Bismuth germanate is a well known scintillator material. It is also used in nonlinear optics, e.g. for building Pockels cells, and can also be used in the fabrication of photorefractive devices. In the present work planar optical waveguides were designed and fabricated in eulytine (Bi4Ge3O12) and sillenite (Bi12GeO20) type bismuth germanate crystals using single- and double-energy irradiation with N+ ions in the 2.5 < E < 3.5 MeV range. Planar waveguides were fabricated via scanning a 2 mm × 2 mm beam over the waveguide area. Typical fluences were between 1 • 1015 and 2 • 1016 ions/cm2. Multi-wavelength m-line spectroscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry were used for the characterization of the ion beam irradiated waveguides. Waveguide structures obtained from the ellipsometric data via simulation were compared to N+ ion distributions calculated using the Stopping and Range of Ions in Matter (SRIM) code. M-lines could be detected up to a wavelength of 1310 nm in the planar waveguide fabricated in sillenite type BGO, and up to 1550 nm in those fabricated in eulytine type BGO.