What's on/Tourist information

What's on (highlights):

What's on (full list):

Tourist information (download full text in .pdf here)

Where to eat and drink

See this map for some suggestions on where to eat!


Public transport in Bilbao and surroundings
  •   Barik card 
If you are planning to use public transport in Bilbao and surroundings at least a few times, it will be much easier and  cheaper for you if you buy the Barik card: https://goo.gl/ZWHU1r. Barik can be used in all local and suburban buses, in the metro and in all the suburban trains, as well as for Artxanda funicular and Puente Bizkaia bridge. 
  You can buy Barik for 3 euros in the ticket machine of every station of Bilbao metro. Note that this should be a Barik-selling machine, which is unique in most stations and looks different from the other ticket machines. The machines can be switched to English. Then you can top up your Barik in any ticket machine, by any amount starting from 5 euros.

  •    Metro
The metro system in Bilbao, designed by Sir Norman Foster, is a convenient way to get around the city of Bilbao, go to the nearby town of Getxo, and even to the beaches. However, it does not go to the Leioa university campus (where the yGAGTA will take place), nor to the airport, so you will need to use Bizkaibus for that. Here is the system map https://goo.gl/vAkHBC. The closest station to Bizkaia Aretoa (where GAGTA will take place) is Moyua. There are 3 lines, but lines 1 and 2 run together in Bilbao and then separate, so that only Line 1 goes to Getxo and to the beaches, so check the train destination if you go there. There is also a new line 3, which you almost surely won't use. 
You can use your Barik card for travelling,  you will be required to validate it at the ticket gates not only when entering, but also when exiting the metro. You can also buy single tickets in the ticket machines. On the website https://www.metrobilbao.eus/en you can find the journey planner, there is also an app. Note that the metro stops running around 11pm except Friday and Saturday night, when it continues running all night. Indeed, Sunday to Thursday nights after 11pm there is no public transport serving Bilbao, so you can only rely on taxi if you don't want to walk.

  •     Bizkaibus
These green buses connect Bilbao with some neighbouring towns in Bizkaia (province of Biscay). On the website (which is not particularly convenient) you can find the timetables and routes https://goo.gl/7CsUZX (switch to English in the top right corner); there is also an app.  You can pay by Barik, but remember to validate it both when entering and when getting off the bus. You can also purchase a single ticket from the driver, but then you need to say where you are going, since there are different zones (apart from some short routes to the university). Note that it's necessary to signal to the driver by hand when you see your bus coming, as well as to press a button to ask the driver to stop when you need to get off the bus (apart from the final stops, of course). The stops are often badly marked, there might be even no numbers of routes stopping, not even any sign of Bizkaibus, as a matter of fact (many stops in Bilbao are combined with those of Bilbobus). So it's better to check the stops on the website or using the app. The good thing is that Bizkaibus covers almost all Bizkaia.
  •     Bilbobus
These red buses run in the city of Bilbao. You can pay by Barik, and in the case of Bilbobus you should validate it only when entering, since it is all single zone, or you can purchase a single ticket from the driver. The bus stops are better marked than those of Bizkaibus, but the frequencies can be quite low, especially at weekends. You still need to signal to the driver, both on the stop and in the bus when you want to get off (by pressing a button). The buses stop running around 11 pm, and there are some special night services Friday and Saturday nights. Here is the website https://goo.gl/8cfCeH and the system maps https://goo.gl/06EZUE, https://goo.gl/mZdSdE. It is quite probable that you won't use Bilbobus at all, since the city centre of Bilbao is not so big, and there is metro and tram.
  •   Tram 
    There is only one tram line (tranvia) in Bilbao, which connects the bus station (Termibus), Guggenheim museum, Abando and Casco Viejo (city centre), as well as Atxuri. The trams run every 10-15 minutes, and stop running around 11 pm. Note that, unlike with other means of transport in Bilbao, you must validate your Barik on the tram stop or purchase a ticket before entering the tram, otherwise you might be fined! The Guggenheim tram stop is just next to Bizkaia Aretoa (where GAGTA will take place): https://goo.gl/9L4InZ. The tram line map: http://www.euskotren.eus/es/node/774.
  •   Termibus 
    Most bus routes from Bilbao start at the main bus station, called Termibus, located next to the San Mames metro station. Take the exit towards Termibus, and then it's just a 2 minutes walk https://goo.gl/PW5QVq. Note that the bus 2318 to the Leioa university campus (for yGAGTA) departs from a different location near San Mames: https://goo.gl/m6eXjG.
  
