What to do in Bilbao this Christmas

Are you looking to break from the routine this Christmas? Don’t think about it more and plan a gateway to Bilbao!

When it comes to Christmas there’s no place like Bilbao! The city offers a large variety of activities, all throughout this Christmas, for those who plan to visit Bilbao. Bilbao has got so many traditions around Christmas, that after many years they still are among the “bilbaínos”. For example, did you know that it is a tradition for families to sing a Christmas song just before midnight, between News Year’s Eve dinner and New Year’s Day? Or that they have hot chocolate for breakfast and climb Gorbea’s mountain on New Year’s Day?

Whether you travel with kids, as a couple or with friends there is room for every traveller. At Holiday Inn Express Bilbao Airport we have compiled some Christmas’ ideas that may help you on your visit to Bilbao this Christmas.

  1. Bilbao Christmas Lights Switch On. Bilbao stands out with its sparkles and magical lights made up of 500,000 LEDs that will decorate Bilbao’ streets. Don’t miss the opportunity of going for a stroll under the Christmas lights!

  2. Santo Tomas Market, 21st December. This historic Christmas market dates back to the nineteenth century and gathers every year, thousands of people interested in Bilbao’s gastronomy.

  3. Nativity Scenes. The nativity scenes in Bilbao have been a large tradition among all the “bilbaínos”. Undoubtedly, the most famous are the ones in San Nicolas de Bari Church and Santiago Cathedral. We recommend you visiting them and discover their special effects such as sounds, water, lights…

  4. Olentzero, 23rd and 24th December. Olentzero is a Basque Christmas tradition. The Olentzero is a character who is said to come down from the mountains to Bilbao and drop off presents for children. The Olentzero will arrive to Plaza Moyúa at 5.45pm on the 23rd December to parade until Arriaga Theatre. Later on, the morning of 24th December he listens to the children’s desires at Arriaga Theatre.

  5. Museo del Olentzero. Perhaps you find interesting, after reading about The Olentzero, visiting Olentzero’s house in the mountains? Yes, you heard right! The responsible of bringing presents for the children on Christmas has his own museum. It is based in the oldest hamlet in Bizkaia and Euskal Herria, dating from the sixteen century. In the Olentzero’s Museum you can find more about the Euskal Herria civil architecture, as well as, its folklore and culture.

  6. PIN (Christmas Playpark) from 20th December until 7th January. If you plan to travel with your kids, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit this fabulous Christmas Playpark. It has been 50 years since the inauguration of the first PIN, so this year the PIN is fully packed of surprises! Among the activities that children can enjoy are an ice rink, inflatable castles, the witch trains or the pirate ship, and much more! Also, the PIN includes a large variety of sport and ludic activities, such as an Olentzero’s exhibition!

  7. Ice Rink in the Pabellón de la Casilla. The Ice Rink opens on the 5th December until 13th January at the Pabellón de la Casilla, promising to lighten up the festive nights ahead.

  8. The Three Kings Parade, 5th January. Highly recommend if you travel with kids! It is said that this is the most magical night of the year, and these three characters are definitely to 'blame'.

  9. Christmas concerts. To be honest Bilbao is one of the most important cities in Spain where Christmas concerts comes to talk! Don't miss the Great New Year's Concert at Euskalduna on New Year's Day.


So after all these great things to do in Bilbao for Christmas, why don’t you put a date in your diary and just go with it! Discover the perfect, festive, short break with Holiday Inn Express Bilbao Airport!

IHG RewardsExpress Start logo        Wifi Certified logo           Trip advisor certificate  Compromiso Calidad Turistica  leave a review Best Price Guarantee 

Download our Mobile App