Bilbao is situated in the north-central part of Spain and is the capital of the province of Biscay in the autonomous community of the Basque Country.

Established in the 1300s and currently with roughly 1 million inhabitants,Bilbao lies within one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spa

As one of the largest cultural and economic centres in the North of Spain, Bilbao has undergone a transformation from an industrial city into a modern city of services in recent years. The impressive Guggenheim Museum, opened in 1997, has become a symbol of this renovation. this re-development the culture and buildings of the medieval Casco Viejo (Old Town) have been given a new lease of life: the Old Quarter, the Fine Arts Museum (only second to the Prado Museum in Madrid) and the Arriaga Theatre to name a The Bilbao metropolitan area includes the comarca (autonomous community) of Greater Bilbao, making it the fifth-largest urban area in Spain.

Summer festivals, including the Jazz Festival in Vitoria, San Sebastian and Getxo, near Bilbao, provide plenty of entertainment and culture for local residents, tourists and students.

The climate in Bilbao is mild throughout the year with more frequent rain in Spring and Autumn, mild winters and moderately hot summers (c.24°C).

There are a number of beaches (both for swimming and world class surfing) near Bilbao which are connected to city centre by the relatively new subway system.

Whatever your interests – exploring the Spanish and Basque cultures (and the famous Basque cuisine!), visiting the art galleries and museums, surfing, biking, shopping, socialising or going to a festival – you can experience all of them whilst studying in Bilbao.

Studying in Bilbao

Bilbao currently has a student population of over 55,000 students. There are two universities in Bilbao – the University of the Basque Country (Universidad del País Vasco) and the University of Deusto.

The oldest is the University of Deusto, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1886. It took its name after the then independent municipality of Deusto, annexed to Bilbao in 1925. It was the only higher education offered in the city until the establishment in 1968 of the University of Bilbao.

As the city of Bilbao gained increasing recognition for its education opportunities, the University of Bilbao was renamed as the University of the Basque Country in 1980. This public university, present in the three provinces of the autonomous community, has its main Biscayan campus in the municipality of Leioa, however the Technical and Business faculties are based in Bilbao.

Since 2011, Bilbao has also been home to Digipen’s Institute of Technology Europe – Bilbao offering two bachelor’s degree programs: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Digital Art and Animation.

Practicalities of living in Bilbao

The cost of living in Bilbao is an estimated of 700-800 Euros (a monthly estimate for lodging and meals). However, other formulas (e.g. apartment sharing) may reduce this amount.

Students opt to stay in halls of residence, a room in a shared flat or rent their own studio flat or apartment. Where you stay will depend on the experience you are looking for and your budget. 

If you are looking in the private sector for accommodation, always see the area and the room/flat before you sign any agreement and pay any money. Like any major city, Bilbao is big and there can be huge differences between districts. 

A rough estimate of the budget you would require for your first month in Bilbao is €1,060.

This would include:

First month rent € 350

Rent deposit € 350 (to be returned at the end of the stay)

Mobile phone SIM card (optional) € 20

Monthly transportation pass (optional) € 30

Internet service (optional) € 60

Supermarket food € 250

Spanish healthcare is generally seen as one of the best systems in the world. It is available to British and Irish students with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) although it is worth checking the exact validity of this arrangement.

Getting To / From Bilbao

The Bilbao Airport is located just over seven miles from the city centre. The airport connects Bilbao to the rest of Spain as well as major European destinations. The flight time from London to Bilbao is around 1hr40.


Universities in Bilbao

About A Star Future

A Star Future provides information and guidance to British students looking to pursue their undergraduate studies abroad.

Through our presentations in schools and our websites we aim to ensure that British-educated students are well informed about their choices.