Skip to Content

What to wear in Bilbao (month by month) guide

What to wear in Bilbao (month by month) guide

Are you wondering what to wear in Bilbao? In this month by month guide, we will tell you exactly what to pack for Bilbao in every season.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

But before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in Bilbao along with some outfit inspiration we thought it would be worthwhile to talk about exactly what and where Bilbao is, and how the seasons will affect your Bilbao Packing List.

Where is Bilbao?

View of Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
What to pack for Bilbao

Bilbao is a port city located on the Northern Coast of Spain and is famed for being the home of the architecturally iconic Guggenheim Museum and fabulous Basque cuisine. It is definitely worth putting on your Spain itinerary.

So what should you wear in Bilbao for this amazing array of places?

Bilbao Dress Code

As with many places in Spain, Bilbao doesn’t really have a dress code per se. 

Most restaurants and bars have a casual dress however you may also find that some of Bilbao’s fine dining establishments have dress codes so if you plan to eat in one of these it is worth having at least one smart casual outfit with you.

What to Wear on the Bilbao in Summer (June, July and August)

Woman in shorts and top on bridge in Bilbao in Summer
What to wear in Bilbao (Packing List + Outfit Ideas)

Chances are if you are looking to visit Bilbao and wondering what to wear, is that you will be visiting during the Summer Months. In Bilbao, this is characterised as June, July and August, although peak tourist season runs longer than this.

During the Summer in Bilbao the temperatures usually have highs of around 25°C / 77°F and lows of 17°C / 57.2°F

As such we would recommend putting the below on your summer Bilbao packing list:

Maxi Dresses and Maxi Skirts.

Due to the hot weather you will see a lot of Maxi Dresses and Maxi Skirts in Bilbao in Summer especially at tourist attractions and on the beach. 

Loose and flowing clothes are better for Bilbao in Summer as they will keep you cooler. They are also great for wearing down on the beach and out for dinner. 


We don’t recommend packing jeans for Bilbao in the Summer as they are just too hot. However, linen trousers and cotton trousers are a great pick for Bilbao in Summer.

If you do decide to pack linen be sure to check out our guide on how to pack linen to prevent wrinkles.


Although we don’t recommend wearing shorts if you plan on visiting religious settings they are perfect for beach and pool days in Bilbao.

Again we try and avoid denim as they can be uncomfortable in the heat. Instead we like cotton and quick dry shorts for the day and chino-tailored shorts for evenings.

Tank Tops and T Shirts 

These are perfect for out exploring Bilbao and can be paired with skirts or shorts.


A loose blouse made of natural fabric is another great choice for dealing with the heat in Bilbao. I like to wear a blouse when eating in dinner in Bilbao at a more upscale restaurant aka not a tapas bar.

Swimwear (optional)

We always pack at least 2 pieces of swimwear for Spain beach vacations one for wearing and one for drying. 

If you do plan on doing a beach day trip we also advise you bringing a quick dry towel and a beach cover also.

Beach Cover

As you will be spending a lot of time on the beach in Bilbao we also recommend packing at least two beach covers that can work as part of a beach.

Sun Hats

Sun hats are a staple on any Bilbao packing list for summer.

Be sure to pick a wide brimmed straw hat instead of a baseball cap to fit in more with locals and to add more shade into your outfit.


I never travel anywhere in Spain without a pashmina. It is great in the evenings in case you get chilly dining al fresco and can also be used to make an outfit more modest for visiting churches in Spain.


Goes without saying 


We recommend wearing sneaker socks when visiting in Bilbao in Summer when wearing sneakers to help reduce odor and sweat.


We recommend packing lightweight PJs as not everywhere in Bilbao will have Air conditioning. You may want to check out whether or not your accommodation has air conditioning before booking. 

Note: If you want to know what to wear in Bilbao for men I recommend packing a mixture of chinos and linen trousers and some smarter shorts alongside plain t shirts and polos and short sleeve shirts for summer. 

And if you are visiting other areas of Spain in Summer be sure to check out our other Spanish Summer packing Lists:

What to Wear to the Bilbao in Spring (March, April, May)

Depending on what time you are visiting Bilbao in Spring will depend on how hot the temperatures are.

April really kicks off peak season in Bilbao and March is definitely cooler. The warmest month in Spring is of course May with highs and lows averaging 20°C / 68F and 13C / 50F and April having temperatures more like 17°C/72F or 10°C/44.6F.

Rain is also fairly frequent in Spring with on average around 11 days in each month. For this reason, a waterproof jacket and shoes are a good idea for Spring..

Generally speaking we recommend packing the same as the summer but with a few extra layers. So on top of the items listed above we recommend bringing:


Spring evenings in Bilbao can be cold so be sure to add a cardigan or two to pair to your dress and trousers outfits. 


This is great for exploring in March and Early April in Bilbao.

Waterproof Jacket

As it can be quite rainy in Spring we recommend packing a waterproof packaway jacket with you. Though in March you may want a heavier weight coat.

