As the largest city in Spain’s Basque Country, there’s plenty to do in Bilbao for a fun-filled vacation. From wandering the Seven Streets to exploring every corner of the famed Guggenheim, you’ll love discovering all that Bilbao has to offer.
That being said, the key to a great vacation is an unbeatable place to stay. Luckily, there are plenty of places to stay in Bilbao, ranging from budget hostels filled with other travelers to soaring luxury hotels with spa treatments and incredible views.
Keep reading to find out where to stay in Bilbao, complete with a neighborhood guide!
- 1 Where to Stay in Bilbao, Spain: Neighborhood Guide
- 2 What’s the Best Area to Stay in Bilbao, Spain?
- 3 Where to Stay in Bilbao, Spain: Best Hotels and Hostels
- 3.1 Best Budget Stays in Bilbao
- 3.2 Best Mid-Range Hotels in Bilbao
- 3.3 Best Luxury Hotels in Bilbao
Where to Stay in Bilbao, Spain: Neighborhood Guide
Bilbao has several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own individual identity and unique characteristics. However, one thing they all have in common are awesome places to eat, plenty of streets to wander around, and a plethora of accommodation options.
As Bilbao’s Old Town, you can’t go wrong with a stay in the historic center. It’s central to many of Bilbao’s main attractions, filled with incredible architecture and is positively brimming with delicious places to eat (and drink).
The center of Casco Viejo is Plaza Nueva, the city’s main square that is ideal for sipping on an espresso, people watching, and soaking in the warm Spanish sunshine. Also in Casco Viejo is Bilbao’s most famous market: Mercado de la Ribera, which is also Europe’s largest indoor market!
There are loads of places to stay in Casco Viejo, from high-end hotels to budget hostels. Prices tend to be a bit expensive, but it’s worth paying for if you’d like to be in the heart of the oldest part of the city.
In terms of where all the action’s at, Abandoibarra is the place to be. The entire area is surrounded by large boulevards lined with shops, stunning architecture, and the famous Guggenheim Museum. In this area, there are also some beautiful parks, perfect for a relaxing afternoon outside, and a whole lot of fancy restaurants where you can enjoy a leisurely meal.
The best part about Abandoibarra is how easy it is to get around. It’s a well-connected neighborhood that will allow you to get anywhere you wish to go in Bilbao.
Accommodation in Abandoibarra is definitely pricey as it’s a more upscale neighborhood in the city. This is the place to look for luxury hotels — especially if you’re pining for a view of Frank Gehry’s masterpiece!
Indautxu is the place to be when the sun goes down. This neighborhood is famous for its wild nightlife — a mix of local taverns and boisterous nightclubs. The area comes alive at night with people filling the streets, laughing and carrying on with their drinks.
Most of the bars and clubs are around the Garcia Rivero area, but there’s also plenty to do in Indautxu besides going out.
The main draw of Indautxu (during daytime, at least) is the Azkuna Zentroa building. This center is a hub of activity both on the local and tourist side. There are often cool exhibits held in the space, sporting events, and a swimming pool for public use!
You’ll find a wide range of places to stay in this neighborhood, mostly geared towards a younger crowd.
Bilbao La Vieja
A charming neighborhood well-loved by hipsters and young couples, Bilbao La Vieja (aka Bilbi) has lots of fun spots to explore and is well-located in terms of getting around the rest of the city.
Just across the river from Casco Viejo, Bilbao La Vieja is definitely the most “artsy” area of the city. Here’s where you can find cute boutiques, unique restaurants, and chill bars. There are tons of cafes for enjoying a morning coffee and plenty of street art that’s waiting to be discovered around every turn.
For a date night or fun evening out, hit one of the many rooftop bars or sip a sangria on a riverside terrace. Anyone is sure to love this laid-back neighborhood!
There are lots of places to stay in Bilbao La Vieja, many catering to a younger crowd, couples, and families. You’ll find cool boutique hotels, interesting hostels, and luxurious stays for anyone looking to splurge on accommodation.
