Casco Viejo

The Casco Viejo in Bilbao is the historic centre of the city, and one of the major driving forces behind tourism and the retail and hospitality sectors of Bilbao.

The historic centre

In spite of being one of the historical points of the city, the Casco Viejo district has not been left unscathed by the recent crisis, or by changes to consumer models which have significantly affected the retail distribution industry, and in particular local trade.

Consequently, Bilbao City Council has set up the “Strategy for the Sustainable Development of the Casco Viejo of Bilbao” with the aim of promoting the sustainable development of the Casco Viejo in the mid- and long-term.


Casco Viejo “historic centre of Bilbao”:

  • Dynamic, open, young and connected to the rest of the city and the Bilbao Metropolitan.
  • With its own, recognised identity.
  • With sustainable dynamics for economic, regional and social development.
  • With an equilibrium between the occupation of its space for leisure, culture and retail activities and as an attractive residential area.

Lines of action

Identity and Positioning

  • Definition of a hallmark for Casco Viejo.
  • Positioning of Casco Viejo as a cultural, tourist and retail place of reference in Bilbao.

Retail space of reference

  • Promotion of Casco Viejo as a retail space of reference.
  • Mobilisation of vacant commercial premises.
  • Promotion and support for the creation of new shops.
  • Attraction of retailers that lead the way.
  • Support for retail associations.
  • Improve competitiveness of existing trade.

Sustainable tourism as an element of development

  • Integral improvement of the Euskal Museoa - Basque Museum.
  • Creation of themed sightseeing tours which highlight the heritage and cultural resources of Casco Viejo.
  • Improvement of tools for promoting tourism in Casco Viejo.
  • Support for the development of new tourist products linked to Casco Viejo and to its identity and positioning factors.

Attractive friendly urban space

  • Sustainable mobility.
  • Attractive public space.
  • Shared balanced space.
  • Integration of the estuary into the dynamics of Casco Viejo.

Social development and quality of life

  • Grants for the renovation of buildings.
  • Improvement and creation of spaces and facilities designed to meet the needs of residents.