The city of Bilbao is a unique, vibrant port city located in Northern Spain. Bilbao is an incredible city that offers unique attractions, world-class food, funky bars and magnificent architecture.

The city is on the less-known side (literally) as most travellers hit up the likes of Valencia or Barcelona on the East. But this city serves up a good time for those who make the effort to visit.

Bilbao also caters to travellers who enjoy dabbling in a bit of nature. With EPIC hikes and dazzling beaches within a mere 30-minute drive away. You can have the best of both worlds: nature by day, city by night.

But Bilbao is a large city and there are a ton of accommodation options to choose from. Deciding where to stay in Bilbao can feel daunting if you’ve never been to the city before.

But never fear! That’s exactly why I’m here (to make sure life waaay easier).

I’ve put together this ultimate guide on the areas of Bilbao – you’ll find the best areas to stay categorised by interest and budget. Plus, you’ll find the best places to stay and things to do in each area. So, by the end of this article, you should know exactly which spot tickles ya fancy!

Whether you’re looking to see the top sights, eat all the Pintxos (tapas), or simply find the cheapest bed in town. This guide to the best neighborhoods to stay in Bilbao will give you all the info you need to book with confidence and ease.

Let’s get right to it – here are the best areas to stay in Bilbao, Spain.

Where to Stay in Bilbao

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Bilbao.

Best Hostels in Bilbao

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Spacious and Stylish Apartment in the Heart of Bilbao | Best Airbnb in Bilbao

This spacious and nicely decorated apartment is located in the heart of Bilbao, and comes with all the basic amenities you need to have a comfortable and pleasant stay. Near the Gran Via, close to the Abando train station and ten minutes to the Guggenheim museum and within walking distance to the many of Bilbao’s cultural sites, you can easily take in everything Bilbao has to offer.

Cosmov Bilbao Hotel | Best Hotel in Bilbao

Cosmov Hotel is our favourite hotel in Bilbao. It is conveniently situated at the heart of the city and is close to top attractions, restaurants, bars and shops. Rooms are stylish and modern, and each is outfitted for a comfortable stay. There’s also free wifi throughout the property.

Bilbao Akelarre Hostel | Best Hostel in Bilbao

This is our pick for the best hostel in Bilbao. It is conveniently located in the Deusto neighborhood and offers easy access throughout Bilbao. This hostel has 36 comfortable beds in shared rooms. There are also lockers, wifi, a games food and a delicious complimentary breakfast.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Bilbao!

Bilbao Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Bilbao

FIRST TIME IN BILBAO
museum-bilbao
FIRST TIME IN BILBAO

Abando

Abando is a large neighbourhood located at the heart of Bilbao. It is an ultra-modern area packed with shopping streets, art galleries, innovative restaurants and many of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, including the world-famous Guggenheim Museum.

ON A BUDGET
graffiti-bilbao
ON A BUDGET

Deusto

Deusto is a large neighbourhood located north of the city centre. It is situated across the river from Abando and is a hub for Bilbao’s student population.

NIGHTLIFE
wikicommons-plaza-bilbao
NIGHTLIFE

Indautxu

Indautxu is an eclectic neighbourhood located in central Bilbao. It is set next to Abando and offers an awesome mix of art and culture, as well as nightlife, dining and shopping.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
oldtown-bilbao
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Bilbao la Vieja

Bilbao la Vieja is one of the coolest places to stay in Bilbao. It is the city’s up-and-coming hipster district that offers a wide range of attractions and facilities and is home to a great collection of innovative restaurants and hip cocktail bars.

FOR FAMILIES
wikicommons-santutxu
FOR FAMILIES

Santutxu

Santutxu is a residential neighbourhood situated in southern Bilbao. It sits across the river from trendy Bilbao la Vieja and offers a calm atmosphere and easy-going experience.

Bilbao is a large and cosmopolitan city located in northern Spain. Despite being a hub for architecture, food, design, fashion and art, it is one of the most overlooked destinations in Spain.

