Things to do in Bilbao

This port city offers a pretty coastline, mountainous landscapes, and a taste of Basque culture and cuisine.

Our most recommended things to do in Bilbao

Bilbao: 1- or 2-Hour Sightseeing Boat Tour

1. Bilbao: 1- or 2-Hour Sightseeing Boat Tour

Embark on a sailing tour through the heart of Bilbao. Get a new perspective of this beautiful city from the estuary. The boat has a capacity of 80 people and seating both outside and inside. On the one-hour tour, set off from the City Hall Bridge in Pio Baroja Square through the heart of the Villa. Head toward Zorrozaurre riverbank and finally to the entrance of the Deusto Canal. Conclude the tour where you began. On the two-hour route, begin from the same jetty in Pio Baroja Square. Cruise past Bilbao's most significant landmarks and buildings and then on a tour of the estuary to the Puente Bizkaia area.  Listen to an audioguide, available in Spanish, Basque, English, French, German, and Italian, to pick up insights into the particular route being sailed and the history of the city and its buildings, bridges, and other constructions.

Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

2. Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Meet your guide outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to begin a guided tour of both the inside and the outside of the museum. Skip the ticket line and discover more about one of the foremost symbols of the city. Learn why Bilbao was chosen as the home for the stunning Frank Gehry-designed building, and discover the structure of the building and the outdoor sculptures that surround the museum.  Then, get to know the most important works of the Guggenheim's permanent and rotating collections as you wander through its galleries, atrium, and terrace in the company of your guide. Admire its undulating, serpentine forms, among large-scale works of art that will surprise you due to the material used.

Bilbao: San Mamés Museum and Stadium Tour

3. Bilbao: San Mamés Museum and Stadium Tour

Access the Museum between gates 19 and 20 of the famous San Mamés stadium where the tour visit begins. Then experience a unique insight into the world of football at grass level. Live the experience of a real-life footballer as you run out onto the field from the tunnel, wander through the locker rooms, and imagine the buzz of excitement in the press room. Along with the stadium tour, visit the modern and innovative Athletic Club museum, home to a wide selection of fascinating football memorabilia. Explore the museum and marvel at its collection of 500 original football-related objects that have been collected over more than a century. See the past and present of the club come to life as you admire trophies, costumes, graphics and audiovisual material celebrating the Red and Whites. There’s plenty to see and do at the museum with 4 audiovisual productions, 13 interactive systems, 600 videos, an immersive video-wall, and a playroom equipped with entertainment for all ages.

Bilbao: San Sebastián & S. Juan de Gaztelugatxe Guided Tour

4. Bilbao: San Sebastián & S. Juan de Gaztelugatxe Guided Tour

Explore the Basque Country with a guided tour starting in San Sebastian around the old town to see San Vicente's Church and the Basilica of Santa María del Coro. Step back in time as you learn about the local history and visit important sites such as the Plaza Mayor, Plaza Gipuzkoa, and Town Hall.  Enjoy the atmosphere of San Sebastián as you stroll around Plaza Mayor and Plaza de la Constitución. Arrive at the port, one of the most important places in the area. Learn about the fires that devastated a large part of the town. Get your camera ready for photos of La Concha Bay.  Walk around the Town Hall, one of the finest buildings in the city, until arriving in the Ensanche de San Sebastián. Visit the city's lungs, Plaza Gipuzkoa and Plaza Okendo, greenspaces that are surrounded by the Urumea River. After the guided tour is finished, you will have some free time to explore or purchase some of the typical pintxos, or small plates. The tour will end in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, an islet that can only be accessed by a pedestrian path. Go on a panoramic tour of the area and discover the area’s dreamlike cliffs which were featured in the HBO series, Game of Thrones.

From Bilbao: Gaztelugatxe and Gernika Tour

5. From Bilbao: Gaztelugatxe and Gernika Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Bilbao, and then get back to nature on a trip to the amazing rock islet of Gaztelugatxe, located on the coast of Bizkaia just 35 kilometers from Bilbao city center. Arrive at the viewpoint and get 2 hours of free time to explore independently. Use the time to climb to the 10th-century hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, where you can touch the bell of the chapel three times and make a wish. Soak up the stunning views of the Bay of Biscay before traveling to Bermeo to take a walking tour of the charming fishing village. Continue to the historic town of Gernika, site of one of the first aerial bombings by Nazi Germany, and visit the Casa de Juntas (Assembly House) with the famous Tree of Guernica that symbolizes the traditional freedom of the people.

