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Best Hotels in Bilbao
Palacio Urgoiti 43 rooms from $98Bilbao
A lovely 17th century palace in the Basque countryside, with stunning views in every direction. Spacious rooms and suites are traditional in style but with all mod cons. Great facilities include pitch & putt, spa, pool and restaurant specialising in Basque cuisine. Close to Bilbao and the beaches.Views - Idyllic views over the surrounding countrysideHistoric - 17th century palace in the Basque countrysideSights nearby - 15 minutes from the centre of Bilbao and all its attractionsSwimming Pool - Heated swimming pool and gym are free for all guestsRecommended by - Tablet
Urune Hotela 8 rooms from $97Bilbao
A gorgeous farmhouse hotel with contemporary chic rooms, wonderful views, and delicious food. Lots of greenery, family suites, and easy access to beaches, the nature reserve, and pretty neighbouring villages. A great value, family friendly spot with lots to do on the doorstep.Value chicViews - Great views from hotelLocal markets - Guernica for Monday markets.Birdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.Recommended by - I Escape, Sawdays
Miro Hotel 50 rooms from $120Bilbao
A fabulous contemporary designer hotel opposite the Guggenheim and close to the river. Sleek modern rooms and enormous suites have all the mod cons and fantastic views. Excellent tapas restaurant, spa, gym, and meeting rooms. A super stylish choice.LuxuryCity StyleSights nearby - 5 minutes walk from the historic city centreLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - I Escape, CN Traveller, Tablet
Etxegana 18 rooms from $135Bilbao (Zeanuri)
Charming country house hotel. Rooms have four poster beds, terracotta floors and antiques. Indoor pool, spa and jacuzzi. Excellent Basque cuisine in the white-linen tablecloth restaurant. Extensive leafy gardens. Pretty, quiet and romantic.Country Escape - Mountain views, forest walks, romantic rustic rooms, horse riding and spa to enjoySights nearby - San Juan chapel and in Artea, the “Eco Museo del Caserío Vasco”Great walks - Hotel located within Gorbeia Nature ParkRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Sawdays
Silken Gran Hotel Domine 145 rooms from $141Bilbao
A quirky Five Star hotel close to the Guggenheim and the river. Each area of the hotel is designed according to era, Bauhaus, the sixties, 90s minimalism. Rooms and suites are contemporary with balconies and all the mod cons, some with gyms. Fabulous Basque cuisine. A trendy choice.5* Luxury - Very high service standards.City StyleQuirky - Each part of the hotel is designed by 20th century era.Views - Great views over the city from the roof terraceRecommended by - Tablet, CN Traveller
Hotel Embarcadero 27 rooms from $148Getxo, Basque Country, Spain
In the heart of the port-town Getxo, this hotel has wondrous views over the bay from many room as its terrace, where you can while away days with traditional Basque food & drink. Only a short underground journey from Bilbao, and short walk from a World Heritage Site: Puente Colgante.Riverside - Beautiful views over the river and towards the sea from the suitesSurfing - Suitable beaches nearby.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.
Castillo de Arteaga 13 rooms from $167Bilbao (Gautegiz de Arteaga)
Hotel in 19th century castle. Gorgeous rooms have stone walls, beamed ceilings, antiques and wall murals. Large gardens and terrace. Superb restaurant serving locally sourced regional dishes, and extensive wine cellar. Romantic, peaceful and luxurious.Hideaway - Surrounded by natural cliffs, valleys and estuaries, this hotel is perfect relaxing spot to return to after the fresh airBirdwatching - Situated within Urdaibai Nature ReserveGreat walks - Near the fishing port in ElantxobeSights nearby - Busturialdea and Lea-ArtibaiRecommended by - Fodors, Relais & Chateaux
Hotel Carlton 142 rooms from $313Bilbao
A grand hotel in central Bilbao. Contemporary classic rooms and suites have seamless furnishings and all the mod cons. Traditional elegant living areas and restaurant. Meeting rooms and a gym. A stylish spot for tourists and business visitors.City StyleSights nearby - Situated bang in the centre of town. 10 minutes from the Guggenheim MuseumLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - CN Traveller
Bilbao has often been described as an 'urban phoenix', a colourful phrase reflecting the city's rise, in blazing colour, from a decaying industrial city in the nineties to the cultural powerhouse it is today. The arrival of the magnificent Museo Guggenheim helped, but this city's appreciation of food, and football, and festivals are what's kept its culture fresh while it's been beavering away industriously. The selection of the best places to stay in Bilbao also reflect its renaissance and some are as hip as the city's art installations.
Bilbao isn't the prettiest of cities, but since the opening of the Guggenheim in 1997 several other architectural treasures have sprung up, including Philippe Starck's converted wine warehouse exhibition centre, giving the whole city a much more dramatic look.
The largest Basque city, Bilbao is a busy port, but it's just inland from the coast, spreading out around the estuary, with the Old Town on the right bank and the newer areas on the left. Its centre is a good size to explore on foot, but if you want to spread your wings further there's an excellent, easy to use, public transport system.
If there's a must-see sight in Bilbao it's the Guggenheim, but that's partly because you can't avoid seeing it! Though depending on the angle you're viewing Ftank Gehry's creation from, it might resemble a boat, a fish or a chimney. Sunlight bounces off its glass and titanium, lighting it's graceful curves and cutting angles like a beacon.
At the other end of the architectural scale is the Basilica de Begona, which sits like Sacre Coeur on a hill, also the Catedral de Santiago, and the neatness of the Parque de Dona Casilda.
Bilbao is a great destination for foodies. In the Basque Country, tapas is called pintxos, and is a slightly more gastronomic affair. Friday and Saturday are the big pintxos nights. If you're here for the food you'll also want to visit the Mercado de La Ribera, which is open in the mornings, and evenings and closed in the afternoons. There's been a food market on this spot since the 14th Century, so the deliciousness has been well honed. This is also a great spot for soaking up local colour.
For visiting the Guggenheim
- If you're here to see the Guggenheim, one of the best places to stay in Bilbao is the Miro Hotel, which is just opposite it, and right by the river. Sleek and modern with plenty of glass, this hotel is more than just a cookie-cutter modern hotel, it's got its own feel to it - as well as having all the mod. cons. you can imagine and fantastic views. It is also great value.
- The Silken Gran Hotel Domine is also close to the Guggenheim, and it lends some of the museum's cache of cool by having its different areas designed according to different artistic eras. So you have the Bauhaus bit, the Sixties section and the 90s minimalist area. Quirky and cool, this is also one of the best places to stay in Bilbao if you're looking for a modern five star hotel.
For traditional grandeur
- If you're looking for a grand old dame of a hotel, the Hotel Carlton is one of the best places to stay in Bilbao. The decor is elegant and quite traditional, but they've also kept abreast of the times and also offer everything a modern business traveller may need.