Bilbao Old Town

Bilbao
Ribera Market featuring food, interior views and a bar

Discover characterful bars, historic architecture, colorful independent stores and much more amid the largely pedestrianized streets of Bilbao’s atmospheric heart. 

During your time in Bilbao, you may hear the city’s Old Town referred to by a range of different names. It’s often known as the Casco Viejo, but sometimes also called Las Siete Calles (in Spanish) or Zazpikaleak (Basque). These latter two nicknames, meaning “Seven Streets,” refer to the medieval streets that make up the core of the neighborhood.

Whatever you decide to call it, Bilbao Old Town is a wonderful place to spend time. Lose your way amid its maze of pretty, mostly pedestrianized streets, and you are sure to stumble across many interesting sights.

Head to Plaza Nueva on a Sunday morning to browse for one-off souvenirs at the flea market. This public square is one of the most popular spots in the Old Town, on any day of the week. It is a beautiful example of Neoclassical design, and is also known for its cafés, bars and restaurants. Sit outside and sample some pintxos, the northern Spanish take on tapas.

Walk south from the square for less than 5 minutes to reach the magnificent Catedral de Santiago, aka St. James’ Cathedral. Admire its beautiful exterior, a prime example of 14th-century Gothic architecture. Step inside for a moment of peace in its tranquil interior.

Within just a few minutes’ walk are several museums worth visiting. Learn about local history in the Bilboko Euskal Museoa and see the area’s past brought to life through archaeological artifacts in the Arkeologi Museoa. A little further to the east is the quirky Museo Pasos de Semana Santa, dedicated to religious art and Easter.

The Bidebarrieta Liburutegia Zentrale (Bidebarrieta Library) is one of the area’s most exceptional buildings. This grand 19th-century building is beautiful enough from the outside. Head inside, however, to truly appreciate its opulence.

The highlights of Bilbao Old Town sit on the eastern bank of the Nervión river. Make your way east from the main train station on foot for just under 10 minutes to reach Plaza Nueva, which is usually considered the hub of the neighborhood.


Popular places to visit in Bilbao Old Town

Top things to do in Bilbao Old Town


Top hotels in Bilbao Old Town

Quartier Bilbao Hostel
Quartier Bilbao Hostel
2 out of 5
Artekale Kalea 15, Bilbao
The price is £34 per night from 3 Oct to 3 Oct
Located in Bilbao Old Town, this hostel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Ribera Market and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from San Mames Stadium. Santiago Cathedral and Galeria Da Vinci ...
4.2/5Very Good! (32 reviews)
Perfect location
"José was super nice and helpful the whole stay and the location is perfect! Cute rooftop terrace and small TV room if needed. There is toast, jam, cereal and coffee for breakfast, perfect for the easy going backpacker. Definitely would stay here again if I'm Bilbao."

Reviewed on 11 Jun 2021

Quartier Bilbao Hostel
Hotel Tayko Bilbao
Hotel Tayko Bilbao
4 out of 5
Erribera Kalea 13, Bilbao
The price is £119 per night from 3 Oct to 3 Oct
Located in Bilbao Old Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Santiago Cathedral and Arriaga Theater. Ribera Market and Plaza Moyua are also within 1 mi ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (349 reviews)
"Clean, efficient and very polite service, we’ll located"

Reviewed on 4 Sep 2021

Hotel Tayko Bilbao
NYX Hotel Bilbao by Leonardo Hotels
NYX Hotel Bilbao by Leonardo Hotels
3.5 out of 5
Areatza Kalea 4, Bilbao
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £76 per night from 28 Sep to 28 Sep
Located in Bilbao Old Town, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Arriaga Theater and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from San Mames Stadium. San Nicolas Church and Ensanche are ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (208 reviews)
nice stay
"Very clean and conveniently to both the old and new parts of Bilbao"

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2020

NYX Hotel Bilbao by Leonardo Hotels
Sercotel Arenal Bilbao
Sercotel Arenal Bilbao
3 out of 5
Calle Fueros, 2, Bilbao, Vizcaya
The price is £69 per night from 12 Oct to 12 Oct
Located in Bilbao Old Town, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from San Nicolas Church and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from San Mames Stadium. Arriaga Theater and Plaza Nueva ...
4.4/5Excellent! (108 reviews)
"Wonderful hotel in a great location"

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2021

Sercotel Arenal Bilbao
Basque Boutique
Basque Boutique
2 out of 5
Calle De La Torre, 2 1, Bilbao, Vizcaya
The price is £65 per night from 3 Oct to 3 Oct
Located in Bilbao Old Town, this pension is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Santiago Cathedral and 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from San Mames Stadium. Galeria Da Vinci and Church of ...
4.2/5Excellent! (136 reviews)
Great quirky hotel in the heart of the old town
"Great quirky hotel. All rooms featured something about Basque culture. My room featured music with a double base forming part of the clothes rail and a mini piano we used as a table. The staff were attentive and answered all our questions in a friendly manner. The hotel was clean and well presented ..."

Reviewed on 26 Oct 2019

Basque Boutique
Pensión Ama Bilbao
Pensión Ama Bilbao
3 out of 5
Loteria Kalea 3, Bilbao, Bizkaia
The price is £70 per night from 3 Oct to 3 Oct
Located in Bilbao Old Town, this pension is 0.2 mi (0.2 km) from Plaza Miguel de Unamuno and 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from San Mames Stadium. Church of Santos Juanes ...
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Moderne Unterkunft im Casco Viejo
"Schöne moderne Pension in der Altstadt. Ideal für einen Citytrip.Sehr freundliches Personal. Viele Restaurants in unmittelbarer Nähe."

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2021

Pensión Ama Bilbao
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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