A general view of the vias (platforms) at Bilbao-Abando - the Cercanias trains depart from those on the right

Bilbao-Abando (Bilbao)

This guide to taking a train from and to Bllbao includes details of how to use Bilbao-Abando station - and how to connect to the local trains and trams in the city.

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The stunning wall of stained glass at the rear of the concourse at Bilabao-Abando station The stunning wall of stained glass at the rear of the concourse at Bilabao-Abando station
The main station buiding which houses the escalators - the trains depart from the upper level The main station buiding which houses the escalators - the trains depart from the upper level
This statue watches over the concourse at Bilbao-Abando - head towards it from the trains to exit the station This statue watches over the concourse at Bilbao-Abando - head towards it from the trains to exit the station

Bilbao’s main train station, Bilbao-Abando is conveniently located in the heart of the city by the west bank of the Ria Del Nerion.
The old town surrounding the cathedral is a 10- 15 min walk away – turn right on exiting the station and follow the tram tracks down the street named ‘Naffora Kelela’ and over the bridge.

Bilbao-Abandao is also a public transport hub;

  • the Bilbao Metro has a stop at the station,
  • the city’s Euskotran tram line, has stop by Abando and
  • the station used by trains on the FEVE network, Bilbao Concordia, is a 3 min walk away.

However, the Euskotren local rail network does not have a stop at Abando, its nearest station Zazpikaleak/Casco Viejo, is a 10-12 min walk from Bilbao-Abando or a one-stop hop on the Metro.

Arriving by train:

The vias (platforms/tracks) at Bilbao-Abando are above street level, but there is step free access to the exits and Metro.
When you step off a train, exit from the vias and walk ahead across the main concourse towards the stunning stained glass installation.

At the rear of this concourse are escalators which lead down to the exits and metro, which are two levels below.
On the first level you will come to are some shops and restaurants and some of the toilets/restrooms at the station – the Alvia trains from Madrid usually arrive at via (platform/track) 8 which is the location of the other toilets/restrooms.

Once you’re at street level in the main station building there is a choice of three street exits, the main exit will be over to the left – on the other side of the separate banks of escalators, which lead down to the metro station.

Use the less obvious exit on the right if you’re heading to the FEVE station, Bilbao-Concordia.

The Tourist Information Office is next to the station, turn right from the main exit and you'll find it on the Plaza Bribila

Departing by train:

When you enter the station, use the escalators or elevators to head to the main concourse, which will be two levels above.
It houses most of the facilities at the station including the ticket office, when you step off of the escalators, it is out of sight and it is over to the right behind the escalators.

Connecting to the Euskotran – Tram

Follow the signs to the main Plaza Bribila exit – it’s over to the left, when you step off of the escalators that descend down from the trains.
Once you’re on the street, turn to the right, keep the Plaza Bribila roundabout on your left and then turn right again on to a street named ‘Naffora Kelela’
The tram stop is at the top of the street on the right hand side.

What’s unusual, is that on this street the tram track is bi-directional, meaning that trams heading east towards Axturi AND west towards La Casilla, use the same tram stop.

The trams heading to La Casilla call at a stop named ‘Guggenheim’ which is right by the Guggenheim Museum so if you’ll be heading to the Guggenheim from Bilbao-Abando, the tram is the easiest and quickest option.
If you don’t take the tram, the Guggenheim is a 15 – 25 min walk from Abando station.

Connecting to the FEVE Trains:

FEVE is the name of a network of narrow-gauge railways which includes routes from Bilbao to the west, including the coastal line to Santander, where connections are available on to Oviedo.
In Bilbao FEVE trains depart from Bilbao-Concordia station which is adjacent, but not directly connected to, Bilbao-Abdando station.

To reach Concordia station from Abando station, descend to the street level concourse in the main station building at Abando - and then when stepping off of the escalators, head over to the somewhat out of sight exit on the right.
On exiting Abando you’ll find yourself in an open space, but Concordia station is at the other end of the short pedestrian passage, which you will see ahead.
From a distance it won’t be obvious that the building you’ll be heading towards is Concordia station, you’ll be entering by its somewhat anonymous rear entrance and not through its stunning art-nouveau front entrance.

Worth knowing is that the access to Concordia from Abando isn’t step-free.

Connecting to the Euskotren trains:

Euskotren is the brand name of the network of narrow-gauge railways to the east of Bilbao.
Most of its routes are commuter railways, but it’s mainline, route E1, provides an hourly train service between Bilbao and Donastia/San Sebastian.
This is a shorter, more direct, and more frequent alternative to taking Renfe train services between these two cities.

A relatively recent change is that these trains on route E1 no longer depart from Axturi station in Bilbao.
Instead they now travel through central Bilbao and the nearest station to Bilbao-Abando that they call at is Zazpikaleak/Casco Viejo.
It’s a one-stop hop on the Bilbao Metro to Zazpikaleak/Casco Viejo or it’s a 10-12 min walk from Abandao.

Use the main exit from Abando and then turn right and then turn right again until you are on the street containing tram tracks, named ‘Naffora Kelela’
You can’t take the tram to Zazpikaleak/Casco Viejo, so instead walk ahead down this street and go straight ahead over the river bridge.
On the other side of the bridge take the first left and a large church will be directly ahead, go down the street to the right of the church and you’ll find Zazpikaleak/Casco Viejo station at the end of this street.

Connecting to Termibus Bus Station

The main bus station in Bilbao, *the Intermodal Terminal is linked to Bilbao-Abando by local Renfe 'Cercanias' trains on lines C1 and C2, which call at San Mamés station; adjacent to the bus station.

These line C1 and C2 depart from the main concourse beside the other trains.
If no Ceracanias train is due to depart then the quicker option will be take a Metro, take any train three stops west to San Mamés.

Bus line line A3247, operated by BizkaiBus links the bus Terminal with Bilbao Airport.

To the ferry terminal:

Bilbao Ferry Terminal is 21km from central Bilbao and has no direct public transport connection from Abando station, or anywhere else in the city centre.
Santurzi Metro station on Metro line 2 is the nearest station to the port, but it is still 3km away and there is no taxi rank at Santzuri station.

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