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Best Things To Do and See in Bilbao in 1 Day

Bilbao, Spain is the largest city in Basque Country. This 14th century city has many rich examples of architecture ranging from classical styles to modern contemporary works. No visit to Bilbao is complete without visiting the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao or seeing the Athletic Club de Bilbao play. Fully experience Bilbao with our 10km walking travel guide.

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Things to do and see in Bilbao walking map:

How to Spend 24 Hours in Bilbao: Top Attractions in Bilbao

San Mamés Stadium

San Mamés Stadium
We arrived to Bilbao via bus from Madrid. Our first stop was the Atletico de Bilbao’s San Mamés Stadium. We only saw it from the outside, but is 100 percent worth it for the picture alone. We started walking down Gran Vía Don Diego, heading across the city. We saw the Estatua del Sagrado Corazon monument in the Sacred Heart Plaza.

Plaza de Moyua

Plaza Bilbao

Then we walked from Casa de Sota until Plaza de Moyua. In the plaza there is a beautiful fountain and garden. It is also the center of the commercial district with many stores in the surrounding blocks.

Biscay Foral Delegation Palace

The next thing we saw was the Palacio de la Diputación Foral de Vizcaya. This eclectic palace is home to the executive branch of the province’s government and makes for a beautiful photo. Then we went to the Circular Plaza, with a statue of Diego López V de Haro at its center.

Santander Station

Santander Station

Before we crossed the Bilbao River we took a small break and enjoy the Santander Station. It has a great architecture style and beautiful facade. Looking across the Bilbao River there was a great view of the Arriaga Theater.

Casco Viejo de Bilbao

Casco Viejo de Bilbao

We walked to the medieval district of Bilbao called “Casco Viejo.” Walking along the lively, yet historical street, we passed endless shops, taverns and several historical churches including the Santiago Cathedral. We left the Casco Viejo district at the Mercado de la Ribera, the largest covered market in Europe, with fresh fish, produce and more.

Santiago Cathedral

This beautiful 13th century church has an ornate facade that is not to be missed and the interior is just as grand. Make sure to step inside if you have the chance, as the cathedral is open Monday to Saturday from 11AM to 1PM and from 5PM to 7:30PM and on Sundays from 11AM to 24PM.

Basilica of Begoña

Then we walked up the steep hill along Mallona Galtzada to see the Basilica of Begoña. You get a great view of the city while walking up the hill as well. You can also take a break at the top of the hill, in the Etxebarria Park where you can enjoy a picnic.

Plaza Nueva de Bilbao

Plaza Nueva de Bilbao
Walking back down the hill we head to the Plaza Nueva, which is full of cafes and on Sundays they host a small flea market. It is a great place to enjoy the Spaniard lifestyle, tapas and sangria!

Nervión River

Nervión River
We walked along the Nervión river and enjoyed the several beautiful bridges while we saw people paddling and canoeing along the river. There is also a nice flower market if you are looking to surprise that special someone.

Teatro Arriaga

Teatro Arriaga

San Nicolas Church

San Nicolas Church

Bilbao Guggenheim Museum

Bilbao Guggenheim Museum

Saving the best for last, we walked up and across the bridge Principe de España which gives you the best view of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. We walked south through the av. Abando Ibarra on the other side of the museum to a massive park with lot of sculptures and areas to relax and kids to play. In the summer they have a kids fountain where kids, young and old, can cool off.

The Bilbao Guggenheim Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10AM to 8PM and tickets cost €16 for adults.

Doña Casilda Iturrizar park

Continuing on we walked around the Doña Casilda Iturrizar park with a beautiful duck pond in the middle. At the far end of the park is the Palacio de Congreso y de la Música building, which has a full schedule of events and concerts you can chose to attend.

Azkuna Zentroa

Azkuna Zentroa was once the wine warehouse of the city but it now serves as multiuse space with exhibitions, concerts, conferences, children’s workshops, sports activities, a reading area, cafes, restaurants, shops and a massive terrace. Its most notable feature is a swimming pool with a transparent floor, which can be admired from below!

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