Planning your Basque getaway and wondering where to stay in Bilbao? The city is jammed with several cool areas and neighborhoods for your travel adventure. Dive into the city’s charm with a stay in the atmospheric Old Town, Casco Viejo, where narrow streets hide pintxos gems. Opt for the modern vibes of the Abando district for easy access to hotspots like the Guggenheim. From boutique hotels with river views to funky hostels near buzzing markets, dig into Bilbao’s accommodations scene with this complete guide!
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✓ Best area to stay in Bilbao for cultural attractions
If you want to stay right in the heart of Bilbao, make your base the charming Casco Viejo. Set on the right bank of the Nervión River, this historic district exudes a magnetic charm with its narrow alleys, historic squares, and vibrant atmosphere.
Casco Viejo, also known as the Seven Streets (Siete Calles) and Old Town, dates back to the 14th century. Labyrinthine streets wind through centuries-old buildings adorned with colorful façades with traditional pintxos bars around every corner. If you’ve only got a short Bilbao itinerary, this is likely where you’ll spend most of your trip.
As the sun sets, the district becomes a vibrant social activity hub. Locals spill out onto the streets, creating a lively ambiance.
You’ll find various accommodation options in Casco Viejo, from boutique hotels with historical charm to cozy guesthouses. Evenings can be pretty noisy here with everyone out and about, so keep this in mind when booking your hotel.
INSIDER TIP: If you don’t mind the action, book a room with a balcony overlooking the animated streets; the nightly symphony of local life is an experience in itself!
Located next to Areatzako Bridge, the NYX Hotel by Leonardo Hotels is a good base if you want to explore Casco Viejo on foot. Modern and chic, the hotel has stylish rooms, a rooftop terrace with panoramic city views, and a fitness center if you want to stay fit. The beautiful Bilbao Cathedral is a short walk away. Head to the rooftop at sunset for yoga sessions with a view.
Enjoy a blend of modern luxury and Basque charm at the Bilder Boutique Hotel. Boasting panoramic views of the Guggenheim Museum, this upscale gem offers stylish rooms, a rooftop terrace, and a gourmet restaurant. A short walk will take you to Bilbao’s iconic attractions, including the Old Town and La Ribera Market.
Overlooking the Estuary of Bilbao, the elegant Hotel Takyo Bilbao offers sleek, industrial-chic rooms with furnished balconies, modern amenities, and free Wi-Fi. Book a suite for a spacious living area and estuary views. The Arriaga tram station is a short walk from the hotel, offering a convenient way of exploring the city.
✓ Best neighborhood to stay in Bilbao for avant-garde architecture and green parks
Flanked by the Nervión River and the Zubizuri pedestrian bridge, Abandoibarra is a former industrial area now home to parks, walking trails, ponds, and the prestigious Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Situated on the left bank of the river, Abandoibarra is a great place to stay if you want a laid-back atmosphere.
Abandoibarra is centered around the shimmering Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. This breathtaking masterpiece by Frank Gehry has become an iconic city symbol and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bilbao. Abandoibarra Park offers tranquil green spaces and kid’s playgrounds when you need a break.
Accommodations range from sleek, high-end hotels with swimming pools and river views to stylish apartments and guest houses. You’ll also find several budget hotels, so staying in this central location doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to do it.
Named for the famous artist, Hotel Miró is a design-focused boutique hotel with sleek, modern rooms and top-notch amenities. For a luxurious treat, book the penthouse suite and enjoy a complimentary spa session. There is also a spa area with a hot tub, steam room, fitness center, and on-site library. You’re a short walk from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Moyua metro stop.
This is the place to stay for unrivaled views of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Designed by Javier Mariscal, this stylish hotel boasts sleek, air-conditioned rooms and private bathrooms. Enjoy breakfast on the rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city. Unwind in a traditional Turkish bath and sauna.
Overlooking the Estuary of Bilbao, Vincci Consulado de Bilbao is all style and sophistication. Expect polished rooms with upscale amenities, minibars, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Sip sundowners on the terrace with views of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and dine in the hotel’s chic restaurant. A relaxing stroll along the estuary will take you to the area’s main attractions.
✓ Recommended area in Bilbao for nightlife
Bustling by day and buzzing by night, the riverside district of Indautxu is a cultural and entertainment hotspot. You’ll find cutting-edge galleries and museums like the Museum of Fine Arts and trendy exhibition space Azkuna Zentroa. Crowds flock to Palacio Euskalduna for live rock and classical music gigs, and stylish nightclubs throb with beats all night.
Once a residential area, Indautxu has transformed into a dynamic hub, offering a mix of historic charm and contemporary flair. Stroll along Gran Vía, the main artery of this district, where elegant buildings from the 19th century stand shoulder to shoulder with modern boutiques and cafés. Waterfront parks offer a tranquil escape from the busy streets.
