What to see in Bilbao and its surroundings in 7 days

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Bilbao is a city located in the northern part of Spain, the largest of the Basque Country.
Mostly known for its industrial power, Bilbao it is also bringing out its cultural and artistic profile, becoming a destination full of surprises for all tourists.

In a few days it is possible to visit the numerous museums, including the famous Guggenheim, stroll in the parks and take some small trips out of town, coming into contact with a rich and moving culture. It is therefore a destination suitable for all types of travelers!

Are you ready to discover it with us? Here what to see in Bilbao and its surroundings in 7 days!



Index

  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. 4 day
  5. 5 day
  6. 6 day
  7. 7 day
  8. How much does a week cost in Bilbao
  9. Before leaving: useful tips
  10. User questions and comments

1 day

The first stop is the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao's iconic building. The museum is built in an almost futuristic style with curves and reflections of light and is itself a work of art. Outside there are giant statues, such as that of the bronze spider and the dog made with 70 flowers. Inside, however, there is a collection of works by contemporary artists. The cost for the visit is € 13,00 and is open every day from 10:00 to 20:00 except Mondays.

Now enter the splendid Parque de Doña Casilda-Bilbao, stop and eat at the tables of the Mini Bar (brunch cost about € 12,00) and then stroll in this green space, where you can relax among the botanical garden, the duck fountain, the tree-lined avenues and where you can also admire statues and monuments historians. Now you can visit the Museum of Fine Arts near the park, founded in 1908 and which houses ancient works, the entrance costs € 10,00. Open every day from 10:00 to 20:00, closed on Tuesdays.
Stroll through the city center, reach Piazza Moyua, the elliptical square with English and French style flower beds and gardens. Here you can take many photos, especially at the beautiful Chavarri Palace, built in 1894 and with an eclectic style.

To end the day, treat yourself to a typical dinner at La Viña del Ensanche, near the beautiful square (cost € 14,50).



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,4 km / 31 min
  • Places visited: Guggenheim Museum (€ 13,00), Parque de Doña Casilda-Bilbao (free), Museum of Fine Arts (€ 10,00), Moyua Square (free), Chavarri Palace (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 50,00
  • private guided tour of the Guggenheim Museum guided tour in the surroundings of the Guggenheim Museum
  • Lunch at Mini Bar (Get directions), Dinner at La Viña del Ensanche (Get directions)

2 day

Today start your tour starting from main place of worship in the city: the Cathedral of Santiago. The church was built between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, and subsequently some of its parts were rebuilt: currently its appearance is the result of the encounter between the Gothic, Neo-Gothic and Baroque styles. To visit the interiors you need to pay a ticket of € 5,00 and it is open from 11:00 to 13:00 and from 17.30 to 19.30. Enjoy then a nice walk through the streets of the historic center, admiring the buildings and the beautiful green areas.

For lunch, eat excellent tapas at Blaster's, spending about € 9,00, and then reach in a few minutes on foot the Archaeological and ethnographic museum, where you can admire ancient finds by paying an entrance fee of only € 3,00. It is open on Mondays. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 19:00, Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 16:00 to 19:00, Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00.
After the tour continue towards Plaza Nueva, also known as Plaza Barria in Basque, irregular in appearance. Nearby stands the church of San Nicola, dating back to 1700. You can visit it for free, the building is completely in Baroque style and stands out in the panorama in which it is located: between the Plaza Nueva and the Areatza park. End the day right inside the park, here you can stroll through the gardens, where there are kiosks, monuments and markets.

The place is ideal for having an aperitif at the tables of La Pergola, surrounded by greenery and enjoying pinchios (cost about € 13,00).



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1 km / 13 min
  • Places visited: Santiago Cathedral (€ 5,00), Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum (€ 3,00), Plaza Nueva (free), Church of San Nicola (free), Areatza Park (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 30,00
  • From Bilbao: Food Tour in the Basque Country Bilbao ranking of modern architecture
  • Lunch at Blaster (Get directions), Dinner at La Pergola (Get directions)

3 day

If you want to enjoy a nice view over the city of Bilbao you can start the day by walking in the Etxebarria Park, where, at certain times of the year, rides and concerts and shows are organized. Once outside the park you will be close to the city center, the Casco Viejo.

Now head to the beating heart of the center: Plaza Miguel de Unamuno. Here the colorful buildings, the comings and goings of people and street artists create a unique atmosphere. In the center stands the statue dedicated to the writer who gives the square its name.

