Sprawling along the banks of the Nervion River, Bilbao is a vibrant port city in Basque Country. It’s renowned for its grand architecture, distinct gastronomy and surrounding forested mountains, rugged coasts and picturesque rural countryside.
Things to do in Bilbao
Visit the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum, celebrated as one of the world’s most impressive works of contemporary architecture. It boasts an outstanding collection of works by both Spanish and international artists, as well as touring exhibits from other Guggenheim museums.
Art enthusiasts should also visit the Museo de Bellas Artes, which houses more than 6,000 works of Basque, Spanish and European masters dating back to the 12th century. It lies within the leafy landscapes of Doña Casilda Iturrizar Park and features prominent works by El Greco, Paul Cézanne and Francis Bacon.
Wander around the charismatic streets of Bilbao’s Casco Viejo (Old Town), packed with historic landmarks. Admire the Neo-Baroque architecture of the Teatro Arriaga and the carved altar of Iglesia de San Nicolás de Bari, then soak up the local comings and goings from one of Plaza Nueva’s alfresco cafes.
Want to discover the Basque region’s distinct cultural heritage? Head to the Euskal Museoa Bilbao, housed within a Baroque building in the Casco Viejo. It showcases prehistoric findings, folk arts and crafts, as well as Basque seafaring history from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Getting around Bilbao
Bilbao Airport is 15 minutes’ drive north of the city centre. There are daily trains to Madrid, Barcelona and Vigo, with a subway system, trams and buses accessing all corners of Bilbao.