  

What to do in Bilbao
  • Guggenheim 
    The main tourist attraction in Bilbao is the Guggenheim museum, see the website for more information:  https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/.
  • Other museums 
    You may consider visiting some other museums in Bilbao, such as Fine Arts Museum (Museo de Bellas Artes) https://www.museobilbao.com/in/, Maritime museum https://goo.gl/cLir5K or the Basque museum https://goo.gl/d0gDRZ.
  • Artxanda 
    To get nice views of Bilbao you can take the funicular up to Artxanda hill. The lower station can be easily reached on foot from any point in the center of Bilbao, it is located next to the Calatrava's white bridge (Zubizuri), here: https://goo.gl/spCHwD. Funicular runs every 15 minutes and every day until 10 pm (weekends until 11 pm), and you can use Barik or buy a single ticket. % If you prefer, you can take a funicular up and then walk down to Bilbao, see walks.

Beaches
    If you are lucky with the Basque weather, you might consider going to the beach. Note that the water temperature will be not above 20 degrees, and there might be big waves, so take care if you go for a swim and check the flags. We strongly recommend to apply suncream if you go to the beach, even if the weather seems not so hot, since the sun is very intense here.
  •  Sopelana  
    Some of the nicest beaches around Bilbao are located in Sopelana. You can reach them easily by taking the metro to Larrabasterra station and then walking for about 20 minutes. Larrabasterra is on Line 1 of Metro Bilbao, to reach it from Bilbao city centre take the train with destination Plentzia, Sopela or Larrabasterra itself; the trains run at least every 20 minutes, and the journey from Moyua to Larrabasterra will take around half an hour. Then walk as follows to get to La Salvaje beach: https://goo.gl/p47sZs. Alternatively, you can go to the nearby Arrietara beach https://goo.gl/fUQ8rT. To get back to Bilbao, take the train from Larrabasterra station with destination Etxebarri, the last train is at 22.29 (except Friday and Saturday).  
 You can also get to Sopelana beaches by Bizkaibus, line 3411. It departs from this stop https://goo.gl/7vxKhp in Bilbao city centre at .00 and .30 after every hour until 20.30; it passes Museo Plaza https://goo.gl/zbcDo1 immediately after, and Sarriko https://goo.gl/YUJeXz about 10 minutes later. 
 You should take it till the last stop, Azkorri; the whole journey takes around 45 minutes. After that you can walk to the same La Salvaje beach https://goo.gl/kuTLBZ or to the Gorrondatxe beach https://goo.gl/vcF90H
 The return bus from Azkorri to Bilbao departs at .25 and .55 after every hour, the last bus departs at 21.25. Note that this bus also passes through Getxo, in particular next to Puente Bizkaia bridge, see below. You can also combine a beach visit with a coastal walk, see below.
  •   Plentzia  
    You can also go to the Plentzia beach. To get there, take the metro (Line 1) to Plentzia, which is the final stop. The trains run every 20 minutes, and the last train back from Plentzia departs at 22.20. The journey from Moyua to Plentzia will take around 40 minutes. After you arrive cross a white bridge and walk along the river or through the town to the beaches, for example like this: https://goo.gl/E4Dxjz. Note that you can also go for a walk in the surroundings, see below. The beach in Plentzia is maybe less beautiful than those in Sopelana, but the waves might be smaller, because it is located in a small bay.
  •   Bakio
    Bakio is a coastal village with a large beach. To get there you can take Bizkaibus 3518. This bus departs from Moyua square in the centre of Bilbao https://goo.gl/iTcZJn at .15 and .45 after every hour Monday to Saturday, and at .00 and .30 after every hour on Sunday. Travel till the last stop which is  Bakio Bentalde, the beach is nearby. The travel time is around 40 minutes. 
    The return bus from Bakio to Bilbao departs at .10 and .40 after every hour, and the last bus is at 21.40 Monday to Saturday and at 22.10 on Sundays.  