Eat tapas and refresh yourself from Plaza Unamanu Taberna (spending around € 10,00) and get ready to climb 311 steps along the Calzadas de Mallona. The climb is a bit tiring, but the panorama of the city compensates for the sacrifice.
At the top of this hill you will find the suggestive Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Begoña, protector of sailors. The Basilica was built in the th century, and rebuilt after some damage. Currently its aesthetic is a mixture of the Gothic and Baroque styles. You can visit it for free.

For dinner, stop by Pagoa Cafè, where you can taste something typical (cost about € 13,00).



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,5 km / 24 min
  • Places visited: Etxebarria Park (free), Plaza Miguel de Unamuno (free), Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Begoña (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 23,00
  • Segway tour of Abandoibarra and the Old Town
  • Lunch at Plaza Unamuno Taberna (Get directions), Dinner at Pagoa Cafè (Get directions)

4 day

Among the many churches in Bilbao there is also that of San Vincenzo Martire, located near the gardens of Albia. The construction of the church dates back to 1500 and is currently built in the Gothic style (the original one) and in the Renaissance style (following some renovations). Now stroll to one of the symbols of Bilbao: the Calatrava Bridge.
The bridge is also called Zubi Zuri, or white bridge. It is a pedestrian bridge consisting of an arch 14 meters high and suspended over the Nerviòn river.

Cross the bridge and you will be in the Campo de Volantín area, where you can taste the typical chuleta (grilled beef) at the tables of the Zubizuri jatetxea restaurant (lunch cost around € 20,00).
Now is the time to catch up Plaza Funicolar, from where you can take the funicular that will take you to Mount Artxanda in about twenty minutes (the ticket costs € 1,60). At the top you will also find gardens and you will have a complete view of the city: you will notice that Bilbao is built in a valley, its skyscrapers, modern and old buildings are surrounded by dense mountains.

End the evening with a meat or fish dinner in the restaurant at the foot of the mountain, the Anton jatetxea (for around € 18,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,3 km / 1 h 4 min
  • Places visited: Church of San Vincenzo Martire (free), Calatrava Bridge (free), Artxanda Funicular (€ 1,60), Mount Artxanda (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 40,00
  • Lunch at Zubizuri jatetxea (Get directions), Dinner at Anton jatetxea (Get directions)

5 day

Today reach Bobuleta metro station and get on the Kabiezes line, which will take you to the city of Portugalete within 30 minutes. Just 10 minutes walk you can get to the famous bridge Vizcaya bridge, built in 1983 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006.

But first, have lunch in the restaurant specializing in Basque cuisine, El Abra, for around € 15,00. Then buy a € 0,40 ticket and let yourself be carried away by this suspension bridge over the waters of the estuary of the Nerviòn river on the other side, in Getxo. If, on the other hand, you want to cross the footbridge, located 45 meters high, you will have to pay a € 3,00 ticket.
In Getxo you can take a nice walk along the beautiful beaches, passing in front of elegant residences, such as the majestic building of Casa Cisco or ol Palacio Lezama-Leguizamon, an almost medieval-looking villa surrounded by beautiful gardens.

For dinner, go and eat fresh fish on the port, sitting at the tables of Parrillas del Mar jatetxea, spending around € 22,00.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,4 km / 56 min
  • Places visited: Portugalete (free), Ponte Vizcaya (€ 0,40), Getxo (free), Casa Cisco (free), Palacio Lezama-Leguizamon (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 37,40
  • Portugalete, Getxo, & Santurtzi Getxo cruise: 3-hour sailing trip with wine tasting
  • Lunch at El Abra (Get directions), Dinner at Parrillas del Mar jatetxea (Get directions)

6 day

Dedicate this day to a trip out of town, then take the ALSA Zaragoza bus from Bilbao and after 1 hour and 30 minutes you will arrive in Santander, the ticket costs around € 7,00. Santander is the capital of Cantabria, it is a place particularly suitable for lovers of water sports, but it is also a city that can be pleasantly visited on a beautiful sunny day.
Take yourself in the morning to stroll through the streets of the historic center, starting from Plaza Pombo, one of the main ones in the city.

