Our last day in Bilbao, Spain was a Sunday and since a lot of shops and so on are closed that day, I planned for us to go to the Guggenheim Bilbao before leaving for San Sebastian. Entrance tickets were €12 each, including an audio guide.
De gustibus non est disputandum, so I won’t go on about what I thought of each installation we saw there, but I do want to say that my favorite part of our visit was the temporary David Hockney exhibition: landscape painting with very vivid colors.
As for the building itself, the outside is spectacular, but I was a bit disappointed by the inside. It’s not that it’s traditional in a way that the rooms are just squares and so on, but I think I expected the inside to be as futuristic as the outside, which wasn't the case (in my humble opinion).
We spent about 1,5 hours inside, but we didn't listen to all the audio guide explanations. If you do plan to fully use the audio guide, I think your visit will probably take double the time ours did.
Practical information for visiting the Guggenheim Bilbao
Address: Avenida Abandoibarra, 2 – 48009 Bilbao
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 8pm, December 24 and 31: 10am – 5pm, Mondays, December 25 and January 1 closed
– adults: €8
– senior: €5
– groups: €7,50
– students: (< 26 years) €5
– children and Museum Members: free
– special events: check the Guggenheim Bilbao website
Right outside the Guggenheim Bilbao there's an open air pinxtos bar where we went for a drink and pinxtos in the sun. The location is great and there was a nice jazz band playing, but you definitely pay for these extras: €3 is the most we’ve paid for one pinxto during our entire trip.
Off to San Sebastián
After having visited the Guggenheim Bilbao, we went to pick up our luggage at the Ibis and went to the Termibus to catch a bus to San Sebastian.
There’s a bus every hour or so from Bilbao to San Sebastian and the drive takes 1h10min. For the exact bus times you can check the Termibus site. You can also check the websites of the bus companies going between Bilbao and San Sebastian: pesa and Alsa.
Bus tickets (about €15 per person for a one way ticket) can be purchased at the bus station, at the stand of the company you plan on traveling with. The buses these companies use are coach buses: comfi and with air conditioning.
If you’re staying in the center of SS, like we did, you need to get off at San Sebastian's bus terminal, which is located at the Plaza de Pio XII. I used Coogle Maps to get directions from the bus terminal to our hotel, the Basic Confort 2. That way we knew the distance to our hotel was too long to walk with our luggage (about half an hour) and which bus we could take.
A first walk through the city
After having unpacked, we took a walk through the new part of town, crossed the Puente María Cristina and followed the Paseo de Francia to reach the Playa de la Zurriola, where all the surfers come to ride the waves.
At night we had dinner in La Torre de Pizza in the Calle de San Vincente nr 9 (old part of town). I wouldn’t especially recommend this place. They forgot our ordering and the pizza could pass, but I’ve definitely had better.
Except for our last night in San Sebastián, we always had dinner somewhere in the old town, where our hotel was located. There are plenty of bars and little restaurants to choose from. They were all fine, but not amazing. I think that might have something to do with the fact that San Sebastián is far more touristy than all of the other places we visited during our trip.
Where to stay in Bilbao
Check Booking.com for an extensive list of options for all budgets and needs.
If you're looking for an apartment rather than a hotel, I recommend checking airbnb. Sign up through my link and get a discount on your first stay!
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Read more about the Basque Country
10 fun days in the Spanish Basque Country
Our first day in Bilbao
Connecting dots at the enchanted forest of Oma
Exploring Vitoria-Gasteiz and the beautiful Getxo
A trip to Tolosa, Hondarribia, Zarrautz and Zumaia
Why the San Sebastian Aquarium is not just an aquarium
Facing wind and rain at El Peine del Viento and Monte Urgull
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