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How to Spend 1 Day in Bilbao

How to Spend 1 Day in Bilbao

Bilbao may be the largest city in both the Basque Country and northern Spain, but you can still experience its art, architecture, and cuisine in just one day. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in Bilbao.

Morning: Visit the Guggenheim

Dedicate your first morning to the Guggenheim, Bilbao’s most famous museum, which is best-known for its Frank Gehry architecture and vast collection of modern art. Beat the crowds by arriving early, and opt for a private or small-group tour to tick off Guggenheim highlights in limited time. 

Once you’re done, grab a coffee, enjoy views over the estuary, wander the neighboring República de Abando Park, and snap a photo with Jeff Koons’Puppy sculpture. Meanwhile, art lovers can explore at the Museum of Fine Arts (Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao).

Afternoon: Food Fiesta

Spend the afternoon delving into the coveted cuisine of the Basque Country. Food lovers can  sample the best of Bilbao’spintxos (Basque tapas) on a food tour. Some focus entirely on the tapas available in the Old Quarter, while others include wine tasting and a market visit. Alternatively, you can learn to make your own pintxos during a cooking class.

Or, learn more about local history and culture on a walking, running, or boat tour. To explore at your own pace and visit only the attractions that capture your attention, opt for a convenient hop-on hop-off bus service.

Night: Dinner and Drinks

Treat yourself to an extravagant dinner and drinks on your first and final evening in Bilbao. Many of the city’s top restaurants can be found in the Old Quarter, so stroll around until you find an eatery that appeals to you. Must-try dishes includetxangurro (spider crab),bacalao pil-pil (fried cod), orbacalao a la Vizcaína (cod in a red pepper and onion sauce).

Round out the evening with some music. The Euskalduna Palace is home to the Basque Symphony Orchestra, while Bilbao as a whole is replete with live music venues to suit most musical tastes.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Bilbao Tours

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The Premier Bilbao Food & Wine Walking Tour

The Premier Bilbao Food & Wine Walking Tour

star-5
Learn all about traditional pintxos (the Basque version of Spanish tapas) on a guided walking tour of Bilbao's bars. At each stop, sample one or two of these delightful little bar snacks accompanied with a glass of wine, beer, or hard cider. Get an insider's perspective of the ancient part of the city that dates back to 1300. Consider booking this tour at the beginning of your Bilbao vacation so you can return to your favorite hotspots for more pintxo sampling.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$118.96
From
US$118.96
Taking safety measures

Bilbao Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Bilbao Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

star-5
Get to know the city through the eyes of a passionate local. With no set itinerary, you can customize the tour or leave it up to the local for an insightful introduction to the city. Make travel about the people you meet not just the places you see. With our walking tours, you’ll skip the mundane historical tours and discover the city through a local’s eyes. Experience a tour that will transform the way you travel to make it as much about the people you meet, as it is the places you see. Our local guides (Lokafyers) are passionate about their city and eager to share their knowledge and perspective. Since Lokafyers are not professional guides and tour occasionally, they provide an experience that’s authentic and personal, like a friend showing you around their city. By the end of the tour, you'll feel comfortable navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to make the most of your stay.
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  • 2 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$36.60
Price varies by group size
From
US$36.60
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum Private Tour

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum Private Tour

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the artistic wonder of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum with a private guide on this cultural tour. Accompanied by your accomplished guide, explore the enthralling exhibitions of the museum in order to discover contemporary and modern art masterpieces; see timeless masterworks like Joseph Beuy’s ‘Lightning with Stag in its Glare’ and gaze at Jeff Koons’ colossal sculpture ‘Puppy’. Gain fascinating insight into different art movements and hear tales of the intriguing lives of some of the artists during this culturally enriching exploration.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$118.96
Price varies by group size
From
US$118.96
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Bilbao and Guggenheim Museum Private tour

Bilbao and Guggenheim Museum Private tour

star-5
Explore top attractions in the Basque Country on this private 4.5-hour Bilbao and Guggenheim Museum tour. Follow a private guide through the pretty streets of Bilbao and admire the architecture for which the city is famous. Along the way, gain insight into the region’s culture and heritage, and take in top landmarks including the neo-baroque Arriaga Theater, City Hall, Ribera Market and the 14th-century Santiago Cathedral. Mingle with the locals along bustling shopping streets, then visit the famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao — one of the largest museums in Spain.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$344.99
Price varies by group size
From
US$344.99
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Food Tasting of Basque-style Pintxos with Spanish Wines and Hotel Pickup

Food Tasting of Basque-style Pintxos with Spanish Wines and Hotel Pickup

star-5
Learn how to make Basque tapas with the benefit of personalized attention during this half-day private cooking class. Enjoy being in a private villa in the mountains with a chef guide, who will teach you how to cook with seasonal produce grown on site. Sip a glass of wine and taste local cheese and olive oil while you learn, then sit down to eat your masterpieces. Private round-trip transportation included, as well as a visit to the fishing village of Castro Urdiales.
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  • 5 hours
From
US$244.03
From
US$244.03

Bilbao Old Quarter Walking Tour

Bilbao Old Quarter Walking Tour

star-4
Discover the charm of Bilbao’s Old Quarter on an enriching morning or afternoon walking-tour of the city’s medieval enclave. With an expert guide, travel back in time to the 6th century and visit ancient landmarks like the Cathedral of Santiago and Plaza Nueva. Admire the sacred beauty of the Church of St Anton; wander the site of the Mercado de la Ribera; and enjoy picturesque views of the port, the origin of the industrial Spanish city. Gain valuable insight into the rich history of the city and see cultural traditions first hand as you explore.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
From
US$49.96
Price varies by group size
From
US$49.96
Price varies by group size

Private 4-hour City Tour of Bilbao with Hotel or Cruise Port pick-up

Private 4-hour City Tour of Bilbao with Hotel or Cruise Port pick-up

star-5
Maximize your time in Bilbao with a private guide and a sightseeing tour tailor-made for you. Explore Bilbao’s atmospheric Old Town and Ensanche neighborhood, browse the stalls at the La Ribera market, and marvel at architectural wonders such as the Guggenheim Museum, San Mames Stadium, and Bilbao Cathedral. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$452.05
Price varies by group size
From
US$452.05
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Old Quarter of Bilbao Walking Tour and by boat

Old Quarter of Bilbao Walking Tour and by boat

star-2.5
Discovering Bilbao’s old quarter, known as the Casco Viejo, without a guide could give you only a fragmented picture of its sights and history. This walking tour ensures you cover the must-sees without getting lost, and provides a guide to share their stories—insight you may miss if by yourself. Plus, the tour finishes with a river estuary boat trip, letting you view more of the city from the water.
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  • 3 hours
From
US$95.17
Price varies by group size
From
US$95.17
Price varies by group size

Bilbao Boat Tour

Bilbao Boat Tour

star-5
See Bilbao in a different way as you relax on a boat, and take in the sites. Choose from a ride in the sea, or river, and cruise past landmarks like the Guggenheim Museum, University of Deusto, palaces, and more. Listen to live onboard narration from a guide, and learn about the history of the city as you sail around it.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$77.33
Price varies by group size
From
US$77.33
Price varies by group size


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