A hub for fine art and even finer food, Bilbao is a city for lovers of the good things in life. Home to the Guggenheim Museum, a fantastic archeological museum, and pintxos – the Basque version of tapas – there’s something for travellers of all persuasions. Our selection of the best hostels in Bilbao shows that an exploration of the northern Spanish city doesn’t have to break the bank either.
Although the industrial look and metal bunk beds live up to the name, All Iron Hostel is far from a cold, metallic affair: potted palms decorate the common areas, where comfy sofas sit on wooden pallets, and the lavish breakfasts and all-day free coffee and tea are great for facilitating new friendships. Dorms vary between four and 10 guests, and include women-only and accessible rooms.
This elegant hostel in the heart of the old town is perfect for exploring sights such as the Plaza Barria, Museum of Sacred Art and Teatro Arriaga. Rooms range from double to 10-bed dorms, with all having a stylish monochrome design. The roof terrace and the common room are both great places to meet fellow travellers.
This lively adults-only hostel has everything you need to enjoy your stay in the city centre, with a large common area with sofas set around a TV, tea and coffee facilities, and comfortable dorms with lockers. Bike racks are on hand to help you explore the city, but you can also get to sights such as the Guggenheim Museum on foot.
As you’d expect from the name, this ‘posh hostel’ goes the extra mile when it comes to the facilities: there are hairdryers in the bathrooms, a USB socket and reading light by every dorm bed, and a sauna where you can relax after a day exploring the sights and pintxos bars of Bilbao. Why not enjoy some tapas and wine in the bar/restaurant with your new roommates?
In the buzzy surrounds of the university district, this cheerful hostel was one of the first of its kind in the city, and remains one of the best. Dorms sleep between two and 12, and are decorated with colourful wall art. Bikes are available for rent, and the friendly staff will happily provide maps and go over the best things to do in town.
There’s a space-age vibe to this ‘capsule’ hotel, from the angular white tables and chairs of the common areas to the ring-lighted ceilings and mirrors. Each capsule comprises a large double bed, with one facing wall doubling as a large TV. The kitchen and dining rooms continue the spaceship aesthetic and are great places to make new friends.
The best-placed hotel in the Seven Streets of the old town, Ganbara has an olive-green colour scheme, café-like common areas and traditional bunk dorms sleeping between four and eight. Table tennis and a Nintendo Wii are among the communal activities on offer, while the sights of the old town – Plaza Barria, Parque Etxebarria and the Museo Arqueológico – are right outside your door.
Set in the hipsterish surrounds of the Bilbao la Vieja, Bcool is the perfect choice for bohemian types looking to make friends. Explore the celebrated street art, then return to the hostel to hang out with other travellers on the terrace – or in the common room during the colder months. Dorms and double rooms are on offer, with all sharing an industrial-chic look, thanks to upcycled wooden furniture.
On the banks of the Bilbao Estuary, BBK Bilbao Good Hostel offers modern, spacious dorm rooms with colourful floors and a minimalist atmosphere: comfortable bunks, lockers for your valuables and laundrette facilities should you need them. The generous breakfasts should set you up for adventures, while packed lunches and even dinners can also be prepared should you want to stay out all day.
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