Bilbao Architecture

Our most recommended Bilbao Architecture

From Bilbao: Gaztelugatxe and Gernika Tour

1. 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: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

2. From Bilbao: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

See villages trapped in between mountains like the villages of Durango, Eibar and Elgoibar! Arrive at the core of the province, and after the industrial village of Azkoitia, you will arrive at your first stop, the Sanctuary of Loyola, hometown of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. Here you will visit the Basilica and the tower house where he was born and lived. Depending on the time, you may wish to attend a ceremony. Next you follow the route towards the coast on the north, passing through Azpeitia. You will also pass through Zestoa, a famous natural spa village with healing waters that attracted the royalty of Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Later you will arrive to the coast at Zumaia, a beautiful village very much appreciated by Basque summer tourists. Following the coastal road you will arrive at your next stop, Getaria. A unique medieval fishing village and hometown of famous figures like captain Juan Sebastian Elcano (the first man to travel around the world by sea), and Cristobal Balenciaga, the famous designer. Then you will pass by Zarauz, a beautiful tourist spot with the largest beach in the province of Gipuzkoa. You will arrive finally to San Sebastian (or Donostia) where you will do a panoramic tour of the city. After lunch, you will do a walking tour into the old quarter visiting the most interesting streets and locations before returning to Bilbao in the evening. Follow the highway towards the east, into the province of Gipuzkoa. On the way to the Sanctuary of Loyola, you will be able to admire the areas of inner Basque Country, combined with rural valleys and industrial

Bilbao: Santiago Cathedral and Old City Walking Tour

3. Bilbao: Santiago Cathedral and Old City Walking Tour

Begin the tour through Bilbao by meeting in the Plaza de Santiago, right in front of Santiago Cathedral. Follow your guide and explore the interior of this local landmark, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy sacred works of art and walk through chapels including Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, Nuestra Señora del Rosario, and San Diego de Alcalá. After leaving the cathedral, continue your tour in the Old Town of Bilbao. Wander through the famous seven streets towards a neighborhood on the banks of the river estuary. Modern shops mix with traditional taverns as you arrive at the Mercado de la Ribera. There, browse traditional products and Basque cuisine before visiting the church of San Antón. Stroll towards Plaza Nueva and gaze upon the Roman neoclassical architecture that surrounds you. Leave through one of the arches of the square towards Plaza Unamuno and you’ll be greeted by a statue of the famous writer Miguel de Unamuno. Learn more about Unamuno’s role in Basque culture, then keep going through the Old Town until you arrive at Paseo del Arenal. At your last stop, take in the sights of the Arriaga Theatre and the Church of San Nicolás.

From Bilbao: Mountains and Sea Full-Day Tour

4. From Bilbao: Mountains and Sea Full-Day Tour

Depart Bilbao and head for Vitoria-Gasteiz to explore the capital city of the Basque Country. Take a guided walking tour through the center to see the cathedral, parliament and historical monuments of Plaza de la Virgen Blanca. Discover a medieval quarter in Plaza del Machete and admire the Church of San Miguel. Go to the Salinas de Añana salt flats and learn the history of the landscape. Continue to Orduña village and enjoy lunch at a typical restaurant in the medieval village of Balmaseda. Venture through the Ayala Valley and the mining area of ​​Bizkaia (Biscay) to reach the coast at Santurtzi and Portugalete, where you will cross the Vizcaya Bridge to Getxo.

From Bilbao: Olite Palace and Pamplona Guided Tour

5. From Bilbao: Olite Palace and Pamplona Guided Tour

Feel like you're stepping back in time as you take in the medieval vibe of Olite Castle. Wander narrow old streets and immerse yourself in the history of Navarre on this exciting guided tour. The modern world will melt away as you tour Olite Castle and its village. Take a deep dive into local history while enjoying scenic views of the local vineyards from the palace walls. Enjoy a lunch of local food and wine before heading off for Pamplona; famous for its running of the bulls. Chart the path of the bull-run as you wander the quaint old town and check out the medieval city walls.

