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How to Spend 3 Days in Bilbao

How to Spend 3 Days in Bilbao

Three days in Bilbao give you plenty of time to get to grips with the city’s art, architecture, and food, and explore the villages and landscapes of the surrounding Basque Country. Here’s how to make the most of 72 hours in Bilbao.

Day 1: Take in the Highlights

If you’re an art lover, make a beeline for the Guggenheim in the morning to beat the crowds. While you can explore the gallery independently, visiting with a private guide allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the contemporary art exhibits inside the Gehry-designed building, as well as surrounding attractions such as Jeff Koons’ Puppy sculpture. Otherwise, starting your day on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus lets you get your bearings and pinpoint places you’d like to visit later in the day.

In the afternoon, visit the Fine Arts Museum or take a walking (or running) tour of the city, which typically include stops at Casco Viejo and Abandoibarra. Meanwhile, food lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to get to grips with Bilbao’s pintxos scene during a food tour that includes a market visit and wine tasting session.

Day 2: Branch into Basque Country

Use your second day to escape the city. If you’re a GOT fan, take a half- or full-day Game of Thrones excursion, most of which stop by Dragonstone aka San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Meanwhile, non-Game of Thrones fans can opt for trips along the Basque Coast: tours sometimes incorporate border crossings into French Basque Country and stop in Getaria.

If you’re a food and wine lover, dedicate day two to exploring La Rioja region on a tour that comes complete with wine tastings and vineyard visits, or venture to San Sebastián to take part in a specialized wine or gastronomic excursion.

Day 3: Relax in Bilbao

On your final day in Bilbao, take it easy with some shopping, strolling, and panoramic views. In the morning, cross the Zubizuri Bridge and ride the Artxanda Funicular to Artxanda Mountain to enjoy sweeping city views. Then, enjoy a spot of shopping along Gran Vía.

Once back in the center, kayak down the Bilbao estuary or take the opportunity to stop by any galleries, museums, or attractions you didn’t manage to squeeze into your first day’s itinerary. To round out the afternoon, swap your kayak for a cruise along the river and get a new perspective on the city before spending your final evening in Bilbao out for dinner. Dishes such as txangurro (spider crab) are typical of the region.

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8 Tours and Activities | All Bilbao Tours

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Essential Rioja Private Wine Tour from Bilbao

Essential Rioja Private Wine Tour from Bilbao

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37
Discover what makes La Rioja Spain's premier winemaking region on this private, customizable wine tour from Bilbao. Visit two top wineries to taste the bold, fruity red blends that put Rioja on the wine lover’s map, and admire the architectural styles of other estates, including one designed by Frank Gehry. Stroll inside the city walls of the medieval Basque town of Laguardia on a guided walking tour, and enjoy the flexibility of a private tour that's tailored to your group’s interests.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$307.58
Price varies by group size
From
$307.58
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Biarritz, Saint Jean De Luz & San Sebastian

Biarritz, Saint Jean De Luz & San Sebastian

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12
See many of the most charming areas of the Basque Coast with this day tour. You’ll start with chic Biarritz, once a summer getaway for European royals, followed by a stop at Saint Jean de Luz, where you can try out local treats. Then it’s San Sebastian, where you’ll have free time to explore or grab lunch into the famous old town, before embarking on a walking tour followed by a visit to Mount Igueldo.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.43
From
$84.43

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum Private Tour

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum Private Tour

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43
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
$120.62
Price varies by group size
From
$120.62
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Cooking Class in Bilbao with Local Charming Village Visit

Cooking Class in Bilbao with Local Charming Village Visit

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23
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
  • Free Cancellation
From
$262.89
From
$262.89

Casco Viejo or 7 streets

Casco Viejo or 7 streets

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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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.37
Price varies by group size
From
$72.37
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Bilbao: Discover Añana Salt Valley and Vitoria

Bilbao: Discover Añana Salt Valley and Vitoria

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Explore the beauty of the Basque Country on this fascinating day tour. You’ll save hours researching highlights and planning transport by having a full itinerary and round-trip transport provided. Highlights include visiting Añana Salt Valley and learning about salt production, and exploring the many highlights of Vitoria, such as the Gothic style Cathedral of Santa Maria.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$585.01
From
$585.01
Taking safety measures

Getaria, Workshop Of Sea Products And San Sebastian

Getaria, Workshop Of Sea Products And San Sebastian

Basque Country encompasses a stunning stretch of coastline in northern Spain. Visitors can spend several days exploring its sun-soaked expanse. On this full-day, guided tour from Bilbao, see more than the typical traveler, and visit two of the region's top spots. Stop at Getaria, a coastal village, and take a mountain hike after a short drive to San Sebastian. End the day with a walking tour through San Sebastian's historic old town, and enjoy some free time to explore.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.43
From
$84.43

Bilbao Classic & Modern by boat

Bilbao Classic & Modern by boat

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4
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.40
Price varies by group size
From
$78.40
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures