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Taking the bus to Bilbao makes a lot of sense, with convenient connections between the Basque city and locations all over western Europe. Buses run into Bilbao from Madrid (and Barajas Airport), Barcelona, Paris, Marseille, and numerous other major cities - many of which have air connections to the UK. So it's a handy way to reach one of Europe's most dynamic cultural centres.
Almost all buses to Bilbao will arrive at the city's Estacion de Autobuses (Bus Station). Also known as Termibus, the facility is located right next to San Mames station, which offers underground, tram, and overground rail connections to the rest of the city.
The majority of buses to Bilbao are provided by Alsa, which runs services from Spanish destinations like Madrid, San Sebastian, Barcelona, and Zaragoza. Alsa International runs services from many French cities, but passengers may also find convenient options from Iberobus, Ouibus, and Eurolines. All run buses into Termibus, and include connections to popular spots like Paris or Milan.
Travellers from the UK may not want to travel by bus all the way to Bilbao (journeys take around 25 hours) but buses are very handy for connections from other locations. Many flights arrive at Barcelona El Prat or Madrid Barajas, and buses offer an excellent choice for onward transportation. They are comfortable, generally very efficient, and much cheaper than taking the train or arranging additional flights. Then there's the experience of bus travel. If you want to see the Basque Country as it passes by, or the Pyrenees if you are coming from France, buses are the ideal vantage point.
When visitors arrive in Bilbao, it's always a good idea to purchase a Bizkaia Card. Cards can be purchased for 24, 48, or 72 hours, and offer discounted public transportation and access to major attractions like the Guggenheim Museum, so they are a good money saver. When the major attractions have been ticked off, get to know the locals at the Mercado de la Ribera - Bilbao's spectacular food market. And if visitors have time, they should head up to Artxanda. Located above the city, it's a gorgeous lookout, and a great place to take Instagram snaps.
Alsa, Infobus and Alsa Supra will get you to Bilbao at great prices. With over 1000 travel companies on Omio, you can find the best bus times, prices and tickets for your trip.
FlixBus is one of the most popular low-cost bus companies in Europe. Founded in Germany, FlixBus has expanded its services throughout Europe and even to the United States, giving travelers in both continents the option to take a long-distance bus at an affordable price. FlixBus also operates overnight buses on select routes throughout Europe. FlixBus offers only the Standard ticket for all its routes, which allows you to bring one carry-on bag and one checked bag per person. Additional fees apply for bringing extra luggage and making specific seat reservations, such as if you want to book an Extra Seat, Table Seat or the Panorama Seat. Standard amenities onboard include free Wi-Fi, power outlets to charge your phone, tablet or laptop during long bus journeys, extra legroom, luggage space and toilets.