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Bilbao tours and excursions

Bilbao tours

Walking tours

Bilbao Turismo organises two guided walking tours throughout the year. One of the tours covers the Old Town, offering a snapshot of medieval Bilbao with its cobbled streets, charming corners and squares. The second tour covers the Ensanche-Abandoibarra area and explores Bilbao's architectural and urban development from the 19th century to the present, taking a look at the heart of a city where tradition and modernity converge. The tours start at the tourism office on Plaza Circular 1 and last for about 90 minutes; reservations are not necessary.

Tel: +34 94 479 5760.

Bus tours

The Bus Turistikoa offers hop-on, hop-off deals that depart from the Guggenheim Museum at 17 Lersundi, outside the Tourist Information office. There are 13 stops en route, including the Plaza Arriquibar, the Fine Arts museum, the City Hall and more bridge views than you can imagine. Tickets are valid for 24 hours.

Tel: +34 94 344 1828.

Bilbao excursions

Gernika (Guernica)

Gernika is the small Basque town that was razed to the ground by German aircrafts sent by Hitler to support Franco's troops in the Spanish Civil War. It was an experiment for the blitzkrieg tactics and the bombing of civilians seen in later wars, and it prompted Pablo Picasso to paint his most famous work named after the town itself. Gernika is the traditional heart of Basque nationalism and the famous Tree of Gernika, under which democratic assemblies were held from medieval times up until the 19th century, has been adopted as the symbol of the Basque Country as a whole, and the Biscay Parliament sits in the house next to it. Historical significance aside, excursions should feature a poke around its bustling Monday market and a txakoli (a local dry white wine) tour.

Tel: +34 94 625 5892.


Just 35 km (22 miles) out of Bilbao sits the beautiful fishing town of Bermeo. This remarkably picturesque spot may be small, but it has a real Basque twang. Ideal for a day trip, the streets are alive with historic masterpieces such as the San Fransico Church, built in 1357, and the golden Gothic glow of the tower of Ercilla. The bobbing boats in the tiny harbour can hypnotise, while the nearby cove at Aritzatxu Beach offers ample opportunity for sunbathing and swimming.

Tel: +34 94 617 9154.
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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.