The largest city in Spain’s Basque Country, Bilbao is on the River Nervion. The city is the capital of Spain’s Biscay province. Many people from around the world come to Bilbao to experience its historic and cultural attractions and atmosphere.
Best Time to Visit
An oceanic climate that is mild, Bilbao does not usually have temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius or below freezing. Excellent times to visit are in the late spring and early fall. Still, the verdant green comes with the price of frequent rains all year that may interfere with a day at the beach.
How to Get There
Travelers usually arrive in Bilbao by plane, ferry and train as well as bus and car. Flights come in from London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and other points beyond them. Air France, Easy Jet and Lufthansa are three main airlines. Ferries cross regularly between Bilbao and Portsmouth, England. Trains run from Madrid, Santander and Leon, and buses run from Madrid, San Sebastian and Santander.
Top Attractions in Bilbao
- Basílica de Begoña – A beautiful church, this structure has a fascinating history.
- Basque Museum – Founded in 1921, this museum has artifacts significant to the history and culture of the Basque people.
- Catedral de Santiago – Named for the city’s patron saint, this cathedral in Gothic Style is from the 1300s.
- Flower Puppy – Symbolic of contemporary Bilbao, this gigantic dog sits in front of the Guggenheim Museum.
- Gran Via – The upscale shopping district, this is the place to walk and shop.
- Guggenheim Museum – A wonder of modern architectural design, this museum is dedicated to modern art.
- Mercado de La Ribera – Constructed in 1929, this is one of Europe’s largest covered markets.
- Parque Etxebarria – Near Bilbao’s heart, this public park was created in the 1980s from an industrial site.
- Vizcaya Bridge – About 10 kilometers northwest from the city, this historic and scenic bridge is a hanging or suspension transport bridge build in the 1890s.
- Zubizuri – A stunning pedestrian bridge, this structure connects opposite banks on the Nervion river walk.
Tips for Travelers to Bilbao
- For those on a budget, hostels and apartment rentals are available in Bilbao.
- For luxurious stay, the 3-star Abba Hoteles offers fabulous service and is conveniently located near public transportation.
- To stay safe, avoid the high crime San Francisco neighborhood.
- Out of courtesy for Basque residents, do not wear anything featuring symbols of Spain.