But Bilbao is a fascinating city that has so much to offer visitors. From its rich history and diverse culture to its unique architecture, world-famous food and exceptional nightlife, Bilbao is a must for anyone visiting Spain – or even southern France.

It is the 10th largest city in Spain and boasts a population of nearly 350,000 people. The city covers an area of 41.5 square kilometres and is divided into many distinct and diverse neighborhoods. In this guide, we’re going to explore the best places to stay in Bilbao based on your interests, needs and budget.

Starting with Abando. This is the best neighborhood to stay in Bilbao if you’re visiting for the first time because it’s home to famous tourist attractions and landmarks as well as restaurants, bars and shops.

Next to Abando is Indautxu. One of the liveliest areas of the city, this is our best recommendation for where to stay in Bilbao for nightlife because it has great bars, clubs, and restaurants.

North of the city centre is Deusto, our best recommendation for where to stay in Bilbao for one night or if you’re on a budget because it has an array of good value accommodation options.

Head south of the city centre to Bilbao la Vieja. One of the coolest places to stay in Bilbao, this neighborhood is packed with modern attractions, world-class restaurants, buzzing bars and trendy shops.

And finally, south of central Bilbao is Santutxu. Our top pick for where to stay in Bilbao with kids, this neighborhood is known for its lush parks, calm atmosphere and excellent family-friendly attractions.

Bilbao’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Still not sure which is the best area in Bilbao to stay in? Don’t worry because in this next section we’re going to break each one down in much more detail.

1. Abando – Where to Stay in Bilbao for Your First Time

Abando is a large neighborhood located at the heart of Bilbao. It is an ultra-modern area packed with shopping streets, art galleries, innovative restaurants and many of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, including the world-famous Guggenheim Museum.

Because there’s so much to see, do and experience here, Abando wins our vote for the best neighborhood in Bilbao to stay in if you’re visiting for the first time.

Love to eat? Well, Abando is for you! This downtown district is packed with everything from tasty pintxo restaurants and cosy cafes to upscale restaurants and world-class dining. Your senses will certainly be excited by staying in action-packed Abando.

museum-bilbao

Spacious and Stylish Apartment in the Heart of Bilbao | Best Airbnb in Abando

This spacious and nicely decorated apartment is located in the heart of Bilbao, and comes with all the basic amenities you need to have a comfortable and pleasant stay. Near the Gran Via, close to the Abando train station and ten minutes to the Guggenheim museum and within walking distance to the many of Bilbao’s cultural sites, you can easily take in everything Bilbao has to offer.

Poshtel Bilbao – Premium Hostel | Best Hostel in Abando

This premium hostel is one of the best places in Bilbao to stay if you’re on a budget. It is centrally located in Abando and offers the facilities of a hotel but the fun of a hostel. They provide comfortable and clean dorms and private rooms with fresh linens and modern features.

Cosmov Bilbao Hotel | Best Hotel in Abando

Cosmov Hotel is our favourite hotel in Bilbao. It is conveniently situated at the heart of the city and is close to top attractions, restaurants, bars and shops. Rooms are stylish and modern, and each is outfitted for a comfortable stay. There’s also free wifi throughout the property.

Hotel Carlton Bilbao | Best Hotel in Abando

Five stars and a great location – its no wonder this is one of our favourite Bilbao accommodation options! This stunning hotel is close to well-known attractions as well as dining, nightlife and shopping. Guests can enjoy the Turkish steam bath and relaxing sauna or play a round on the hotel’s golf course.

Things to See and Do in Abando

  1. Enjoy a night at the stunning Campos Eliseos Theatre.
  2. Explore Bilbao’s adventures of the sea at the Museo Maritimo Ria de Bilbao.
  3. Feast on incredible Mediterranean and delicious Spanish dishes at La Despensa del Etxanobe.
  4. Go for a stroll around Dona Casilda Park.
  5. Marvel at the architecture and design of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
  6. See great works of art at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
  7. Shop until you drop on Plaza Moyua, Abando’s main shopping boulevard.
  8. Snap a pic of Bilbao’s infamous Puppy statue, made entirely of flowers.
  9. Spend a day exploring Bilbao’s nearby old town, Casco Viejo.
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2. Deusto – Where to Stay in Bilbao on a Budget

Deusto is a large neighborhood located north of the city centre. It is situated across the river from Abando and is a hub for Bilbao’s student population.

