Athletic Club, a family in red and white
The local football club is a symbol of Basque history and identity. A tour of the newly built San Mamés Stadium and its interesting museum is a great choice for families with kids.
Football is part of Bilbao’s life. The local football club, Athletic Club, has a museum inside San Mamés Stadium where you can learn about the club’s eventful history: 500 items, including outfits and documents, plus videos and other interactive media.
The museum reveal’s the team’s philosophy. And the tour of San Mamés, home of Athletic Club, is a fun, unforgettable football experience for the whole family.
In the summer, you can visit the Athletic campus in Lezama, where the football team hold open-door training sessions and players sign autographs for the little ones.
Bizkaia family friendly
Plans for the whole family
Football enthusiasts coming to Bilbao will have the chance to visit the San Mamés ‘Cathedral’ before or after a tour of the Guggenheim and Fine Arts Museums. They will learn about the club’s history, which began over a hundred years ago.
Athletic Club is more than a football club as much as San Mamés is more than just a stadium. The museum is well worth a visit. It showcases the history and character of the club in a fun, informative experience.
Discover the past and present of 'The Cathedral' in a 3D film, view the original plan view by architect Manuel María Smith and the huge collection of pictures of legendary Athletic Club players, shirts, trophies and other items.
The Athletic Club Museum features interactive media, which children will certainly love as they are so familiar with the technology. The result is an experience in learning while having fun.
Travel back in time to the past of Athletic Club and come back to the present. Along the way, you will visit the pitch, the dressing rooms and the very special President’s Box.
Athletic Club philosophy
Off the stadium, you can be in contact with the daily life of football players by watching an open-door training session in Lezama. After training, the Athletic Club footballers will sign autographs and say hello to football fans. Your children will be really excited to shake hands with their sports idols. Check out training times on the Club’s website and social media.
Also, the Athletic Club Foundation carries out a summer camp in Lezama in June and July for children aged 6 to 14. The young would-be football players in your family will have the chance to improve their football as well as their language – Basque and English – skills as part of a fun educational experience. The foundation promotes teamwork and solidarity among the youth. Talks are delivered by pros and experts, and Athletic Club players pay frequent visits to the camp.
San Mamés, or ‘The Cathedral’, as it is usually called, gives you and your family the chance to enjoy a great experience. After visiting the museum, you will embark on a 45-minute tour of the recently built stadium.
Come to the home of ‘the lions’ after visiting the Athletic Club Museum in a 45-minute behind-the-scenes guided tour of the stadium
The San Mamés tour takes you to the pitch, a silent witness to the club’s eventful history; the press room, where journalists cover the games; as well as the dressing rooms, where the team celebrate wins and swallow defeats.
Last but not least, you'll enjoy visiting the President’s Box, for the Club’s President, board members and players. Club members can enter a draw for a seat to watch a game from here – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
The visit to the museum and the tour of San Mamés take 45 minutes each. For the tour, make an advance booking and try to arrive 45 minutes early.
How to get there
Where to eat
Following your tour of the San Mamés Stadium, you can continue your Athletic Club experience at the restaurant located on gate 14 in ‘The Cathedral’. The San Mamés restaurant offers special menus for kids or groups.
In La Campa de los Ingleses tavern, at gate 26, you can have a coffee or a zurito (small glass of beer). They also offer a menu of the day with gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Around San Mamés you can go for pintxo-pote (bar-hopping for snacks and drinks). Licenciado Poza Street is considered a must-stop after the game. It gets crowded and lively on matchdays. Come here to experience the Athletic Club culture first-hand.
Where to sleep
San Mamés stands in central Bilbao, next to the Ensanche. Close to the stadium are hostels with budget beds and great ambience, especially for young visitors.
More traditional hotels are to be found in Gran Vía and Abandoibarra. Whichever your preference, finding a room in Bilbao is easy, either among budget options or at a pricey hotel.