What to Wear to the Bilbao in Fall (September, October and November)

Woman in orange dress in front of historic building in Valencia
What to wear in Valencia in Fall (September, October and November)

What to wear to the Bilbao in Fall is very similar to what to wear in Bilbao in Spring and Summer. 

If you are visiting Bilbao in September you can pretty much select the same outfits as you would in August in Bilbao. 

However the later in Fall you visit the cooler it becomes and peak season tends to end in mid–October.

You will want cardigans and sweaters on your packing list, and in November you may even need a warm jacket.

Want to know what to wear in other regions of Spain in Fall? Check out the below guides:

What to Wear to Bilbao in Winter (December, January and February)

Bilbao in Winter is colder than summer, however it still isn’t freezing. But the key to your Bilbao Winter packing list is packing layers, layers and more layers.

The temperatures in Bilbao in Winter are actually pretty consistent no matter whether you are visting in December, January or February. Generally speaking the average highs are 14C/57F with lows of 6C/42F with around 12 days of rain in each month.

You will definitely want cardigans and sweaters for the day time and for the evenings you will want some additional layers such as jackets and fleeces.

Ee recommend packing:


A warm jacket is a good idea for Winter evenings in Bilbao. We recommend packing something with some waterproofing as it can be rainy in Bilbao.

Cardigans, Sweaters and Top Layers

We recommend packing a few different types of top layers with you for instance a combination of cardigans, sweaters and hoodies of different weights so you have enough variety in case of a very cold snap. 

Long Sleeve Tops 

It is unlikely you will be wearing short sleeve t shirts in Bilbao in Winter so we recommend packing a variety of long sleeve tops and blouses with you including some smarter ones for dinners. 


Although linen trousers are perfect for Bilbao in Summer and the shoulder seasons, they are simply too lightweight in Winter. We recommend going with heavier-weight trousers in Winter and we tend to recommend packing jeans for Bilbao in Winter.


I never go to Spain without one whether I am in Seville, Barcelona or Madrid.


Goes without saying 


A slightly heavier weight pair are better in Winter.

Best Shoes for Bilbao


The best shoes for Bilbao no matter the season is a sneaker. Sneakers are perfect for Bilbao no matter the season you visit as they are the best kind of shoes for walking and can cope with the cobbles you find in Bilbao.

For summer I don’t think you can go wrong with a plain white sneaker. However for the rainier monthsa sneaker with some waterproofing is a good idea. My favorite waterproof sneaker is the Ecco Soft Seven.

Sandals (Summer)

However in Summer and the shoulder seasons you will want a sandal with you too. Perfect for the beach and dinner in summer and shoulder seasons.

Boots (WinteR)

If you are in Bilbao then ankle boots are more appropriate. 

Flip Flops

FLip flops are a great addition to your packing list if you plan on hitting the beach in Bilbao.

What Else to add to your Bilbao Packing List

Travel adaptor

Travel adaptors are always on my international packing lists.

Click here to shop universal travel adaptors.

On top of the travel adaptor you will also need

Sun Cream / Sunscreen

No matter when you traveling you will need sun cream with you. We recommend getting a high SPF, we recommend SPF 50.

Also as you are going to spend a lot of time in the water we recommend only bringing reef safe sunscreen with you to help protect the marine life of Bilbao.

Click here to shop coral safe sun screen here.

Aloe Vera

No one wants to get burnt on vacation but just in case we recommend packing aloe vera / aftersun.

Click here to shop aloe vera / aftersun

Lip Balm with SPF

Although it is very important to protect your skin from the sun, it is also important to protect your lips. For this reason we recommend packing a lip balm with SPF. Our current favorite lip balm with SPF is Sun Bum. Click here to shop lip balm with SPF.


You will always be able to get toiletries on arrival however our toiletries packing list will give you a quick overview of things you may want to pack if you have space in your case.

Click here to shop the best shampoos and conditioners for tropical climates.

Also when looking at packing makeup remember to pack waterproof mascara as you will be spending lots of time in the water.

Beach Bag

For use on the beach.


Bilbao is a beautiful modern city so it should come as no surprise that you will want to take a lot of photos. Be sure you have a good quality camera with you. On top of a regular camera you may also want

Waterproof Phone Case

If you plan on using your phone on the beach and in the pool we recommend taking a waterproof phone case with you. This will not only keep your phone safe from water but is also a good theft deterrent. Click here to shop waterproof phone cases for travel.

Battery pack

A requirement of any packing list. Click here to shop battery packs.

FAQs About what to Wear in Bilbao

What not to wear in Bilbao?

Row of flamenco dresses in shop
What not to wear in Spain

If you want to know what not to wear in Bilbao the thing top of my list would be flamenco dresses.

What to wear in the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao?

There is no dress code for the Guggenheim Museum. As this is a large museum we recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes for your visit.

What to wear to dinner in Bilbao?

Bilbao is famous for its amazing Basque. Cuisine. Most restaurants in Bilbao don’t have strict dress codes but it is worth having one smart casual outfit with you.

However if you plan to go to one of the more fine dining establishments then it is a good idea to have a smart casual outfit with you.

Have you been to Bilbao? What did you wear? We would love to hear in the comments below!