Bilbao is enjoying a morning of pintxopote with your crew, taking in the unforgettable view from the city’s highest mountain or etching in your memory a sunset in good company at a cliff that could easily be mistaken with Norway or Ireland. Bilbao is its estuary and hillside, experiencing the atmosphere of an Athletic football match and enjoying every minute in its streets and squares.
Whatever it is, Bilbao is one of those cities that you must visit more than once because it leaves you wanting more. Food, art, different plans and special moments await in one of Northern Spain’s least known cities.
If the question is what to do in Bilbao, here is the answer!
Come on over!
What to do in Bilbao? The best places to see on a weekend getaway
Excursions in Bilbao, the city from heights: visit Mount Arxanda, Vizcaya Bridge or the terrace at the Guggenheim
El botxo (the name given to the city by its residents) is surrounded by mountains, making it the perfect destination for different, and very high, perspectives. If you are adventurous and not afraid of heights, then take note of these three options.
Mount Artxanda: Enjoy one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city from here. Accessible by foot, car or cable car, you will come across an area where sports, food and nature are the main focus. This is the perfect plan for gazing at Bilbao from above and enjoying the views of the entire city from the overlook with friends, family or your other half.
Vizcaya Bridge: Only for the most daring, a 61-metre height is what stands between you and one of the best views of the city. Vizcaya Bridge, which separates the municipalities of Portugalete and Getxo, is a must-see on a trip to Bilbao because of the perspective and also the sensation of feeling like the king of the world above the Nervión River.
The terrace at the Guggenheim: After visiting one of the most famous museums in the world, we suggest checking out the Bilbao city centre from the terrace at the Guggenheim. In addition to the breathtaking views, you can also enjoy the local cuisine whilst filling up before continuing your trek to every corner of the city.
Where to enjoy the best sunsets in Bilbao
Anywhere in the world, sunsets are one of the best gifts of travelling. Bilbao is no exception, and sunsets in the capital of Biscay are an essential part of visiting the city.
Galea: If you love strong emotions, then this is the perfect place for gazing at one of the best sunsets in the Basque Country. Located in the municipality of Getxo, this huge cliff that has been transformed into a coastal promenade is great for getting away from everything whilst enjoying the sunset. As you wait for the sun to go down, you can visit the Aixerrota windmill and the Galea fortress, two emblematic spots in the area.
La Salve Bridge: Since Bilbao is a city of bridges, these sunset recommendations couldn’t omit one of the strategic viewpoints for watching a sunset in the heart of the city. Located near the Guggenheim, from here you can admire how the estuary, the city’s architecture and the sun come together to create a magical sunset.
What to do in Bilbao: Immerse yourself in the best Basque cuisine with a pintxos tour through the historic quarter
Part of exploring a city is discovering its food and flavours, which is why it is practically a requirement to taste the local dishes and specialities that you will love and want to try over and over again. If you want to know what to do in Bilbao, start off by conquering the palate. How about a pintxopote to whet your appetite?
Pintxopote: You can’t visit Bilbao without doing a pintxos tour through the city’s bars. The perfect combination is to try one or two at each bar in order to try them all like a local. We suggest a pintxopote through the historic quarter. From Plaza Nueva and the surrounding streets, you can look forward to two or three hours of non-stop food and drinks. If you prefer something quieter, Bilbao’s hotels serve an extensive array of irresistible pintxos. As a bonus, one of these could be your perfect accommodation for resting after a “tough” day through the city’s streets.
Sweet moment: Although pintxos are the highlight of local cuisine, there is always room for dessert. Carolinas, butter rolls and rice pastries are the most popular, but we suggest giving in to the many sweet alternatives the city has to offer.
Visit San Mamés stadium and feel like a local
There are certain things that a Bilbao resident must do at least once in a lifetime, and what better way is there to feel like a local than to experience them for yourself? We help you step into the Bilbao lifestyle for one or several days, from beginning to end.
Go to an Athletic football match: If there is one thing that defines Bilbao, it’s the Athletic de Bilbao, the city’s football team and an example of the values that represent the city and its people. When in Bilbao, San Mamés Stadium (known internationally as the cathedral of football) is a required stop because of the great atmosphere it has to offer. And even if you are not a football fan, you can always explore the area around the stadium or the Pozas district to enjoy the vibe on game day.
Climb Pagasarri: One of Bilbao’s most famous mountains is Pagasarri and any self-respecting local must make their way to the top (on foot) at least once in their life. If you are adventurous and determined, then this is definitely the perfect plan for you. In addition, the effort has a reward because from the top you can enjoy some of the most beautiful and unforgettable views of the city.
Breathe pure air on the best beaches near Bilbao
Our list of recommendations wouldn’t be complete without the sea, one of the greatest things about the city. Strolling along the sand and feeling the sea breeze are two things that any trip up north must include.
Arrietara-Atxabiribil Beaches: Semi-urban and located near the municipality of Sopela, these two-in-one beaches are perfect for taking a break from the city. A gin & tonic at one of the bars or a walk on the fine sand will make you feel new and ready to continue exploring Bilbao.
We look forward to seeing you!