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From the airport to Casco Viejo, painlessly
From outside the airport building I boarded the lime green Bizkaibus Bus to the city center. The journey cost me 1.40 euros. Even though It is August, there are only 10 other travelers on the bus. It is a 20 min ride through lush green scenery to Termibus, where trams, buses & the metro go everywhere else into the city, the rest of Spain and even to France. I watched buses leaving for Barcelona, San Antonio, Madrid, and even waved to rows of nuns on a bus heading to Lourdes.
Each bus company has a booth in the terminus, to make inquiries and buy tickets, some have long queues. When its my turn, a man says its better to get the metro to Casco Viejo. It is across a walkway from Termibus, and down an escalator. Deep under ground I am relieved that there are assistants ready and willing to explain, in English, the different types of tickets at the ticket machines, and which platform to catch the train.
I paid for a €10 card. I am told it can be used on any public transport in Bilboa for the whole of my stay, as long as I only use zone 1. And most things of interest to visitors are in Zone 1. You have to get the card ´validated´ at each end of the trip by running it through a machine, either where you buy the tickets or at the entrance and exits to the station.
The metro was spotlessly clean & fairly quite, a pleasant journey. It was unlike my experience on the metro in Madrid, where I was crowded by a group of teenagers and robbed. The enormous glass entrances to the Metro Stations are themselves contemporary architectural tourist attractions.
At the Casco Viejo stop, I take the San Nicolas exit. I heave a sigh when find my hotel effortlessly. It is 200m from the metro station. The blue window awnings of the Tryp are a welcome sight, I had worried about locating it. It faces a huge plaza surrounded by a busy criss-crossing of roads, pedestrian walkways, the Arriega Theatre, tram lines & the Puente Arenal bridge over the river. It reminded me a little of Amsterdam with cyclists racing by and trams pounding along the streets, with miles of bridges crossing the river.
Metro to Plentzia (town with beach)
During our visit to Bilbao in December 2012, we were keen to pay a visit to a nearby beach.
I did some reading up online before our visit and established that there are several beaches within a short distance of the city that can easily be reached by Metro.
The nearest beaches to the city, located in the Getxo area, are Playa de Ereaga (Metro: Neguri) and Playa de Arrigunaga (Metro: Bidezabal). However, I also read that these beaches were blighted by ugly factory views and that it is better to go further afield to the beaches at Sopelana and Plentzia.
We therefore decided to take the Metro from Bilbao to the town of Plentzia; the final and northernmost station on Bilbao's Metro line.
The following information was correct as at the time of our visit:
Metro: Bilbao to Plentzia
If you are staying in the centre of Bilbao, it is likely that you'll begin your Metro journey in Zone A. Zone A includes all the stations between San Inazio and Bolueta. Plentzia is in Zone C, and is reached via Zone B. The Metro journey from the centre of Bilbao to Plentzia thus incorporates 3 fare zones.
The cost of a one way ticket incorporating 3 fare zones is €1.70, while the cost of a return ticket incorporating 3 fare zones is €3.40. We purchased all day tickets which allowed us unlimited rides within all 3 fare zones for just €4.60.
We caught the Metro from San Mames. The journey time from there to Plentzia was a little under 40 minutes. Most of the stations within the centre of the city are about 1 or 2 minutes apart, so the journey, for example, from Casco Viejo to Plentzia is around 45 minutes.
Trains depart from Plentzia back to the centre of Bilbao approximately every 20 minutes.
The Metro station in Plentzia enjoys a pleasant riverside setting near the impressive Puente de Calatrava bridge. After exiting the station, cross over this bridge and it is a pleasant 15-20 minutes riverside walk to the vast Plentzia-Hondartza beach.
Bilbao's Metro system
We made extensive use of Metro Bilbao during our visit to the city in December 2012.
Bilbao's Metro system is particularly easy to navigate as there are only 2 lines – and they both run side by side in the city centre (between Etxebarri and San Inazio, and including the useful central stops of San Mames, Moyua, Abando and Casco Viejo).
Beyond San Inazio, the Metro splits into its 2 lines, either side of the river:
Line 1 runs to the beachside town of Plentzia (via a number of small towns and beach areas);
Line 2 runs to Santurtzi (and includes, amongst others, stops in the towns of Portugalete and Barakaldo).
All of the city centre tracks are beneath ground. We rode on line 2 as far as Portugalete (the third last stop on the line) and the majority of that line is also beneath ground. We rode the full length of line 1 to the town of Plentzia. Much of this route is above ground and you are treated to some excellent countryside and coastal scenery as you approach Plentzia.
