Bilbao is a major city in the northern coast of Spain. It is the largest city in the Basque Country and a vibrant modern metropolis, as well as the self-proclaimed capital of the World.

The city started as a comercial outpost in the XIIIth century and evolved into a large industrial center in the XIXth and XXth centuries. Since the 1990s Bilbao has transitioned into a service-oriented city, with modern urbanism and world-class architecture, such as the Guggenheim museum.


Spain is a member of the European Union and part of the Schengen area. Please check if need a visa to enter Spain. In case you do, please apply as soon as possible: we have lost a few students already in previous years because of visa issues :-(

COVID Information

Travel regulations vary depending on the country of origin and the current risk status. The official travel information is provided by the Ministry of Health. Please pay special attention to the regulations if you are travelling from outside Schengen/EU.

Masks are required in public transportation.

Regulations change rapidly, thus the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism has set up a comprehensive website with useful information on current rules and restrictions for safe travel. Official regulations for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic (mask mandates, curfews and such) in the Basque Country are posted here (spanish or basque only).


Public transport card

Bilbao and the region around it (province of Bizkaia) have a unified transport system; Bus, train (except renfe), tram and metro fares can be paid using a single prepaid contactless card, the Barik card. The card can be obtained at all metro, train and tram stations as well as in some bus stations, look for the automatic machines or a ticket selling booth. This card costs 3€ (non-reimbursable), but is significantly cheaper than paying for the transport in cash, e.g. a round trip to the Bilbao airport will save you 3.72€ with the Barik card.

Bilbao Airport (BIO)

This is the closest airport to the city and most convenient way of reaching Bilbao from a long distance.

Public transit: Bizkaibus bus line A3247 leaves from the airport every 30 minutes between 6:00 and 00:00. A one way ticket costs 3€ (1.14€ with a Barik card). Look for the white/green bus that says “Bizkaibus” on the side.

Taxi: There is a taxi stop at arrivals, a trip to the city usually costs around 25€.

Nearby airports

Santander and Vitoria also have airports with international flights. There are some available buses from those airports to Bilbao, depending on the time of the day you might have to change buses in the city first.

By train

There are a number of national train lines that connect Bilbao to other major cities in Spain, unfortunately high-speed train is not available yet (it is under construction).

The national trains are operated by renfe and stop at the Abando station, which has direct connection to the metro.

International trains from France require changing to EuskoTren at the border (Hendaia). The ticket from Hendaia to Bilbao costs 6.5€ (3.99€ with Barik card), requires a change in Donostia and the final destination is the Zazpikaleak/Casco viejo station, with direct connection to metro lines L1/2 and L3 (the train from Donostia turns into the L3 in Bilbao). This train takes 3h20 just from Hendaia to Bilbao. You can bring your own bike in this train.

By long distance Bus

A number of national and international bus companies operate long distance bus lines to Bilbao, such as Flixbus and Alsa. All long distance buses go to Bilbao intermodal bus station, which has connection to the metro lines, tram and is at a walking distance from the accommodation (~20minutes).


All students and the faculty will be accommodated in a students' residence near the venue: the Livensa Living Bilbao, Madariaga Etorbidea 58, 48014 Bilbao. This is the salmon building.

The accommodation consists of single rooms with private bathroom and kitchen. The price is 50€ per night per person, but we are in the process of securing some funds for supporting students with accommodation and living costs.


The course will take place at the AS Fabrik, the new building of the Mondragon Unibertsitatea in Olagorta Kalea 26, 48014 Bilbao, Spain.

The venue is located in the island of Zorrozaurre and can be reached using the A4 Bilbobus line, using the Bilbaobizi bike rental system (bear in mind there is a limited number of bikes), or by foot (~25 minute walk along the river bank).

Magic map

This map contains all important landmarks. Click on the markers to show a description:

See bigger map