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Is Bilbao Safe? 2024 Safety Guide

Are you planning a trip to Bilbao, Spain? You’re probably wondering if it’s a safe destination. Bilbao is a vibrant city that is home to some of the best art, architecture, and culture in the world, but like all cities, there are certain safety precautions you should take. In this guide, we will explore the safety of Bilbao, what to look out for, and how to stay safe while exploring this beautiful Spanish city. If you are thinking about traveling to Bilbao, check out our Bilbao travel guide!

Is Bilbao Safe Right Now?

When planning a trip to Bilbao, one of the most important considerations is the current safety of the city. While Bilbao is generally a safe destination, it is always wise to stay informed about the current situation. As of now, Bilbao maintains a relatively low crime rate compared to other major cities in Spain. The city has a strong police presence, and law enforcement works diligently to ensure the safety and security of both residents and visitors. Tourist areas, such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Old Town, are generally safe, with a visible police presence to deter criminal activity.

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However, it is important to exercise caution and take basic safety precautions while exploring Bilbao. Like any popular tourist destination, pickpocketing can be an issue, especially in crowded areas and on public transportation. It is advisable to keep your belongings secure, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid displaying signs of wealth or valuable items. In terms of violent crimes, Bilbao has a low incidence rate, and tourists are unlikely to encounter any major safety concerns.

However, it is always a good idea to stay in well-lit and busy areas, especially at night, and to avoid walking alone in unfamiliar or deserted locations. Overall, while no city is completely free of crime, Bilbao can generally be considered a safe destination for tourists. By staying informed, taking basic precautions, and being aware of your surroundings, you can enjoy your trip to Bilbao without any major safety concerns.

Bilbao Travel Advisory

As of now, Bilbao is considered a safe destination for travelers. However, it is important to note that the U.S. Department of State has issued a level 2 travel advisory for Spain as a whole. This means that travelers should exercise increased caution, especially in areas with a higher risk of crime or terrorism.

When visiting Bilbao, it is recommended to take basic safety precautions such as avoiding deserted areas at night and keeping valuables out of sight. It is also important to be aware of the possibility of pickpocketing in crowded tourist areas. In addition to general safety precautions, travelers should also be mindful of any political demonstrations or protests happening in the city. While these events are usually peaceful, they have been known to occasionally turn violent.

Overall, while Bilbao is a relatively safe destination, it is always wise to stay alert and informed about potential safety risks. By taking precautions and being aware of your surroundings, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to this beautiful city.

Is Bilbao Safe To Walk Around?

Bilbao is considered a safe city to walk around. The city is known for its well-maintained streets and public spaces, which are kept clean and safe for pedestrians. Like any other city, it is important to take certain precautions when walking around, especially at night or in areas that are less populated. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuable items with you, and stay aware of your surroundings at all times. If possible, it is also advisable to travel with a companion or in a group, particularly at night.

Bilbao has an excellent public transportation system that can also help you get around the city safely and efficiently. You can take buses or the metro to get to your desired destinations, which are safe to use at all hours of the day. If you’re planning to walk around the city’s main tourist areas, such as the Guggenheim Museum or the old town, it’s also advisable to stay on the well-lit streets and to follow the instructions of the local police officers. Overall, Bilbao is a safe city to walk around, but it’s important to use common sense and take necessary precautions when exploring the city.

Is Uber Safe In Bilbao?

Uber is available in Bilbao, but it’s not the most popular way to get around. While many people feel comfortable using the app-based ride-sharing service in other cities, some may have concerns about its safety in Bilbao. However, overall, Uber in Bilbao is considered safe. The drivers go through background checks, and the company has insurance policies in place to cover accidents and incidents.

It’s important to note that Uber isn’t the only option for transportation in Bilbao. Taxis and public transportation are also readily available. Additionally, many visitors enjoy walking around the city, especially in the charming Old Town area. As with any form of transportation, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and be cautious. When using Uber or any other ride-sharing service, make sure to confirm the driver’s identity and vehicle details before getting in. Always sit in the backseat, and let someone know your location and estimated arrival time.

Is Public Transportation Safe In Bilbao?

One of the easiest ways to get around Bilbao is by using the public transportation system, which includes buses, metro trains, and trams. The good news is that public transportation in Bilbao is generally considered safe, reliable, and affordable. The buses and trams are operated by Bilbobus, while the metro trains are operated by Euskotren.

However, as with any public transportation system, there are some safety concerns that you should be aware of. It’s recommended that you keep your personal belongings close to you at all times, especially on crowded buses and trains. There have been reports of pickpocketing on the metro trains and at bus stations, so be sure to stay vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings.

It’s also important to note that some areas of Bilbao may have a higher risk of crime than others. It’s recommended that you avoid traveling alone at night, particularly in less populated areas. It’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and stay on well-lit streets. Overall, the public transportation system in Bilbao is a convenient and safe way to get around the city, as long as you take necessary precautions to ensure your safety.

Is Bilbao A Safe Place To Drive?

