Europe

Bilbao, Spain

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Bilbao

The northern Spanish city of Bilbao is the largest city in Basque Country, built along the banks of the Estuary of Bilbao about 10 km from the Bay of Biscay and encircled by a small mountain range. In part due to the emergence of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum and recent infrastructure developments, Bilbao has undergone somewhat of a modern renaissance. Tourists to the city will especially enjoy the architecture, art scene, cuisine, and die-hard support of the Bilbao football club. Running in Bilbao is a cinch, since the main city is fairly compact and many of the best routes are overlapping.

The best places to run in Bilbao center on the well-linked trail system along the Estuary de Bilbao and the 44 km “Green Ring” that connects many of the city’s urban and forest parks. For a longer park run, Europa Parkea is the best bet, while we’ve mapped out fun tours of the Cultural Highlights, Downtown Parks, and Old Town and the Barrios Altos with the help of Go! Running Tours and Running Tours Bilbao.

Even though Bilbao is fairly walkable, a well-run metro system and a range of public trams and buses make getting around the city simple. There are some boat transport companies as well, but they are primarily geared towards sightseeing, which is easy enough to do on foot.

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Some of our favorite runs in Bilbao, Spain

Estuary of Bilbao

Waterfront parks, manicured promenades, and lengthy sidewalks facilitate great runs along the banks of the Estuary of... more...

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Estuary of Bilbao

Bilbao, Spain

Waterfront parks, manicured promenades, and lengthy sidewalks facilitate great runs along the banks of the Estuary of Bilbao. We’ve mapped an 8 km central loop, with longer route options to Zorrotza and Porugalete. Option for subway back!
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Anillo Verde (Green Ring)

Bilbao, Spain

Some of the top running options in Bilbao are along the “Green Ring,” a 44 km loop connecting the city’s urban and forest parks. Use the Green Line in the attached trail map. We especially like the routes near Monte Avril, Pagasarri, and Artxanda.
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Europa Parkea

Bilbao, Spain

As one of the larger parks in Bilbao, Europa Parkea is a nice off-road running choice. A perimeter loop is 2 km, but there are multiple interior paths for a longer run.
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Old Town

Bilbao, Spain

With the help of our friends at Running Tours Bilbao, we’ve mapped out longer runs around the historic sites of Old Town/Casco Viejo.
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Barrios Altos

Bilbao, Spain

Over the past decade or so, rehab and renovation projects have really revitalized the The Barrios Altos. This running route from Running Tours Bilbao is an exploration of both history and modern life.
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Estuary of Bilbao

Bilbao, Spain

Waterfront parks, manicured promenades, and lengthy sidewalks facilitate great runs along the banks of the Estuary of Bilbao. We’ve mapped an 8 km central loop, with longer route options to Zorrotza and Porugalete. Option for subway back!
Explore

Anillo Verde (Green Ring)

Bilbao, Spain

Some of the top running options in Bilbao are along the “Green Ring,” a 44 km loop connecting the city’s urban and forest parks. Use the Green Line in the attached trail map. We especially like the routes near Monte Avril, Pagasarri, and Artxanda.
Explore

Bilbao has a good climate for running year-round. Summers are warm but not to hot, with highs in the 25C range (high 70s). Nights cool off pleasantly. In winter, days are mild, in the 13C (54F) range, with nights dipping to near freezing. Snowfall is rare. There is plentiful precipitation, especially in the winter months, but summers are generally dry. Owing to its ocean/mountain location, about 40% of days are cloudy.

Hotels in Bilbao are mostly located near the “new” downtown center, waterfront, and Old Town. Visitors can also find plenty of hostels, B&Bs, and other residences. See Bilbao Turismo for details.

One of the best selections for running gear in Bilbao is Running Bilbao. Group runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, 20:15 from the store.

There are also 4TrailRunning, Asics, Nike, and Forum Sports locations.

Runners looking for company can hop on a Go! Running Tours or Running Tours Bilbao run.

Bilbao’s most popular running event is the Bizkaia Night Marathon.

Other choices include the Herri Krosa 10k, the Santurce a Bilbao, the San Silvestre Bilbao, and the Bilbao Mendi Trail.