Bilbao: Historical and Architectural Walking Tour

6. Bilbao: Historical and Architectural Walking Tour

At the beginning of the 19th century, a new modern and bright city was designed. The bourgeoisie wanted to follow the models of Paris and London in their efforts to transform the city. This is how Bilbao was created, or more specifically, the first "Ensanche", the first growth zone on the other side of the river at the moment when the city was involved in industrialization at the end of the Nineteenth Century. Don Diego Lopez de Haro, Lord of Bizkaia, founded the town in 1300. Now, the business center of this city is in Circular Square. The lime trees give shade and perfume to the Gran Vía, inviting you to walk, look at shops, and admire the facades. The tour includes: the inner beach of Bilbao, the statue of the founder of the town, the train station with its representation of the history of Bilbao, gardens, the most important banks of the city, the Chavarri Palace, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, the interior of the Bilbao metro, and a building known as the Alhóndiga. This is a walking tour for a small group and, at the end of the tour, you go for pintxos (pintxo-pot included in the tour).

From Bilbao: Villages of Cantabria Private Tour with Lunch

7. From Bilbao: Villages of Cantabria Private Tour with Lunch

Visit Santillana del Mar, one of Spain's most beautiful villages, and stroll through this medieval gem with your private guide. Snap pictures of the cobblestone streets and charming balconies while your guide points out sites like the Colegiata de Santa Juliana and the Towers of Merino and Don Borja. After a morning admiring beautiful stone buildings and ancient palaces, take a break to sample some sobaos pasiegos (a Cantabrian-style sweet bread), a local specialty made with fresh, just boiled milk. Next, travel to the historic city of Comillas, home to "El Capricho," designed by the renowned Antonio Gaudí. This structure was intended as a green house, with each room being used at a different time depending on the sun's location. Known as Indianos, these structures were built for families who had acquired large riches in the Americas and wanted to display their wealth when they returned home. Stroll through this fishing village and stop for a glass of wine and a pintxo (tapas served in the North of Spain) in the picturesque main square. Of course, a visit to Cantabria wouldn't be complete without trying el Cocido Montañes. Visit a traditional eatery and try this stew made of chorizo, panceta, ribs, morcilla (blood sausage) and beans. The tour concludes with a visit to Castro Urdiales, a fishing village on the border of Cantabria and the Basque Country. Learn about its long history that stretches from the Paleolithic period to the Celtic and Roman eras and wander through its castle, 13th-century church, and harbor, uncovering the its hidden gems.

From Bilbao: Elorrio, Oñati, and Sanctuary of Arantzazu Tour

8. From Bilbao: Elorrio, Oñati, and Sanctuary of Arantzazu Tour

Discover the heart of the Basque Country - rural villages, palaces, historical buildings and a breathtaking landscape. Old Basque family palaces, the oldest university of the Basque Country and the Sanctuary of Arantzazu are among some of the sights that are yet to be discovered. After being picked up at your hotel you will begin the tour along the road towards the center of the province of Biscay. You will be able to see a beautiful landscape full of mountains and the industrialized area of Durango. Later you will arrive at the traditional village of Elorrio. With the largest collection of family crests in the Basque Country, this small village holds the real essence of rural life. You can stroll through the small streets to the traditional palaces and the magnificent church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion. Afterwards you will head towards the village of Oinati. Here you will be able to visit the oldest University of the Basque Country, the University of the Sancti Spiritu, and see the medieval tower houses, the beautiful town hall, Fueros square and more. You will then continue towards the Sanctuary of Arantzazu. Located on top of a nearby mountain, it is a unique building designed by famous local architects and sculptors. With breathtaking surroundings it is a place full of history. At the end of the visit you will return back to your hotel.

