The Cheapest Hotels to Book in Bilbao

Hotel Bed4U Bilbao blends affordability with chic modern design
Hotel Bed4U Bilbao blends affordability with chic modern design | Courtesy of Hotel Bed4U Bilbao / Expedia
Jo Fernandez-Corugedo

Bilbao, the capital of northern Spain’s Basque Country, has much to offer. From the one-in-a-million Guggenheim Museum – a vision in twisted titanium cladding – to streets that hum with energy as locals and weekenders mill about eating and drinking until late into the night. You’ll need somewhere comfy to rest your head here – so book one of these beautiful bases through Culture Trip.

1. Aliciazzz

Bed and Breakfast

Hotel AliciaZzz Bilbao
© Aliciazzz B&B

If you love Alice in Wonderland, you’ll adore this eclectic old-town B&B, a five-minute walk from Bilbao Cathedral and 2km (1.2mi) from the wild contours of the Guggenheim Museum. Six rooms present “Alice in the Basque Country” in colourful murals throughout. Start the day with iced pastries, then head out to see the sights before a wander around the bar-lined, arched Plaza Nueva, home to some of the best spots for pintxos (tapas), including wafer-thin jamon.

2. Casual Gurea

Budget Hotel

Hotel Casual Bilbao Gurea
© Casual Bilbao Gurea

In Bilbao’s Casco Viejo (old town), this townhouse keeps things simple with whitewashed rooms (singles to family-size); pretty blue local city scenes are brushed across walls. Superiors have French windows revealing colourfully shuttered buildings and cobbled streets below. Make sure you walk the 20 minutes to the Guggenheim Museum for a closer look at the area. Breakfast isn’t served here, just make your own in the communal kitchen from fresh bread and local cheeses; better still, steps from the B&B are bars and restaurants fragrant with expert-cooked classics including potato-laden tortilla.

3. Petit Palace Arana

Chain Hotel

Guest room at Petit Palace Arana
Courtesy of Petit Palace Arana /

The setting’s photogenic, in a soft terracotta-coloured 19th-century building opposite the ornate stone facade of the Teatro Arriaga – an easy stroll from the Ensanche, or newer district. Rooms have contemporary good looks – light walls, polished wooden floors, aubergine ceilings; family rooms have bunk beds and toys for young ones. Breakfast is super-healthy: a good mix of fresh fruit juices, yoghurts fruit and, of course, a few crispy croissants and crusty bread rolls. This close to the river, you get fine views over the old town to forested green Basque expanses.

4. Basque Boutique


Basque Boutique hotel, Bilbao
©Basque Boutique

In rooms and communal spaces, the look here is a mix: red-brick walls and gnarly beamed ceilings contrasting with modern four-poster beds and industrial piping. The eight bedrooms, named after local folklore, are whimsical and comfy. The lobby bucks boring trends in favour of whole logs for tables and chairs; there’s also a patio you to idle in post-sightseeing, sipping a local beer. Breakfast isn’t served, but that’s not a problem given the location – you’re a two-minute walk from the river Nervión where you’ll find La Ribera, Europe’s largest covered market, along with the Michelin-starred restaurant Mina.

5. Hotel Zenit Bilbao


Hotel Zenit Bilbao_df7f8470
Courtesy of Hotel Zenit Bilbao / Expedia

Football fans pick this modern hotel – it’s less than 15 minutes on foot from Estadio San Mamés football stadium, home to Athletic Bilbao. Uncluttered rooms come with Regency striped wallpaper and cherry-red chairs. There’s an outside patio – covered in case of the habitual Basque downpours – for morning coffee and glasses of wine. Nicely central, this place puts you opposite the restaurant-lined Plaza de la Casilla, where you’ll get to devour some of the best pintxos in town.

6. Hotel Bed4U Bilbao


Hotel Bed4U Bilbao_5a9024a0
Courtesy of Hotel Bed4U Bilbao / Expedia

The simple name belies the charms of this well-thought-out hotel, a three-minute walk from the Bullfighting Museum. From a single room (with a nice double bed) to a suite with a living room and bijou desk, the minimal spaces are white, bright and airy with sweeping scenes of the city visible through boxy windows. Sustainable measures include electric scooter hire, while the buffet breakfast strives for healthy eco-kudos, featuring freshly squeezed orange juice, nuts and eggs. It’s served in a fab industrial-cool multi-use space filled with concrete pillars, softly falling foliage and mid-century-modern style chairs.

7. Hotel Ilunion San Mamés


Hotel Ilunion San Mamés_82866b7b
Courtesy of Hotel Ilunion San Mamés / Expedia

You don’t have to be a football fan to love this contemporary hunk of a hotel, 500m (1,640ft) from San Mamés Stadium. Starkly minimal rooms are softened by chunky wooden bedside tables, floaty sheer white curtains and caramel leather easy chairs. Public spaces are dreamlike with illuminated nature-themed walls. Sip a chilled local cider in the bar after a football match; after a day exploring the Guggenheim, stick around at the museum’s gallery café, a favourite with locals and visitors for its Basque cuisine with a modern edge.

8. Hotel Conde Duque


Hotel Conde Duque_a5147d84
Courtesy of Hotel Conde Duque / Expedia
What a setting and a view: overlooking the white steel arch of the Calatrava bridge that crosses the Nervion River. You’re also sandwiched nicely between the old town and the glittering Guggenheim, a pleasant 10-minute stroll away. The hotel rooms are lively, in rich shades of orange and soothing greens – ask for one with a balcony over the curve of the river below. This is a food lover’s hotel, with places to eat and drink including a Spanish speciality restaurant and a cafe/cocktail bar with a decked sun terrace. Expanding waistlines can be reined in at the gym and the sauna – ideal for sweating out any late-night excess.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally written by Esme Fox.

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