Accommodations here range from boutique hotels with character to stylish apartments, providing a comfortable and well-connected base for exploration. Remember that Indautxu is renowned for its nightlife, so if you want undisturbed early nights, pack a pair of earplugs!
The Casilda Iturrizar Park is a short stroll from the Catalonia Gran Vía Bilbao and a 10-minute walk to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Relax in modern rooms with all the mod-cons – think Nespresso machines, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. Laze in the sun by the rooftop pools and pamper yourself in the spa. A sleek bar and restaurants offer casual and convenient dining.
Live in the lap of luxury at the Hotel Meliá Bilbao. This gorgeous hotel has everything from indoor/outdoor pools and a sauna to a top-notch tapas bar and award-winning Basque restaurant. Contemporary rooms with terraces feature upscale amenities, and an airport shuttle service is available. The Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao and Teatro Arriaga opera house are a few minutes’ walk away.
Surrounded by the shops and restaurants of Indautxu, Hotel Ercilla de Bilbao, Autograph Collection is an ideal base for your Bilbao adventures. Enjoy minibars, rainfall showers, and free Wi-Fi in standard rooms, or upgrade to a suite for a terrace with a view. Unwind with in-room spa treatments and start your night with cocktails in the hotel bar.
✓ Recommended place to stay in Bilbao for sightseeing
Centered around Plaza Moyua, Abando (Downtown Bilbao) is an excellent option for a central location with easy access to Bilbao’s top tourist attractions and shopping. Plaza Moyua and Gran Via El Corte are retail havens with designer boutiques, trendy stores, and brand houses.
The world-famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the magnificent Santiago Cathedral call this district home, along with some of Bilbao’s best bars and restaurants. Wander through the riverside Eingelesen Landako Park, where beautifully manicured lawns call for a picnic. Bilbao’s tallest skyscraper, the towering glass Torre Iberdrola, stands as a famous symbol of the skyline.
The backstreets of Abando are chock full of bars, cafés, and fancy restaurants with something for everyone. Accommodation-wise, you’ll find a range of hotels from budget to some of the best five-star hotels in Bilbao.
This is a fantastic place to stay if you’re on a budget! Set within a historic building on Plaza Biribila, this relaxed hostel offers mixed-gender and female-only dorms with privacy curtains and shared bathrooms. Private rooms have en-suite bathrooms and balconies. Cook your own meals in a communal kitchen and meet new fellow travelers in the lively hostel bar.
Head to the Hotel Mercure Jardines de Albia for a comfortable mid-range hotel. A short walk from the Nervión River, this relaxed hotel has basic rooms with modern amenities and Wi-Fi access. Tuck into a hearty buffet breakfast before you head out. Unwind after exploring at the hotel or soaking in the hot tub.
Oozing style and sophistication, the luxurious five-star Radisson Collection Bilbao is a treat! Expect exceptional experiences and services here, from stylishly designed rooms and suites with upscale amenities to Michelin-star dining. For the ultimate in luxury, book the unrivaled Presidential Suite and unwind in your hot tub on the private terrace.
✓ Recommended neighborhood for an authentic experience
Looking for a quieter, more authentic Bilbao experience? Check out the old working-class neighborhood of Castaños. This pretty riverside district is Bilbao without the thrills, exuding a unique blend of local character and a relaxed ambiance.
While not as busy as some of the more central districts, Castaños offers a quieter retreat without sacrificing proximity to key attractions. The area is dotted with traditional Basque houses and small local businesses, creating an intimate and residential feel. It’s also the departure point of the historic funicular to Monte Artxanda for some of the best views in the city.
You’ll find a range of places to stay, from cozy guesthouses to boutique hotels, each offering a glimpse into the local way of living. Neighborhood cafés, family-run shops, and authentic pintxos bars where you can drink with the locals create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Overlooking the Nervión River, Barceló Bilbao Nervión offers comfortable, air-conditioned rooms with minibars, satellite TV, and free Wi-Fi. Rent a bicycle or a car from the 24-hour reception for exploring the city. The B-Lounge serves snacks and drinks if you feel peckish in the wee hours. A short walk will take you to Bilbao’s charming old town.
A comfortable mid-range hotel overlooking the Nervión River, Hesperia Bilbao, is ideal if you want a good deal on accommodation. Enjoy minibars, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi in your room, and kick back to live music in the hotel bar. Book a suite for a whirlpool tub and a rooftop terrace with city views.
Want a home-away-from-home stay in the heart of Bilbao? Bilbao City Center by abba Suites is your best bet. Located right opposite the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, this family-friendly hotel offers air-conditioned suites with fully-equipped kitchens and living areas with satellite flat-screen TVs. A shed lounge is a perfect place to meet fellow travelers.