things to do in bilbao

Last Updated on: 29th February 2024, 10:30 am

Welcome to Bilbao, one of Spain’s most vibrant cities that offers a plethora of exciting attractions and activities for every visitor. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking a memorable experience, Bilbao has it all. From iconic museums to charming neighborhoods and architectural wonders, there are countless reasons to explore this captivating destination.

When it comes to things to do in Bilbao, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and culture by visiting the must-see attractions such as the renowned Guggenheim Museum, where contemporary art and breathtaking architecture collide. Discover the city’s charming Old Town, known as the Siete Calles, with its labyrinthine streets, quaint shops, and bustling tapas bars.

Bilbao’s diverse and vibrant atmosphere makes it a perfect destination for all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, cultural experiences, or culinary delights, this city has something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the top places to visit in Bilbao, which include iconic landmarks, picturesque bridges, and picturesque parks.

To make the most of your visit, consider these Bilbao travel tips. Plan your itinerary in advance to ensure you don’t miss any of the must-see attractions. And don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine, known for its delicious pintxos and fresh seafood. Whatever your interests may be, exploring Bilbao promises an unforgettable journey filled with beauty, culture, and excitement.

Things to Do in Bilbao – Explore the Old Town

The Old Town of Bilbao, known as the Siete Calles (Seven Streets), is a charming and historic neighborhood that is a must-visit for any traveler. With its cobbled streets, quaint shops, and bustling restaurants and bars, the Old Town offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture.

One of the highlights of the Old Town is the Santa Maria Church, a beautiful gothic-style cathedral that has stood for centuries. Step inside to admire its stunning architecture and intricate details.

As you stroll through the Siete Calles, you’ll encounter a wide array of shops selling everything from traditional Basque crafts to modern fashion. Take some time to explore these unique boutiques and pick up a memorable souvenir to commemorate your visit to Bilbao.

When it comes to dining, the Old Town is famous for its pintxos, a type of Basque tapas. Head to one of the local bars and indulge in a delightful selection of bite-sized culinary delights, each bursting with flavors and creativity.

Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Old Town’s bustling streets. This vibrant neighborhood is a hub of activity, especially during the weekends when locals and tourists flock to its bars and restaurants to enjoy good food and company.

In the words of a local resident, “The Old Town is the heart and soul of Bilbao. It’s a place where tradition meets modernity, where you can feel the rich history of the city while enjoying its vibrant present.”

So, make sure to include a visit to the Old Town, or Siete Calles, in your itinerary when exploring Bilbao. It’s a must-see attraction that encapsulates the essence of this captivating city.

bilbao old town

Reasons to Explore the Old Town Highlights
Rich history and culture Santa Maria Church
Charming cobbled streets Quaint shops
Bustling restaurants and bars Delicious pintxos
Vibrant atmosphere Lively streets

Visit the Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is an iconic symbol of the city and a must-see attraction for art enthusiasts. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the museum boasts a stunning contemporary art collection and a unique architectural design that is a work of art in itself. Admire the museum’s striking exterior, including the famous Puppy and Mamá sculptures, and explore the diverse range of exhibitions and installations inside.

guggenheim museum bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is internationally recognized for its innovative approach to contemporary art and its iconic architecture. The museum’s collection features works from renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Louise Bourgeois, providing visitors with a truly immersive and thought-provoking experience.

“The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a true masterpiece of contemporary architecture that perfectly blends with its surroundings. It is a testament to Bilbao’s dedication to the arts and its commitment to creating a vibrant cultural landscape.”

Step inside the museum, and you’ll be greeted by the impressive Atrium, a vast space that showcases large-scale installations and sculptures. As you explore the galleries, you’ll encounter a diverse range of artistic expressions, from paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations and interactive exhibits.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is experiencing the captivating works of art displayed in the iconic galleries wrapped in curving titanium walls. The unconventional design of the museum creates a dynamic environment that enhances the visitor’s connection with the art.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the surrounding area, which features beautiful outdoor sculptures, including Jeff Koons’ “Tulips” and Eduardo Chillida’s “The Comb of the Wind.” The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is not only a destination for art lovers but also a landmark of iconic architecture that has become synonymous with the city of Bilbao.

