A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bilbao vs. Cusco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Bilbao or Cusco?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Bilbao and Cusco. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Bilbao or Cusco?

Bilbao

The industrial city of Bilbao is located on a port of the Nervión River in northern Spain, an important location of Basque country. While the downtown is filled with skyscrapers and innovative architecture, it sits between a river and mountains of natural allure. A city of hard-workers to the core, Bilbao displays remnants of its industrial past, though in more recent years it has transformed into a center for art. It is now a popular location for visitors looking to experience art galleries and museums.

Cusco

Cusco is most famous as the historic capital of the Inca Empire. It is in the southern Sierras and is one of the most popular travel destinations within Peru. The city is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is best to acclimate yourself slowly to avoid altitude sickness.

Cusco is the starting point for many travelers making their way to the famed Machu Picchu or other Inca sites in the surrounding area.

The city is very beautiful and has impressive architecture throughout. The history is obvious as you walk around town and there are impressive ruins nearby, with the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman. The city also has a significant indigenous population that is obvious from their traditional clothing and style.

Cusco has a subtropical highland climate with a pleasant daytime temperature year around. There are two distinct seasons with the dry season being between May and August and the wet season between December and March. During the dry season there is plenty of sun with occasional nighttime freezes. Frost is less common in the wet season.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Spain, The Best 3-Day Tours from Madrid, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Peru, and The Best 10-Day Tours in Peru.


Which place is cheaper, Cusco or Bilbao?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Bilbao is €137, while the average daily cost in Cusco is €46. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bilbao and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bilbao 72
    Cusco 21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bilbao 144
    Cusco 42
Compare Hotels in Bilbao and Cusco

Looking for a hotel in Bilbao or Cusco? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Bilbao


Hotels in Cusco


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Bilbao Hotel Prices and Cusco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bilbao 26
    Cusco 9.03

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bilbao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bilbao:

  • Private transfer from Bilbao Airport (BIO) to Bilbao City Center: $33
  • Bilbao Airport Private Departure Transfer: $47
  • Bilbao Private Transfer from Bilbao city centre to Bilbao Airport: $60
  • Bilbao Airport Transfers : Bilbao City to Bilbao Airport BIO in Luxury Van: $67
  • Private Transfer on arrival and departure in Bilbao: $73
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao Cruise Port to Bilbao Airport (BIO): $75
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao Cruise Port to Bilbao City Hotels: $75
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao City Hotels to Bilbao Cruise Port: $75
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Bilbao Airport: $81
  • Private Transfer from Vitoria city to Vitoria Airport : $85
  • Private Transfer from the Airport to Vitoria city: $85
  • Bilbao Airport to the Basque Country: Private Transfers: $93

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cusco

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cusco:


  • Taxi Ride
    0.97

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Cusco Airport Arrival or Departure Transfer : $13
  • Cusco Airport: Private 1-Way Transfer: $15
  • Cusco Bus Station Arrival or Departure Transfer: $13
  • Cusco to Ollantaytambo: One-Way Private Transfer: $55
  • Alpaca and Llama Farm Tour w/ Transfer & Weaving Demo: $34
  • Alpaca and Llama Farm Tour with Transfer & Weaving Demo: $34
  • Full-Day Trip to Machu Picchu with Hotel Transfers: $335
  • One-Way Airport Transfer to Hotel: $12
  • One-Way to Ollantaytambo Transfer: $40
  • One-way Transfer from Bus Station to Hotel: $14
  • Private 1-Way Transfer to Velasco Astete Airport: $9.00
  • Private City Tour and Saksaywaman Visit with Transfer: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Bilbao or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco and Bilbao change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Bilbao 45
    Cusco 12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bilbao

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bilbao.

  • Basque Food Tour with Guide: $87
  • The Original Bilbao Food Tour with Wine Pairings: $93
  • The High End Bilbao Food Tour for Foodies: $109
  • Pintxos and Tapas Cooking Class in Bilbao : $111
  • The High End Food Tour of Bilbao with a Local: $111
  • Basque Pintxos and Tapas Cooking Class with Open Bar: $114
  • The Award-Winning Bilbao Food Tour & Wine Pairing by Basque Local: $114
  • Basque Pintxos and Tapas Cooking Class in Bilbao: $117
  • Paella Cooking Class with Sangria in Bilbao: $136
  • Paella Cooking Class (with Basque Sangria) in Bilbao: $144
  • Traditional Basque Cooking Class with Wine Tasting: $158
  • Small-group Immersive Basque Cooking Class in Bilbao with Open Bar: $166

Typical Food Prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of dining costs in Cusco are as follows:


  • Sandwich
    1.95
  • Mango
    0.49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cusco.

