Marvel at the classical architecture of Bilbao's City Hall during a Bilbao tour, with its stately beige and white facade, adorned with statues and ornate stonework

The 8 Best and Essential Bilbao Free Tours To Sign Up For in 2024

Looking for the best and essential Bilbao free tours to sign up for? You’ve made it to the right post!

I spent 6 days exploring Bilbao, during which I booked 2 free walking tours in Bilbao to explore the city, gain more insight, get a lay of the land, and hear directly from a local the story of this fascinating northern Spain city. 

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On a walking tour in Bilbao, explore the Old Town's cobblestone paths flanked by buildings painted in a palette of reds, yellows, and creams, adorned with green balcony plants on a sunny day.

Free Tour of Historic Bilbao – With Radio Guide Included!

⭐️ 4.75/ 5 stars

⭐️ 2-hour duration

⭐️ Review: “Wow, this was amazing. It’s incredible how Mikel explains everything, the enthusiasm that he has, and how he subtly makes us all participate. He’s great. You should feel proud of him.” – Raquel

In this post, I will be covering the best free Bilbao guided tours, including the ones I joined myself, to give you an idea of what kinds of free tours in Bilbao are available, what they offer, and other helpful details, to help you decide which ones you want to book for your upcoming trip to Bilbao. 

While most of the tours on this post are Bilbao walking tours in English, many tours in Bilbao are available in both English and Spanish, so if you prefer either of the two, you’ll have no problem finding one that suits your language needs! 

So, without further ado, let’s get into the best and essential Bilbao free tours! 

Take a tour of Bilbao for FREE with these 8 best and essential Bilbao free tours

1. Free Walking Tour of Bilbao

A vibrant Bilbao free walking tour down city streets, where the dance of colors on traditional buildings meets the modern blur of passersby and tramlines.
Explore Bilbao’s major modern and historic sites on this free walking tour of Bilbao!

⭐️ Rating: 9.2/ 10 Stars |  ⏳Tour Length: 2.5 hours | 🏛️ Check Tour Date Availability

Kick off your adventures through Bilbao on this free walking tour. You’ll get a glimpse into the city’s fascinating history and see it come alive with its rich traditions coexisting with its modernity. 

You’ll start by learning about the story behind the Arriaga Theater, named after one of Spain’s most important composers. Then, you’ll head to explore the charming Plaza Nueva while passing a few essential monuments that were the stage for important moments in Basque history. 

As you wind through the Old Town, you’ll enjoy glimpses into fascinating Basque traditions, whether a live music procession, a traditional dance, or simply locals decked out in their home team’s colors on their way to San Mamés stadium for the big game. There’s never a dull moment! 

“Mikel has made this morning excursion very enjoyable for us. He has provided us with information at all times about the different locations, curiosities about the city and its culture, gastronomy, festivals, etc… Very happy with the treatment received.”

laura (read more reviews here)

I did another free tour with Mikel (you’ll see shortly), as he does a few tours for a few companies. I also agree that his tour was amazing, informative, entertaining, and fun! He’s very passionate about his city, and you feel it as he takes you through it. 

📍BOOK the Free Walking Tour of Bilbao

2. Free Walking Tour of Modernist Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum, a must-see on Bilbao Free Tours, stands as a silver beacon of modern art and architecture, contrasting with the gray skies and green hills.
Focus on the modern art scene outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao with the expertise of a passionate and local guide.

⭐️ Rating: 9.2/ 10 Stars |  ⏳Tour Length: 2.5 hours | 🏛️ Check Tour Date Availability

Bilbao is known for its modern and avant-garde approach to architecture and art, just as much as it is known for its rich history and traditions. Therefore, a free tour of Bilbao’s modern side should undoubtedly be on your radar to help you understand the other side of this creative city. 

Enjoy walking through the Salve Bridge (the iconic red bridge) and getting your picture with the famous Guggenheim Museum and the Bilbao Ria in the background. Visit the fascinating Plaza Moyúa and Chávarri Palace and the stunning squares of San José and Euskadi Square. 

“Nerea, our guide, has explained everything to us in great detail, everything a tourist needs to know about the history of Bilbao. A very nice girl. We loved the tour.”

oana (read more reviews here)

Take in the towering Iberdrola Tower, Bibao’s tallest skyscraper and newest architectural marvel, before making it to the Guggenheim Museum for an in-depth look at its architecture and other little-known facts.

📍BOOK the Free Walking Tour of Modernist Bilbao

3. The Walk of Memory (Night Limited Group Tour) Stories of the City and its People

The La Salve Bridge, a stunning spectacle on the Bilbao Free Tours, gleams with red and pink tones against the evening sky, mirrored on the Nervión River's surface.
On this free tour of the Walk of Memory, hit the streets of Bilbao at night to see one of the city’s main sights best after the sun goes down.