Deusto is our number one pick for where to stay in Bilbao for one night or if you’re ballin’ on a budget because it has a great variety of cost-conscious restaurants, budget-friendly bars, and nightlife that won’t break the bank.

This neighborhood is also one of the best areas to stay in Bilbao if you’re looking to indulge in pintxos. Pintxos are the Basque version of tapas and they are a great way to sample all the local flavours and delicacies without bursting your belt.

graffiti-bilbao

Cosy and Clean Studio in Ideal Location | Best Airbnb in Deusto

This recently renovated and clean studio is an incredible space that’s located only a five minutes walk from the Deusto train station and very conveniently located. It’s perfect to discover Bilbao for those on a budget and who want to relax in a pleasant space. Well-appointed, it consists of a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom, a bed, a sofa bed, and a TV.

Hotel Artetxe | Best Hotel in Deusto

A little off the beaten path, this is one of the best places to stay in Bilbao. It is located just north of Deusto and offers a great break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Rooms are well-equipped with modern amenities and en-suite bathrooms. There’s also a golf course and shuttle service.

NH Bilbao Deusto | Best Hotel in Deusto

NH Bilbao is ideally situated in Deusto, one of Bilbao’s best neighborhoods. You’ll find an abundance of good value and high-quality bars, restaurants and shops nearby. This three-star property provides spacious rooms with minibars, heating and comfortable beds. There’s also an on-site eatery and stylish lounge.

Bilbao Akelarre Hostel | Best Hostel in Deusto

This is our pick for the best hostel in Bilbao. It is conveniently located in the Deusto neighborhood and offers easy access throughout Bilbao. This hostel has 36 comfortable beds in shared rooms. There are also lockers, wifi, a games food and a delicious complimentary breakfast.

Things to See and Do in Deusto

  1. Drink cheap, delicious and refreshing pints at Cerverceria Gabina.
  2. Excite your senses with a great meal at Ikatz Deusto.
  3. Feast on a mouthwatering selection of pintxos at Dena Ona.
  4. Go for a stroll through the lush landscape of Deusto University.
  5. Rest and relax in the Parque De Botica Vieja and enjoy beautiful river and city views.
  6. See Bilbao’s iconic Fingerprint Sculpture and enjoy great panoramic views of the city below.
  7. Sip cocktails and party the night away at lively Tobarisch.

3. Indautxu – Where to Stay in Bilbao for Nightlife

Indautxu is an eclectic neighborhood located in central Bilbao. It is set next to Abando and offers an awesome mix of art and culture, as well as nightlife, dining and shopping.

This modern neighborhood is the best area in Bilbao to stay in for nightlife. It is bursting at the seams with unique clubs, authentic bars and interesting pubs where you can enjoy a few drinks and mingle with locals.

Add in an array of delicious restaurants offering everything from pintxos and fresh seafood to world-class cuisine and innovative delicacies, and Indautxu has all the makings of an epic and unforgettable night out.

wikicommons-plaza-bilbao
Photo: Zarateman (WikiCommons)

Ibis Bilbao Centro | Best Hotel in Indautxu

The Ibis Bilbao is centrally located in Indautxu, the best neighborhood to stay in Bilbao for nightlife. You’ll find a great selection of bistros, bars and clubs, as well as museums and art galleries nearby. This modern hotel has 152 recently refurbished rooms with air conditioning, cable/satellite channels and private bathrooms.