For everything budget, Deusto is the number one pick in Bilbao. Set a little further outside of the city center, across the river from Abandoibarra, Deusto is home to one of the largest universities in Bilbao.
Since it’s practically student central, prices in this neighborhood tend to be lower for everything from food to accommodation.
Set along the water, this neighborhood is a charming place to stay, especially for strolling along the river and picnicking. In Deusto, you’ll also come across plenty of vintage shops, bookstores, and fun little stores.
Deusto has hostels galore for a really reasonable price. There are other places to stay as well, but this neighborhood tends to be most ideal for backpackers not looking to break the bank.
What’s the Best Area to Stay in Bilbao, Spain?
If it’s your first time in Bilbao, you’ll love a stay in Casco Viejo. Everything is within walking distance and the entire area seeps history. Everywhere you turn, there will be a soaring cathedral or old church, city monument or a charming alley beckoning you to explore it. Since there’s a wide range of accommodation in this area, it’s generally suited to all budgets!
Abandoibarra is a great choice, if the Guggenheim is the main focal point of your trip to Bilbao. That, and if you’re interested in shopping and fine dining in the city. Things are more expensive around here, but if you don’t mind splurging, you’ll have a fair share of gorgeous hotels to choose from and have the rest of the city right out your front door.
To experience Bilbao’s nightlife, stay in Indautxu, which has a place for everyone. It’s great that there are so many accommodation options in this area because it makes getting home from a big night out a total breeze.
Bilbao La Vieja is the best area to stay in Bilbao if you’re looking to get off the beaten path. There are still tourists, albeit not nearly as many as in Old Town. Plus, this neighborhood has a distinctly chilled-out feeling to it. It’s unique and interesting, perfect for a charming stay outside of the city center.
Finally, if you’re balling on a budget, make a beeline for Deusto where you’ll find plenty of hostels and young people to spend time with. This is also the place to be for inexpensive food and drink, so you can put a few bucks towards your next plane ticket!
Editor’s Note: Traveling somewhere else in Spain?
Check out our complete guide on where to stay in Spain!
Where to Stay in Bilbao, Spain: Best Hotels and Hostels
Now without further ado, here are our top picks of hostels and hotels in Bilbao for an unforgettable stay!
Best Budget Stays in Bilbao
Don’t have much to spend on accommodations? You’ll find that Bilbao has its fair share of hostels, offering dorm beds at reasonable prices. Many are located in the city center, but the further you go out, the less expensive they become.
Here are our picks for the best hostels in Bilbao, Spain.
Room Type: 18 Bed Mixed Dorm | 14 Bed Mixed Dorm | Female 12 Bed Dorm | 8 Bed Mixed Dorm | 6 Bed Mixed Dorm | 4 Bed Mixed Dorm | Double Room | Triple Room | Family Room w/ Private Bathroom
Near: Guggenheim, nightlife
Price Range: $21 – $149 per night
When it comes to budget accommodation, Poshtel is definitely one of the best places to stay in Bilbao. Located in Abandoibarra, Poshtel Bilbao is just 300 meters from the Guggenheim Museum and surrounded by tons of bars and restaurants. You can easily walk to Old Town and many city parks in the area!
As a premium hostel, you’ll find that Poshtel has gone to great lengths to create a funky stay for their guests. The entire building is located in a refurbished factory, with industrial details and cool accents like bike seats in place of stools and an exposed brick lounge area.
Dorms are simple but have everything you need, with beds coming equipped with a reading light, shelf, and USB port. There are also large lockers for belongings and clean shared bathrooms.
What we love most about Poshtel Bilbao is the beautiful interior courtyard, perfect for an afternoon drink, and the sauna, great for sweating out in after a long night drinking (yes, a sauna in a hostel!). On site, you can also find a bar and restaurant serving pintxos, a 24-hour front desk, a laundry room, and kitchenette.
Room Type: 8 Bed Dorm | 6 Bed Female Dorm | 4 Bed Dorm
Near: Siete Calles, Old Town, Basque Museum, Metro Station
Price Range: $18 – $21 per night