International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Culture Corner

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Universidad de Deusto campus with the Guggenheim Museum in the background across the Nervión River.

Tiny Travel Story: Spain

What's Bilbao Like?

Located in northern Spain, within País Vasco, Bilbao, Spain, the capital of the Biscay Province, provides you with an opportunity for an amazing adventure abroad. Smart, cosmopolitan, and just minutes from the coast, Bilbao (pop. 354,000 for Bilbao proper and nearly 1 million for the greater Bilbao area) is an ideal place to study. As a cultural epicenter, you will delve not only into Spanish culture, but Basque culture as well. Bilbao is a contemporary city with access to mother nature in all directions. Its combination of cosmopolitan and outdoor activities is a great recipe for an exceptional experience abroad. Regardless of your interests, you will have a multitude of activities in which to partake: exploring art/history museums, hiking, sightseeing, surfing, biking, shopping, or socializing with locals.

The medieval part of the city (Casco Viejo) also has its own unique pulse with a steady flow of patrons coming and going throughout the day to have a coffee, a pintxo (tapa), or a drink and move on to the next establishment. The Basque region is famous worldwide for its exquisite cuisine and the winding medieval streets of the historical center offer many opportunities to sample the local fare.

Bilbao is also conveniently located for travel along the beautiful northern coast and throughout the rest of Spain and Europe. There is also an international airport with destinations across Europe.

Region and Population

Bilbao, population 354,000, is the largest city in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (País Vasco) and the capital of the Biscay Province. It is located about 10 miles inland along the banks of the Nervión River in northern Spain with suburbs that extend to the Bay of Biscay.


Bilbao has an oceanic climate, creating generally mild temperatures through most of the year. It is humid and rains frequently, most often in the spring and the fall. There may be a few days of light snow in the winter and summers are moderately hot.

Average monthly highs and lows (ºF) and rainfall (inches) in Bilbao:

Avg. Rainfall4.963.823.704.883.542.522.443.232.914.765.554.57

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