Bilbao’s city center is small and very easy to navigate on foot. If you plan out your day well, you can minimize your walking to about 10 minutes or so between attractions.
To give you an idea, here are some walking distances between the city’s most important landmarks:
Bilbao is home to a modern metro system designed by architect Sir Norman Foster. It is made up of 3 lines that conveniently link Bilbao’s center with the neighborhoods in the outskirts and also some adjacent towns.
As a visitor, the main stop of interest would be at Bilbao’s bus station (San Mamés), as well as two stops along the Gran Vía (Moyua and Abando) and one in the old town (Casco Viejo).
Bilbao’s metro is divided in 3 zones and the ticket price depends on how many zones your journey will cross:
All of Bilbao’s center belongs to zone 1.
As another option, the tourist card Bilbao Bizkaia Card includes unlimited use of the public transport not only in Bilbao but in all of Biscay (buses, tram, metro and even the funicular to Artxanda). There are 3 different options:
The Bilbao Bizkaia Card also includes a couple of extra perks such as some free guided tours and skip-the-line benefit at the major museums.
On the other side, if you are planning to stay in Bilbao for a while, it might be worth it to get a Barik Card. This travel pass costs 3€ and can be topped up at all metro stations. With it, you will get the following prices for a single trip on the metro:
One single trip with a city bus from Bilbobus costs 1.35€. The Barik Card also works in these buses and, with it, one trip costs 0.66€.
Check out here the price of the buses from Bizkaibus.
The Bilbao Bizkaia Card includes unlimited tram trips.
Getting into Bilbao’s city center can be a bit stressful. There are many one way streets and the old town is mostly pedestrian-only.
If you are not planning to get out of the city, however, you will probably not need/want a car during your stay in Bilbao. Using public transport and/or taxis will end up being a cheaper option, since you will save money on parking and gas. Our recommendation would be not to rent a car on arrival and only do so when you are leaving the city.
If you are going to be in the city center with a car, then make sure to look up a parking garage prior to your arrival (or even better, make sure to book a hotel with parking) and set it as destination in your GPS.
Travel by car in between cities in the Basque Country can be a great idea. Check out Discover Cars for the best rates.
Parking prices vary. Generally speaking you can expect to pay around 13 to 18 € per day for parking downtown. Here is a list of the largest parkings in Bilbao’s downtown:
|Parking Arenal Casco Viejo PARKIA||Located right next to the old town.
Areatzako Pasealekua 1, 48005 Bilbao
|Continental Parking Pio Baroja||Located next to the river, halfway between the Guggenheim museum and the old town.
Pío Baroja Plaza, 48001 Bilbao
|Interparking Plaza Euskadi||Located next to the Fine Arts museum and the Iberdrola Tower. The Guggenheim museum is 7 min walk away.
Plaza Euskadi, 48009 Bilbao
|Parking La Alhóndiga Empark||Located right next to the Alhóndiga. The Gran Vía is 5 min walk away.
Urkixo Zumarkalea 43, 48011 Bilbao
|Continental Parking Palacio Euskalduna||Located next to the Euskalduna Palace.
Abandoibarra Etorb. 4, 48009 Bilbao
|Parking Saba Estación de Tren||Located next to the train station. The old town is 6 min walk away.
Bailén Kalea 22, 48003 Bilbao
from 16 €/day
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