission price for this museum. It is probably pricey but I think it will be worth it.

    1. If you like modern art, the Guggenheim is your place!! It’s not very expensive, the entrance is around 16€. I hope I can visit it next time because I couldn’t go inside.

  5. Bilbao looks so amazing and totally worth exploring. I particularly would like to check The Seven Streets, the oldest district of Bilbao. Heritage and culture really attract me.

    1. It is great! I really liked exploring its streets. The one you mention was really special, I hope you can visit it soon 😉

  6. Wow! I had never considered visiting Northern Spain, but this seems like an incredible area to visit! I would love to go to the Guggenheim Museum (I still need to go to the one in New York City as well). And your hike up San Juan de Gaztelugatxe would be an absolutely incredible experience! Where does it lead to? Also, good tip about renting a car while you’re there. I find slow transportation is very true in smaller rural areas. But overall, great post! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hello Deni! Yes, northern Spain is not very famous as Barcelona or Madrid, but it has amazing beauty! The path of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe leads to a small hermitage on the top. Best option to go there is renting a car 😉

  7. I have been considering a trip to Bilbao for a while now, so it’s good to finally read about it. I would definitely make the 35 km journey out to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, surely this place is a UNESCO world heritage site? The wine must be good around Bilbao!

    1. That’s great! I totally recommend the trip! A lot of beautiful sights and amazing food 😉

  8. Mindblowing visuals! I must praise your sense of framing.
    San Juan de Gaztelugatxe looks incredible. I would have mistaken it for the Great Wall of China if you hadn’t mentioned it.

    1. Thanks a lot for your words! I really appreciate them 🙂 It’s true that is an incredible place and looks like the Great Wall. We don’t need to go to China 😉

  9. I have never been to Bilbao, but it seems like a lovely place to visit. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a must and work the 35 km journey. The views from the top must be spectacular! I would also love to explore Old town in Bilbao. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You should go when you have a chance! It was my first time there and I’d love to go again! As you say, the views from San Juan are just amazing and totally worth the hike 😀

  10. This is really fantastic. Bilbao seems to be a fascinating place for one to visit. Sheila, seems you really had a great time huh. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe felt like great wall of China for a moment when I just saw the image. In all loved the list of things to do in Belbao.
    Keep posting
    Cheers 🙂

    1. Hi Aanchal! Thanks a lot for your words 🙂 I had a great time, it’s such a beautiful destination and I would love to go again. So true that looks like the Great Wall 😀 Have a great day!

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