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

Should you visit Pamplona or Bilbao?

Should I visit Pamplona or Bilbao? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Pamplona

Pamplona is a city in northern Spain located on the snow-capped foothills of the Pyrenees Range. With the backdrop of mountains, the city is surrounded by a setting ideal for skiing, mountaineering, hiking, wildlife and breathtaking scenery. Yet Pamplona itself is a place full of lively culture and stunning architecture. With a long history, the place is embedded in tradition and perhaps most famous for its annual "running of the bulls" celebrated in July, also known as the San Fermin festival.

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 Pamplona?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Pamplona is €105, 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 Pamplona and Bilbao in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around €54. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Pamplona the cost is €108 on average.

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
    Pamplona 54
    Bilbao 57
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Pamplona 108
    Bilbao 114

Food

Food in Pamplona costs travelers about €33 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

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
    Pamplona 33
    Bilbao 37
Typical Food prices in Pamplona

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


  • Lunch for 2
    10
  • Ice Cream
    4.50
  • Coffee
    1.30

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

The average price of local transportation around Pamplona is €20 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.

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.
    Pamplona 20
    Bilbao 21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pamplona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Pamplona:

  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to Bilbao: $287
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to Bilbao Airport: $287
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to Logro├▒o: $205
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to Logro├▒o Airport: $205
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to San Sebastian: $205
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to San Sebastian Airport: $205
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to Santander: $452
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to Santander Airport: $452
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to Vitoria: $205
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona city to Vitoria Airport: $205
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona to Biarritz city: $239
  • Private Transfer from Pamplona to Bilbao Cruise Port: $287

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bilbao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bilbao:

  • Private Airport Transfer: from Bilbao Airport (BIO) to Bilbao: $25
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Bilbao to Bilbao Airport (BIO): $25
  • Arrival Private Transfer Business Car Bilbao airport BIO to Bilbao City: $47
  • Departure Private Transfer Business Car Bilbao City to Bilbao airport BIO: $47
  • Bilbao Airport Private Arrival Transfer: $48
  • Bilbao Airport Private Departure Transfer: $48
  • Bilbao Airport Transfers : Bilbao City to Bilbao Airport BIO in Business Car: $54
  • Departure Private Transfers: Bilbao City to Bilbao Airport BIO in Business Car: $57
  • Bilbao Private Transfer from Bilbao city centre to Bilbao Airport: $67
  • Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Van Bilbao airport BIO to Bilbao City: $67
  • Departure Private Transfer Luxury Van Bilbao City to Bilbao airport BIO: $67
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Bilbao Cruise Port: $68

Is it cheaper to fly into Pamplona or Bilbao?

Prices for flights to both Bilbao and Pamplona 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

Pamplona's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €27 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.

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.
    Pamplona 27
    Bilbao 23

Tours and Activities in Pamplona

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

  • Pamplona historical&cultural walking small group tour: $40
  • Pamplona Tour during Running of the Bulls Festival: $62
  • Private City Tour Pamplona: $81
  • Pamplona pintxo tasting paired with Spanish wines small group tour: $82
  • PRIVATE Pintxo Tour Premium: The best pintxos of Pamplona: $112
  • Visit Olite Royal Palace and Ujue medieval village in small group tour: $139
  • Navarra Wineries Tour: $140
  • Bilbao and Guggenheim Museum small group tour: $233
  • Vitoria and A├▒ana salt valley small group tour lunch included: $246
  • San Sebastian and Basque Coast villages in small group tour, lunch included: $252
  • Olive oil and Navarre winery visit with tastings and lunch in small group tour: $252
  • La Rioja winery visit with tasting and traditional lunch in small group tour: $284

Tours and Activities in Bilbao

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

  • Portugalete, Getxo, & Santurtzi Panoramic Boat Tour: $7.10
  • personalized guided tour with a local: $50
  • Basque Coast Tour: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo and Gernika: $75
  • Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo and Gernika Guided Tour with Hotel Pickup: $81
  • Santo├▒a and Santander Guided Tour with Hotel Pick up from Bilbao: $83
  • Biarritz, Saint Jean de Luz, Hondarribia and San Sebastian Full Day Tour: $87
  • Full-day San Sebastian tour from Bilbao: $89
  • Guided Pintxos Tour: $108
  • Basque Country Full Day Tour from Bilbao: $112
  • Getxo and Bizkaia bridge small group tour: $124
  • Tour Bilbao in a Vintage VW "Beetle": $185
  • Guggenheim Museum Personalized & Private Tour with Official Guide: $198

Alcohol

The average person spends about €25 on alcoholic beverages in Pamplona per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

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
    Pamplona 25
    Bilbao 17

Sample the Local Flavors in Pamplona

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

  • Rioja Wine Tour: $195
  • La Rioja two wineries visit with wine tasting and pintxos in small group tour: $246

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 Pamplona 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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Pamplona vs. Bilbao Travel Comparison

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