Are you planning to stay in the famous Basque city? Discover the best neighbourhoods to stay in Bilbao!
Once an unglamorous industrial harbour, the city of Bilbao, an ever-growing number of tourists! Dubbed “El Botxo”, Bilbao has undergone major urban renovations in recent years that have made it an attractive place to visit. More than anything, the creation of the Guggenheim Museum in 1997 inaugurated a new beginning for the city. Indeed, it’s worth staying in Bilbao even if only to visit the impressive collections of the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to one of the most famous contemporary buildings in the world, the city boasts a rich and unique gastronomy, a lively nightlife and many narrow streets full of charm and history.
Where to stay in Bilbao? It all depends on the kind of atmosphere you’re looking for. If you prefer to stay in the very heart of the city, Casco Viejo is a great choice. Filled with architectural beauties, this neighbourhood is in many ways an ideal area to stay in Bilbao. Are you in a festive mood? Head for Bilbao la Vieja and San Frantzisko, the trendy and hipster quarters of the city! Are you looking for a more convenient location, close to all the city’s attractions? Look no further than Indautxu, one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Bilbao.
Casco Viejo, the old town
Photo credit: Flickr – maymonides
The oldest part of the city, Casco Viejo is an ideal choice for those who would like to stay in the very heart of Bilbao. Home to Santiago Cathedral, San Antón Church or the Archaeological Museum, the area offers an array of landmarks to see and visit. While strolling in this part of town, be sure to stop by the Plaza Nueva. A lively place of gathering, this square houses the best pintxos (local tapas) bars in the city. Be careful though: it is very easy to get lost in the Casco Viejo’s maze of alleyways, so don’t forget to bring a GPS or a map!
Obviously, in this ultra-touristic area, accommodation rates are higher than elsewhere in the city. However, you will also find more economical options such as youth hostels or private accommodation, offering affordable alternatives to stay in Bilbao’s Casco Viejo quarter.
Bilbao la Vieja and San Frantzisko, the trendy neighbourhoods
Photo credit: Flickr – Marcos de Madariaga
For several years now, Bilbao la Vieja and San Frantzisko have been THE fashionable quarters in the Basque Country’s economic capital. Once working-class, these two neighbourhoods are now packed with art shops and trendy bars. Very attractive and art-minded, they are an excellent choice if you are looking for a place to stay in Bilbao! The cosmopolitan and artsy side of this part of the city lends it a unique appeal. Follow your curiosity and discover the many graffiti by incredible Spanish artists and the impressive buildings that embellish the city. Situated close to the old town and therefore to the city’s main tourist attractions, Bilbao la Vieja and San Frantzisko are a great place to rent accommodation in Bilbao!
Indautxu, the shopping and financial neighbourhood
Photo credit: Flickr – EsTeBaN MuRiLLo
For those who come to Bilbao for the sole purpose of visiting the Guggenheim Museum and who are looking for a place to stay in Bilbao, the Indautxu quarter is a convenient area to look for accommodation. And for a good reason: by staying in this part of town, you will only be about ten minutes from the museum (on foot!). Since the old quarter is located not far from Indautxu, you can also easily stroll in Bilbao’s quaint alleys and taste the best pintxos of the city! Because of its proximity to the city’s main attractions, accommodation rates in this area are approximately the same as in Casco Viejo. Here, too, you can find affordable accommodation in Bilbao by renting a private apartment or a room in a youth hostel.
Main photo credit : Flickr – thierry llansades