Hotel Ilunion Bilbao | Best Hotel in Indautxu

This trendy hotel is ideally set in the best neighborhood in Bilbao to stay in for drinking, dancing, nightlife and partying. It is within walking distance of the city’s best clubs and is close to popular attractions and landmarks. This hotel has stylish rooms with modern features and great wellness amenities.

Sunny Shared House in the Nightlife Area | Best Airbnb in Indautxu

This cosy room is located right in the city centre and consists of a 1.50m long bed, a couple of nightstands and lamps, as well as a 32 inches TV. Right on one of the most popular streets in Bilbao, Autonomia Street, you can easily go out and go home safely without taking public transports. The house itself is very clean and modern and full of space and sunshine.

Bilbao Central Hostel | Best Hostel in Indautxu

This hostel is one of the best places in Bilbao to stay because it is within walking distance of the city’s top clubs, restaurants and attractions. It has clean and comfy dorms with stylish décor, modern amenities, and air conditioning. Each reservation also includes security lockers and padlocked wardrobes.

Things to See and Do in Indautxu

  1. Dance the night away at Marquee.
  2. Drink and dance from dusk until dawn at the Cotton Club.
  3. Enjoy refreshing cocktails at Abadia del Gin & Tonic.
  4. Feast on mouthwatering pintxos at POZA 46.
  5. Indulge in an incredible meal at Zaka.
  6. Lose yourself in Azkuna Zentroa, an incredible building that hosts art galleries, sporting events, cultural programmes and so much more.
  7. Satisfy your appetite with a great sandwich from Bar El Eme.
  8. Sip cheap pints and wine at Gaztandegi taberna.
  9. Try the best tortilla de patata at Bar Josera.
  10. Wander through Arriquibar Plaza.
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4. Bilbao la Vieja – Coolest Place to Stay in Bilbao

Bilbao la Vieja is one of the coolest places to stay in Bilbao. It is the city’s up-and-coming hipster district that offers a wide range of attractions and facilities and is home to a great collection of innovative restaurants and hip cocktail bars.

Located across the river from Casco Viejo, Bilbao la Vieja is one of the best-connected neighborhoods in the city. From here you can quickly hop across and explore Bilbao’s old city, or take the metro and within minutes you’ll be standing in front of the Guggenheim.

Love to shop? Well, you’re in luck! Bilbao la Vieja is home to a great selection of hip shops and trendy boutiques.

oldtown-bilbao

Awesome Place in the Best Location of Bilbao | Best Airbnb in Bilbao la Vieja

Situated in the heart of the Old Bilbao, this charming, modern and cosy apartment is only a two minutes walk from the train and bus stations and within walking distance to all local attractions. It comes with two outdoor balconies, and it is tastefully decoated and very well equipped. The street itself is a little noisy but you cannot hear anything from the bedroom, and it won’t affect your stay.

Bcool Bilbao | Best Hostel in Bilbao la Vieja

This great hostel is located in Bilbao la Vieja, one of Bilbao’s best neighborhoods. It is close to art galleries, boutiques and bistros and is a quick hop to downtown. This hostel has private, family and dorm-style rooms with comfortable beds, privacy curtains, lockers and free wifi.

Residencia Blas De Otero Centro Adscrito a la REAJ | Best Hostel in Bilbao la Vieja

This colourful and cosy hostel is a great place to stay in Bilbao. It offers easy access throughout the city and there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby. Rooms are comfortable and spacious and each comes complete with a private bathroom, kitchenette and free wifi.

Baps Apartments | Best Apartment in Bilbao la Vieja

Baps Apartment is a great place to make your base in Bilbao. This spacious apartment has comfortable features and modern amenities. It comes complete with a refrigerator, flat-screen TV and has a private bathroom. Set at the heart of the neighborhood, this apartment is close to restaurants, shops, bars and cafes.