From Bilbao: Day Trip to San Sebastián with Guided Tour

9. From Bilbao: Day Trip to San Sebastián with Guided Tour

Discover the town of San Sebastián on this full-day trip from Bilbao. Ride in a comfortable car, van, or bus that suits the size of your private group. Uncover why this area attracted the European high-class tourism during the Belle Epoque period on a guided tour. Enjoy being picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in the city of Bilbao. Kick back and relax on the scenic drive through the countryside on the way to San Sebastian in Basque Country. Meet your guide and begin your tour of the town. Capture pictures of the smooth curve of the bay of La Concha and of the island of Santa Clara. See Ondarreta beach which is located next to the Peine del Viento sculptural ensemble. View the modernist architectural development. Make your way to the city center to see the Gothic Revival architecture of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and appreciate the Eclecticism of City Hall. Travel through the Old Town to see the  baroque Roman Catholic parish of Santa Maria and the San Telmo Museum. Have the chance to savor local flavors with access to the bars in the Old Town where you can purchase some pintxos (small dishes) before heading back to your accommodation in Bilbao.

From Bilbao: Basque Country 3 Cities 6-Day Coach Tour

10. From Bilbao: Basque Country 3 Cities 6-Day Coach Tour

See the highlights of the Basque Country on a tour of the cities of Bilbao, Vitoria and San Sebastian. Benefit from guided panoramic tours and walking tours to get a complete picture of each destination. Journey through an amazing landscape of dramatic sea views, typical fishing villages and vast forests of oak trees. Day 1: Bilbao Benefit from pick-up and transfer to your hotel to get a full tour program about the Basque Country. Day 2: Bilbao - San Sebastian Depart Bilbao and journey through the mountains towards San Sebastian. See the old tower houses of Azkoitia and visit the shrine at the Sanctuary of Loyola before making your way to the coastal town of Zumaia. Get magnificent views of the Bay of Biscay and stop in the medieval fishing village of Getaria. Continue to San Sebastian via the resort town of Zarautz. Take a panoramic bus tour of San Sebastian and see highlights such as Kursaal Palace on arrival. Enjoy some free time for lunch before taking a walking tour of the Old Town, and stroll past typical pintxo bars and the 18th-century Basilica of Santa Maria de Coro. Get tips on what to do with the rest of the evening and the following day at leisure. Day 3: San Sebastian Enjoy a free day to explore San Sebastian at your own pace. Day 4: San Sebastian - Rioja - Vitoria Take the highway towards Vitoria, passing the old town of Tolosa. Arrive at the village of Ordizia and go for a stroll before going to Oñati and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu. Visit the former salt mining town of Salinas de Leniz, and then enter the wine producing area of Rioja Alavesa. Admire typical villages such as Labastida and Laguardia, where you will get some free time to explore the town and enjoy lunch independently. Continue to Vitoria for a panoramic tour of the capital of the Basque Country. Marvel at monuments such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria and Casco Viejo, and avail of free entry to the Artium Museum of Contemporary Art. Day 5: Vitoria - Bilbao Journey through the rural landscape of Alava en route to Salinas de Añana, where you will learn about the historic salt mining industry. Continue to the village of Orduña, surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra Salvada, and take a guided walking tour of the town. Get back to nature in Ayala and discover vast forests of oak trees. Stop for lunch in Balmaseda, and then go to the coastal town of Santurtzi, known for its seafaring traditions. Continue to Portugalete to cross the transporter bridge to Getxo, where you can go for a walk along the seafront and get a magnificent view of the Bay of Biscay. Continue to Bilbao and take a panoramic tour on arrival. Day 6: Bilbao Explore Bilbao at your own pace with a day at leisure. Get useful information from your guide to help you plan your day. Enjoy some free time in the city before your transfer to the airport.

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Frequently asked questions about Bilbao

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San Sebastián

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What people are saying about Bilbao

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 54 reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed the climb to the church at Gaztelugatxe. our tour guide, Stefan, provided lots of intetedting insights about the places we visited and the Basque country and culture. it was an excellent trip.

Excellent excursion program. Everything is done clearly and punctually. The guide Stefan perfectly organized the trip. Many thanks for a wonderful day.

The visit with Anne has been fantastic. You learn a lot about the city and understand better what the Old Town represents.

This tour is an excellent combination of exercise in nature (climb to Gazlelugataxe) and history (Gernika).

Stefan is a great tour guide! Timing and the tour itself was perfect! Highly recommended :)