In 2013, Bilbao Airport welcomed almost four million passengers. It is famed for its modern architectural design by Santiago Calatrava. There is one three-level terminal serving both arriving and departing passengers.
How to get around
The airport is located 12 km away from the city centre. There are a few ways to get to the city centre. Bus services can be found outside the arrival hall. The Bizkaibus 3247 connects you to the city centre and departs from the airport every 30 minutes. A single ticket costs less than NZD3. The bus runs from 6.15am to 12am.
Car rental services are also available at the airport. A more comfortable alternative is to cab to the city centre. Taxi fares cost around NZD30-40. The journey there takes around 15 minutes.
The city has a metro system that connects you to the city centre’s main areas. The metro ticket costs less than NZD3. There is also an extensive bus system in Bilbao. The bus has waiting intervals between 10-30 minutes. A single ticket costs less than NZD2. There are also night buses that operate during weekends, also known as Gautxoris.
You can also purchase the Creditrans card. It entitles you to use the metro, bus, funicular railway and tram. Fares range from around NZD7 to NZD25. The Bilbao Card provides unlimited use of the public transport and discounts on places of attraction. They can be bought as newspaper stands and vending machines in metro and tram stations. Taxi services and car rental services are available in the city as well.
What to see and do
Bilbao is the 10th largest city in Spain. It has a population of around one million residents. This city is also home to many museums, iconic landmarks and historical places.
A must-visit place in Bilbao is the Guggenheim Museum designed by famous architect Frank Gehry. The museum has a collection of art, ranging from mid 12th century to modern pieces. It is also home to iconic works like Joseph Beuys’s Lightning with Stag in Its Glare.
Explore Bilbao’s Old Town. Landmarks there include Teatro Arriaga, Bilbao’s opera house and watch an opera performance. If you are not an opera fan, simply marvel at the beauty of this neo-baroque architecture building. Other architectural beauties in Bilbao include the Basilica of Begoña. This gothic Church is built mainly from limestone.
Many restaurants are also located at Plaza Nueva, a neoclassical monumental square, also located in Old Town. Flea markets are held there every Sunday. Traditional festivals and events are also held at the square.
Visit Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, featuring old, modern and contemporary art. General admission fees cost less than NZD7. Nature lovers can head to the beautiful Doña Casilda Park located near the museum.
A festival many visit Bilbao for is Semana Grande (Big Week). The festival commences of the 3rd Saturday of August every year and the festival lasts nine days. Free music performances, bull fighting and firework displays are part of the festival’s programs.