Bilbao (Also Bilbo in Basque) is the largest city in the Basque Country and the capital of the province of Biscay (Basque: Bizkaia), Spain. The city has 353,168 inhabitants (2007) and is the most financially and industrially active part of Greater Bilbao, the zone in which almost half of the Basque Country’s population lives. Greater Bilbao’s 953,152 inhabitants are spread along the length of the Nervión River, whose banks are home also to numerous businesses and factories, which during the industrial revolution brought heightened prosperity to the region.
A major seaport and industrial centre, the city is located on the Estuary of Bilbao, the city's suburbs extending to the Bay of Biscay. The population of the city of Bilbao proper was 353,168 in 2007. The population of the urban area of Greater Bilbao ( the conurbation) was 953,152 as of 2007 estimates. Population of the metropolitan area (urban area plus satellite towns) was 950,155 as of 2007 estimates, ranking as the fifth-largest metropolitan area of Spain. As of 2008[update], the mayor of Bilbao is Iñaki Azkuna. (from Wikipedia)
How to Get to Bilbao?
The most frequent ways to get to Bilbao are by plane, by train or by bus.
- By Bus: All buses to other provinces leave from the TermiBus terminal. There are regular connections to Santander (90 minutes) San Sebastian (60 minutes) and Madrid (arriving at Avenida de Las Americas bus station, 4-5 hours) among others.The bus companies connect Bilbao with many cities in Spain more cheaply and frequently than the rail companies. The company linking Bilbao to Santander is ALSA (tel: +34 902422242). Be prepared for long waiting lines of half an hour as there are only two ticket offices. It's usually better to buy the ticket the day before or print your ticket on the company's website. Instead of printing, you can also use the text message they send to your mobile as proof of purchase. For Vitoria-Gasteiz, take La Unión Alavesa buses.
- By Train: RENFE-- runs intercity trains to Madrid, Barcelona, Vigo (Galicia). All Renfe trains leave from Abando Station. FEVE -- runs regional trains to Santander (3 daily), and Leon (1 Daily). They are very slow, and make a stop in almost every single town they pass through. From Santander you can continue to Oviedo (Asturias), and La Coruña (Galicia). This journey has three legs, but it is only possible to do 2 legs in any one day. FEVE trains leave from Santander Station (next to Abando Station)
EuskoTren -- runs a local service to San Sebastian, with connection there for Irun (on the Spanish-French border). It takes two hours to reach San Sebastian. Trains leave from Atxuri Station.
- By Plane: Bilbao Airport is served by Lufthansa, Spanair, Alitalia, Air France, Air Berlin, TuiFly, AerLingus, Iberia, Air Europa, ClickAir, Vueling and several other airlines. Easy Jet flies from London Stansted to Bilbao airport. You can also fly with Ryanair to Santander. To get to downtown from the airport, take Bizkaibus from the arrivals sidewalk: there is no arrivals hall. The bus leaves every half hour at :15 and :45 past the hour from the airport to Bilbao bus terminal. The reverse journey is at :25 and :55 past the hour from the bus terminal to the airport, stopping at Plaza Moyua on the way. A single ticket costs less than €2. Taxis to downtown Bilbao from the airport cost about €25-30.
- By Boat: A direct car ferry is available between Bilbao and Portsmouth, England. It is best to book early, since the ferry is often booked out in summer. By taking the P&O ferry to Bilbao and immediately returning, a mini-cruise can be had which allows approximately two and a half hours in Bilbao.