A Travel Price Comparison for Spain Madrid vs. Bilbao for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Madrid or Bilbao?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Madrid and Bilbao can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Madrid

Madrid, the capital of Spain, overs visitors countless opportunities to experience Spain's culture, art, cuisine, and nightlife. It is the largest city in Spain, and as such has much to explore. The city is situated on the Iberian Peninsula on the Spanish central Castillian plateau. If you're flying into Spain, you'll likely fly into the Madrid airport as it's one of the largest airports in Europe. Madrid is well connected to the rest of Spain with planes, trains and buses, making it a popular place to visit for many travelers doing a European tour.

Bilbao

The industrial city of Bilbao is located on a port of the Nerviˇn 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.

Which city is cheaper, Bilbao or Madrid?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Madrid is €107, while the average daily cost in Bilbao is €110. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Madrid and Bilbao in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around €118 for a double occupancy room in Madrid If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about €114 for a double occupancy room in Bilbao.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Madrid 59
    Bilbao 57
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Madrid 118
    Bilbao 114

Food

The price of a meal in Madrid can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is €27 per person, and a typical meal will cost around €11 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

On average, meal and food prices in Bilbao cost around €37 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around €15.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Madrid 27
    Bilbao 37
Typical Food prices in Madrid

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Madrid:


  • Coffee
    2.00
  • Ice Cream
    3.00
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    16
  • Croissant
    1.50
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Madrid

For Madrid, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Virtual Cooking Class: The Spanish Paella Experience: $24
  • Florida Retiro Dinner Show: $38
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $49
  • Virtual cooking - spanish "tortilla de patatas": $50
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show with Dinner and Workshop in Madrid Ticket: $52
  • Private Food Tour in The 10 Tastings: $53
  • Homemade pasta cooking class and lunch in the heart of Madrid: $58
  • Mamaz Social Italian Dinner in Madrid: $60
  • 3-hour Virtual Spanish Cooking Class in Madrid: $62
  • Opera and Zarzuela Show and Dinner: $62
  • Authentic Italian Dinner in Madrid: $68
  • Zarzuela Opera and Dinner at La Castafiore Restaurant in Madrid: $68

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bilbao

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

  • The authentic Bilbao food tour: $96

Local Transportation

To get around in Madrid, the average visitor spends €15 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

The average price of local transportation around Bilbao is €21 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Madrid 15
    Bilbao 21
Typical Local Transportation prices in Madrid

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Madrid are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Madrid

Also for Madrid, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport Transfer Chauffeur Drive: $122
  • Arrival Private Transfer Business Car MAD to Madrid: $51
  • Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Car MAD to Madrid: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer MAD to Madrid in a Minibus: $140
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Avila City by Business Car: $247
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Luxury Van: $70
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Standard Minibus: $126
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid MAD to Madrid, Toledo or Avila Luxury Van: $69
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Car: $58
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Van: $56
  • DUCA - Hassle-Free transfer from Madrid to Vicentine Coast: $743
  • Departure Private Transfer Luxury Car Madrid to MAD: $80

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bilbao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bilbao:

  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Madrid: $739
  • Private Transfer Tour Bilbao to San Sebastian through the Basque Coast: $311
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Logro├▒o Airport: $287
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Pamplona: $287
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Biarritz: $287
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Logro├▒o: $287
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao to Laguardia: $287
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao to Elciego town: $287
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Biarritz Airport: $287
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Pamplona Airport: $287
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to San Sebastian Airport: $219
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao to San Sebastian: $219

Is it cheaper to fly into Madrid or Bilbao?

Prices for flights to both Bilbao and Madrid 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.





Entertainment

In Madrid, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average €27 per person, per day.

Bilbao's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €23 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Madrid 27
    Bilbao 23

Tours and Activities in Madrid

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Madrid.

  • Free Walking Tour: $1.21
  • Madrid's Private Tour with your Family: Highlights & Hidden Gems: $4.04
  • A local's Tuck into the city's history and some tapas on an audio tour: $5.00
  • History Tour of The Town Too High To Die Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Madrid from the Inquisition to Multiculturalism Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Let's Tapear! The Madrid Tapas Route Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid Private Tour: Fun Old Town Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Teatro Real: Ticket and 1-Hour Audio Tour: $8.24
  • Skip the Line: Museo L├ízaro Galdiano Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Madrid of the Austrias Walking Tour: $9.69
  • Skip the Line: Ticket for the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid: $9.95
  • Madrid 90 Minutes Kickstart Private Tour: $9.95

Tours and Activities in Bilbao

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

  • 2-day Bilbao Pinxos Experience with Guggenheim Museum Ticket: $261
  • 3 Days Walking holidays in the Basque Mountains: Nature & Gastronomy experiences: $454
  • 3-day Bilbao Basic Golf Experience: $360
  • 3-day Bilbao Bike Tour and Guggenheim Museum Ticket: $256
  • 5 Day Tour through northern Spain: $5,359
  • 5-day Basque Country Tour: $948
  • 7-day Basque Country Tour with Guggenheim Museum Ticket: $1,228
  • 7-day Basque Country Tour with Guggenheim Museum Ticket: $1,019
  • Accessible Guggenheim Museum Tour - Coastline Tour: $451
  • Basque Coast Tour: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo and Gernika: $75
  • Basque Country Full Day Tour from Bilbao: $112
  • Basque Towns Private Tour with Hotel or Cruise Pickup from Bilbao: $779

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Madrid, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is €16.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Bilbao may vary from person to person, on average a person spends €17 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Madrid 16
    Bilbao 17
Typical Alcohol prices in Madrid

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Madrid are as follows:


  • Beer
    5.00
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    13

Sample the Local Flavors in Madrid

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Madrid:

  • 5-Hour Pub Crawl: $13
  • Madrid Pub Crawl: $14
  • Pub Crawl in Madrid: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid by Madpartycrew: $19
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $20
  • Private Pub Crawl Madrid: $21
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $32
  • Madrid Wine Tasting, Flamenco Class, and Pub Crawl: $44
  • Madrid 6-Hour Tapas and Flamenco Bar Crawl: $46
  • Madrid Tapas and Mysteries Walking Tour with Private Option and Pub Crawl: $47
  • Wine Tasting and Flamenco Master Class in Madrid: $58
  • Segovia and Spanish Versailles Full-Day Tour with Wine Tasting: $62

Sample the Local Flavors in Bilbao

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

  • La Rioja and Vitoria Wine Tour with Winery Visit: $87
  • Cantabric Sea Experience: Food & Wine Tasting: $199
  • La Rioja Wine Tour with Two Winery Visits with Wine Tasting from Bilbao: $243
  • Architectural Rioja Wine Tour from Bilbao: $287
  • San Sebastian & The Basque Wine Region with Lunch and Wine Tasting (From Bilbao): $305
  • Essential Rioja Private Wine Tour from Bilbao: $311
  • La Rioja Wine Tour with Gourmet lunch from Bilbao: $383


When comparing the travel costs between Madrid and Bilbao, we can see that Bilbao is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Madrid vs. Bilbao Travel Comparison

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