When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Bilbao?
The best time to fly to Bilbao for cheap flights and good weather is June or September, when you can enjoy summer temperatures without the crowds. Rock and pop music fans should visit in July for the Bilbao BBK Live festival (12-14 July 2018). The Easter holidays, August and December are the most popular (and expensive) times to visit Bilbao, but it may be worth it for some travellers.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to Bilbao?
It’s best to book your flight to Bilbao around two to three months before your departure date, if you want to have the best range of return flights available to you. If you are hoping to score a good deal for a trip during peak tourist periods, it’s always worth keeping an eye out for cheap last-minute flights.
Flying to Bilbao Airport BIO
Bilbao Airport (BIO) is 12 kilometres from the city centre. The main terminal building, which opened in 2000, was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. This airport operates flights to destinations all over Spain and Europe, serving nearly five million passengers per year.
Iberia Airlines and Vueling both operate direct flights to Bilbao from London Gatwick Airport, while British Airways flies direct to Bilbao from London Heathrow Airport. You can also find cheap flights to Bilbao from other UK airports, including Manchester Airport, Cardiff Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport and Glasgow International Airport. Air Europa Linea, Air France, KLM and SN Brussels Airlines all operate Bilbao flights with a single connection, usually in cities such as Paris or Barcelona.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
Bilbao Airport (BIO) has one terminal building with four storeys. The arrivals hall, along with customs, passport control and baggage reclaim, are all on level one. On the same floor you’ll find facilities including ATMs, a children’s play area and a tourist information desk. Car rental companies are based at level zero and most of the airport’s restaurants and shops are on level three. Level 2 is reserved for departures. Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport, and there are special work stations located on levels one and three.
Getting to the City from Bilbao Airport BIO
It’s easy to reach the city centre from Bilbao Airport. The Bilbao Termibus, line A3247, departs every half hour between 6.15am to 11.15pm and runs from the airport to three different stops in Bilbao centre. The journey takes about 15 minutes. An information desk and ticket office for this bus line are located on the arrivals level. Metered taxis are also available outside the terminal, and if you prefer to hire a car, there are plenty of car rental companies to be found on the lower level of the terminal.
Why Visit Bilbao?
With its cosmopolitan art galleries, atmospheric Old Town streets and world-class culinary scene, the Basque capital is a popular destination for British tourists. Many travel to the city specifically to visit the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, the iconic gallery designed by Frank Gehry that kick started Bilbao’s regeneration in the 1990s. The striking structure is surrounded by sculptures by artists such as Jeff Koons and Louise Bourgeois.
For a taste of Bilbao’s history, head to the charming Casco Viejo, which has the city’s original seven streets at its heart. Plaza Nueva is a popular spot where you can hop between the bars and enjoy some pintxos (bar snacks). Don’t miss the chance to pick up some traditional Basque produce at the art deco food hall Mercado de la Ribera, which is at its most vibrant in the mornings. For a superb view of the city, take a dip at the Azkuna Zentroa’s rooftop pool, perched on top of a sprawling former wine warehouse that’s been redesigned by architect Philippe Starck.
Don't Forget Before you Fly
British citizens don’t need a visa to enter Spain and your passport needs to be valid only for the duration of your stay. If you intend to stay longer than three months, you must register in person at the nearest Office for Foreigners. The local currency is the euro, and you should make sure to only use official money exchange offices or banks. The climate in northern Spain can be prone to rain all year round, so you may like to pack a waterproof layer or an umbrella.