Getting around Bilbao
Part of the charm of Bilbao is that it's easy to get around the centre of the city on foot. It also has an excellent public transport system with a good bus network in addition to the metro and tram. Bilbobús (+34 94 479 0981; www.bilbao.net/bilbobus) routes cover all the districts in Bilbao with more than 30 lines. There are also night buses.
Metro Bilbao (www.metrobilbao.net), with its stylish fosterito stations designed by Sir Norman Foster, has two lines. Line 1 (Etxebarri-Plentzia) links Bilbao stations to the right-bank districts, while Line 2 (Basauri-Kabiezes) connects Bilbao stations to the left-bank districts.
Tram lines, run by Euskotren (tel: +34 902 543 210; www.euskotren.eus), have been gradually extended to cover an area linking Atxuri to Basurto. There is a central stretch across the district of Abandoibarra, with stops by some of Bilbao's architectural landmarks, such as the Arriaga Theatre, the Guggenheim Museum and the Euskalduna Palace.
Day passes are available for the tram and metro. You can also buy a reusable Barik smartcards.
Taxi drivers in Bilbao, as in the rest of the peninsula, don't expect a tip but they will certainly appreciate one. Reliable companies include TeleTaxi Bilbao (tel: +34 94 410 2121), Radio Taxi Bilbao (tel: +34 94 444 8888) and Radio Taxi Nervion (tel: +34 94 426 9026).
Driving around Bilbao is as easy as any city in Spain. Expect pushy driving, but decent roads. The layout of the city is quite complicated but well signposted, and the Old Town is a pedestrian zone. There are underground car parks throughout the city, and pay-and-display street parking, but watch out for residents-only zones.
The minimum age to hire a car in Spain is 18. Drivers should always carry their licence and, if applicable, their rental documents. Car hire in Bilbao is available from Avis (tel: +34 902 101 780; www.avis.com), Europcar (tel: +34 902 105 055 (airport); www.europcar.com) and Hertz (tel: +34 94 415 3677; www.hertz.com).
You can hire bicycles and scooters from Alquimoto, Calle Jon Arróspide 14 (tel: +34 94 401 2563; www.alquimoto.com). Tourne (tel: +34 944 249 405; http://tournebilbao.com) also hire bicycles and offer tours.