Plan your visit to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to immerse yourself in contemporary art, marvel at the unique architecture, and discover the cultural vibrancy of Bilbao.

Explore Bilbao’s Bridges

Bilbao, the capital of the Basque Country in northern Spain, is renowned for its unique architecture and stunning bridges. These bridges are not only functional but also works of art, showcasing the city’s rich history and contemporary design.

One of the oldest and most iconic bridges in Bilbao is the San Antón bridge, which dates back to the 14th century. This stone bridge is a testament to the city’s medieval past and offers a picturesque view of the surrounding area. Walking across the San Antón bridge is like stepping back in time and provides a glimpse into Bilbao’s historical roots.

For a taste of Bilbao’s futuristic architecture, the Zubizuri bridge is a must-see. Designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, this pedestrian bridge features a unique curved design and a sleek white structure. As you stroll across the bridge, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the river and the city’s modern skyline.

The Puente de Deusto is another architectural gem in Bilbao. This drawbridge connects the Deusto neighborhood to the city center and is often raised to allow boats to pass through. With its industrial aesthetic and dynamic functionality, the Puente de Deusto is a testament to Bilbao’s engineering prowess.

Whether you’re exploring Bilbao on foot or by the river, these bridges are sure to capture your attention. They not only serve as essential transportation links but also offer a unique vantage point to admire the city’s beauty. From the historic charm of the San Antón bridge to the modern elegance of the Zubizuri and the functionality of the Puente de Deusto, each bridge tells a story and adds to the unique character of Bilbao.

Bilbao Bridges: A Visual Comparison

Bridge Description Year Built
San Antón Bridge A historic stone bridge showcasing Bilbao’s medieval charm. 14th century
Zubizuri A modern pedestrian bridge with a unique curved design. 1997
Puente de Deusto A functional drawbridge representing Bilbao’s engineering prowess. 1937

Take a walk along these bridges and appreciate the unique blend of history, art, and engineering that Bilbao has to offer. With its diverse range of bridges, Bilbao truly showcases its architectural excellence and leaves visitors in awe of its beauty.

Bilbao Bridges


Bilbao, Spain is a treasure trove of incredible experiences. With so many things to do and see, it’s no wonder that this enchanting city attracts visitors from all over the world. From the historic charm of the Old Town to the modern marvel that is the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao offers a unique blend of rich history and contemporary art.

Whether you’re strolling through the cobbled streets of the Old Town, indulging in the delicious local cuisine, or admiring the striking architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, there’s something to captivate every visitor. And if you happen to visit in December, you’ll be treated to a festive atmosphere that is truly magical.

So, whether you’re an art lover, a history enthusiast, a foodie, or simply seeking adventure, Bilbao has it all. Pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to explore this vibrant city. You won’t be disappointed.


What are the top things to do in Bilbao, Spain?

Bilbao offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors. Some of the top things to do include exploring the Old Town, visiting the Guggenheim Museum, and exploring the city’s bridges.

What can I see in Bilbao?

In Bilbao, you can explore the charming Old Town, visit the iconic Guggenheim Museum, and enjoy the city’s stunning bridges with their unique architecture.

What are the must-see attractions in Bilbao?

The must-see attractions in Bilbao include the Old Town, the Guggenheim Museum, and the city’s beautiful bridges.

What is there to do in Bilbao in December?

In December, Bilbao comes alive with a festive atmosphere. You can explore the Christmas markets, admire the holiday decorations, and enjoy the seasonal events and performances happening throughout the city.

Are there any travel tips for exploring Bilbao?

When exploring Bilbao, be sure to wear comfortable shoes as there are many cobbled streets to walk on. It’s also a good idea to try the local cuisine, especially the delicious pintxos, and visit the Basque Country’s iconic Guggenheim Museum for a unique art experience.