Bilbao and Barcelona are 290 miles (470 km) apart, on opposite coasts of northern Spain. To travel between them, you can opt for an hour-long direct flight or a road trip that can take up to a whole day if you stop at the towns and vineyards along the way.
If you're interested in the food and culture of both cities, this 9-day itinerary will give you a taste of the region with a stop in Álava for wine tasting, and this 12-day itinerary will take you on a culinary adventure through Madrid, Bilbao, San Sebastian, La Rioja, and Barcelona.
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus travel to/from airports
Vueling and Iberia operate several direct daily flights between Barcelona and Bilbao. Take a taxi, private transfer, or shuttle bus from Barcelona to the Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN), which takes about 30 minutes (8 miles/12 km). Shuttle buses depart from Plaça Catalunya and Plaça España every 5 to 10 minutes between 5 a.m. and midnight.
Once you land in Bilbao you can take a taxi, private transfer, or bus into the city, which is 3 miles (5km) away and takes about 15 minutes to reach by car (the road into the city is 8 miles/13 km long).
Duration: 6 hours
If you decide to drive from Barcelona to Bilbao, take the AP-7 highway and then the AP-2 towards Zaragoza. Once you pass Zaragoza, continue on the AP-68 highway. If you want to break the drive up Zaragoza is a good halfway point, or you can make a small detour to La Rioja and visit a vineyard (some require advance booking).