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Where to stay in Bilbao: Best areas and hotels

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One of the hardest steps when panning a trip to Bilbao will be choosing a place to stay. Deciding where to sleep is always one of the most important decisions when traveling. In this post about where to stay in Bilbao, I am going to try to help you choose the perfect place to stay based on your taste and needs.

Below, you will find a guide in which I have highlighted the main areas where it is advisable to book a places to stay in Bilbao. From the most traditional places, such as the Ensanche or the Casco Viejo, to neighborhoods located a little further away from the center.

Each of the areas of Bilbao that I recommend is a great option depending on the type of trip you are going to do and according to your budget. Hotels in Bilbao are usually quite expensive but if you look in the right places you can find affordable options.

Apart from informing you about each of the city's neighborhoods where it is advisable to stay in Bilbao, I also recommend several hotels for different budgets, from hostels to 5-star hotels.

At the end of the post you will find a map of Bilbao in which I have indicated all the areas and hotels that I am going to mention in the article.

I hope that the information you will find below will be very useful to you in organizing your trip to the capital of Vizcaya (Basque Country). Get ready to discover a very modern city with a great atmosphere. Not to mention their pintxos!

Table of contents

Where to stay in Bilbao

Ready to discover the best areas to stay in Bilbao? Let’s start!

1. Abando, the best area to stay in Bilbao

where to stay in Bilbao

If you are wondering where to stay in Bilbao, you don’t need to do much more research. Abando corresponds to the center of the city and is made up of Indauchu, Abandoibarra and Abando neighborhoods. This whole area is also known as the Ensanche.

If you choose your hotel in this area, you will be very close to many of the main attractions. Although I also warn you that hotels in the Ensanche are usually quite expensive. Especially if you stay in one of the best hotels in Bilbao.

For example, the main street in the city, Gran Vía de Don Diego López de Haro, known simply as Gran Vía, is located in Abando. It crosses the entire center of Bilbao, from Plaza Circular to Plaza del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús.

Gran Vía is an important commercial avenue, where some of the city’s monuments are also located. When you walk on this street, you will cross places such as Plaza Moyúa, which occupies the center of the district, and the Palace of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia.

In Abando you will also find the imposing Guggenheim Museum, on of the essential places to see in Bilbao in one day, the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and the Doña Casilda de Iturrizar Park, among other attractions.

Another reason why Abando is one of the best areas to stay in Bilbao is because of its great gastronomic offer. Here you will not only find some of the most popular pintxo bars in the area, but also exquisite restaurants and specialty cafes.

On the other hand, if you stay in Abando, you will also be very close to the historic center of Bilbao, which you can reach by taking a pleasant walk and crossing some of the most famous bridges in the town, such as the Zubizuri Bridge.

You also have several metro stops, therefore, you will have easy access to other areas of the city and even to surrounding towns.

Hotel recommendations in Abando

2. Uribarri, the area we chose


My partner and I decided to stay in Uribarri during our visit to Bilbao. We stayed in the Hesperia Bilbao Hotel. We had a very good stay in this hotel, I highly recommend it.

Uribarri is located in the northeastern part of Bilbao, just to the right of the Nervión estuary. It is made up of the neighborhoods of Castaños, Matiko-Ciudad Jardín, Uribarri and Zurbaran-Arabellauribarri. Our hotel was in Castaños, the closest neighborhood to the estuary and the center of Bilbao. If you decide to book your hotel in this area, I recommend this same neighborhood.

We were very comfortable staying at the hotel, despite it not being located in an area with many attractions and restaurants, it is a very quiet place and you are very close to the city center. You simply have to cross the Zubizuri Bridge, or the most convenient to you, to get to the center.

On the other hand, you will also be very close to the Old Town of Bilbao, which you can reach by walking along the estuary. It is a very nice walk.

As I said, despite being a good area to stay in Bilbao, there is not much to see in Uribarri, except for the Mirador de Artxanda. In this neighborhood you will find the funicular that takes you up to this famous park, from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the city.

Hotel recommendations in Uribarri

3. Casco Viejo, a great area to stay in Bilbao

where to stay in bilbao
Old Town

The Old Town is also a very good area to stay in Bilbao. As you can imagine, being the historic center, it is the most beautiful part of the city, since it has many monuments. If you decide to stay here, you will find yourself in a place full of life and history.

One of the drawbacks of staying in Casco Viejo is that hotels are usually somewhat more expensive, as is the case in the Ensanche. Although it may be worth it for you to pay a little more and stay in one of the best locations in the city.

Unlike the Ensanche, where the hotels are quite modern, in Casco Viejo you will find traditional hotels. Although there are also some modern hotels.

If you stay in the Old Town, you will be close to places such as the Cathedral of Santiago de Bilbao, the Plaza Nueva, the Arriaga Theatre, the Mercado de la Ribera and the Church of San Antón. Visiting these places in the city is essential, so do not miss them. On the other hand, you can get to the center of Bilbao in a few minutes by crossing the Arenal Bridge.

Apart from being a good place to stay in Bilbao due to the number of places to see in the area, the Old Town also has very good dining options. I recommend the Motrikes bar and the Bodega Joserra.

Whether you stay here or not, I recommend you do this free tour of the historic center of Bilbao. It is considered one of the best free guided tours in Bilbao.

Hotel recommendation in the Old Town

4. Deusto, where to stay in Bilbao on a budget

The Deusto neighborhood is also located to the right of the estuary. The university campus is located here, so there are also plenty of pintxo bars and places where you can have a good beer or wine. Also, it is easy to find good atmosphere and nightlife.

If you are looking for an affordable place to stay in Bilbao, Deusto is a good option as it has cheap hotel options. Therefore, if your budget is not very high, here you can find a good alternative.

The neighborhood has several hostels, perfect for backpackers, although there are also some hotels with private rooms.

To visit the rest of the city, you can do it on foot (getting to the center will take about 20 minutes walking) or choose public transport.

In Deusto there is a metro stop, thanks to which you will be connected to all the attractions of the city. If you are going to travel by metro, it is convenient to get your Barik card.

You should consider staying in Deusto if you are going to spend at least 2 days in Bilbao.

Hotel recommendations in Deusto

5. Begoña, a peaceful and budget-friendly area

Begoña is a residential neighborhood located on the outskirts of the historic center. It is not one of the most popular options among those looking for a place to stay in Bilbao, but in some cases, it can be a good alternative.

If you are going to travel during peak season and the prices are very expensive, in Begoña you have the possibility of finding something cheaper. Apart from some hotels, you will also find quite a few tourist apartments.

Also, keep in mind that staying here still gives you the option of exploring the city on foot. From Begoña, it only takes a little over ten minutes on foot to get to the Old Town. On the other hand, if you don’t want to walk so much or you’re tired when you get back to your accommodation, you can take the metro.

Hotel recommendations in Begoña

Map of best areas to stay in Bilbao

In the following map, I have marked the different areas where I recommend booking a hotel in Bilbao and the hotels that I have recommended (with their respective links to Booking).

If you are going to travel to other parts of the country, do not miss my Spain travel guide.

I hope that this post on where to stay in Bilbao has been very useful to you in choosing a place to stay in the city. If you have any questions or contributions, do not hesitate to send me an email or leave a comment. Enjoy your trip to the Basque Country!

↠ Book free tours and guided visits on Civitatis or GetYourGuide. I always use these platforms to check what organized activities there are at my destination.

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↠ Check out Booking’s offers, a platform I always use, as I always find very good options thanks to its search engine with filters.

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↠ If you still need to buy flights for your trip, there is no better search engine than Skyscanner (although I always recommend booking the flight on the company’s website).

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