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Best day trips from Bilbao

Will be in Bilbao for 5 days. Best towns to visit…..

Posted by
142 posts

We spent about a week in Bilbao last year and then 6 days in San Sebastián. We booked day trips from both cities through these guys and had a great time. They were great to work with. It’s a couple - he is from Michigan and she grew up in Bilbao. Both were delightful to be with.

Even if you don’t want to use them they have some excellent suggestions on their website. Enjoy!

Posted by
27450 posts
  • San Sebastian if you aren't already going there. Bus is faster that train. Expect crowds.
  • Vitoria-Gasteiz (capital of the region, not very touristy; large medieval district)
  • Bermeo (attractive coastal town)

I haven't been to Lekeitio or Gernika, but both have been recommended here.

Posted by
714 posts

Depending on interests, Guernica is interesting although much removed from its’ original plan due to the horrific demolition in WWII. We spent about 3 hours there wandering mostly and it is sobering, but it still has a beautiful park and places worth visiting.

Getaria to the NE on the water is great if you have any interest in fashion as Cristobal Balenciaga was born there. There is a museum dedicated to his fashion house-older designs which are absolutely stunning.

Getaria has a waterfront where the restaurants specialize in grilling fish over open fires-wonderful.

You would need a car to get to Getaria. Not sure about Guernica. We did have a car.

A fun to do in Bilbao is taking the Vizcaya hanging gondola located over the river Ibaizabal and joins Getxo and Portugalete. We took public transportation to get there.

Posted by
690 posts

As a Bilbao local, easy day trips from Bilbao using public transport (buy a BARIK card for 3eur and charge it with enough money for those 5 days, 20eur should be fine for two persons):

  • Subway (clean, safe, modern) to Getxo (Bizkaia Bridge, unique UNESCO World Heritage Monument), and Plentzia.
  • Bermeo and Gernika (train or bus), do NOT miss the Casa de Juntas or Assembly House, one of the reasons for John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Richard Adams for their visit here in 1780.
  • Lekeitio, Ea, Elantxobe...beautiful coastal towns.
  • Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Basque Country, great old city, almond shaped. And a fantastic visit to the reconstruction of its 12th century cathedral.

And then, two days to enjoy Bilbao.

Posted by
27450 posts

I got to Getaria without a car. I believe there's bus service, but I opted to walk from Zarautz. It was about 3 miles.

Posted by
6824 posts

Three villages on Spain’s Prettiest Villages list are Liérganes, Puentedey, and Frías. No idea how easy getting to them would be using public transportation. For outdoor/nature locations there are Salto del Nervion and Purón River Gorge. Believe you’d need a car to reach those.

Closer in to Bilbao is Ondarroa. It’s near Lekeitio.

Posted by
446 posts

Loved our visit to Gernika. Easy train ride from Bilbo.
The ceramic tile reproduction of Picasso’s piece is wonderful.
Good museum.
Relaxing park.
We found good dining.
Watched kids practicing jai-lai in the stadium for free.

Posted by
690 posts

Getaria is easy to get to from Donostia-San Sebastian, but not from Bilbao, as it´s in another province.