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9 plans to make in Bilbao during autumn

By | 26 September, 2022 | 0 comments

Natural landscapes, cultural activities and events of all kinds make the Biscay capital an interesting tourist destination in autumn.

Autumn is a perfect season to discover Biscay, especially for those who want to enjoy areas of great interest without the mass tourism of the peak seasons. This is the case of Bilbao, which offers a great variety of cultural events, landscapes with outdoor activities and popular celebrations, where the typical products of the area abound. The options to spend time are so many that neither families, nor the little ones, will have the opportunity to get bored. We share some plans with you!



1. Getting on the Artxanda funicular
2. Visit Urkiola Natural Park
3. Discover the charm of Gaztelugatxe
4. Take a photo of yourself with Puppy, the mascot form Bilbao
5. Enter the heart of Athletic: visit the museum of San Mamés
6. Live basketball: get closer to Miribilla and meet Bilbao Basket
7. Celebrate the Feast of Santo Tomás in Bilbao
8. Let yourself be surprised by the Great Fair of the Last Monday of October: Urriko Gernika Feast
9. Celebrate Halloween at the Hotel Gran Bilbao


1. Getting on the Artxanda funicular


Few places you will find with such spectacular views of Bilbao as those that Artxanda gives you. Since its funicular was inaugurated in 1915, the mountain has become one of the main tourist attractions, which has made it a mandatory stop for those who visit the city.


Artxanda is not only interesting for its viewpoint – one of the favorite places for photography lovers – but also for the green space it offers to those who want to get away from the city to disconnect. This has made it one of the best destinations for families and athletes.

How to get on the Artxanda funicular?


For lovers of hiking, you can reach Mount Artxanda with a walk of less than 2 hours that begins on the bridge of La Salve – another of the points of interest of the city. Since there is a difference in altitude of 250 meters, the climb will take a little longer than the descent and may not be suitable for people with low physical resistance.


funicular de artxanda


Another option to visit Artxanda is by taking the funicular. The lower station can be reached in just 15 minutes from the main points of Bilbao, such as the Old Town or the Paseo Abandoibarra. If you prefer to approach by intercity bus, you can take lines 72, 26, 11, 22 and 71. All of them leave you a few meters from the station. On the website of the Artxanda funicular, you can consult the timetables and fares.

2. Visit Urkiola Natural Park


Urkiola is always a good plan, but in autumn, it has a special charm because the leaves of the trees are dressed in beautiful colors. In addition, it offers us multiple options to spend time with family or friends: climb the peaks, walk the trails, go for mushrooms and even visit caves.


parque natural de urkiola en otoño


Fauna and flora coexist in one of the most important protected natural parks in the Basque Country. The Urkiola Natural Park and its more than 1,300 meters of height with the Anboto summit in the Sierra de Aramotz rises as one of the most emblematic jewels of the community. Climbing lovers, hiking enthusiasts and cycling fans will have the privilege of exploring a place full of colors and contrasts that has acquired its unique shape due to years of natural transformation and human activity.


In the Urkiola Natural Park, some organized activities are carried out, such as gymkhanas and guided itineraries. If you decide to go freely, you can visit the Sanctuary of Urkiola (as a curiosity, the date on which it was built is unknown, although it is known that it was in honor of San Antonio Abad and San Antonio de Padua). If you manage to reach the Urkiola Shrine, you will find a stone in front that has become a place of pilgrimage for those who wish to find a partner. The popular legend says that, to get it, it is necessary to go around the stone three times. If you want to access the Urkiola Natural Park,you can easily do so from the Gran Bilbao Hotel, as the road communicates directly. You can also choose to leave your car in our car park and get close by public transport.


3. Discover the charm of Gaztelugatxe

Few places in the north contain as much beauty, history, and tradition as Gaztelugatxe. Its charm is such that it is one of the most visited points in the Basque Country. It has also been in the spotlight in such important filming scenes as Game of Thrones and Gernika (directed by Koldo Serra and María Valverde).


When you visit Gaztelugatxe, the first thing that will draw your attention will be its rock raised 80 meters above sea level. On it lays the Church of San Juan, which you can only reach after walking its more than 240 steps. The ride can be tough, but the experience is as unique as the views it offers. Halfway through, you may need to stop to rest, but also to immortalize the views in your camera.


san juan de gastelugatxe


How to get to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, timetables and guided tour

The only way to get to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is by public or private transport, although the last few kilometers are on foot. If you leave from Bilbao, you will need to take the BI-2101 towards Loiu and drive for approximately 45 minutes. Although the area has car park, due to the high influx of visitors you may not find places. Therefore, it is recommended to leave the vehicle in Bermeo or Bakio and then access by bus.


