Bilbao is a very active and vital city, economic heart of the region and driving force of the moderness in the Basque country. Situated on the curve of the Nervion River, Bilbao is surrounded by lush and green landscape, with exuberant beaches and mountains.
Today, Bilbao is a modern architecture icon and a city that never ceases to reinvent itself however, it successfully manages to combine the new with a classic charm. There are many interesting tourist attractions and sites in the city thus we have prepared a small guide consisting of the most important things to see in Bilbao.
Bilbao Guggenheim Museum– Truly an icon of the city. Its surprising and innovative architecture, covered by titanium panels, is pure art. Designed by North American Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim houses a magnificent collection of contemporary and modern works of art. Outside this spectacular building there is also the floral sculpture of a dog, Puppy, designed by Jeff Koons and the giant spider Mamán by Louise Bourgeois. Where: Av. Abandoibarra, 2. When: From Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 10pm. Price:Normal entrance fee is between 8 euro and 11 euro (prices vary in accordance with the exhibition). Reduced entrance fee for over 65s, pensioners and students from 5 euro to 6.50 euro. Under 12s free.
Old Town – Bilbao is a city that boasts more than 700 years of history reflected in its charming streets and stunning buildings. Little alleys, small squares, traditional shops……The Old Town in Bilbao is a declared conservation area and is home to some fascinating monuments such as the Cathedral of Santiago, the church and bridge of San Antón, the Arriaga Theatre, Plaza Nueva and Ribera market. It is also a very lively area with numerous bars and restaurants where you can try wine, tapas and pinchos at any time of the day.
Fine Arts Museum – With a rich collection that combines ancient and contemporary art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao takes visitors on a journey from the 17th century to present day. It is home to works of famous painters such as Goya, el Greco, Ribera, Sorolla, Picasso, Dalí and Kandinsky, and is considered one of the main art museums in Spain. Where: Plaza del Museo, 2. When: From Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm. Price: Entrance fee 6 euro. Students, the retired and groups 4.50 euro. Under 12s free. Free entrance on Wednesdays.
Doña Casilda Park – In Bilbao there are numerous green spaces, parks and gardens. However, Doña Casilda Park, more than a century old, is the most important. It is a romance style park, perfect for enjoying a quiet stroll or having a picnic. It has a lovely pond with ducks and swans, an old style carrousel, a pergola where performances are usually organised and an illuminated water fountain for water shows with light and sound. Where: Gran Vía with Paseo de Abandoibarra. When: Always open. Price: Free.
These are some of the top things you can see in Bilbao. However, there is much more including Zubizuri Bridge designed by Calatrava, Getxo and Barrika beaches where you can sunbathe or go surfing, Vizcaya Bridge that crosses the Nervion River connecting Portugalete and Getxo, and the Maritime Museum, amongst others. And if you would like to enjoy stunning views of Bilbao, you can travel on the rack railway up to the top of Monte Atxanda looking over the city and estuary of the river.