The 10 Best Places To Visit In Bilbao

Ah, Bilbao! Nestled in the heart of Spain’s Basque Country, it’s a city that’s been on my radar for quite some time. With its unique blend of modernity and tradition, it’s no wonder that travelers from all corners of the globe are drawn to its charm. Let me take you on a journey through the 10 best places to visit in this vibrant city, each spot brimming with its own special allure.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

First up, the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. This masterpiece of contemporary architecture, designed by Frank Gehry, is a sight to behold. Its shimmering titanium curves capture the imagination before you even step inside. Once you do, a world of modern and contemporary art awaits. It’s not just a museum; it’s an experience that stays with you.

The Old Quarter (Casco Viejo)

Strolling through the Casco Viejo, Bilbao’s Old Quarter, feels like stepping back in time. Its seven original streets, or ‘Siete Calles’, are a labyrinth of history. Here, you’ll find charming boutiques, mouthwatering pintxos bars, and the stunning Santiago Cathedral. It’s a feast for the senses and a must-visit for any traveler.

Arriaga Theatre

For the culture vultures, the Arriaga Theatre is a gem. This opulent 19th-century venue is a hub for the performing arts. Whether you’re catching a play, an Opera, or a ballet, the grandeur of the theatre amplifies the experience. It’s a testament to Bilbao’s rich cultural tapestry.

Plaza Nueva

Plaza Nueva’s neoclassical square is the heart of Bilbao’s social scene. Lined with arcades hosting lively bars and restaurants, it’s the perfect spot for people-watching. On Sundays, a bustling flea market offers everything from antiques to stamps. It’s a vibrant slice of local life that’s not to be missed.

San Mamés Stadium

Sports enthusiasts, rejoice! San Mamés Stadium, home to Athletic Bilbao, is a temple of football. Catching a game here is electric, with passionate fans igniting the atmosphere. Even if you’re not a sports fan, the stadium tour is fascinating, offering insights into the club’s storied history.

Doña Casilda Park

Need a green escape? Doña Casilda Park is Bilbao’s lung, a verdant oasis amidst the urban hustle. With its duck pond, fountains, and playgrounds, it’s a family-friendly spot that offers a tranquil retreat. It’s also home to the Fine Arts Museum, where art aficionados can indulge in Basque and Spanish masterpieces.

La Ribera Market

Foodies, make your way to La Ribera Market, the largest covered market in Europe. Its stalls are a cornucopia of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and more. The market’s second floor is a culinary hotspot, where you can savor local flavors with a view of the river. It’s a feast for all the senses!

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

Art lovers can’t skip the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. It’s a treasure trove of art spanning from the 12th century to the present. The museum’s collection is a testament to the city’s artistic heritage, with works by both Basque and international artists. It’s a cultural journey through time.

Mount Artxanda

For breathtaking views, take the funicular up to Mount Artxanda. The Panorama of Bilbao and its surroundings is simply stunning. There are walking trails, sports facilities, and restaurants to enjoy. It’s the perfect spot for a scenic break from the city buzz.

Bilbao Maritime Museum

Last but not least, the Bilbao Maritime Museum tells the tale of the city’s seafaring past. Located by the Nervión River, it showcases Bilbao’s shipbuilding and trading legacy. The interactive exhibits and outdoor displays are engaging for all ages. It’s a voyage through Bilbao’s maritime history.


  • What’s the best time to visit Bilbao?

    Spring and fall offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds, making them ideal times to visit. Summer is great too, but it’s peak tourist season.

  • Is Bilbao walkable?

    Yes, Bilbao is quite walkable, especially the city center. Public transport is also efficient for longer distances.

  • Can I get by with English in Bilbao?

    While Basque and Spanish are the main languages, many locals speak English, especially in tourist areas.


Bilbao is a city that truly has it all – from the architectural wonder of the Guggenheim Museum to the historic streets of the Casco Viejo. It’s a place where every corner holds a new discovery, be it in art, culture, or cuisine. The 10 best places to visit in Bilbao that I’ve shared are just the beginning. Each offers a unique glimpse into the city’s soul, promising memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your bags, and get ready to explore the wonders of Bilbao. Trust me, it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.

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