  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • Small-Group Virtual Peruvian Cooking Experience: $25
  • Folkloric Andean Show & 3-Course Dinner at Tunupa: $35
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS LUNCH - Quick Culinary Dive: $40
  • Cusco Tunupa Restaurant Folk Show with Dinner : $49
  • 3-Hour Peruvian Cooking Class: $49
  • Pete's Peruvian Cooking Class: $52
  • Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit: $55
  • Cooking Class and market tour with a local chef: $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Class , Cocktails, Market Tour in Cusco: $61
  • Peruvian Cooking Class & Market Tour: $65

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bilbao 29
    Cusco 26

Tours and Activities in Bilbao

Here are a few actual costs in Bilbao for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.26
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $4.35
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $4.35
  • Bilbao Cathedral and San Anton Church Entry Ticket: $4.35
  • Bilbao Self-Guided Historical Walking Tour: $7.61
  • PURE HAPPINESS: A PURR-FECT CAT EXPERIENCE !: $7.62
  • VITORIA DE LEGEND night tour: $11
  • Bilbao Confidential Tour: Crime and Punishment: $13
  • Bilbao Confidential Tour: Industrialists and Bourgeois: $13
  • 1- or 2-Hour Sightseeing Boat Tour: $15
  • Bilbao Estuary and Abra Bay Boat Tour: $21
  • Old Town Bilbao Tour in small group: $22

Typical Entertainment Prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Cusco are as follows:


  • Salsa Class
    2.43

Tours and Activities in Cusco

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Cusco are as follows:

  • Around Free Walking Tour Cusco Historic Center: $2.00
  • Cusco Inkas Walking City Tour: $2.00
  • Free Walking Tour of Cusco: $2.00
  • Cusco Walking tour in English : $5.00
  • Cusco : Half Day City Tour: $9.00
  • Combined city tour cusco: $10
  • Cusco City Half-Day Tour: $12
  • Open-Top Bus City Tour: $12
  • Mirabus tour of the city | Panoramic view: $12
  • Sightseeing Tour of the City on an Open-Top Bus: $12
  • Explore Cuzco with a sightseeing tour by open top bus.: $12
  • Cusco's Street and San Pedro Market Walking Adventure: $13

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bilbao 21
    Cusco 8.57

Sample the Local Flavors in Bilbao

Also in Bilbao, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Unique Spanish Wine Tasting with Sommelier - In Bilbao: $54
  • Spanish Wine Tasting with Sommelier (close to Guggenheim museum): $55
  • Pintxos and Wine Tasting Tour with Local Guide: $81
  • From La Rioja Wineries Day Trip with Wine Tastings: $82
  • Txakoli, Gaztelugatxe, & Urdaibai with wine tasting: $82
  • Guided tour of Txakoli wine tasting and tasting of wine and typical products: $150
  • Bilbao Txakoli Wine Tour: $180
  • Guided Txacoli Wine Tasting: $190
  • Rioja Wine Tour: 2 Wineries From Vitoria: $244
  • From Rioja Architecture and Wine Tour: $245
  • Rioja Wine Tour: 2 Wineries From Bilbao: $250
  • Rioja Wine Tour: Winery & Traditional Lunch From Vitoria: $255

Sample the Local Flavors in Cusco

Also in Cusco, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Cusco Pub Crawl - Bar Tour Cusco : $19
  • Pub Crawl with Skip-the-Line Access and Drinks: $27


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bilbao and Cusco, we can see that Bilbao is more expensive. And not only is Cusco much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Bilbao is in Europe and Cusco is in South America, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Cusco would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cusco and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bilbao would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bilbao than you might in Cusco.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Bilbao Expensive? and Is Cusco Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Bilbao or Cusco?

Bilbao has a larger population, and is about 13% larger than the population of Cusco. When comparing the sizes of Bilbao and Cusco, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.