5 Best Areas Where to Stay in Bilbao ✔ ️(Hotels + a Map!)

Aerial view of Bilbao with a tall glass skyscraper near a river, surrounded by various buildings and green hills in the background.

Delicious food, iconic architecture, are you ready to take it all in? Then jump on this guide on where to stay in Bilbao!

After thorough research where I compared all the options, I found the 5 best areas to stay in Bilbao for tourists and the top hotels. And to make things easier, I listed them from most to least expensive, so that you can quickly pick your favorite.

In short, Casco Viejo is the best area to stay in Bilbao, as that’s where you’ll find the main attractions and many hotels. But as I mentioned, there are 4 more areas waiting for you, just below, if the first one isn’t your scene.

I’d recommend booking your Bilbao hotels in advance, as this city is super popular and all the good accommodations sell out first. 

Quick Picks for Your Stay

If you want to book your hotels where to stay in Bilbao now, here’s a short list of all the best places to stay, all located in Casco Viejo

Here’s a map that will help you visualize all the areas where to stay in Bilbao that I will be talking about in this post:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Bilbao with numbered locations and labels for easy navigations
  1. CASCO VIEJO: for first-timers
  2. ABANDOIBARRA: for art lovers
  3. Deusto: for budget
  4. Indautxu: for nightlife
  5. La Vieja: trendiest area

1. Casco Viejo – where to stay in Bilbao for first-timers

Exterior view of a grand European opera house with intricate Baroque architecture and sculptural details, set against a clear blue sky

Spanish people rarely let us down when it comes to unique architecture and design, and Casco Viejo (Old Town)  is proof that traditional looks never go out of style. 

This is the heart of Bilbao and the place that you’ll want to explore for hours! The atmosphere is always buzzing in the city center and there are lots of restaurants packed with tourists eager to try the local dishes (I’m sure pintxos will be on everyone’s menu), especially in Plaza Nueva (map) which also has some shops. 

Of course, there are many attractions that you should check out like Bilboko Donejakue Katedrala, Etxebarria Parkea (map) which offers incredible city views and Museo Arqueológico, Etnográfico e Histórico Vasco

You will see countless charming bars and lots of markets, but the star of the show here is Ribera Market (map) or Mercado de la Ribera in Spanish, which is the biggest indoor market in Europe! It has more than 10,000 square meters of space, so try not to get lost!

With a rich history dating back almost seven centuries ago, this popular neighborhood is where anyone who wants to learn more about the Basque culture goes. 

NOTE: The city of Bilbao is divided into 8 big districts so if you want to explore any other places, I’d recommend using the metro to get there quickly. 

Luxury hotel
Collage of NYX Hotel Bilbao: a balcony view of a city, a chic room with zebra wall art, and a vibrant lounge area with modern art and plush seating

If you’re too tired to go out at night and have a drink, don’t worry! This luxury hotel that’s centrally located in the Old Town has its own bar with a very modern, cool look! The private rooms have comfortable beds and a lovely terrace with amazing views of the city where you can drink your coffee in the morning while planning your day!

Other accommodation options in Casco Viejo

Hotel room with open balcony doors revealing a view of a historic church spire, and a notepad with 'Sawday’s' branding on the bed.

I love the decor of this hotel that offers a fabulous location, Bilbao Cathedral views and stylish rooms

Inviting cafe lounge area with comfortable bench seating, colorful pillows, and wicker stools against a backdrop of a stone wall

An affordable hostel that’s conveniently located near the attractions in the city center and has a terrace

Bright, elegant living room with large windows, a soft gray sofa, and built-in bookshelves, styled with modern decor and a view of city buildings outside

With a unique all-white design and a cute patio, this place in Central Bilbao offers a kitchen and spacious rooms

Things to do in Casco Viejo

  • Sip an espresso or a glass of wine on a terrace in Plaza Nueva
  • Take a relaxing walk in Bilbao’s Etxebarria Park (map)
  • See some baroque architecture at the Church of St. Nicholas (map)
  • Catch a charming sunset at the Arenal Bridge or Town Hall Bridge 
  • Check out what’s on at Arriaga Theatre in Bilbao Old Town
  • Admire the architecture of the Catedral de Santiago
  • Learn new things at the Basque Archaeological, Ethnographic and Historical Museum

2. Abandoibarra – best place to stay for art lovers

The guggenheim museum in bilbao, spain, featuring modern titanium architecture beside a river, under a clear sky.

Conveniently located across the river from Casco Viejo, around a 20 min walk away, this area in the city center is home to the world-famous Guggenheim Museum!