You can combine your visit to Bakio with a track to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, see below.
  •   Other options 
    You can also combine a beach visit with some city/town visits (Donostia, Lekeitio, Castro Urdiales, Santander) or some walks (Bakio -- Gaztelugatxe, Zumaia -- Deba), see below.
  
  
City/town visits
 
  •   Donostia - San Sebastian 
    Donostia - San Sebastian is a beautiful Basque city and resort famous for its food and beaches. You can walk to the small castle on the top of a hill https://goo.gl/PJ7Eja or just stroll around the city centre and have some pintxos.  
    To get there from Bilbao, take the Pesa bus from Termibus: http://www.pesa.net/pesa/en/horarios. You can purchase the tickets online or in Termibus itself, note however that if you arrive just before the departure there might be no tickets left for that particular bus, especially at weekends. \par
There are also Alsa buses, which might be cheaper, but there are less buses https://www.alsa.es/en/#. Again, you can purchase them online or in Termibus, but the queues to Alsa ticket offices can be quite long. \par
The journey by Alsa or Pesa takes around 1 hour 15 minutes (make sure you buy the tickets for the fast bus, since there are a few slower ones as well). There is also a train connection from Bilbao to Donostia by Euskotren, but this is not recommended, since it takes 2 hours and a half.
  • Getxo 
    Getxo is a town in Greater Bilbao, where the UNESCO world heritage transporter bridge (Puente Bizkaia), as well as some of the most expensive houses in Spain are located. We recommend walking from Puente Bizkaia to Algorta, see below. However, if you just want to visit Puente Bizkaia, take Bilbao metro line 1 to Areeta station (trains towards Plentzia, Sopela, Larrabasterra or Bidezabal, run at least every 10 minutes, it takes about 20 minutes from Moyua station), and then the bridge is a short walk away (better to use the front coach exit at Areeta):  https://goo.gl/ahoLwQ.
   You can also get to Getxo by Bizkaibus line 3411, see the section about Sopelana. The bus passes just next to the bridge, you will see it on your left when going from Bilbao.  
   Once you reach Puente Bizkaia, you can either cross it to the town of Portugalete in the gondola (you can pay by Barik or purchase a single ticket), or for a bigger price you can visit the upper part of the bridge and cross there (and then cross back in a gondola if you wish), see http://puente-colgante.com/en/.
   You can come back the same way from Areeta station (take a train towards Etxebarri to get to Bilbao), or you can walk to Portugalete metro station on the other side of the river, passing by an old church with the view of the bridge (this is an uphill walk): https://goo.gl/FGkoq5, then take a train towards Basauri to get to central Bilbao.   
   Of course, if you prefer you can do it the other way round (and then no walking uphill is required): start by taking the Line 2 Metro Bilbao line to Portugalete (trains towards Kabiezes, run at least every 10 minutes, it takes about 20 minutes from Moyua), then better use the rear coach exit at Portugalete and walk down to the bridge, and return from Areeta station in Getxo.
  • Vitoria-Gasteiz 
    You can visit Vitoria, the capital of the Basque country, which is a green city with a nice historical centre (not on the coast though!). Note that Vitoria cathedral can be only visited with a guided tour which should be booked in advance. https://goo.gl/MTFhTa. To get to Vitoria, take the La Union bus from Termibus, which run every hour or more often: http://www.autobuseslaunion.com/en/. You can buy the tickets online or in Termibus.
  • Lekeitio
    This is a small coastal town in Bizkaia, with a beach, an old church and an island (Isla de Garraitz) where you can only walk in low tide (make sure you check the tides if you want to go to the island and back). To get there, take Bizkaibus route 3512 from Termibus, departures at .45 after every hour (except 14.45, which departs at 15.00 instead, Monday to Saturday), the journey takes more than 1 hour. The departures from Lekeitio to Bilbao are at .30 after every hour, the last bus is at 21.30. You can also walk to the lighthouse (Faro de Santa Catalina): https://goo.gl/hyQE9L.
  • Castro Urdiales 
    This is a coastal town in the nearby province of Cantabria, which has a nice old church and a small castle in the city centre, right on the ocean coast. You can visit it by taking the bus from Termibus, it should say "Bilbao -- Castro directo", they depart from Termibus at .00 and .30 after every hour, and it takes around half an hour (their website does not have an English version). You pay to the driver, Barik is not accepted. There are a couple of stops in Castro town centre where you can get off the bus. On the way back, you can take the bus from the stop located approximately here https://goo.gl/6sWfHi. The buses leave the first stop in Castro (which is further away from the town center) every half an hour until 22.00, so they will pass this stop some minutes after that (no precise timetable is available for this stop).
  • Santander
    The capital of the province of Cantabria cannot boast particularly interesting architecture, but it has some nice beaches, and you can take boat trips around the small bay (which allows visiting some beaches on the other side of the bay as well) from here https://goo.gl/ZQa4rQ. The peninsula of Magdalena is particularly nice, but note it's a 4 km walk one way from the bus station https://goo.gl/wwH7Fp (you can take the local bus also). You can get to Santander by Alsa buses https://www.alsa.es/en/#, and the journey usually takes up to 1 hour and a half; the road is quite scenic. However, if you have to choose one trip, visiting Donostia is more recommended.