4. Take a photo of yourself with Puppy, the mascot from Bilbao


The flower giant that guards the Guggenheim Museum is preparing to change seasons. Like every year, he has to renew his fur and does so to adapt to the warm colors that accompany us during the autumn. Almost 40,000 flowers will make it possible for this iconic sculpture in the shape of a West Highland White Terrier to wear a new outfit, and it has become one of the favorite activities for both families and children.


The floral sculpture, designed by the artist Jeff Koons in 1992, is also the perfect excuse to approach the Guggenheim of Bilbao. Those who want to be photographed with the puppy will have, a few meters away, the museum, which offers the public a permanent fixed exhibition in combination with others that are updated every now and then.


puppy Bilbao



5. Enter the heart of Athletic: visit the museum of San Mamés


Bilbao cannot be understood without its football team – Athletic – and its emblematic stadium, awarded as one of the best sports buildings in the world. Perhaps, therefore, the San Mamés Stadium is one of the must-sees in the city, even for those who do not declare themselves fans of this sport.


museo San Mamés


Those who want to experience football from inside can book a personalized tour. You will be able to access the interior of the field, visit the team’s dressing room, walk the same corridors that players access when going out to the field, take a photo next to the mythical ‘pichichi’ (top scorer), sit on the bench of the lions, visit the press area and enjoy the spectacular views that the bar offers inside.


6. Live basketball: get closer to Miribilla and meet Bilbao Basket


Although football occupies a leading place in the hearts of the Basques, basketball also plays a fundamental role. In 2000, Bilbao Basketball was born with the aim of recovering elite basketball to the city. However, the trajectory in this sport had already come from before with teams such as Águilas Escolapios, KAS Bilbao and Caja Bilbao.


Bilbao Arena


If you want to see the team compete, you can do it on October 9 at the Bilbao Arena, where Surve Bilbao Basket will play against Valencia Basket. On 30 October, there is another competition against Cazoo Baskonia and on 20 November against Carplus Fuenlabrada. If you plan to visit Bilbao later, you can check out all the games available on the full schedule Bilbao Basket.


7. Celebrate the Feast of Santo Tomás in Bilbao


Santo Tomás Day is celebrated as a day that marks the beginning of Christmas and that brings together thousands of people to taste typical products of the area: chorizo, cheese, txakoli, doughnuts and cider, among others. Not only does food play a fundamental role on Santo Tomás Day, the traditional typical of the area also find their moment, making the festival stand out for its rural and local atmosphere.


Those who come accompanied by their family will have the opportunity to taste a large amount of local products. Children will also have the opportunity to spend time accompanied by music and dances typical of the area.


Santo Tomás


Santo Tomás is celebrated on December 21 in multiple Basque towns, although Bilbao welcomes a large number of people and that makes it one of the cities with the greatest offer and tourist attraction. In addition, most of the actions are carried out in El Arenal and Plaza Nueva, which in turn are points of great tourist interest and which you can reach on foot in just 10 minutes from the Hotel Gran Bilbao.


8. Let yourself be surprised by the Great Fair of the Last Monday of October: Urriko Gernika Fair


If you like markets, you will love the Urriko Azken Astelehena or what is the same, the market on the last Monday of October. More than 300 stalls spread across the streets of San Juan Ibarra display the best products of the Basque Country, including traditional food and handmade products. The fair on the last Monday of October in Gernika is considered one of the most important in the Basque Country.


Urriko Feria de Gernika


During the day, there are performances for the entertainment of the attendees:  bertsolaris (songs in verse in an improvised way), fanfarrias (short musical pieces interpreted mainly with trumpets) and txistularis (professionals who play the txistu, a typical Basque air instrument), and various competitions with local food. It is, therefore, a fitting event for all people – including families and young children – and a golden opportunity to acquire typical products that are not easily found in any establishment.


9. Celebrate Halloween at the Hotel Gran Bilbao

Families accompanied by children and lovers of terror will have a special plan this year, and you can celebrate the Halloween party with us! On October, we will prepare an exceptional Halloween brunch at the Hotel Gran Bilbao, which will also be set with a very tenebrous decoration.

 habitación doble estandar

Book a room for your autumn holiday in Bilbao


The Hotel Gran Bilbao offers all the necessary services to make your stay in Bilbao as comfortable as if you were at home.


If you plan to stay at our hotel soon, don’t hesitate to ask our staff about these and other activities. Our team will be happy to give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay in Bilbao.

Categories: blog, Descubrir Bilbao / Bizkaia

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