This is one of the largest museums in the country and it is famous for its futuristic looks. Apparently, it is considered one of the most important architectural works completed since 1980 in the 2010 World Architecture Survey. 

Guggenheim Museum has an extensive collection of contemporary art pieces by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joseph Beuys, and many others!

This area is perfect for art lovers who want to explore this iconic museum but also have easy access to the historic center which is just a short walk away. I would also recommend it to families, since it has some green areas and is a bit more tranquil then Casco Viejo.

Abandoibarra is located in the larger Abando district which is also home to the city’s main train station, Bilbao-Abando (map). It has a mix of old and new architecture, lots of restaurants, Asador Bilbao Brasan (map) is a great one, and bars too. 

Right on the banks of River Nervion, you’ll also find the Parque República de Abando (map), which is perfect for a relaxing stroll at sunset, after a day of exploring Bilbao and eating yummy food! 

Luxury hotel
A collage of Hotel-Miro: a dining area with large windows overlooking hills, a bedroom with a white and red theme, and a cozy library with shelves full of books and leather chairs.

The best hotel in the area that offers incredible views of the famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao from its private rooms that have a minimalist style, large windows and a private bathroom. The accommodation offers a free breakfast and an airport shuttle. 

Other accommodation options in

A modern bedroom featuring a white double bed with navy blue bedding, birch tree patterned wallpaper, and light hardwood flooring.

Set within walking distance of the city centre, this hotel offers a cozy room with a flat-screen Tv and coffee makers

Modern studio apartment with a white chair at a wooden desk, green plants, and a balcony door leading to an urban view. there's a bed to the left and a tv mounted on the wall.

An affordable hotel with easy access to the attractions and rooms with a private bathroom

Exterior view of a grand historical building with ornate stone architecture, multiple windows, and flags hanging by the entrance, set against a cloudy sky.

Enjoy the sun on the balcony of this place that has a kitchen and free Wi-Fi

Things to do in Abandoibarra

  • Visit the famous Guggenheim Museum
  • Try some delicious croissants at Patxes Bilbao (map)
  • Snap a pic of the famous Puppy Sculpture (map)
  • Explore the Uribarri area
  • Explore Parque República de Abando (map)
  • Check out the cafes on Ledesma Street (map)
  • Take the cable car to Mount Artxanda (map)
  • Eat some yummy food at Coppola & Solomonk (map)

3. Deusto – where to stay in Bilbao for budget

Contrast of old and new architecture along a riverbank, with colorful traditional houses in the foreground and modern glass buildings in the background, under a hilly landscape

Located northwest of Bilbao’s historic center, around a 30 min bus ride away and a 10 min drive away from Bilbao Airport, this neighborhood is home to one of the city’s largest universities. This means that you’ll find the most affordable hotels here and lots of young friendly faces! 

Although you’re not within walking distance of the historic center, there’s a metro station in Deusto (map) which has a direct connection with Casco Viejo, so you can easily get there. 

Because the area is mostly occupied by students, restaurants and food prices are lower, making Deusto the best place to stay in Bilbao if you’re traveling on a budget.

The university’s campus is located on the riverside, and this is where all the bars are. This is the perfect place to go if you want to drink some cold beer or wine and eat some pintxos at a fair price! Bar Bolivar (map) is a great spot.

If you want to go out for a breath of fresh air, then head to the Botica Vieja Park (map), a lovely spot where you can have picnics, right on the river banks or Parque de Sarriko (map)

Naturally, you’ll also find some nightclubs here as it is a student area, but if that isn’t your scene, there are plenty of boutique vintage shops that you can explore all day long!

During the peak season in the summer, many tourists come to Deusto because it’s really close to the northern beaches, so if you’re traveling during those months and looking for where to stay in Bilbao, then this area is definitely for you! 

Luxury hotel
Collage of a NH-Bilbao-Deusto hotel: exterior brick facade, a minimalist bedroom with a white bed and blue chairs, and a dining area with wooden tables and chairs.

One of the best hotels in Bilbao, in the Deusto area, has spacious rooms with a city view and a flat-screen Tv, perfect for the nights when you just want to chill and watch a movie. The accommodation is within walking distance of the Deusto metro station and it has a 24h front desk. 

Other accommodation options in Deusto

Aerial view of a rural landscape featuring stone buildings, a winding road, parked cars, and lush greenery.

This Basque farmhouse offers spacious rooms, a lush garden and an outdoor space area where you can relax

A neatly arranged bedroom with two twin beds, a red runner on each, white nightstand with a lamp, and a decorative mirror on the wall.