We tended to purchase all-day tickets (at €4.60 per person) throughout our stay. This proved to be better value than purchasing individual journey tickets if we were making more than 3 trips a day on the Metro, as we generally were. On one occasion, we were only making one return journey between San Mames and Casco Viejo in an evening; both of these stops are within Zone A on the network and each individual ticket cost €1.45. It was therefore more cost effective to purchase two single tickets rather than an all-day ticket on this occasion.
Tickets can be purchased from machines at all stations. The machines are easy to use, give instructions in several languages, accept coins and notes and give change. There are also ticket desks where you can purchase tickets if you struggle to use the machines.
The tickets take the form of a card. They are inserted into the turnstile when you enter the station's platform, retrieved upon passing through and used again to exit the turnstiles at the end of your journey. We never encountered anybody inspecting tickets throughout our stay.
The stations are clean and modern and display clear route maps and digital displays showing the length of time until the next train arrives. The trains themselves are also clean and modern. The route maps on board the trains are more sophisticated than any I have seen on any other Metro system in the world. Red lights on the map show the destination station, the stations that have already been passed through and a flashing red light indicates the next station. Stations are also announced over the trains' speaker system. Unlike on many Metro systems I have used, we managed to sit down on most of the journeys we made during our stay in Bilbao; only on a few occasions, around the city centre stations, did we find ourselves standing.
Trains run frequently, especially around the city centre stations. We rarely waited more than 5 minutes for a train in the city centre areas. They are slightly less frequent towards the end of the line and we found ourselves waiting around 15 minutes for a train when heading back into the city from Plentzia.
Our first journey on the Metro was from San Mames to Plentzia. This journey took around 40 minutes. At Plentzia, the station enjoys a picturesque location beside the river and it is a pleasant riverside walk of around 15-20 minutes from there to the beach.
Another useful journey that we made on the Metro was to visit the famous UNESCO-listed Puente Colgante bridge in the town of Portugalete. The closest Metro stations to the bridge are Portugalete on one side of the river and Areeta (in Getxo) on the opposite side of the river. The station in Portugalete is at the top of a large hill. It is therefore a good idea to catch the Metro to Portugalete, walk downhill to Puente Colgante, cross the river and then walk along the flat street to Areeta station for catching the Metro back to central Bilbao. The journey from Moyua in the city centre to Portugalete took 22 minutes. The journey back from Areeta to Casco Viejo (in Bilbao's old town) also took 22 minutes.
The station at San Mames is adjacent to and connected to the city's Termibus bus station. It is also only a few minutes walk from San Mames stadium, the home of Athletic Bilbao.
The stations at Moyua and Abando are ideal for shopping and dining along Gran Via, and the former is also the closest Metro station to the Guggenheim Museum (a little under 10 minutes walk away).
There are several exits at Casco Viejo station in Bilbao's historical old town area. If you take the exit that leads to Plaza Unamuno, you will find yourself in an area that is filled with pintxos bars and you are only a couple of minutes walk from the popular Plaza Nueva which is filled with excellent pintxos bars. From this exit, it is also only 5 minutes or so on foot to the Mercado de la Ribera market. If you take the exit marked San Nicolas de Bari, you will find yourself in Plaza de San Nicolas, close to the river and the Arriaga Theatre.
The Metro stations have very distinguishable and recognisable entrances. They take the form of glass and metal tubes and have been dubbed "Fosteritos" after Norman Foster the architect who designed them. You certainly won't have any problems locating the Metro station entrances!
Fast, Simple and Sleekly Chic
Bilbao has a simple modern (inaugurated November 11th 1995) Metro designed by the leading architect Norman Foster. There are only two lines, running either side of the river before converging in a Y-shape as they enter the city centre.
Trains run up to every 6 minutes during most of the day and with a 10 minute frequency in the evenings and on public holidays. Stations are clean and well-signposted. Fares are reasonable and the easy-to-operate machines (with various language options) allow a variety of ticketing options including group tickets, daily and weekly passes and multi-trip cards. Tickets need to be passed through the validators in order to enter and leave the system.
Most of the Metro is underground but the stations are easily recognisable by their glass-hooded umbellical-like entrances, known affectionately as "fosteritos". The stations have easy access which includes lifts and escalators and these seem to be pretty reliable.
For most tourists' purposes the most useful central stations are those of Moyua, Abando and Casco Viejo from which all the main sights are easily walkable.