⭐️ Rating: 4.9/ 5 Stars |  ⏳Tour Length: 1 hour and 45 minutes | 🏛️ Check Tour Date Availability

A unique and essential tour in Bilbao takes place on the Walk of Memory (El Paseo de la Memoria), surrounded by art and architecture and a peek into Bilbao’s art culture. 

Known as the most famous art walk in Bilbao, the almost 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) walk will enrich your experience of Bibao’s art scene with a few interesting anecdotes about the Guggenheim Museum and significant historical figures in the art scene.

“Fantastic tour with Susanne, who provided interesting information about Bilbao. She timed everything so that we would have many surprises along the night tour. I loved it. She was one of the best tour guides I have ever experienced!”

maria (read more reviews here)

Your tour guide will explain the Guggenheim Effect as you learn why and how the Guggenheim was built in Bilbao. You will also learn about the exterior monuments, their backstories, and how they shaped the city into what it is today. 

📍BOOK The Walk of Memory – Stories of the City and its People

4. Free Tour of Historic Bilbao – With Radio Guide Included!

On a walking tour in Bilbao, explore the Old Town's cobblestone paths flanked by buildings painted in a palette of reds, yellows, and creams, adorned with green balcony plants on a sunny day.
On this free walking tour, take a step back in time and learn more about the fascinating history, traditions, and stories that took place in the picturesque and buzzing Old Town of Bilbao!

⭐️ Rating: 4.7/ 5 Stars |  ⏳Tour Length: 2 hours and 30 minutes | 🏛️ Check Tour Date Availability

I did this tour and truly enjoyed learning about Bilbao through this free walking tour!

Plan for a fun 2.5 hours of walking around the city’s main sights, starting with the impressive, historic, and haunted Arriaga Theater. Then, learn about the Music Kiosk’s backstory in the city’s center.

Make your way to the historic Old Town and enjoy the cultural festivities and the pool of Bilbanes outside the bars (apparently, this is a Basque thing). Look out for the older men wearing their traditional berets. 

Learn about the Yohn Palace, examine the history of the Church of San Nicolás, and see the picturesque Seven Streets. 

“Wow, this was amazing. It’s incredible how Mikel explains everything, the enthusiasm that he has, and how he subtly makes us all participate. He’s great. You should feel proud of him.

Raquel (read more reviews here)

I did this tour with Mikel, too, so I can personally vouch for the professionalism and entertainment that Mikel provided our tour group and the prompt and punctual nature of the tour company.  

📍BOOK the Free Tour of Historic Bilbao

5. Bilbao’s Old Town (Exclusive Small Groups Free Tour)

A quiet Bilbao free walking tour moment by the Nervión River, where a lone white scooter rests beside a promenade with golden stone walls and a mosaic of colorful buildings.
Ask your local guide for recommendations, tips, and more on this tour of Bilbao’s Old Town.

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/ 5 Stars |  ⏳Tour Length: 2 hours | 🏛️ Check Tour Date Availability

Looking for a smaller group environment to enjoy all the beauty and history that Bilbao has to offer? This Bilbao’s Old Town free tour is the one for you!

Never surpassing more than 40 people at a time, this small group tour will take you around Bilbao’s history-drenched old town, offering a window into its past and fascinating traditions and culture still seen today. 

Learn from your local guides, who will share historical facts, local stories, insight into the city, and tips on making the most of your time there. 

“Brilliant way to understand more about Bilbao and the culture and history. Miguel was a brilliant guide.”

angela (read more reviews here)

By the end of your tour, your guide will offer you a cheat sheet with all their best food, local recommendations to enjoy your days in Bilbao, and a city map that you can open and use with Google Maps. 

📍BOOK Bilbao’s Old Town (Exclusive Small Groups Free Tour)

6. Bilbao Essential Free Tour – With Radio Guide Included

Witness the golden hour on a free tour in Bilbao, with a sunset that drapes the cityscape in warm hues, silhouetting the intricate architecture against the twilight.
From the main sights to the hidden gems, explore all there is to see and love in Bilbao on this essential free tour.

⭐️ Rating: 4.7/ 5 Stars |  ⏳Tour Length: 2 hours and 30 minutes | 🏛️ Check Tour Date Availability

From the historic center to the modern streets dazzled by art sculptures to the stunning nature that cradles the city, this essential free tour of Bilbao is an excellent option for getting all the significant points, facts, and stories in one go.

Enjoy strolling through the streets of Bilbao with your local guide. Your guide will take you through Bilbao’s neighborhoods and different areas, including the Ensanche Area by the river. You will also see other buildings that hold many activities for you to enjoy while in Bilbao.

From the Centro Azkuna to the Plaza Moyúa, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the bridges that connect the city, like the Salve and the Zubi-Zubi bridge, and their backstories worth learning about – you’re in for a real treat learning about Bilbao in a fun, and interactive way!