While Bilbao may not be the easiest city to navigate by car, it can be a safe option if you are comfortable driving in urban environments. Like any city, there are traffic laws and congestion to deal with, but overall, Bilbao is a relatively safe place to drive. One thing to note is that the streets in the historic district are narrow and often pedestrian-only. It’s important to be mindful of this and plan your route accordingly.

Also, be aware of cyclists and scooters as they are becoming increasingly popular modes of transportation in Bilbao. Another thing to consider is parking. While there are public parking garages throughout the city, it can be difficult to find a spot during peak hours. It’s recommended to use public transportation or taxis to get around if possible. Overall, if you are an experienced driver and take the necessary precautions, driving in Bilbao can be a safe and convenient way to explore the city and its surrounding areas.

Is It Safe To Live In Bilbao?

If you’re planning on moving to Bilbao, you’ll be happy to know that the city is generally safe to live in. While crime does exist, it is usually limited to petty theft and pickpocketing, which can be avoided by being aware of your surroundings and keeping your valuables safe. One of the biggest concerns for people living in Bilbao is the occasional protests that take place in the city. However, these are typically peaceful and don’t pose any danger to residents or visitors.

As with any city, there are certain areas of Bilbao that are considered less safe than others. For instance, some parts of the old town can be a bit dodgy at night, so it’s best to be cautious if you’re out late. Another issue that can affect those living in Bilbao is air pollution, particularly during the winter months. However, the city has been taking steps to combat this issue, such as promoting the use of public transportation and encouraging cycling.

Overall, Bilbao is a safe and enjoyable city to live in. Like anywhere else, there are potential dangers, but as long as you use common sense and stay aware of your surroundings, you should have no problem living in this beautiful Basque city.

Is Airbnb Safe To Use In Bilbao?

Airbnb has become a popular accommodation option for many travelers in Bilbao. However, safety is always a concern when it comes to staying in a stranger’s home. The good news is that Airbnb is generally safe in Bilbao. The platform has a robust verification process that includes ID verification, reviews from previous guests, and insurance coverage.

When booking an Airbnb in Bilbao, it’s essential to look for properties that have plenty of positive reviews. Read through previous guests’ feedback to ensure that the property is clean, safe, and accurately described in the listing. It’s also a good idea to check the host’s profile to ensure that they have a history of positive interactions with guests.

Additionally, Airbnb has a 24/7 customer service team that can assist you if anything goes wrong during your stay. If you encounter any safety issues during your Airbnb stay in Bilbao, you should contact the host immediately. If they cannot resolve the issue, reach out to Airbnb’s customer service team for assistance. Overall, Airbnb is a safe accommodation option in Bilbao as long as you do your research and book a property with positive reviews and a trustworthy host.

Is Bilbao Safe For Tourists?

Bilbao is generally considered a safe destination for tourists. The city has a low crime rate, and there is a strong police presence, especially in tourist areas. Tourists are unlikely to encounter any major safety concerns, and violent crimes are rare. However, it is still important to take basic safety precautions while exploring the city.

Pickpocketing can be an issue in crowded areas and on public transportation, so it is advisable to keep your belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings. Additionally, it is recommended to stay in well-lit and busy areas, especially at night, and to avoid walking alone in unfamiliar or deserted locations. Overall, by staying informed and taking necessary precautions, tourists can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Bilbao.

Is Bilbao Safe For Families?

If you’re planning a family trip to Bilbao, you’ll be pleased to know that the city is generally safe for families with children. There are plenty of attractions that cater to all age groups, including museums, parks, and beaches. The crime rate in Bilbao is relatively low, and incidents of violent crime are rare.

However, it’s always a good idea to exercise caution when travelling with children, as pickpocketing and petty theft can occur in crowded tourist areas. Fortunately, the city’s public transportation system is safe and reliable, making it easy to get around with kids in tow. The metro system is clean and efficient, and buses are equipped with child-friendly facilities such as baby changing stations.

When it comes to accommodation, there are many family-friendly hotels and Airbnb options in Bilbao that offer spacious rooms and amenities such as play areas and swimming pools. Overall, Bilbao is a safe and welcoming city that offers plenty of opportunities for family fun and adventure. With some common-sense precautions, you and your family can enjoy a safe and memorable trip to this vibrant Basque destination.

Is Bilbao Safe For Female Travelers?

Bilbao is generally a safe destination for female travelers. The city has a low crime rate, and violent crimes are rare. However, as with any city, it is important to take basic safety precautions. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in less populated areas, and stay on well-lit streets. Be cautious of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, it is best to remove yourself from it.

In terms of public transportation, Bilbao’s buses and metro trains are generally safe to use. However, it is advisable to be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded areas. Keep your valuables secure and be aware of pickpocketing, which can be a concern in tourist areas. Overall, by staying informed, taking necessary precautions, and using common sense, female travelers can have a safe and enjoyable experience in Bilbao.

Is Bilbao Safe For Solo Travelers?

