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One of the best ways to get to know a new city is to book yourself on a walking tour, guided by a local. Walking tours allow you to learn all about the city’s history, culture, hidden spots and best places to visit. Here, we’ve rounded up a list of the best walking tours of the Basque city of Bilbao.
Run by the friendly and knowledgeable Miguel, this award-winning tour company aims to introduce visitors to the hidden side of Bilbao and the Basque Country. Secret Bilbao offers a number of different private city tours, including a Foodie Tour, where you can sample olive oils, craft beers and cold cuts of meat at various city locations; a Pintxos Tour around the Old Town, discovering some of the best local bars; and A Day in Bilbao tour, learning about the city’s 700 year old history and its connection to art and design.
If you’re really on a budget and need to save your money for food and accommodation, then Free Tours Bilbao is a great way to get to tour the city for free. Guides work on a tips-only basis, so if you feel that you can afford to give a voluntary donation, then you can. The Bilbao tours are run by Irati, a Basque native, secondary school teacher and English teacher, and are conducted in English, Spanish or Basque. They offer two different walking tours – one of the Casco Viejo (Old Town) and an Essential Bilbao Tour. Both tours last one hour and a half and are only available during the summer months.
Basque Experiences offer many different tours around the Basque Country, including one for foodies – a Bilbao Pintxo Tour, guiding you around some of the best pintxos (Basque-style tapas) bars in the city. It lasts for a total of two and a half hours and visits five different bars. The cost is €90 per person and includes five pintxos and five typical drinks, such as cider, beer, wine and txakoli (a local white Basque wine).
Run by the Bilbao Tourism Office, this classic Bilbao city tour takes visitors around two areas of the city – the Casco Viejo (Old Town) and Ensanche-Abandoibarra. It gives visitors a seasonal experience of the city and lasts around 90 minutes only, so it’s great if you don’t feel like walking far, or have small children in tow. This is also great for those on a budget, costing just €4.50 for adults and nothing for children under seven. The tours are large and comprise around 40 people depending on demand, and are conducted in Spanish, English and Basque.
Explora Norte offers travellers a whole host of Bilbao city walking tours, from those based around food, to those in the Old Town, around the harbour and fishing area, around various local neighbourhoods and to some of the city’s best museums. They vary in length and price and can be organised from two to thirty people. Tours are offered in Spanish, English and French.
Private walking tours for the LGBTQ community, Rainbow Gay Tours offers a unique four-hour-long tour, starting from the city’s famous Guggenheim Museum, looking at art and architecture. Places you will visit on this tour include Moyúa Square, the Azkuna Centre, Gran Vía, and the Provincial Palace. The tour ends in the Casco Viejo area with a look at La Ribera Market, the Santiago Cathedral and Plaza Nueva, with a few stops at some of the city’s best pintxos bars.
If you prefer not to do a walking tour in a large group and want a local and professional guide to show you around, then Aitor Delgado is your man. An award-winning tour guide, Aitor speaks English, Spanish, Basque, Italian, French and German and offers luxury tailor-made tours. His classic Basque city tour visits the Guggenheim Museum, the Casco Viejo, La Ribera Market and the Santiago Cathedral, lasts four hours and costs €370.
Focusing entirely on food and Basque cuisine, this culinary adventure by Basque Taste offers the chance to indulge in some of the finest food the city has to offer. On this tour, you’ll munch your way through some of Bilbao’s tastiest pintxos bars, best restaurants, bodegas (wine bars) and food markets. The tour lasts three hours and costs €85, including all food and drink.