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Bilbao

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About Bilbao

The largest city in the Basque Country, Bilbao has long been a busy industrial port. Set on two sides of the Nervión River Estuary, it has emerged as a cultural powerhouse in recent decades — in no small part due to the opening of the magnificent Museo Guggenheim. Accommodation options are wide-ranging, with the best places to stay in Bilbao reflecting the city’s arts boom through innovative design and impressive creative collections of their own.

Perched on the river’s right bank, Bilabo’s Old Town is a maze of winding streets studded with imposing landmarks. Take a walking tour to see the Catedral de Santiago, the Txabarri Jauregia and the Museum of Fine Arts. Close to the river is the iconic Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum. A striking glass and titanium structure, it’s a must-visit — as is the surrounding arts district, with its fabulous programme of events and installations. For a sense of old Bilbao, venture to the hilltop Basilica de Begona, which also promises spectacular city views.

The Alhóndiga Bilbao Cultural and Leisure Centre, converted from a wine cellar by French architect Philippe Starck is fabulous for travellers of all ages, who will also appreciate Bilbao’s profusion of leafy parks. Pick a perch for a spot of people-watching in Plaza Nueva, or head across to coastal Getxo to discover the port, sandy beaches and seafood eateries aplenty. Come evening, Bilbao is a foodie paradise. Feast on fresh produce at the Mercado de La Ribera, join the locals at the city’s many pintxos bars, or tuck into terrific fare at one of the best places to stay in Bilbao.

The Best Places to Stay in Bilbao

For Contemporary Cool

  • Miro Hotel, just opposite the Guggenheim Museum and set close to the river, boasts sleek designer suites with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a monochrome colour palette and pops of warm red. Pick this place for fabulous views, slick contemporary style and easy access to Bilbao's famed arts hub.
  • Gran Hotel Domine, also near to the magnificent Guggenheim Museum, is an upmarket urban retreat, with seriously cool rooms reflecting different design eras — from Bauhaus to '90s minimalism. Think rooms bedecked decorated pale greys, with crisp white linens and marble bathrooms, and an impressive art collection in communal areas. A five-star hotel with terrific cuisine, a lively buzz and a rejuvenating spa.

For Traditional Style

  • Hotel Carlton's imposing façade reflects Bilbao's rich heritage. Interiors are elegant and traditional, though recent updates offer travellers all the mod-cons for a 21st Century city stay. Expect extensive events spaces for conferences or opulent city weddings.

For a Waterfront Stay

  • Hotel Embarcadero overlooks the port in Getxo, just a short underground ride from central Bilbao. A short walk from Ereaga Beach, this modern spot boasts waterfront rooms with private balconies, a smart restaurant, and easy access to a number of superb seafood eateries. For those seeking a balance between Bilbao and the coast.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR HOLIDAY VILLA

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

  • Fly into Bilbao Airport and continue into the city centre by shuttle bus or taxi. Many hotels will be happy to arrange an airport pick up in advance.
  • The Basque Country is wonderful for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Expect warm and sunny summers, with temperatures averaging at around 20°C - 24°C between June and August. Do be aware that this is peak holiday season for travellers from Spain & further afield. For fewer crowds and great hotel deals, travel in April, May or late September.

STILL NOT SURE?

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Best Hotels in Bilbao

  • Hotel Carlton Bilbao 142 rooms from £86

    Value chic  -  For a five star hotel it offers great value. Doubles can be had for as little as €99 per night.
    Local exploring  -  A luxurious base from which to explore both Bilbao and the surrounding area.
    City Style  -  A luxury five star stay in the centre of Bilbao.
    Restaurant  -  Fine dining in the Carlton Restaurant featuring both Basque and International cuisine
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller

    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. See More

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  • Miro Hotel Bilbao 50 rooms from £104

    Sights nearby  -  5 minutes walk from the historic city centre and literally across the road from the Guggenheim
    City Style  -  A supremely stylish stay in the heart of buzzing Bilbao
    Views  -  Great views over Frank Gehry's masterpiece
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningSpaViews
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, CN Traveller, Tablet

    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. See More

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  • Hotel Embarcadero Getxo, Basque Country, Spain 27 rooms from £123

    Local exploring  -  A great base for exploring both Bilbao and the wider Basque Region.
    Riverside  -  Beautiful views over the river and towards the sea from the suites
    Sights nearby  -  Just a quick trip on the metro and you're in the centre of Bilbao
    Restaurant  -  Serves an array of traditional Basque cuisine
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyParking

    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. See More

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  • Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao 145 rooms from £143

    City Style  -  A smart contemporary luxurious hotel, ideal for those with an eye for design.
    Restaurant  -  Le Café offers artfully crafted “pintxos”, a daily set menu and an a la carte service
    Sights nearby  -  Situated opposite the Guggenheim Museum, right in the heart of Bilbao's Arts Quarter.
    Outstanding location  -  The only five star property located across the road from the Guggenheim
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, CN Traveller

    Sitting right alongside the magnificent Guggenheim Museum, this upmarket urban hotel has one of the best views in Bilbao and is a short walk from the pintxo bars of the old town. Rooms and suites are contemporary with balconies and all the mod cons. Fabulous Basque cuisine. A trendy choice. See More

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