Coastal walks
  • Getxo walk 
    This is an easy walk in the town of Getxo. You can start from visiting Puente Bizkaia bridge, as described above in the Getxo section (by taking the metro to Portugalete or Areeta and then walking). Then you can walk along the coast to the nice fishing village in Algorta (Puerto Viejo) https://goo.gl/B4PCxf, and come back by metro from Algorta station (to get to central Bilbao take a train towards Etxebarri). Here is a possible route, starting from Areeta (Metro Line 1): https://goo.gl/ZdqCXe.  
You can also continue from Algorta to Sopelana, which is the next walk. To do this, from Puerto Viejo instead of walking to Algorta metro continue as following: https://goo.gl/H6Fkpm, and then follow the coast to the beaches of Sopelana, as described in the next walk. This will be a long walk though.
  • Getxo -- Sopelana walk  
    This is a coastal walk near Bilbao which can be combined with a visit to a beach in the end. To start, take the Metro Line 1 to Bidezabal (trains towards Plentzia, Sopela, Larrabasterra or Bidezabal itself, trip from Moyua to Bidezabal is about 25 minutes), use the first coach exit. To get to the coast, you can walk as follows: https://goo.gl/4huxAc. Afterwards just follow the coastal path to get to the beaches of Sopelana. You can return from Larrabasterra metro station or by bus 3411, as described in the section about Sopelana beaches above. For example, like this: https://goo.gl/zGZoYN. Of course, you can also start from the beaches in Sopelana and then walk the same way in the opposite direction to Bidezabal or Algorta.
  • Plentzia walk/hike 
    If you go to Plentzia beach (by Metro Line 1 to Plentzia), see above, you can also go for a walk to the lighthouse (Faro de Gorlitz): https://goo.gl/wYWzj1. If you want, you can also hike closer to the cliffs one of the ways, but this is already a hike, not a walk, so proper shoes are recommended, and be careful next to the cliffs; here is the track: https://goo.gl/Ba55gr.
St Juan de Gaztelugatxe
    This is a canonical place to visit in the Basque country, and it is indeed an amazing place, we recommend you to visit it if you have time (and the weather allows). It is a small island with a chapel which is connected to the mainland by a bridge.  Prepare for many tourists, especially during the weekend. You can also combine it with going to the beach. 

