Bilbao is perfect for getting around on foot and strolling through the city streets, as the main tourist areas are fairly close together. However, the city also has a full range of public transport services (city buses, trams, taxis and metro) linking all the different areas and allowing you to get around quickly and conveniently.
The Bilbao metro runs to all the main points in the city centre and out to the suburbs. The metro station entrances were designed by the prestigious architect Sir Norman Foster, and can be identified by a post with three interlinked red circles. Metro services run from 6 am every day, although the last service varies: Monday-Thursday until 11 pm, Fridays and eves of public holidays until 2 am, as well as continuous service all weekend until 11 pm on Sunday.
The urban bus network in Bilbao, Bilbobus, covers all the districts in the city. It runs from approximately 6 am to 11 pm, although it varies depending on the line. It has a frequency of between 10 and 30 minutes. To get about at night at weekends there are night buses, known as Gautxoris, which run until 2:30 am on Fridays and 7 am on Saturdays. These buses depart from Plaza Moyua square and Plaza Biribila square and have a 'G' in front of the route number. The tourist bus also runs to the city's most emblematic spots.
www.bilbao.net/bilbobus At night it is a good idea to use taxis for convenience and speed. Taxis can be found every day at any time, and are white with their license number and a red stripe on the side. There are ranks in the busiest spots of the city, and you can also flag down a taxi in the street when they have the green light on, or order them by telephone. Tariffs are displayed inside the taxis and comprise the minimum fare, flag-down charge, kilometre charge and other extras such as night service, public holidays, and station or airport service. Radio Taxi Bilbao (+34 944448888) Another option is the tourist boat: a one-hour cruise down the Nervión estuary to see the Guggenheim Museum, Euskalduna Palace, Zubizuri bridge, the Town Hall... The trip begins at the jetty on Plaza Pío Baroja, opposite the Town Hall.
How much does transport cost?
There are several different tickets and fares available. The single ticket is valid for one journey (€1.25 for the bus and €1.50 for the metro) and can be purchased on the bus itself or at vending machines in the metro stations. The metro also has transferable return tickets; costing €3; 1-day travelcards; (€4.60), allowing unlimited use of the network for a day; group tickets; for multiple users (minimum 20 people), with varying prices.
Also available is the prepaid Creditrans card, which allows you to use any form of transport including metro, bus, funicular railway and tram. The card na be used for several people on one trip and cannot be topped up; it is available in €5, €10 and €15 denominations and offers considerable savings on single ticket prices, with your credit decreasing with every trip you take. It can be purchased in estancos (licensed tobacconists), at newspaper stands and at vending machines in metro and tram stations.
Another option is the Bilbao Card, offering interesting benefits such as unlimited use of public transport, as well as discounts for shops, restaurants, shows and leisure attractions. It costs €6-€12, depending on its validity (1-3 days).
Which is the best option?
Your choice of card will depend on number of people travelling, the length of your stay in Bilbao and the number of journeys to be made. The Creditrans card is one of the best options as you can make journeys with different costs and it can be shared and used by groups.
There are other ways to get around Bilbao, including the tram (fare: €1.50), funicular railway and lifts, which link the centre with the suburbs.
The contactless Barik card allows you to travel all over Bizkaia on public transport. You can use: Metro Bilbao, Bilbobus, tram, Eusko train, the Bizkaia suspension bridge, Artxanda funicular, Larreineta funicular… It costs €3 and you must top it up before using in increments of €5 at the ticket vending machines in Metro Bilbao, at the Bilbobus and Bizkaibus booths, and in over 450 establishments displaying the Barik sign. www.tarjetabarik.net.
Excursions in a period train. www.bilbaoturismo.net/BilbaoTurismo/es/transportes-turisticos/excursiones-en-un-tren-de-epoca
Bikes. Some of the bike rental companies include Alquimoto (C/ Jon Arrospide 14-16), Hotel Miró (Alameda Mazarredo, 77) and Hostel Ganbara (Prim, 13 bajo). Others are Urban Bike (Villarias, 3), Ibilbi (Eugenio de Olabarrieta nº 1) and Tourné Bilbao (Villarías, 1). Segway. www.segwaybizkaia.com Kichbikes. www.ibilbi.com
Bilbao Town Council (www.bilbao.net)