Heading to Spain’s Basque Country via Bilbao? Here’s our guide to collecting a Bilbao Airport car hire including information on which suppliers are available in the terminal. For our guide on returning a car hire to Bilbao Airport, click here.

Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum put Bilbao on the tourist trail. No longer is its airport simply a gateway to San Sebastian. Bilbao itself makes a great city break destination. A modern city that’s proud of its history, Bilbao has exciting architecture and a fantastic dining scene. The rolling green hills and stunning coastline of the Basque Country are also just a short drive away.

Bilbao Airport

Collecting a Bilbao Airport car hire | DriveSpain

Bilbao Airport | Image: Basotxerri/Wikimedia Commons

Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, Bilbao Airport is a great introduction to the city. Nicknamed the ‘paloma’, which means dove, the airport looks like a bird in flight from the air. Inside, it’s bright with lots of clean white lines that make you feel a little bit like you’re inside a big skeleton. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture. As an airport, it’s functional and easy to get around.

The ‘wings’ are where the boarding gates are. Baggage Reclaim and the Arrivals Hall are on the ground floor of the main body. And Check-in is on the upper level. After leaving Baggage Reclaim, you’ll head straight out into the Arrivals Hall where there is a small café, Tourist Information and a couple of cash machines (ATMs). If this is your first time in Bilbao, it’s worth stopping at Tourist Information as you can get a free map of the city.

Collecting a Bilbao Airport car hire

A number of suppliers have a desk located on-airport. They are EuropcarKeddy, HertzThrifty, EnterpriseAlamo, AvisBudget, Sixt and Flizzr.

Car hire desks are on the floor below. Towards the middle of the Arrivals Hall, there are lifts as well as a moving walkway to take you down one level. Once down, there is a walkway that connects the terminal to a multi-story car park, which is the airport’s main car park (P1 Parking). After walking through the big set of doors to the car park, the car hire desks are towards your left.

The hire cars are also located in this car park.

Collecting a Bilbao Airport car hire | DriveSpain

Walkway to the car park and car hire desks

Off-airport Bilbao Airport car hire 

In addition to the suppliers above, there are also a few other car hire companies who have offices located off-airport. This includes Drivalia and GoldcarRhodium. Both of them offer a free shuttle service to take passengers from the terminal to their office. If you’re collecting an off-airport car hire, do make sure you check the information on your booking voucher for instructions.

Image: Puppy by Jeff Koons located outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. © horrapics/Flickr