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Bilbao Nightlife

Nightlife in Bilbao is lively and fun. The city has a late night culture, for both eating and drinking, so you'll always be able to find something happening. The Old Town and the Abando area are both packed with bars, eateries and clubs.

The Bilbao Guide, published every two months by Bilbao Turismo, contains information about the main cultural events taking place in Bilbao. It is available at the city's tourist offices as well as from the majority of Bilbao's hotels.

Bars in Bilbao

Cafe Bar Bilbao

With its chequered floor, tiled walls and traditional selection of pintxos, the Cafe Bar Bilbao is as typical of the city as its name would suggest. But, although it was founded in 1911, it's far from staid. By about 2230 you can hear it across the Plaza Nueva as voices start to raise and discarded napkins litter the floor. The staff are exceptionally friendly.

Address: , 6 Plaza Nueva, Bilbao, 48005
Telephone: +34 944 151 671.

El Huevo Frito

El Huevo Frito (The Fried Egg) is one of Bilbao's most famous places. It is a tiny, cheerful, informal tapas bar in the new town where everyone flocks after work and throughout the evening. The staff are friendly and efficient – your beers and wine are always en route – and you can stuff your face on the bite-sized food. The banter often spills over into the street if you want some space.

Address: , 1 Calle del Maestro García Rivero, Bilbao, 48011
Telephone: +34 944 412 249.

Gran Café El Mercante

Bilbao's oldest café, opened in 1871, was known until recently as Cafe Boulevard. It was a favourite of Basque writer Miguel de Unamuno and photographer Robert Capa, among other literary and artistic titans of the 1930s. Its new owners may have turned it into a gastrobar but with live piano music and bookcases advertising its literary heritage, they've done a good job of retaining its charm.

Address: , 3 Calle Arenal, Bilbao, 48005
Telephone: +34 946 084 669.

Clubs in Bilbao

Cotton Club

Cotton Club is an excellent Bilbao club for dancing, with a mixture of DJs and live pop and rock groups on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It's a tiny place, so be prepared to be another sardine in the tin, but the atmosphere is happy and lively. Check the website calendar to find out who's playing. Take in the red and black decor and enjoy the immense choice of rums and whiskeys.

Address: , 25 Calle Gregorio de la Revilla, Bilbao, 48010
Telephone: +34 944 104 951.


This nightclub offers four different rooms with four different music genres, depending on the nighgt - check the website for line-ups. The sound system is excellent and the crowd is young and lively. The organisers also run Art After Dark, a once-per-month event where DJs play after hours in the main atrium of the Guggenheim Museum.

Address: , Industrial Estate Santa Ana, Tellería 27, Bolueta., Bilbao, 48004
Telephone: +34 944 598 617.

New Holiday

Formerly known as Holiday Gold but recently refurbished and renamed New Holiday, this nightclub has DJs playing electro, pop and rock music. Thursday nights is student night. It's really popular and often crowded.

Address: , Avenida Madariaga 18, Bilbao, 48014
Telephone: +34 944 755 513.

Live music in Bilbao


Bilborock is a handsome, deconsecrated 17th Century church that was bought by the town hall in the 1990s and turned into a centre for arts and culture. Its refurbished interior has great acoustics for all kinds of live music and also hosts experimental art projects, cinema and dance.

Address: , 1 Muelle de La Merced, Spain, 48003
Telephone: +34 94 415 1306.

Kafe Antzokia

Kafe Antzokia is Bilbao's best live music venue with a wide repertoire from Basque music to international pop-rock bands, world music and reggae. The former cinema was converted into a multi-purpose venue in 1995. It is best known for promoting the Basque culture, both as an artist's venue and for the clientele.

Address: , 2 Done Bikendi 2, Bilbao, 48001
Telephone: +34 94 424 4625.


For bands that want to play at Rockstar, the big hair may not be obligatory but it certainly helps. The venue specialises in rock, punk and metal of all kinds, ranging from Metallica tribute acts to local bands still wet behind the ears. With its zebra print décor and MTV-style video wall, this is the best place in town for headbangers.

Address: , 87 Gran Via, Bilbao, 48011
Telephone: +34 94 445 9295.

Classical music in Bilbao

Dance in Bilbao

Theatres in Bilbao

Music and Dance in Bilbao

Culture in Bilbao

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Featured Hotels



This budget offering is clean and comfortable and offers a good buffet breakfast. Situated in a fairly central location, in downtown Bilbao, there are a slew of funky rooms to choose from, all of which have been decorated to represent a different building in the city. Most points of interest are within walking distance and the hotel itself runs a photography tour of Bilbao. Other extras include bicycle rental, ironing and laundry services, TVs in rooms, free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour bar. It also has a secure garage for those travelling with vehicles.

Iturrienea Ostatua

Iturrienea Ostatua is a pension in Bilbao's Old Town that's chock-a-block with colour and character. It has restored antique furniture throughout and great attention to detail has been paid to the decoration of the 21 bedrooms. The lovely exposed stone walls and oak beams give this place its charm and all in all, it represents very good value. In decent weather, breakfast can be served in the garden.

Miró Hotel Bilbao

Devised by famous fashion couturier, Antonio Miró, this modern boutique hotel combines functional design and personalised service to great effect. It's a tasteful establishment with great views of Bilbao, and it offers guests access to its spas and gym on a complimentary basis. There are 50 minimalistic rooms to pick from and many come with views of the Guggenheim. All, though, have large TVs, colossal beds and chic marble bathrooms.

Hotel Bilbao Jardines

This pleasant, comfortable and reasonably priced 2-star hotel is located in the heart of the historical centre of Bilbao, next to the cathedral and the Arriaga Theatre. It offers good service, spectacularly clean rooms and a very relaxed ambience, so the dated quilts and covers can be easily overlooked. What's more, most rooms come with a bath and shower and have decent sized TVs. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

Hotel Lopez de Haro

A favourite with celebrities, up to and including the Dalai Lama, this is one of the best top-class hotels in Bilbao. You’ll find free Wi-Fi, a complimentary gym-spa, a champagne bar and an opulent selection of rooms and suites. The location, too, is handy for the city centre and the Guggenheim Museum. The staff are incredibly helpful, the breakfast is excellent and the soft drinks and chocolates in the mini-bar are included in the price.

Hotel Carlton

A favourite of Ernest Hemingway, Ava Gardner and many a bullfighter, Hotel Carlton is a Bilbao institution. It is set in a grand neoclassical building with a restaurant and a 1930s-style bar. Drenched in history (it was the Euskadi government's headquarters during the Civil War), it's a splendid and very elegant hotel. Discount prices are available online if you book well in advance.