Once an important industrial centre, it has had a cultural resurgence in recent years due to the huge success of the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. It also has lively restaurants and tapas bars, fabulous shopping, and an enchanting Old Quarter.  

Temperate and warm, August is the hottest month in Bilbao, with an average temperature of 21°C; the coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 10°C.  

If you are cruising to Bilbao as part of your trip, there is a lot to look forward to in this interesting and captivating location.

Latest Bilbao Deals


19 Sep 2020 (2 Nights) Cruise Only from £249pp

Viking Homelands

31 Aug 2021 (14 Nights) Cruise Only from £5640pp
Viking Jupiter

Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Greenland, United Kingdom

08 Aug 2020 (21 Nights) Cruise Only from £3097pp
MSC Poesia

Tulips & Chocolates

09 Apr 2021 (7 Nights) Cruise Only from £855pp

Closer Spain & Cruising the Seine

28 May 2020 (10 Nights) Cruise Only from £1396pp
Black Watch

The Canary Islands

04 Apr 2020 (12 Nights) Cruise Only from £1206pp
Queen Victoria

26-Day European Splendor & Northern Isles

20 Jun 2020 (26 Nights) Cruise Only from £3908pp

Five Night Celtic Cruise

29 May 2021 (5 Nights) Cruise Only from £749pp
Black Watch

Northern Europe Embrace

10 Aug 2022 (11 Nights) Cruise Only from £4794pp
Crystal Symphony

In Search of the Northern Lights

27 Feb 2020 (12 Nights) Cruise Only from £4040pp
Viking Star

Scenes of Dunkirk

19 May 2020 (7 Nights) Cruise Only from £1470pp
Spirit of Discovery

6 Night France & Spain Cruise

23 May 2020 (6 Nights) Cruise Only from £899pp
Anthem of the Seas

Cruise Companies that sail to Bilbao

Why visit Bilbao ?

Bilbao location iamge - CruiseDirection

The most important port in Spain

Bilbao is in the Basque region close to the French border

There are historical delights, such as the 16th-century Basilica de Begoña overlooking the Casco Viejo district from a nearby hill. The Basilica features both Gothic and Renaissance influences, and its gold altarpiece contains a statue of Our Lady of Begoña, the patron saint of Biscay.  

The Casco Viejo is Bilbao’s atmospheric Old Quarter and has a myriad of charming roads, bars and independent shops. In the midst of Casco Viejo are Bilbao’s original seven streets, Las Siete Calles, which date from the 1400s. Stylish buildings with striking patterned facades overlook this warren of medieval pedestrian lanes.  

Other iconic landmarks for cruise visitors to check out include the 16th-century Gothic Quarter, the 14th-century Santiago Cathedral, the 19th-century Plaza Nueva and the Renaissance-style churches of San Antón, Santos Juanes and San Nicolás.  

The 19th-century Plaza Nueva is home to a lively Sunday-morning flea market and includes second-hand book and record stalls as well as street performers. There is also a flower market in nearby Plaza del Arenal.  

The city’s museums and its Old Quarter are linked by a park and pathway, with several attractive bridges that lead to the river’s north side that gives access to the funicular to the top of Mount Artxanda. The trip is well worth it for the exceptional view of the city and its surrounding hills.  

Further west is another gem. The Vizcaya Bridge straddles the mouth of the Ibaizabal estuary. Designed by the Basque architect Alberto de Palacio y Elissague, it was completed in 1893. It was the first bridge in the world to carry people and traffic on a high suspended gondola and was used as a model for many similar bridges all over the world. It is regarded as one of the outstanding architectural iron constructions of the Industrial Revolution and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Of course, there is the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. Standing above the banks of the Nervión River, it houses some of the world’s greatest modern art, including pieces by Picasso, Matisse and Chagall. Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, the building is a sculpture-like structure, imaginatively integrated within Bilbao’s urban pattern and its surrounding area. The building itself is one of the most admired works of contemporary architecture.  

A fascinating mix of the old and the new, the industrial and the artistic, a cruise pause at Bilbao is not to be missed.

Interested in Bilbao Cruise Holidays?

Ship Icon - CruiseDirection