Bilbao is generally considered a safe destination for solo travelers, both male and female. The city has a low crime rate and locals are friendly and welcoming towards visitors. However, it’s always wise to take certain precautions to ensure your safety. As a solo traveler, it’s important to avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar or dimly lit areas. Stick to well-lit streets and avoid alleys or side streets.

It’s also a good idea to carry a phone and keep emergency numbers handy. If you plan to use public transportation, make sure to keep your belongings close and avoid displaying expensive items such as jewelry or electronics. When it comes to accommodation, Bilbao has plenty of options for solo travelers. Hostels and budget hotels offer affordable rates and a chance to meet fellow travelers.

Alternatively, Airbnb is also a popular choice and offers a more authentic experience by staying with locals. However, it’s important to choose accommodations that are in safe neighborhoods and have good reviews. Overall, Bilbao is a great destination for solo travelers who want to explore the city’s vibrant culture, food, and art scene. Just remember to exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings.

Is Bilbao Safe For Americans?

Yes, Bilbao is generally safe for Americans and tourists in general. However, as with any city, it’s important to exercise caution and take basic safety measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. The crime rate in Bilbao is relatively low, but pickpocketing can be a problem in crowded tourist areas. It’s best to keep valuables hidden and stay aware of your surroundings at all times.

Additionally, it’s important to follow any travel advisories issued by the US State Department and to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updates and alerts while traveling. In terms of cultural differences, Americans should be aware that Spanish customs and traditions may differ from those in the US. It’s important to respect local customs and follow cultural norms to avoid any misunderstandings or potential conflict.

Overall, Bilbao is a safe and welcoming destination for American travelers. By taking basic safety precautions and being respectful of local customs, visitors can enjoy a fantastic trip to this vibrant and fascinating city.

Is It Safe To Do Drugs In Bilbao?

No, it is not safe to do drugs in Bilbao or any other city. Drug use is illegal and carries severe consequences in Spain. Possession of drugs, including marijuana, can result in fines, imprisonment, or deportation. The penalties for drug trafficking are even more severe and can include lengthy prison sentences.

Additionally, drug use can increase the likelihood of accidents, health problems, and other dangerous situations. Drug-related crimes such as theft and violence are not uncommon in areas with drug use. If you struggle with substance abuse, it is important to seek help before traveling. Research local resources, such as treatment centers or support groups, that can provide assistance if needed.

Overall, it is not worth the risk to engage in drug use while visiting Bilbao or any other destination. Remember to always prioritize safety and follow the laws and regulations of the country you are visiting.

Common Scams To Look Out For In Bilbao

While Bilbao is generally a safe destination, it is always wise to be aware of common scams that can occur in any city. Here are a few to look out for:

  • The Distraction Scam: Someone will approach you with a map or ask for directions, while an accomplice will try to steal your belongings.
  • The ATM Scam: Skimmers are installed on ATMs to steal your card details. Use ATMs in well-lit areas and check for any suspicious devices before inserting your card.
  • The Restaurant Scam: Some restaurants may charge an additional fee for things like bread or water without telling you beforehand. Always check the menu for any hidden charges.
  • The Street Performer Scam: Some street performers may demand payment for a photo or harass you for not giving them enough money. It’s best to keep a distance from them.
  • The Fake Goods Scam: Beware of sellers offering “designer” items for a fraction of the cost. These goods are likely to be counterfeit and of poor quality.

Remember to always be vigilant and cautious, and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. By being aware of common scams, you can enjoy your trip to Bilbao without any unexpected surprises.

Bilbao Emergency Numbers

It is always a good idea to know the emergency numbers of the place you are visiting. In case of any unfortunate incidents, you can quickly contact the necessary authorities for help. Here are the Bilbao emergency numbers that you should keep in mind during your trip:

  • Police Emergency: 112
  • Medical Emergency: 112
  • Fire Emergency: 112
  • Local Police: 092
  • Ambulance: 944 157 000
  • Hospital de Basurto: 944 006 000
  • Hospital de Cruces: 944 005 000
  • Bilbao Tourist Office: 944 795 760

If you find yourself in a difficult situation, don’t hesitate to call the emergency services. They are available 24/7 and will respond promptly to any emergency situation. Keep these numbers handy in case of an emergency.

However, it is important to remember that Bilbao is generally a safe place, and as long as you exercise basic caution and follow safety guidelines, you are unlikely to encounter any problems during your stay.

The Bottom Line

Overall, Bilbao is a safe destination for travelers. While crime exists in every city, it is not a significant problem in Bilbao. Visitors should be cautious in tourist areas and watch out for pickpockets. Additionally, travelers should be aware of common scams and take precautions to avoid them. Public transportation is generally safe, but tourists should take normal safety precautions when using the metro or bus system. Uber is also a reliable and safe option for transportation. While drugs are illegal in Bilbao, there are instances of drug-related crime. Therefore, it is important to avoid drugs and any areas known for drug activity. Emergency services are available in the city, and visitors should keep the emergency numbers on hand.

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