Things to See and Do in Bilbao la Vieja

  1. Browse the collections and exhibitions at The Museum of Artistic Reproductions.
  2. Eat fresh seafood and other Spanish dishes at Pikas.
  3. Excite your senses with a mouthwatering meal at Peso Neto.
  4. Feast on flavourful Peruvian delicacies at Dando la Brassa.
  5. Grab a delicious snack at Bar Marzana.
  6. Hunt for treasures at the bohemian, artistic and cultural Dos de Mayo flea market.
  7. See incredible works by local artists at BilbaoArte.
  8. Shop for one-of-a-kind designs at TrakaBarraka.
  9. Sip a coffee or start your day with a great breakfast at cosy Bihotz Café.

5. Santutxu – Where to Stay in Bilbao for Families

Santutxu is a residential neighborhood situated in southern Bilbao. It sits across the river from trendy Bilbao la Vieja and offers a calm atmosphere and easy-going experience.

Busting with green space and natural attractions, Santutxu is our best recommendation for where to stay in Bilbao for families. Here you can enjoy a breath of fresh air and a walk in the park, all without straying too far from the city centre.

But Santutxu isn’t all green grass and landscapes. This district is also home to a good selection of restaurants and bars, as well as shops, museums and attractions that will enthral all members of your family.

wikicommons-santutxu
Photo: Zarateman (WikiCommons)

Bright and Spacious House Ideal for Families in Bilbao | Best Airbnb in Santutxu

Very spacious and bright apartment in Santutxu, this place is perfect for a family visiting Bilbao. Recently renovated, it consists of a large living room, three double bedrooms, two big bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen with all the basic amenities you will need to feel home. Its location is very convenient with easy access and transfers with regards to public transports. You can also find a lot of local bars and places to eat around within walking distance. This house can accomodate up to six guests.

BBK Bilbao Good Hostel | Best Hostel in Santutxu

This is our top pick for where to stay in Bilbao with kids if you’re on a budget. This modern hostel has comfortable rooms that are geared towards families and groups. It has a great location near public transit and there are plenty of eateries, bistros and boutiques nearby.

Bilbao Apartamentos Atxuri | Best Apartments in Santutxu

Bilbao Apartamentos Atxuri is ideally located near Santutxu. It is a short walk to popular attractions, restaurants, shops and more. This modern property has 49 stylish apartments with convenient features. There’s also a terrace, beauty centre and babysitting services are available.

Sirimiri | Best Hotel in Santutxu

Sirimiri is set in one of the best areas to stay in Bilbao because it offers easy access to popular tourist attractions, restaurants and shops. Rooms are comfortable and spacious enough for families. Each is also outfitted with a refrigerator, private bathroom and free wifi.

Things to See and Do in Santutxu

  1. Eat, drink and enjoy a lively night out at IRV.
  2. Enjoy more than 1,500 sq. meters of fun, games and excitement at Tximipark, an indoor carnival.
  3. Go for a stroll through the lush landscapes of Mina Del Morro park.
  4. Lace-up your boots and hike high into the hills of Parque Larreagaburu where you can enjoy amazing views out over Bilbao.
  5. Sample an array of delicious pintxos at Meson Lambrusko.
  6. Visit the Museum of Sacred Art and browse an extensive collection of Biscayan Art from the Romanesque period to today.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Bilbao

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Bilbao and where to stay.

What To Pack For Bilbao

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Bilbao

Bilbao is, without a doubt, one of the most underrated cities in Europe. It offers an incredible culinary scene, eye-catching architecture, a rich history and vivacious nightlife. So whether you’re a culture vulture, history buff, a party animal or something in between, Bilbao has exactly what you’re looking for and so much more!

In this guide, we’ve looked at the best neighborhoods to stay in Bilbao. If you’re still not 100% sure which is right for you, here is a quick recap of our favourite places to stay:

Bilbao Akelarre Hostel in Deusto is our favourite hostel because it has a great location, comfortable beds, and offers a delicious – and free! – breakfast.

The Cosmov Bilbao Hotel in Abando is another great option. It is set at the heart of the city and allows for easy access to famous tourist attractions and landmarks, as well as restaurants, shops, bars and beyond!

Looking for more info on travelling to Bilbao and Spain?