A great hotel not too far from the city center that has family rooms and free Wi-Fi

Cozy living room with gray sofa, stone wall, and sheer-curtained windows.

Relax in the backyard of this bright, well-equipped apartment that has nice decor and a kitchen 

Things to do in Deusto

  • Have a beer or a glass of wine in the bars near the campus 
  • Eat some great tapas and start your night at Bar Bolivar (map)
  • See the Fingerprint Sculpture (map
  • Go for a walk in Parque de Sarriko (map)
  • Check out the famous Vizcaya Bridge (map)
  • Take the Deust funicular in Bilbao 
  • Visit the Harinera Grandes Molinos Vascos S. A. an old historical mark in Bilbao Spain

4. Indautxu – best place to stay in Bilbao for nightlife

City square in Bilbao with an ornate fountain, modern and classical buildings, and vibrant flower beds under a clear sky.

Located west of Casco Viejo, just a 20 min walk away, this area is popular among party travelers who love to roam the streets as the sun goes down! 

From local tavernas to Bilbao’s top clubs, there’s always something exciting to do in Indautxu! Bar hopping is huge here, and you’ll always see tons of people roaming the streets, with glasses in their hands and heading to the next destination. 

You can start the night with some cocktails at Bar Jaime (map) and from there see where the winds take you! If you want to dance all night then Sala Rockstar Live (map) is the place to be! The club has a good atmosphere and everyone is friendly! 

Although nightlife is Indautxu’s major attraction factor, there are also lots of things to visit during the day like the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum (Museo de Bellas Artes), the Iturrizar Parkea (map), which is perfect for long walks after a night out and there’s also the San Mamés football stadium that you can visit on a tour. 

The Azkuna Zentroa cultural center is also located here, and there are tons of activities for both locals and tourists, from exhibitions to art workshops. It’s worth a look!

Luxury hotel
Collage of Hotel Meliá: a warmly lit atrium with an elevator, a duplex suite with wooden stairs and large windows, and a spacious bedroom with scenic views

Relax in the swimming pool of this deluxe, modern place to stay after a night of dancing! While staying at Melia Bilbao hotel, go enjoy the sauna and get a message. I’m sure you will feel like a new person! If you want to grab a bite, this luxury hotel has a restaurant and a stylish lounge area perfect for pre-drinks!

Other accommodation options in Indautxu

Elegant hotel lobby with plush seating, a wooden bookshelf, and a well-stocked bar in the background.

With a central location near the attractions, this boutique hotel offers stylish rooms, a gym and bike rentals

A cozy bedroom featuring a bed with a grey headboard, white and green pillows against an exposed brick wall, complemented by framed artwork and a vase with yellow flowers.

A friendly and affordable place to stay in Bilbao Indautxu that has cozy rooms and free Wi-Fi

Modern apartment living area with a sleek gray sectional sofa, striped wood paneling, and an open-concept kitchen with contemporary fittings

One of the coolest places to stay in town, this apartment is well-equipped, it has two rooms and a kitchen

Things to do in Indautxu

  • Explore the Emilio Campuzano Plaza (map)
  • Spend a fun day at Azkuna Zentroa cultural center
  • Walk around and see the cool architecture of the Indautxu Plaza
  • Get drunk at night and mingle with the people in Indautxu
  • Explore Plaza Moyua (map)
  • Visit the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum 
  • Shop until you drop at Zubiarte merkataritza-zentroa (map)
  • Chill by the lake in Iturrizar Parkea (map)

5. Bilbao La Vieja (Bibli) – trendiest place in town

Urban river scene with a stone bridge connecting colorful riverside buildings under a partly cloudy sky

Located just across the river from Old Bilbao, just a short walk away, this trendy and hip neighborhood will soon become your favorite place in this cosmopolitan city! It’s the perfect spot if you want to stay off the beaten path.

Its bohemian charm has attracted many young people and couples who love mingling with the locals and exploring the artsy side of Bilbao

Candlelight dinners by the river in the town’s best restaurants or rooftop bars and the bohemian atmosphere lingering on the streets make La Vieja one of the top places in Bilbao for couples and art lovers. 

Also known as “Bilbi”, La Vieja has many small art galleries filled with works by Bilbao’s independent artists and there’s a lot of street art too!

Head over to Zaharra Kalea Street (map) to check some cool pieces and from there just explore the area, it’s bound that you’ll stumble across something incredible.

Although technically Bilbao La Vieja is older than Casco Viejo and used to be an important point on the map because of its port, only a small part of the old buildings were preserved. 

So now you’ll get a mix of modern architecture with some unique vintage details. Either way, nothing can beat them. 