- Budget Travel
The metro was big deal for some reason. Near the oldtown, i could see a huge sign above everything way in the air, wheeling in people. So i took a look. The subway is even artistic in bilbao, and it got me so excited to see what was gonna happen. looks like a lot of money was invested. so go ride!
The futuristic looking metro of Bilbao is not only an excellent way to move around the city, but also an attraction in itself. It was designed by Norman Foster and the first stretch was opened in 1995. A second line was opened in 2002.
The metro in Bilbao does not only cross the city, but goes beyond to the different towns that make up the agglomeration of Greater Bilbao on both sides of the Nervión River.
The stations are lofty and flooded with light. In the city centre, the worm-shaped entrances, known locally as fosteritos, have become one of the icons of Bilbao.
Riding the metro in Bilbao is a far cry from what we have to suffer in Brussels: everything looks clean, high-tech and sleek in this metro, including the trains manufactured in the Basque Country by the company CAF.
ONE MONTH TICKET
The whole metro at your service: 1 full MONTH.
* Valid for 30 consecutive day from the issue date. You can travel without limitations.
* You need the Metro Card to buy it. The Metro Card is issued at the Customer Service Offices.
* The price depends on the number of zones you need.
* You´ll have to travel with the One Month Ticket and with the Metro Card at the same time.
- Valid for 5 years.
- You´ll have to present this documentation in any of these stations:
· Oridinal ID.
· One recent picture.
- Road Trip
ONE DAY TICKET
The whole metro at your service: 1 full day for only 3€ (Prices valid for 2007)
* Only valid for date of issue and for all zones.
* To be purchased from ticket machines located at stations.
* It is transferable!!!
* Not valid for traveling groups.
* In case of damaged tickets:
- If damage is Metro Bilbao´s fault, the ticket will be reissued free of charge at stations and Customer Service Offices.
- If the client has caused the damage, the ticket will be reissued at the cost of 0.60€, and only at Customer Service Offices.
- Road Trip
BilbaoCard - To move around cheaper!!!!
If you are going to spend some time in Bilbao and you want to move around (even the surroundings) you should get the BilbaoCard. This card allows you to use the tram, bus and undergroung, plus some discounts when entering museums, shoping, etc.
The card can be for 1,2 or 3 days (cost of 6€, 10€ and 12€)and it's definetely worthy.
You can buy it at the airport or in a few tourist offices around town.
Oficinas de Bilbao Turismo
Plaza Ensanche, 11
Tel. 94 479 57 60
Aeropuerto Internacional de Bilbao (terminal de salidas)
Tel. 94 471 03 01
Abandoibarra Etorbidea, 2
Plaza Arriaga, s/n (Bajos del Teatro Arriaga)
- Family Travel
24 hours Metro
We did not have to take it, but were told by our friends who stayed in Bilbao, Metro service on Saturday goes 24 hours a day. This is not so during weekdays that it goes until 11 pm. We thought you may want to know.
Metro of Bilbao, modern one.
The Metro of Bilbao is very new, fast, modern and clean.
The stations of Bilbao were designed by N.Foster architecture. You can see how look the entrances like in the picture.
It is probably the best way for moving around the city. But there is only 1 line, so maybe the stations are quite far of you, so You decide for others trasports: Bus, tram...
Ticket price for one zone, this is all over Bilbao city, costs around 1 eu, and if You buy Bono-ticket for 10 trips(called CREDITRANS) the price is around 65 cents.
The Metro, that now runs from Etxebarri to Plentzia, with a second line going out to Barakaldo, is clean, tidy, safe, and cheap.
There is lift access for every station (but these are not very big) so it is pushchair/disability friendly.
Creditrans can be used for cheaper journeys.
The hours that it runs are variable depending on season, but it runs all night when needed (e.g. summer weekends and fiesta).
UK transport systems (and this was designed by Foster) read and weep.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Lifts in every metro station
Every subway station can be entered from 2 different streets, and there is always a lift / elevator in one of these.
There is one elevator from street level to the ticket machines and another from here to the plattform levels, allowing an easy access to people carrying heavy lugagge or with children or wheel chairs.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
This futuristic metro started working on 1995, so is brand new, clean and fast. Is the best way to get to the beaches at Getxo & Plentzia. There are 2 lines already.
Single ticket: 1-1,25 euros, depending on how far do you go.
There are 1 day tickets (3 euros) and return tickets (2-2,50 euros)
Clean and efficient metro
Take a trip on the metro, if only to enjoy the experience. It must be one of the cleanest in Europe.
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Bilbao Travel Guide
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