To get to St Juan de Gaztelugatxe you need to hike. There are two options. The first one is to take Bizkaibus route 3518 to the town of Bakio, which also has a large beach. This bus departs from Moyua square in the centre of Bilbao https://goo.gl/iTcZJn at .15 and .45 after every hour Monday to Saturday, and at .00 and .30 after every hour on Sunday. Travel till the last stop which is  Bakio Bentalde, the beach is nearby. The travel time is around 40 minutes. To get to Gaztelugatxe hike as follows: https://goo.gl/65rmLA, and then the same way back. You can also get a taxi from Bakio to the parking above Gaztelugatxe, making the hike shorter. The return bus from Bakio to Bilbao departs at .10 and .40 after every hour, and the last bus is at 21.40 Monday to Saturday and at 22.10 Sunday.  
Another option is to take Bizkaibus 3517, which will take you closer to St Juan (namely to the parking above it). This bus departs also from Moyua square in Bilbao, but from a different stop: https://goo.gl/px75LU. The bus departs at .40 after every hour (note that there might be other buses with the same number departing at different time, but they will not take you to Gaztelugatxe!)
The travel time by bus 3517 is longer, might be slightly over 1 hour, since it goes through many towns. Soon after passing through Bakio you should get off at this stop https://goo.gl/pVbjW1 (remember to press a button in the bus!), and then hike to St Juan https://goo.gl/thmzka. To go back by bus 3517, wait at this stop https://goo.gl/o3bFsc. There is no precise timetable for the stop, but the buses leave the nearby town of Bermeo at .30 after every hour, the last one at 20.30, so the bus should pass this stop some minutes after this time. Of course, you can go there by bus 3517 and come back from Bakio by bus 3518 or the other way round. 
 This is an easy hike, but appropriate shoes are still recommended.


Hikes
  These are quite demanding hikes, not walks, and proper boots are necessary. Make sure to take enough water also.
  