There are lots of amazing dining spots here! If you’re looking for something fancy, head over to Restaurante Mina (map), a fine dining restaurant set right on the banks of Nervion River.

Luxury hotel
Hotel interior collage of New Soho: a cozy bedroom with exposed brick and teal headboard, a chic living room with decorative mirrors, an elegant kitchen island in an open-plan dining area, and a snug corner with plush cushions and a soft throw

This luxury apartment feels so homie that you’ll want to move here! Or at least copy its great interior design. It has a great location, so much space, a kitchen and a balcony. There’s also a lounge area, where you can relax after a day out exploring Bilbao.

Other accommodation options in La Vieja

Modern living room and dining area with a set table, exposed wooden beams, and contemporary decor.

A lovely apartment in Bilbao La Vieja that has an authentic modern design, 2 rooms, a kitchen, and free Wi-Fi

Simple bedroom with a black bed frame, white bedding, and deep red accents, paired with a minimalist nightstand

Enjoy your stay in Bilbao at this affordable hotel that offers a great location, and spacious rooms

Living area with a blush pink sofa, contemporary artwork, and soft lighting, creating a relaxing ambiance

A well-equipped apartment that has two rooms, a nice backyard, a kitchen, and they offer free parking 

Things to do in La Vieja

  • Enjoy a romantic dinner at Restaurante Mina (map)
  • Listen to some live music at Bilborock (map)
  • Catch an art exhibition at Bilbao Arte
  • Go shopping in the local boutique shops of Bilbao La Vieja
  • Have a date day at the Museum of Reproductions Bilbao
  • Explore the streets of Bilbao La Vieja and take pics of the street art (map)
👑 Luxury price:€160
💵 Mid-range hotel:€110
🛏️ Budget:€70
📍 Best area:Casco Viejo
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:NYX Hotel Bilbao
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Casual Gurea
👛 Best budget hotel:Quartier Bilbao Hostel

FAQs about where to stay in Bilbao 

Large floral sculpture of a dog in an urban square, surrounded by pedestrians enjoying the view.

💛 What is the best area to stay in Bilbao?

Casco Viejo (Old Town) is the best area where to stay in Bilbao! This medieval neighborhood is filled with amazing architecture and attractions.

🤔 Is it better to stay in Bilbao or San Sebastian?

It depends. If you prefer big urban cities with modern architecture, museums, and rich history, Bilbao is one of the best places to stay in Spain. San Sebastian is a small town with beaches and a very laid-back atmosphere.

📆 How many days should I spend in Bilbao?

You should spend between 3 to 4 days in Bilbao, that way you can explore all the big touristy spots like the Guggenheim Museum, check out all the restaurants and enjoy the city’s nightlife.

👨‍👩‍👦 Which hotels in Bilbao are good for families?

If you’re looking where to stay in Bilbao with your family, the best hotels are Hotel Gran Bilbao and Casual Gurea. Both are well-equipped and have rooms big enough for you and the kids.

🌅 What hotels in Bilbao have nice views?

You can stay at Vincci Consulado De Bilbao, a riverside, modern hotel and one of the best places to stay in town to get the best views of the city, or at the Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao

🚶Is Bilbao a walkable city?

Yes! Bilbao is a walkable city, however you can also use the metro or buses if you want to explore areas that are not so close to your hotel.

🚗 Do I need a car in Bilbao?

No, not really as they have a metro system and buses. But you can rent a car if you want to take day trips.

🛑 Where not to stay in Bilbao?

I would avoid the San Francisco area (also known as Las Cortes), as it is not safe for tourists.

🗺️ How close are Bilbao and San Sebastian?

The journey between the 2 cities takes around 1h by car and 1h and 30 min by train. 

Final thoughts on where to stay in Bilbao, Spain

Aerial view of bilbao, spain, showcasing modern guggenheim museum and red salve bridge against a backdrop of green hills and cityscape.

What an incredible town in the Basque country! Spain never disappoints!

I hope this guide on where to stay in Bilbao, Northern Spain, helped you get an idea of what to expect while here and also that you found your dream hotel for this holiday!

This post has some of the best hotels in Bilbao, that’s why I recommend booking them in advance as the good ones will always sell out fast. 

If you still need some help picking your favorite, here are my top 2 favorite hotels in Bilbao, both set in the Old Town. 

  • NYX Hotel Bilbao – one of the best luxury hotels with rooms that have private balconies 
  • Casual Gurea – this good hotel offers rooms with Cathedral views

Enjoy your time in the Basque country and don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below if you have any questions on Bilbao! I’d be happy to help you out.

Safe Travels, 


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