How to get around the city
Bilbao is perfect to get around on foot, strolling through the city streets, given that 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 underground-metro). They link all the different areas and allow you to get around quickly and comfortably.
The Bilbao metro runs to the main points in the city centre and out to the suburbs. The metro station entrances were designed by prestigious architect Sir Norman Foster, and can be identified by a post with three interlinked red circles. Metro services run from 6am every day, although last services vary: Monday-Thursday to 11pm, Fridays and eves of public holidays to 2am, and there is a non-stop service all weekend to 11pm Sunday.
The city bus services run 6am-11pm (approx.), with variations according to the route. To get about at night at the weekend there are night buses, called Gautxoris, which run until 2.30am on Fridays and 7am 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.
At night it is better to use taxis for comfort and speed. Taxis can be found every day and at any time. They 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 taxis down 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.
Another option is the tourist boat: sail down the Nervión estuary for an hour and 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 various different tickets and fares available. The single ticket is valid for 1 journey (€1.25 for the bus and €1.45 for the metro) and can be purchased on the bus itself or at vending machines in metro stations. The metro also has transferable return tickets at €2.90; 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 prepay Creditrans card, which allows you to use any form of transport including metro, bus, funicular railway and trams. The card is not limited to single-person use and cannot be recharged; it is available in €5, €10 and €15 denominations; it offers a considerable saving on single ticket prices and your credit decreases as you make journeys. 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 validity (1-3 days).
Which is the best option?
Your choice of card will depend on number of people travelling, the duration of your stay in Bilbao and the number of journeys to be made. The Creditrans card is one of the best options because you can make journeys with different costs and it can be shared and used by groups.
Other ways of getting around
There are other ways to get around Bilbao such as the tram (fare, €1,40), funicular railway and lifts, which link the centre with the suburbs.
Bilbao Local Council (www.bilbao.net)
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