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About Bilbao

Located in the north of Spain, Bilbao is the most populated city of the autonomous Basque Country. It is also the capital of the Biscay province, which is one of the 3 provinces that form the autonomous Basque Country. Situated along the Nervion River, Bilbao is a port city located on the Ria de Bilbao Gulf. Major sites in Bilbao include the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Zubizuri Bridge, Teatro Arriaga, Biscay Foral Delegation Palace and the Gran Via area. Bilbao is home to many factories and businesses making it an industrial and business center.

The city, especially with the opening of the Guggenheim Museum in 1997, started receiving a large influx of visitors. This 11,000 square meter modern art museum has an irregular curved exterior and displays objects of art like installations and video art. The museum hosts an annual average of 1 million guests, 60% of which are foreigners. Bilbao’s famously vibrant street Gran Via is perfect for shopping and wandering around. There are many stores, both worldwide brands and local designers, along the street. The area close by is known for its restaurants.

Bilbao is rich in arts, culture, and shopping options, providing visitors with a great travel experience. You can reach the city by plane through the Bilbao Airport, which is also the most important airport in the autonomous Basque Country. The airport is located 13 km from the city center. Another airport close to the city is the Vitoria Airport, located 60 km away from Bilbao. Taking the bus from Vitoria Airport to the city center takes about 1.5 hours. Flights from New York to Bilbao have at least one stop and take at least 11 hours. There are more than 4 flights a day that fly from London to Bilbao, which takes about 2 hours.  

Transportation to Bilbao City Center from Airport

The airport is located 13 kilometers away from the city center in Bilbao, which is situated in the north of Spain and considered as one of the most important cities of the country. Buses, cars, taxi and car rental are among the various transportation alternatives to reach the city center from Bilbao Airport, which is one of the most important transportation hubs for the region, although it is not a very big airport.

In Bilbao, if you want to reach the central points in the city center from the airport, you can take advantage of the private shuttle services that serve within the city and you can also benefit from the shuttle service provided by your hotel (if any), or you can even rent a limousine as a more luxurious transfer service. Almost all of these options in the city are comfortable and practical. Moreover, the price of many transportation alternatives other than limousines and private shuttles is very affordable in the city.

If you want, you can easily reach from Bilbao Airport to the central places such as San Sebastian, Zarautz, Arrasate and Bergara in the immediate vicinity of the city. In Bilbao, it is possible to reach all of these places that are both in the city center and the surrounding area. At Bilbao Airport, almost all facilities are offered to the passengers to help them experience a comfortable flight experience.

Bilbao Airport has a big duty-free shopping store where you can do shopping after security control and the Sibarium Delicatessen where you can eat while you wait for your flight or after your flight. Those who don't want to compromise on comfort can enjoy their time on wide armchairs in the private passenger lounge that has been specially designed at the airport. Here you can read newspapers and magazines while enjoying the tastes specially prepared for you, as well as you can take advantage of the free internet service and carry out your online transactions.

Las Lilas shopping store is also available at the airport. Here you can buy various accessories and souvenirs. Derio and Pans & Company are among the places that serve for those who want to taste the delicious food from both Spanish and world cuisines at Bilbao Airport.

After getting some snacks here, you can board your plane or you can head for the city center after your flight. In Bilbao, the most economical option among the alternatives you can prefer to reach the city center from the airport is the bus. However, if you want to travel more comfortably and time-independently, you can also rent a car easily from the offices of car rental companies at the airport.

If you are planning to travel by car for transportation to the city center from the airport, you can follow the signposts that will take you towards the city center after you leave the airport. Bilbao Airport has available parking spaces special for the passengers who want to travel by their car from the airport to the city center.

Bus

It is possible to go from Bilbao Airport to the city center and other major central points around the city by taking the buses that wait the passengers in front of the airport terminal building. The buses that you can prefer to travel from Bilbao Airport to the central places run between 06:15 and 00:00 at the airport. The buses to the airport from the city center are available between 05:25 and 21:55 if you want to travel by these buses.

