How Safe Is Bilbao for Travel?

Bilbao, Spain
Safety Index:
52

Bilbao is the official capital of Vizcaya in the Basque Country, Spain.

The city is often described as a location with very high standard of living, excellent public services, high levels of cleanliness, moderate climate and some of the best gastronomy in Spain.

Apart from that, living/being here gives you great access to other great cities on Spain’s northern coast and quick access to Southern France.

The city is not as expensive to live as you’d expect, and in general is not among the most expensive cities in Spain.

The university students make bubbly atmosphere and a night life vibe, with a varied offer, from classical Latin music to raggae and techno.

Warnings & Dangers in Bilbao

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Bilbao is mostly safe to visit. Apart from the pickpockets, which are common in this country, tourists should encounter no other problems, but you should definitely your common sense and your trip should go smoothly.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Transportation in Bilbao is very safe and reliable, even though taxi drivers might try to overcharge their services or demand a tip. Also, be careful on public transport, as it's the place where pickpockets operate.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Spain is filled with tourists, and naturally it attracts a bunch of pickpockets - which applies to Bilbao, too. So watch out in crowded places such as bus and train stations. There is even a message played on repeat at stations, reminding you to be wary of pickpockets. Be careful when carrying your valuables and never leave them out of your sight.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

There are no threats of natural disasters in Spain altogether and this applies to Bilbao, too, so you can relax completely.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : LOW

Do not fear mugging or kidnapping in Bilbao, since it is a rare occurrence here. Still, do not accept any unsolicited help or drinks from anyone you don't know (even though drink spiking is also not an issue in this country).

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

There have been recent terrorist attacks in Spain, on 17/18 August 2017, when during 2 terrorist-related incidents, vehicles were driven directly at pedestrians, resulting in injuries and loss of life. You should remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

There are a couple of ways to get scammed in Bilbao. You should avoid gypsy women offering you some rosemary: they will read your future and ask for some money or pick your pockets. Be wary of "trileros" and their "shell game". Always check the bill twice in restaurants and bars since the staff may try to overcharge you or charge for something you did not order.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Women traveling alone should have no problems in Bilbao. You should use your common sense, and be careful at night, avoid desert and poorly lit streets, and finding yourself alone with strange people in abandoned areas. Apart from that, you should have no safety problems in Bilbao.

So... How Safe Is Bilbao Really?

Bilbao is quite a safe town and you can walk around safely virtually everywhere.

Of course, as in any touristic city, there are pickpockets, so keep your handbags, cameras etc on sight if you are within a large concentration of people around the most typical tourist attractions.

The area to avoid at all costs is the neighborhood around the streets Cortes and San Francisco, since the crime rate there is the highest by far.

Generally speaking, the closest a neighborhood is to the city center – the better.

The rest of the neighborhoods in the center are nice- Indauxtu, Moyua etc. And there are some trendy towns outside the center, like Getxo and Sopelana.

Security is felt verywhere, with the exception of a street or two (San Francisco, and Las Cortes, where traditionally the low-level prostitution trade was placed), especially at late hours in the night.

During these last years, concerns for granting safety and freedom to women from sex abuse have grown in the media and among people in general up to becoming a top concern.

Unfortunately, this kind of faults are still too common, especially when in crowds at festivals. However, violent crime is very rare everywhere in the Basque Country.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Most countries do not need a visa to enter Spain for any stays shorter than 90 days. Any longer than that, you will have to obtain a visa. Also, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned date of return. However, if you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local Spanish embassy for further details.
  • Currency - Euro is the official currency in Bilbao. ATMs are widely available throughout the city, and credit cards accepted in most establishments such as hotels and restaurants. Allow yourself a budged of around 150e per day, including accommodation.
  • Weather - The climate in Bilbao is milder than in most other parts of Spain, rarely falling below freezing in winter, or rising above 35ºC in summer. There is also more precipitation in this city.
  • Airports - Bilbao Airport is a public airport serving the city of Bilbao. It is located some 9 km north of Bilbao, in the municipality of Loiu, in Biscay. It is the largest airport in the Basque Country and northern Spain,
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Bilbao, since it covers not only medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Bilbao Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 8° C
Feb 9° C
Mar 10° C
Apr 12° C
May 14° C
Jun 17° C
Jul 20° C
Aug 19° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 15° C
Nov 11° C
Dec 9° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
111314161922252424201512
Low
°C
44579121414131075
High
°F
525557616672777575685954
Low
°F
393941454854575755504541

Where to Next?

Share Your Experience