  •  Deba -- Zumaia 
    This is a great hike, with some coastal parts, which allows to see some amazing cliffs on the coast. But it's not easy -- around 15 km, with lots of ascents and descents, and it is not always well marked. You can also combine it with a visit to Donostia - San Sebastian, and there are also beaches in Deba and in Zumaia. 
     To get there, take a Euskotren train from Bilbao to Deba. The trains depart from Atxuri station https://goo.gl/1CWwGF at .00 every hour (train towards Donostia), and they pass Bolueta station (where you can change from Bilbao Metro) at .03 after every hour. The travel time to Deba is 1 hour 45 minutes. You can pay by Barik, but remember to validate your Barik at Deba station, even though there are no ticket gates. 
     From Deba station first walk to a chapel (Ermita Santa Catarina) as follows: https://goo.gl/Rt8vVX. Do not start from the beach as in the track below, since this part of the path is now dangerous due to erosion. From the chapel you can continue to Zumaia as in the track: https://goo.gl/LFE2uY. The so called flysch near Playa de Sakoneta and near Zumaia is amazing https://goo.gl/fmnqay. There is a bar on the way, but it is much closer to the end of the walk in Zumaia.
     From Zumaia station https://goo.gl/N2pS4s you can either take Euskotren train back to Bilbao (departs at .29 after every hour, the last one is at 20.29 during the weekdays and at 21.29 during the weekends, travel time almost 2 hours), or continue by train to Donostia - San Sebastian (departs at .00 every hour, travel time 40 minutes), and after spending some time there return by Pesa or Alsa bus to Bilbao, as described above.  
  •   Pagasarri and Ganekogorta 
    Ganekogorta is a 998 meter high mountain next to Bilbao which offers great views of Bizkaia in good weather. You can start the hike from the center of Bilbao, or you can take Bilbobus 76 from Moyua square, from this stop https://goo.gl/DDHaL1. The bus timetable can be found here https://goo.gl/ueHPZd (see departures from Moyua at the bottom). If you take the bus, you should get off at Iberdrola stop, just after crossing the bridge over a highway (remember to press a button!), here: https://goo.gl/bZLRSd. You first go up Pagasarri, which is a rather easy and very popular walk, and then if you want continue to Ganekogorta, which is a harder part of the walk.   Here is a possible route: https://goo.gl/3FU6ci (from the bus stop) or https://goo.gl/EavoT2 (from Abando). There is a fountain near Pagasarri: https://goo.gl/HZ2Ekn, and also a small bar and picnic area. You can also go down to Llodio instead of coming back to Bilbao, and then take the RENFE Cercanias train to Bilbao Abando station (the trains go approximately every half an hour, and the journey time is half an hour; you can pay by Barik). In this case follow this way from Ganekogorta: https://goo.gl/HyV6qe (warning: the descent from Ganekogorta is rather steep). Here is also a possible track: https://goo.gl/LzhBbz (Bilbao to Llodio).   
  •  Kolitza   
    You can take a FEVE train to Balmaseda and hike to the mountain called Kolitza (883 meter high) with a chapel on the top, located on the border between the Basque country and Castile and Leon. The hike is slightly easier than Ganekogorta (still a serious hike!), and the views are also good. The trains depart from La Concordia train station with a beautiful art-nouveau facade opposite Casco Viejo: https://goo.gl/VhefJH (it is close to Abando train station, but it is a different station!). There are trains departing at 8:50, 10:20, 11:15 and 12:10, you can use Barik, the journey takes almost 1 hour, and you should alight at Balmaseda station. From Balmaseda you can hike following this track  https://goo.gl/hn5KS2. Note that from the station you can start like this (and then follow the track): https://goo.gl/8naxvQ.
There are return trains from Balmaseda to Bilbao at 14:50, 16:25, 16:45, 17:50, 18:50, 19:50 and 20:20. 
If you have a car
  • Nervion waterfall 
    Nervion is the river which flows through Bilbao, and this waterfall is close to its beginning. Unfortunately, the waterfall itself is not there apart from a few days during the year after heavy rain or when snow is melting in the mountains, but the cliffs are very impressive anyway. By car the starting point can be reached following this route (you can also park a bit earlier; there is a winding road closer to the end): https://goo.gl/2Q8niC. The hike is then straightforward: https://goo.gl/AVqr8B. On the way back you may wish to stop in the old town of Urduña, with storks nesting on the roofs: https://goo.gl/B4GcVU.
  • Coastal drive 
    By car you can visit St Juan de Gaztelugatxe easier, but you can also continue by visiting some of the coastal (and nearby) towns like Bermeo, Mundaka, Gernika, Elantxobe, and possibly also Ea and Lekeitio, as well as the bird center in Urdaibai reserve https://goo.gl/85Z6MM. The possible route could look like this (although probably you will have to skip some of the points, as there might be too many for a day): https://goo.gl/KmG1LE.
  • Pozalagua and other caves 
    You can visit the beautiful Pozalagua cave. You can only go with a guided tour, which is in Spanish, but they have an English audioguide, and the main thing is just to see the cave, it is amazing. You can book tickets online for a particular day and time (closed Mondays): https://goo.gl/WPkdqB. To get there, follow this scenic route https://goo.gl/eZZAMN
There are also caves with paleolithic drawings nearby, like Covalanas cave https://goo.gl/cRA9GR, which is also amazing in its way, but this might be hard to visit, since it can only be done in small groups by reservation.  
You might wish to stop at the coastal town of Castro Urdiales on the way back.
  • Urkiola 
    Urkiola natural park has some of the most scenic mountain landscapes in the province of Biscay. To get there, drive to Urkiola pass https://goo.gl/TJvcWK. From there, you can hike, for example, to Urkiolagirre https://goo.gl/5W3j5K, to get the view of Anboto mountain, or to Saibu https://goo.gl/deV8Hn.
  • Gorbea 
    Gorbea is the highest mountain in the Basque provinces of Biscay and Alava, 1481 meters high. Even though the parking is over 700 meters high, the hike is still quite demanding, and proper boots are necessary. To get there, drive to Pagomakurre parking https://goo.gl/YWwuQW, and then hike as follows: https://goo.gl/VmZojF.

If you have some questions, please ask the organizers!

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