The cruise port of Bilbao

Docking in the cruise port of Bilbao

The cruise port of Bilbao, your starting point for great excursions

The port of Bilbao has seen an increase in cruise ship traffic, which is due to the opening of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 1998. 

The port is near the town of Getxo and is 20 kilometers from Bilbao. Therefore you will have to take a shuttle bus, the metro, or a taxi to reach the city. The Bilbao Airport is just 15 minutes from the port.

Cruise ships arrive at the maritime station which is a 1,400 square meter terminal that opened in 2010. There are areas for check-in, collecting luggage, a tourist office, and a waiting room. Near the terminal, you will find outstanding beaches and tours that will provide the opportunity to see the local culture and architecture. There are also many fine restaurants nearby.

cruise port guide

Cruise to Bilbao

During a cruise vacation to Spain, Bilbao is sometimes on the program. Bilbao is part of Basque country in northern Spain. This fascinating city is conveniently located along the Atlantic Ocean and till the 1980s, Bilbao was not a port call for most cruise ships. However with the opening of the Guggenheim Museum, it has grown in popularity. Everything in Bilbao starts with the Old Quarter. The top sights are the Bridge, the Cathedral of Santiago, and the Plaza Nueva.

Bilbao cruise terminal

In the Bilbao cruise terminal you have access to:

  • restaurants
  • waiting area
  • shopping
  • shuttle service and metro service
  • taxi service

Latitude 43º 20' 48''N
Longitude 003º 01' 42'' W

Bilbao cruise facts

Language in Bilbao
The official language is Spanish and everyone is required to learn it in school. However Basque is typically spoken in Bilbao.

Currency in Bilbao
The official currency of Spain in the Euro (€). There are many ATM’s in the city.

Opening times in Bilbao
Opening times differ a lot around Spain, but generally are as follows:

  • Monday to Saturday
  • from 9.30h - 14.00h
  • and from 17.00h - 20.00h

On Sundays and holidays shops are closed. Of course there are exceptions

Landmarks and highlights in Bilbao

Arriaga Theater 
This theater was finished in 1890 and is one of the city’s main attractions. It was built by Joaquin Rucoba and Octavio de Toledo. The theater is named in honor of Juan Crisostomo de Arriaga who was a local composer.

Guggenheim Museum
This museum was built by Frank Gehry. The architecture is a masterpiece and host contemporary and modern art in accordance with the Guggenheim legacy.

Alhondiga Bilbao 
This area is the prime location for entertainment in Bilbao. There are 43 columns in the ground floor. In the building, you will find a large collection of books, a gym, a theater, and restaurants. The Alhondiga is always hopping, especially on the weekend. Ricardo Bastida built it in 1905 and was used for a corn exchange. The style of the building is modernist and was built out of brick and concrete. Philippe Starck redesigned the building for entertainment purposes.

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Getting around in Bilbao

The port isn’t close to the city center. However shuttle buses and the metro make it easy to get to Plaza Moyua in the center of the city. From there you can walk to the major tourist attractions.

Shore excursions around Bilbao

The most popular excursion from Bilbao cruise port is the city itself. Exploring Bilbao can take from a few hours to a whole day, depending on your interests.

The Guggenheim museum and Old Quarter are connected by a park and pathway along a popular riverfront. There are several bridges that provide access to the north side of the river and lead you to Mount Artxanda for an amazing view and great pictures.

Anyone who is looking to cut the cost of their trip can explore the city on their own. From the center of the city, most highlights are walkable, and there is a tram to take you to museums along the Casco Viejo.

Weather in Bilbao

The average winter temperature in Bilbao is 10 degrees Celsius. In July and August the average temperature is 20-21 degrees.

Excursions in Bilbao