There are many reasons to visit the Basque country capital of Bilbao Spain. The Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum is one of the coolest places to photograph in Bilbao, let alone the amazing collection of modern art inside. Day trips to San Sebastian are also possible from Bilbao, where you can see where thousands of pilgrims begin their Camino de Santiago walk.
While Bilbao is a fairly concentrated area, with many of the best attractions in the city center, however there are several interesting neighborhoods with Bilbao accommodation options. With this guide, you can safely choose what part of Bilbao to stay in, as well as the best hotels in Bilbao.
We will cover off all types of Bilbao accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Bilbao hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Bilbao Spain, the best Bilbao hotels, best places in Bilbao to visit, the best places to stay in Bilbao, hotels near Bilbao attractions, Bilbao neighborhood guide and many more.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Table of Contents
Casco Viejo Bilbao – Where to stay in Bilbao for first timers
In the heart of Bilbao is the Old Town, or Casco Viejo. Whether you are coming to Bilbao for nightlife, the foodie scene or just to soak in the Spanish culture, Old Town is the best place to stay in Bilbao for first-time visitors.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of bars and restaurants to enjoy in Bilbao’s Old Town area, as well as many Bilbao hotels and hostels. Plaza Nueva sits at the center of Old Town, with beautiful Neoclassical architecture from 1821. The central square is the best place for people watching from a sidewalk cafe on a warm summer evening. Don’t miss the Mercado de la Ribera, Europe’s largest indoor market, with over 10,000 square meters of space.
Best places to stay in Casco Viejo:
Plaza Moyua Bilbao – Where to stay in Bilbao tourists
Downtown Bilbao, or Abando, is centered around Plaza Moyua, and is another great option when choosing where to stay in Bilbao. Many of Bilbao’s best attractions can be found around Plaza Moyua, including the Guggenheim Museum, Fine Arts Museum, Santiago Cathedral and the main shopping areas along Plaza Moyua and Gran Via El Corte.
If you are a luxury traveler, or like to travel on points, this is the best place to stay in Bilbao. Hotels like the Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao offer a luxury stay in this modern neighborhood of Bilbao.
Best places to stay in Plaza Moyua:
Bilbao La Vieja – Where to stay in Bilbao for families
Across the river from Old Town is La Vieja, one of Bilbao’s trendiest neighborhoods. This is where the hipsters hang, and the area is nicknamed “Bilbi.” If you want to hang with the locals and absorb modern Spanish art, cuisine and fashion, then La Vieja is the best place to stay in Bilbao.
There are tons of cafes, bars and restaurants, surrounded by colourful street art, so don’t forget to bring your camera! Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian, is popular here, as is the Pinxtos that Bilbao is famous for. Even if you don’t opt to stay in La Vieja, definitely plan an evening to enjoy one of the rooftop bars or riverside terraces.
Best places to stay in La Vieja:
Indautxu Bilbao – Where to stay in Bilbao for nightlife
Just west of Abando is the Bilbao district of Indautxu, the nightlife hub of Bilbao. The area was once a warehouse district for wine merchants, and now houses many bars and nightclubs. Palacio Euskalduna is a popular concert hall built in the former shipyards along the water; today the space draws big crowds for classical and rock music performances. With a Bilbao metro station, you can easily access other areas of Bilbao for the day while returning to your Indautxu hotel in the evening.
Best places to stay in Indautxu:
San Francisco Bilbao – Where to stay in Bilbao on a budget
If you want to know where to stay in Bilbao on a budget, the San Francisco neighborhood is a good option. This area of Bilbao has mixed reviews, so you have to decide if it’s the right neighborhood for you. It’s the red light district of Bilbao, so there is some unsavory activity at night. However, it’s also a thriving multicultural neighborhood, with immigrants from around the world, bringing their cuisine and traditions to Bilbao. This is also where you’ll find many of Bilbao’s LGBT nightclubs, so there are many reasons to stay in San Francisco.
Best places to stay in San Francisco:
Deusto Bilbao – Where to stay in Bilbao for backpackers
Across the river from Guggenheim and Abando is the student district of Deusto, home of Deusto University. This is another great place to stay in Bilbao if you are traveling on a tight budget, as there are many inexpensive options for food and drink. The beautiful Parque de Botica Vieja along the water is a great place for a stroll or a picnic. Elsewhere in Deusto, you’ll find many Pinxto bars, vintage boutiques and bookshops. For the younger traveler, or young at hear, this is a great place to stay in Bilbao.
Best places to stay in Deusto:
If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.