For lunch, go to the La Porticada restaurant, spending around € 14,00. Now reach the Plaza Porticada, the square with a square plan full of bars and arcades. From here continue towards the sea and stop to admire the Cathedral of Santander, in Gothic style and located on a small hill. Stroll along the coast, take a break admiring the aquarium of the Cantabrian Maritime Museum (ticket € 7,00, open every day from 10:00 to 18:00, closed on Mondays), and then reach the Penisula de la Magdalena. It is a huge park overlooking the sea, where among other things, you can dedicate yourself to visit of the Palacio Real, a royal residence which now houses the University of Santander.

Have an aperitif and maybe taste the local dish, the Cantabrian paella, sitting at the tables of the Caballerizas restaurant (cost about € 15,00) overlooking the Bikini beach.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 6 km / 1 h 16 min
  • Places visited: Santander (free), old town (free), Plaza Pombo Plaza Porticada (free), Santander Cathedral (free), Cantabrian Maritime Museum (€ 7,00), Penisula de la Magdalena (free), Palacio Real de la Magdalena (free), Bikini Beach (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 43,00
  • From Santander: Cantabria Private Tour From Santander: Cabarceno Natural Park 4,5 Hour Tour
  • Lunch at La Porticada (Get directions), Dinner at Cafeteria Caballerizas (Get directions)

7 day

Besides the beautiful seaside resorts, near Bilbao there are small towns steeped in history, this is the case of the city of Guernica. To reach it you need to take the E4 Bermeo bus from Zabalburu Plaza, paying a ticket of € 12,00. The journey takes less than an hour.

The first stop to know the place is Casa Juntas, one of the few buildings that survived the bombing of 1937. It is currently the seat of the General Assemblies of Biscay and in the garden you can admire a tree planted in 1742.

Have a short brunch at Cafeteria Faisan (cost € 8,00) and visit the Museo de la Paz, whose admission costs € 5,00. It is a touching experience, where they come also narrated in an interactive way the bloody facts of the bombings of 1937.
Continue to walk in this small town and now reach Calle Pedro de Elejalde Kalea, where you can admire a beautiful life-size ceramic reproduction of the famous Guernica painting by Pablo Picasso, in which the artist recalled the sad story that marked this city, which despite everything has been able to rise again and return to its beauty.

For dinner, stop at the Santanape restaurant, spending around € 15,00.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,1 km / 14 min
  • Places visited: Guernica (free), Casa Juntas (free), Museo de la Paz (€ 5,00), Calle Pedro de Elejalde (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 40,00
  • Gaztelugatxe and Guernica: tour from Bilbao
  • Lunch at Cafeteria Faisan (Get directions), Dinner at Restaurante Santanape (Get directions)

How much does a week cost in Bilbao

NB: The prices expressed in the table above are to be intended "per person".

Bilbao is a city that never ceases to surprise, strolling through its streets you can observe at the same time its modern and innovative side and the more ancient and historical one.

Le main Italian cities are connected to the Bilbao airport by direct flights, so by booking well in advance you can find very affordable prices. The more peripheral areas of the city are the best for cheaper accommodation and with the purchase of Bilbao Bizkaia Card can be used without restriction on all public transport in the city and get discounts on tickets to the main attractions. Also from Bilbao it is easy to move to discover villages, seaside resorts and historic centers rich in Basque culture.

  • starting from € 45,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 70,00 per room -
  • Basque Country Tour from Bilbao Bilbao: Portugalete, Getxo, & Santurtzi Cruise Bilbao Ranking of Modern Architecture
  • Total cost of a week, flight included: from € 682,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Bilbao: to take advantage of the warm weather, you have to choose the period from May to October - find out more about when to go to Bilbao
  • several airline companies connect Milan, Rome and Venice directly to the Bilbao airport, located 12 km from the city, in the Loiu area. From Bilbao airport you can reach the center by bus, the ticket costs € 1,45 and the ride takes 15 minutes
  • in the Casco Viejo, or the historic center, there are many accommodations but the prices are high compared to other more peripheral areas, such as Santutxu, a green and quiet neighborhood also suitable for families, or Deusto, the student district where there are several low-cost accommodations cost
  • Getting around: Bilbao is well explored on foot, and for getting around there is an efficient metro service, with only 3 lines, but 47 stations. The cost of a single ticket is € 1,40 - find out more about getting around Bilbao
  • Recommended cards and passes: with the Bilbao Bizkaia Card you can travel unlimited on all public transport and have discounts on admission to various museums, attractions and even on the menus of some restaurants. It costs about € 35,00, but prices vary according to the duration.

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