Bilbao on a Budget: A 2-Day Adventure

Discover Bilbao's culture and cuisine while staying on budget.

21 June 2023

Bilbao, Spain is a perfect destination for budget-conscious travelers, as it offers a range of affordable accommodations and attractions. Take a walk along the stunning Guggenheim Museum and experience the city's magnificent street art. Do not miss a chance to savor pintxos, Basque small bite tapas, and Rioja wine at friendly local taverns.

Travel plan

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Day 1

Exploring Old Town Bilbao

  • Stay at Hotel Bilbi, a budget-friendly hotel located in the city center.
  • Wander through the narrow streets and colorful buildings of Old Town, admiring the architecture
  • Stroll across the stunning Zubizuri Bridge for panoramic views of the city
  • Visit the Gothic-style Santiago Cathedral, a 14th-century church with a magnificent tower
  • Learn about Basque culture and history at the Euskal Museoa Bilbao, a fascinating museum
  • Indulge in pintxos, the Basque version of tapas, at Bar Eme or Bar Gatz, both popular among locals
  • Take a siesta in the shaded Parque de Doña Casilda, a tranquil park with a beautiful pond
Day 2

Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum

  • Start the day with breakfast at Café Iruña, a historic cafe with an old-world charm.
  • Explore the impressive Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, home to an extensive collection of Spanish and European art
  • Marvel at the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry
  • Snap a photo with Jeff Koons' "Puppy," an enormous topiary sculpture of a dog
  • Head to the nearby Azkuna Zentroa, a cultural center housed in a beautifully restored art nouveau building
  • Grab a refreshing drink and pintxos with a view at La Terraza del Euskalduna, a rooftop bar overlooking the river
  • Bilbao is a vibrant and eclectic city, perfect for a short visit. With this itinerary, you'll get to experience the best of the city's historic and modern landmarks, enjoy delicious local cuisine, and soak up its dynamic culture. So, pack your bags and head to Bilbao for a fun-filled adventure on a budget!

How to get there


The best way to get to Bilbao by plane is to fly to Bilbao Airport, which is located approximately 12 kilometers north of the city center. Many major airlines offer direct flights to Bilbao from cities across Europe and beyond.


Traveling by car is a convenient way to explore the Basque Country, including Bilbao. Visitors can rent a car from major cities such as San Sebastian or explore the area on a self-guided road trip.


While there are no direct train services to Bilbao from other parts of Europe, travelers can take a high-speed train to nearby cities such as San Sebastian or Vitoria-Gasteiz and then transfer to a local train or bus bound for Bilbao.


While there are no direct boat services to Bilbao, travelers can take a ferry from the UK or France to Santander or other port cities in northern Spain and then travel to Bilbao by train or bus.


Buses are a popular and affordable way to travel to Bilbao from other cities in Spain and beyond. Major bus companies such as ALSA and Eurolines offer services to Bilbao from cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris.

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