From Bilbao: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo, & Gernika

6. From Bilbao: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo, & Gernika

Leave Bilbao and discover other exciting and historic locations on the Basque Coast on this day tour. See the Vizcaya Bridge, the historic city of Gernika, visit a traditional fishing village, and enjoy a tasting of local products. Travel along the river of Bilbao, discovering the interesting industrial past of the city, and once at the coast, stop to see the Vizcaya Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage designated site. Pass by the majestic Castle of Butron, and eventually arrive at the Biosphere of Urdaibai. Admire the beautiful view from its lookout point, and discover the secrets of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a filming location of the famous TV series “Game of Thrones”. Make another stop in Bermeo, a typical fishing village, and stop to take a walking tour to enjoy its charming atmosphere. Take part in a tasting of local food, where a sample of pintxo is included. Reach the last stop in Gernika, and make a visit to the interesting Assembly House and the famous Tree of Gernika.

From Bilbao: Half or Full-Day Game of Thrones Guided Tour

7. From Bilbao: Half or Full-Day Game of Thrones Guided Tour

Dive into the real Game of Thrones experience during a tour of the incredible filming locations for Season 7. Walk in the footsteps of Tyrion, Daenerys, and Jon Snow as you explore incredible landscapes. First, walk along King's Landing beach, filmed at Muriola Beach in Barrika. Explore the location where Davos Tyrion and Gendry had to flee from the Gold Cloaks. After that, head to a medieval-like castle at Butron Castle. Take some photos with cloaks and swords and feel like a Lord or a Lady of Winterfell. Next, continue the tour with a visit to the Dragonstone Fortress at San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Bermeo. Climb up 241 steps just like Daenerys and feel like a true Khaleesi. Take a lunch break in Bermeo where you can enjoy pintxos, tapas, and a local white wine called txakoli. Finally, make the last stop at Dragonstone beach where Daenerys first walked when she finally came back home. Filmed at Itzurun Beach in Zumaia, this 60million-year-old beach was the perfect choice to set Dragonstone.

Bilbao: 3-Hour Guided Highlights Small Group Bike Tour

8. Bilbao: 3-Hour Guided Highlights Small Group Bike Tour

Explore Bilbao by bike like a local on a guided tour past all the city’s main sights like the magnificent Guggenheim Museum. Uncover the history of this fascinating city and learn about its stunning old and new attractions. Departing from the central Calle de Villarias, follow your guide along bike lanes and pedestrianized streets to avoid the busy traffic. Follow the course of the river to learn why it was essential to the development of the city. Peddle by contemporary and historic sites and stop at the dramatic Guggenheim Museum, which opened on the banks of the Nervión River and was designed by the architect Frank Gehry in the 1990s.  Marvel at the Euskalduna Conference Centre, built on the site of the old shipyards, and see the new San Mamés football stadium. Explore historic Bilbao at sites such as the Neo-baroque Teatro Arriaga.  Cycle down the narrow streets and through the wide plazas of the Casco Viejo (Old Town), and discover the site of the old city walls by the San Antón Bridge, linking Bilbao La Vieja and Casco Viejo.

Bilbao Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

9. Bilbao Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

Explore Bilbao with a friendly local who is passionate about the city and eager to share all the tips and tricks that will help you make your visit even more enjoyable. Choose a 2, 3 or 4-hour duration for this customized tour. Meet your guide where you're staying so that you can start out getting familiar with the neighborhood. The local guide can provide loads of useful information about the easiest way to get around, the top things to see and do and the best places to eat and buy groceries. By the end of the tour, you'll feel more comfortable navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to make the most of your time in Bilbao.

Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Private Guided Visit

10. Bilbao: Guggenheim Museum Private Guided Visit

Enjoy a guided tour of the world-famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Discover the temporary and permanent exhibitions in the museum during your 1.5 hour tour. Admire the work of artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Eduardo Chillida, Yves Klein, Jeff Koons, and Fujiko Nakaya. Be greeted by a local guide at the entrance to the museum which is surrounded by promenades, parks, and recently-built squares. Since opening in 1997, the museum's acquisitions have focused on works from the mid-twentieth century to the present day. Uncover the main attractions is the ArcelorMittal gallery, which is a large space where eight works by sculptor Richard Serra are permanently displayed. Of the 24,000 square meters occupied by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, 11,000 are reserved for exhibition spaces. Stroll through the architectural heart of the museum which is comprised of 20 galleries that make up the museum. Enter the atrium, a large open space of curved volumes, surrounded by large glass curtain walls and crowned by a large skylight. 

Frequently asked questions about Bilbao

What top attractions are a must-see in Bilbao?

The must-see attractions in Bilbao are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Bilbao?

The best day trips and excursions from Bilbao are:

San Sebastián

Other Sightseeing Options in Bilbao

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What people are saying about Bilbao

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,604 reviews

Our guide (name?) was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. We engaged in stimulating conversation about the various pieces of art and the wonderful building. We knew very little about contemporary and pop art but came away with considerable knowledge and appreciation.

Gara was an excellent tour guide. She was very engaging and knowledgeable. She also gave us recommendations for other things to do around the city. I would highly recommend.

Great day out. Beautiful views, plenty to see throughout the day. Great to have the tour in English and Spanish. Would recommend.

Very interesting and enriching tour about culture and street art.

Javier was terrific, the tour experience was lovely.