Rent a car in Bilbao with Europcar
Situated on the coast of northern Spain, 400 kilometres from Madrid, Bilbao is an iconic Basque city. Whether you want to take in modern art and design at the world-famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao or sample delicious food in the many pintxos bars, Bilbao makes a great city break.
The coastal location is ideal for exploring the surrounding area. Choose car hire and miss nothing, including taking a trip to San Sebastian - a stunning seaside town with a famous food scene.
The Europcar car rental experience in Bilbao
Travel through the centre with our range of economy car hire - Volkswagen Polo or Seat Leon will be just the thing. If you are travelling with a larger group or just need a bit more space, the 7-seater Seat Alhambra and 9-seater Mercedes Vito Tourer will do the job.
Europcar Madrid also specialises in van hire too. Take a look at our fleet to find the van rental that is best for you.
Whether you need car hire or van hire for a day, week or longer - Europcar Bilbao offers the most flexible car hire out there.
Driving in Bilbao
On main roads, like in Bilbao, the speed limit is capped at 50 km/h, while country roads are 90 km/h and motorways 120 km/h. In residential areas or near schools the speed limit lowers to 20 km/h.
The size and layout of Bilbao means there is a high amount of traffic in and around the city. Paid parking is enforced from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 1.30pm and 3pm to 8pm. On Saturday it applies from 9am to 3pm. It is easier to park in car parks rather than the street and there are several large and secure car parks near the major tourist attractions.
When you travel by car there are several tolls to pay on Spanish roads. You can pay these with cash, credit/debit cards or via an electronic system called Telepeaje or Via T. Banks or petrol stations sell these small transmitters which can be affixed to your windscreen.
Discover Bilbao and surroundings by car
Fifty minutes by car to the north of Bilbao lies San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, and island in the Bay of Biscay. With just a person-wide passageway connecting the mainland to crag of land, it is a dicey walk up to the only building - a 10th century church dedicated to John the Baptist. If the scenery looks familiar, it was used in several scenes of Game of Thrones.
Just over an hour to the east of Bilbao is San Sebastian. Basque Country’s food capital, this seaside town is home to Michelin-starred eateries and traditional pintxos bars. Playa de la Concha, Shell Beach, is a golden sweep of sand that is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful urban coastlines. This diverse and calm Basque town is definitely worth a day or two of your time.
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An hour drive south of Bilbao is Gorbea Natural Park. Covering 20,008 hectares, it is the biggest natural park in Basque Country. Formed around Mount Gorbea, peaking at 1,482 metres, making it the ideal place for walking, hiking and mountaineering. There are some 500 caves in Gorbea, with Mairuelegorreta being the most popular. Other things to see include Gujuli waterfall and the ethereal Otzarreta forest.
One of the most iconic buildings in the world, Canadian architect Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim put Bilbao on the map. Designed with the city’s shipbuilding influences in mind, the shining titanium tiles look lifelike, moving like a fish. The exterior of the site is also a playground for other artists - look out for Jeff Koons’ Puppy, and Louise Bourgeois’ giant spider sculpture, Maman. Most of the most impressive temporary exhibitions in the world have been here, and the main collection remains a solid including Basquiat, Rothko and Rauschenberg. Self-guided tours in several languages are definitely recommended.
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