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Bilbao

Known for Museums, Cafés and Walking

This former industrial city is now a major European arts center, home to cultural attractions including the famous Guggenheim Museum.

How do you get to Bilbao?

Bilbao, in northern Spain, was once an industrial center, but today is better known for its thriving arts and cultural scene. Come to visit world-class museums, dine at sophisticated restaurants or head out into the surrounding countryside.

Start your visit by climbing the Mallona stairs from Plaza Unamuno to Parque Etxebarria or take the Artxanda funicular railway to enjoy some of the best views in the city.

Many travelers come to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, one of the most renowned art institutions in Europe. The remarkable modern building, with its curved glass and titanium walls, houses art from the mid 20th century to today. Other art attractions include the Fine Arts Museum and the Basque Museum. Bilbao also has a full annual program of cultural events featuring many important exhibitions and performances. See some of these events at the Palacio Euskalduna, a striking modernist building in the city center.

The city is revered not just for its modern architecture, but also for its buildings dating back to the 14th century. Visit the Gothic-style Cathedral of St. James and the Alhondiga, a complex containing a library, several bars and restaurants, a cinema and a rooftop pool with a glass floor.

Bilbao is known for its sophisticated dining scene, with a host of Michelin-starred restaurants. Try local cuisine such as baby squid and lamb stew.

As well as art and food, Bilbao is a city keen on sport. In town there are 18.5 miles (30 kilometers) of cycling lanes, as well as many swimming pools, gyms and parks. Around Bilbao there are nature reserves and hiking trails, as well as several nearby golf courses.

Rent a car and drive out of town to enjoy the countryside or coast surrounding the city. There are traditional fishing villages along the nearby bay. Further down the coast you’ll find picturesque and quiet beaches. An inland route will take you to hiking trails through mountainous scenery. Check the weather forecast before planning your beach day, as the mild climate brings more rain than in other parts of the peninsula.

Activities in Bilbao

Investigate a vast collection of modern and contemporary art both inside and outside one of the most recognizable buildings in Bilbao.

Take time out in this attractive city plaza and contemplate the beauty and majesty of the architecture of the surrounding historical buildings.

Wander through ancient chapels, admire centuries-old religious art and visit a Gothic cloister at this important Roman Catholic building.

Spend hours wandering through the exhibition halls of this grand institution that is filled with works of art that span several hundred years.

Cross by day or by night to enjoy exceptional views from this pedestrianized footbridge, a large white structure connecting two riverside promenades.

Join local soccer fans and shout your support for a well-known European team that calls this spectacular stadium its home.

Attend a conference, concert or dramatic performance, go on a guided tour and browse an eclectic collection of art at this riverside venue.

Tickets & Tours

Discover the Basque Country on a 5-day tour with accommodation in Bilbao, San Sebastian and Vitoria. This programme includes arrival and departure private transfers, welcome dossier and arrival assistance at the hotel, bed and breakfast at 4 star hotels for 4 nights, guided services for three full day tours and all necessary tickets and entrances based on the following itinerary.

Tickets & Tours

Discover the heart of Basque Country with a guided walking tour of the capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and its surrounding areas. An expert guide leads you through the history, architecture, and biodiversity of the culturally rich region, including lunch in the medieval village of Balmaseda.

Tickets & Tours

Discover the cultural diversity and charming wonders that make up the autonomous communities of the Basque Country. From small fishing villages and delightful quarters, to long sandy beaches and home to one of the world's top gastronomic destinations—you’re sure to be enchanted.

Tickets & Tours

On this guided tour explore up close the fine sandy beaches and steep rocky cliffs of the wild Basque shoreline. See charming coastal towns and fishing villages, visit the islet of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, and capture mesmerizing views of the Urdaibai Biosphere.

Tickets & Tours

Get to know the coastal charms of the Basque Country on a day trip to some of its most enchanting seaside cities. Start in the luxurious Biarritz, explore the village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, take a boat ride from Hendaye to Hondarribia, and then spend the afternoon in the idyllic San Sebastián.

Tickets & Tours

Discover the scenic sights of Bilbao from a unique perspective on a full-day hop-on, hop-off bus tour. Listen to informative narration from an accomplished guide as you sail past significant sights like the Guggenheim Museum and the Euskalduna Palace.

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