Experience the Best of Bilbao in 3 Days

Explore the roots of Basque culture in Bilbao, Spain.

22 April 2023

Bilbao, situated in the Basque Country, is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and foodies alike. It is home to the iconic Guggenheim Museum, which is one of the top art institutions in the world. The city is also known for its delicious pintxos and traditional Basque cuisine, making it a food lover's paradise.

Travel plan

Getting latest place information
Day 1

Exploring the City

  • Start the day with a stroll along the Nervion River and take in the modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum
  • Visit the Casco Viejo, the old town of Bilbao, and get lost in its narrow streets and charming buildings
  • Stop for lunch at El Globo, a popular restaurant in the heart of the old town that serves traditional Basque cuisine
  • Head to the top of the Artxanda funicular for a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding mountains
  • Visit the San Mames Stadium, the home of Athletic Bilbao, and learn about the city's passion for football
  • Have dinner at La Vina del Ensanche, a cozy restaurant that offers a tasty selection of tapas and pintxos
  • Hotel recommendation: Hotel Carlton, a luxurious 5-star hotel in the heart of the city.
Day 2

Coastal Getaway

  • Take a ferry from the port of Bilbao to Getxo, a charming coastal town known for its beautiful beaches and stunning architecture
  • Visit the iconic Puente Colgante, a UNESCO World Heritage site that connects Getxo with the nearby town of Portugalete
  • Explore the Algorta neighbourhood and have a traditional pintxo lunch at La Provincia
  • Rent a bike and cycle along the beautiful coastline to Plentzia, a picturesque fishing village
  • Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Playa de Plentzia and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the town
  • Have dinner at Baserri Maitea, a rustic restaurant that serves delicious Basque cuisine in a cozy farmhouse setting
  • Hotel recommendation: Hotel Embarcadero, a charming hotel overlooking the marina of Getxo.
Day 3

Basque Country Cuisine

  • Start the day with a visit to the Mercado de la Ribera, the largest covered market in Europe, and sample some of the local delicacies
  • Take a cooking class at Alicia Gourmet, a culinary school that specializes in Basque cuisine
  • Visit the Rioja Alavesa wine region and taste some of the famous Rioja wines at a local bodega
  • Have lunch at Asador Etxebarri, a Michelin-starred restaurant known for its innovative grilled cuisine
  • Explore the historic town of Laguardia, known for its medieval architecture and underground wine cellars
  • Have dinner at Azurmendi, a 3-Michelin-starred restaurant that offers a truly unique dining experience in a stunning setting
  • Hotel recommendation: Hotel Marques de Riscal, a luxurious 5-star hotel in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa wine region.

How to get there

Plane

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.

Car

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.

Train

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.

Boat

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.

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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