“Diego was super smart! He knows a lot and envelopes you in the story of the city. Very entertaining!

daniela (read more reviews here)

On this essential tour, learn about the “Bilbao Effect” as you walk through Bilbao, past and present!

📍BOOK the Bilbao Essential Free Tour 

7. Free Tour Myths and Legends of Bilbao – With Radio Guide Included!

Discover Bilbao at night on a free ghost walking tour, where the riverfront comes alive with the golden glow of lamps, reflecting off the water and lighting up the diverse architecture.
Take a walk on the dark side of Bilbao on this free ghost and legends tour in Bilbao.

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/ 5 Stars |  ⏳Tour Length: 2 hours | 🏛️ Check Tour Date Availability

Want to get a different perspective on Bilbao at night? A ghost tour is the perfect night plan in Bilbao!

I took this tour on one of the nights that I was in Bilbao, and I truly enjoyed the mystery and lore. It showed me a different side of Bilbao in a fun and spooky way. 

From the haunted Arriaga Theater and the tragedy of one of Spain’s best composers to the local legends of monsters and giants in the woods and mountains surrounding Bilbao – learning about the history behind some of the legends and unexplainable mysteries still haunting the city is something I recommend to anyone visiting Bilbao.

“We loved the tour. Andrea transmitted her enthusiasm for history and legends. We recommend this tour surely!”

carolina (read more reviews here)

The tour is offered in Spanish, which is a bonus because if you speak Spanish like me, you’ll hear the stories and legends just as they’ve been told for years. 

📍BOOK Free Tour Myths and Legends of Bilbao 

8. BONUS: Free Tour en Bicicleta por Getxo (Costa de Bilbao)

The Vizcaya Bridge, captured on a tour in Bilbao, stretches across the blue river, its red framework contrasting with the green landscape under a clear azure sky in Getxo, only 20 minutes from Bilbao.
Ride your bike and appreciate the Basque coast on this fun and informative free tour of Bilbao.

⭐️ Rating: 5/ 5 Stars |  ⏳Tour Length: 2 hours and 45 minutes | 🏛️ Check Tour Date Availability

Ready to hit the streets on 2 wheels as you take in the breathtaking coast of Bilbao? 

This tour, which takes place in the town of Getxo (20 minutes from Bilbao), is different but fun from the others on this list. 

You’ll be guided by a local who will take you along the beautiful coast of Bilbao, stopping for frequent photo opportunities and in Puerto Viejo. At Puerto Viejo, you’ll learn about Bilbao’s history as a port city and how the port influenced local culture, the economy, and much more, even today!

“Amazing bike tour with Miguel – he was incredibly knowledgeable, passionate about the Basque Country and friendly. Can’t recommend this experience enough!”

nicholas ((read more reviews here)

While enjoying the history, you’ll love the idyllic scene of the Bay of Biscay and the incredible coast, so bring your charged phones for the best photos! This tour is also offered in Spanish, which, in my opinion, enriches the experience of genuinely hanging out with a local. 

📍BOOK Free Tour en Bicicleta por Getxo

8 Best Bilbao Free Tours Q&A

Is Bilbao a walkable city?

Yes! Bilbao is a very walkable city, and I know this because I spend most of my time exploring on foot. I found the city’s main sights reasonably close to each other, and despite the rain (bring an umbrella), walking is the best way to explore the city! 

Can you walk around Bilbao?

Walking around Bilbao is easy. It’s a very walkable city, and many people (both locals and visitors) walk around during all hours of the day. 

How does a free tour work?

When you book a free tour, you don’t pay anything upfront to sign up and enjoy the tour. 

At the end of the tour, it’s suggested that you offer a tip based on your experience. 

Some tour guides accept cash tips; others can also accept card payments now. 

You won’t know until you’re there, so carrying some cash on any international trip is important!

What if I can’t make the free tour after signing up?

Regardless of how many people sign up and attend a free tour, the tour guide pays the company through which the person signed up, whether GuruWalk or Civitatis, and they pay per person who shows up.

So, if you don’t show up for whatever reason without letting your local guide know, you’re taking up spots for others who may want to sign up.

That’s why the local guides take attendance before the tour starts and want to wait for people to arrive, so it’s worth it for them. 

If you sign up and can’t make it, send them a quick WhatsApp message or email them as soon as you can.

How do I know this? I’ve attended my fair share of free tours in Bilbao and Europe and heard this from more than one tour guide across different countries.  

The Wrap-Up: Best Bilbao Free Tours

I hope this Bilbao free tour itinerary gave you more ideas for your own travels in this incredible Spanish city. 

From a Bilbao walking tour in English to getting a glimpse of modern Bilbao, experiencing its past as an old city, or exploring its darker side, there are many free Bilbao tours for multiple interests. 

As a recap, they are 

Check out my other posts for more tours and ideas for day trips from Bilbao or if you need more guidance on planning your first trip to Bilbao.

Which free tour in Bilbao are you going to sign up for? Let me know in the comments below!

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