The buses in both directions depart every 30 minutes and they are one of the most economical option in Bilbao to reach the airport from the city center as well as you can get to the city center from the airport. The amount you need to pay to get on a bus is 1.40 Euros. Bus ticket costs only 0.57 Euro for the passengers over 65.

You can also take the buses to reach San Sebastian and Zarautz areas from the airport. The buses running on this route depart every hour. The buses on this route run between 07:45 and 23:45 on weekdays (except holidays) and they run between 06:45 and 23:34 in the weekend and on holidays. Ticket price per passenger to get on the buses running on this route is 16.45 Euros for San Sebastian and 14.25 Euros for Zarautz.

The third bus route departing from the airport is the route on Arrasate, Bergara and Eibar. The buses departing from the airport on this route first leave at 07:15. The last bus from Arrasate to the airport departs from the airport at 21:15. Ticket price you need to pay to take the advantage of this route is 11.90 Euros between Arrasate and Bilbao Airport. It costs 10.30 Euros from the airport to Bergara and 7.85 Euros from the airport to Eibar.

Car

You can reach Bilbao city center, which is 13 kilometers away from the airport, in about 20 minutes by driving through the N-637 highway. The highways in Bilbao are very well-maintained and tidy as they are in many other cities of Europe. Therefore, traveling by your cars in the city is extremely comfortable and enjoyable. However, if you don't know much about the city and the roads, it is advisable to get navigation before leaving the airport. In this way you can easily find your way around the city without having any difficulty.

Taxi

As another alternative, you can also reach the city center in 10-15 minutes by taking one of the taxis waiting at the terminal gates of Bilbao Airport. Taking a taxi in Bilbao is known as one of the best options for the visitors who have come to the city for the first time. You don't have a chance to bargain with the taxi driver in Bilbao, yet the taxi fare you need to pay does not cost that much for transportation to the city center. You need to pay taxi fare in Euros in Bilbao. For this reason, it would be a good idea to exchange your money into Euros at the airport if you haven't taken some with you.

Taxi drivers may also accept payment in US Dollars; however, you may have to pay a little more compared to paying in Euro due to the exchange rate differences. If you want to get information before your journey to the city on the phone, you can contact airport taxis by calling 944 448 888.

Private Shuttle Services

If this is your first visit to Bilbao, you can book your seat in one of the private shuttle services to make your transportation in the city much easier. Majority of these shuttle services, which pick their passengers up in front of the airport terminal, are provided by the hotels in the city. Before your journey to the airport, you can contact your hotel to get detailed information about the times and fees of shuttle services (if any) and make a reservation in advance.

Rent a car

Renting a car in Bilbao is one of the most frequently preferred options for transportation between the airport and the city center, just as in many other cities. Driving in Bilbao is also very enjoyable thanks to the well-organized routes of the city and the smooth traffic in the city. If you book a car before arriving in Bilbao, you can complete car rental procedures much more easily compared to renting a car upon your arrival in the city.

In the city, Europcar, AVIS, Hertz and Sixt are among the companies you can rent a car to take the road. You can also rent a car from Enterprise in the city after completing the short procedures. Please make sure you have a valid driver's license with you if you are planning to rent a car in Bilbao.

Limousine

Limousine and other luxury vehicles are also at the service of Bilbao passengers. This option is usually preferred by the travelers coming to the city for business trips, as well as by those who don't want to drive a car. There are not many options for renting luxury cars and limousines in the city, but you can make online reservation by contacting the companies providing this service and enjoy the luxury of these vehicles waiting for you in front of the airport terminal. Some hotels in the city also provide luxury car and limousine service to their guests. While planning your travel, you can get in touch with your hotel in advance to get information about luxury car or limousine transfer, and you can easily make your reservation if they provide such a service. By this means, you can get the car you have booked with or without a driver ready at the gate when you arrive at Bilbao Airport.

Last Updated: February 23, 2017
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