Conquering Bilbao in 8 Hours

Conquering Bilbao in 8 Hours

Conquering Bilbao in 8 Hours is doable! Bilbao, the former industrial city of northern Spain has had a modern day renaissance by becoming a great destination for art and food among other things. Naturally a long 8 hour layover with it’s convenient 15 minute bus ride into the city made Bilbao an ideal place to be stuck in transit. It’s not a bad place to be stuck in for a couple hours as exploring the city is super easy. And I don’t know about you but I would rather be in a city than stuck in an airport for 8 hours. 

This guide will show you how I filled my time and how conquering Bilbao in 8 Hours can be easily done.

Table Of Contents

Plan Your Bilbao Visit





Long Layover Tips

This Daytime Airport Layover Ideas guide will show you how I filled my time during my short time here and includes tips you can apply to other cities when you have a longer layover.

Getting Around

Conquering Bilbao in 8 Hours

Airport to Bilbao city center – An economical option is to take the Bilbao airport bus into the city (Termibus) getting off on the first stop. Bus service starts at 6:15 a.m. and runs every 30 minutes until 12 a.m. The 15 minute ride costs €1.45 ($1.78 USD). The Estacion de Abando, located near the Plaza de Espana, is the major train station in Bilbao.

Where I Went

Conquering Bilbao in 8 Hours

Plaza Nueva

This is in the “bario viejo” and is the old part of town where you will discover plenty of pinxtos bars for a snack lunch. 

Dink Cider

Check out a “Cider House”, the highlight of any meal will be the local Basque cider.  


Stroll along the riverbanks. It’s a good way to work off all that food and enjoy the views. Don’t miss seeing some of the awesome street art. Including the piece by Veronica Werckmeister titled “Giltza Bat” aka “A key”. This is is situated across from the Guggenheim museum. 

Museo Guggenheim

Modern art museum housed in Frank Gehry’s architect masterpiece – the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao opened in 1997 and admission is €13.00 ($16 USD) per adult / €7.50 ($9.24 USD) for students and includes an audio device to better inform yourself on the pieces and the architecture itself. 

Outside Of The Museum

  • Louise Bourgeois’ amazing Maman spider sculpture. 
  • Jeff Koons’ giant Flower Puppy Bear near the main entrance of the museum.

Extra Time In Bilbao?

Conquering Bilbao in 8 Hours
  • Head to “El Globo” for delicious pinxtos and glasses of wine for $2 Euros ($2.47 USD). 

  • Visit “Ribera Market, a restored art deco building with stained glass windows and stalls full of seafood and vegtables. Don’t forget to head to their market bar section for a drink of with wine (Rioja Alavesa is the standard here) or sangria which can be enjoyed outside along the river.

  • Get lost in Casco Viejo or Old Town and see the breathtaking mural pieces.

  • There is a big Latin American population in Bilbao and if Colombian cuisine is up your alley, visit “Melao de Cana” for authentic Colombian dishes at very pocket friendly prices.

Conquering Bilbao In 8 Hours Photo Highlights:

Conquering Bilbao In 8 Hours Final Note

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to see in Spain and Bilbao that it would be a shame to only spend 8 hours.

Find my full Spain destination guide that covers 13 visit-worthy cities HERE.

My Complete Spain Country Guide includes these top cities in Spain:

  • Barcelona
  • Madrid
  • Pamplona
  • And so many more cities in Spain

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