Recently I went on a stag do from London to the Spanish city of Bilbao. Here are my thoughts on whether Bilbao is a good stag/buck’s bachelor party destination.
Bilbao located in the Basque region of north west Spain is famous for it’s pinchos/pintxos, alfresco drinking and strong sense of identity. But is this enough to make Bilbao a contender to take your friends here on a boozy weekend?
What is the best time of year to go to Bilbao?
Bilbao is famous for its outside eating and drinking. Therefore to have the most fun try and go in the summer months. Sounds obvious but we went in November and it rained all weekend.
Is it far/difficult to get to?
From London Gatwick airport expect a short flight of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It’s also very cheap if you book ahead. We paid only 70 euros for a return ticket in November 2022.
How to get into the city from the airport? – taxi is better.
Bilbao airport is located a mere 13km from the city centre however unfortunately this does not mean there is a quick route in with public transport. There is no train connection to the aiport so you are left with a bus which leaves around every 30 minutes. The bus takes a rather windy route into the city and takes the best part of an hour. Better option is a taxi which will cost around 25 euros. They also take card for payment which is handy.
Where to stay on a stag/buck’s in Bilbao? Choose Casco Viejo
Casco Viejo meaning ‘old town’ in Spanish is an area to the east of the city with narrow medieval streets and tonnes of bars. You’ll have all the entertainment on your doorstep ready and a pub crawl will almost certainly happen. When we stayed in Bilbao we chose Pension Ama. A room with twin beds per night was around 70 euros. If you stay at this hotel you’ll be a stones throw away from the famous square Euskaltzaindia. You could stay in the center or western side of the city but this area tends to have less action and a more business feel.
Best place for lunch in Bilbao – Head to Kokken restaurant
Bilbao is known as a foodies mecca so to narrow this down to one place for lunch is tricky. But we blown away by the lunch at Kokken. This unassuming restaurant located near the entrance of the funicular had some of the best food we have ever tried. The menu works by everyone enjoying the same courses together (they will ask about allergies). You can choose 5, 7 or 9 courses. However you don’t need to decide at the beginning but rather continue if you want, or ask for your final course, the dessert. Genius! I can see this trend taking off. We opted for the 7 course with lots of drinks which came to 40 euros per person, which is a total bargain! Highlight from the menu would be giant squid course.
You will almost certainly need to book ahead, especially with a big group. I contacted them through instagram which worked, they speak English well. Couldn’t recommend this place more for a bachelor party.
What day activities can I do in Bilbao?
Bilbao stag activities while not numerous have a unique appeal, The Guggenheim? Food and drink tours? Here are some of the best ones we found.
- Mercado de la Ribera – overlooking the river this enormous indoor market has amazing food and coffee. Perfect place to start the day and wipe away that hangover.
- Take the funicular to overlook all of Bilbao. While at the top you could stop at a famous Basque restaurant Txakoli Jatetxea. It has a terrace for awesome views over the city, they were however a bit sniffy about our large group.
- Stadium tour of the Sanmames. This tour lets you see Bilbao’s home of football. Prices start from 15 euros.
Where to go in the evening in Bilbao?
In order for Bilbao to be a good stag/buck’s destination it needs great nightlife. First place to head on a night out in Bilbao is the Casco Viejo and the Euskaltzaindia. This square has wall to wall bars selling reasonably priced drinks and pinchos. You’ll pay around 2-3 euros for both.
In the mood for something other than old town. The head across to the river to Rockade. This quirky bar is split level with old school video arcade games on the ground floor.
Need some clubbing entertainment? Then head to MOMA club. Located on the west side of town this large venue is pumping late into the night.
Why are people in Bilabo walking around with shells on their backpacks?
Don’t worry you havn’t walked in on a weird cult, these people walking the camino northern route. This is a a pilgrimage that thousands do a year across the top part of Spain from San Sabastien to Santiago de Compostella.
Is Barcelona a better stag/bucks’s destination than Bilbao?
You may have been thinking that Barcelona would be an epic stag/buck’s destination but I hope after reading this you will now defintiely consider Bilbao. It’s size, quality and value for money make it a great stag/buck’s bachelor party destination.
- Food & Drink | 9.5/10
- Value for Money | 9/10
- Activities | 7/10
- Nightlife | 8/10
Total | 8.5/10