There was a time when the city of Bilbao was just another industrial town that didn’t attract much tourism. Oh, how times have changed. The Basque city is now one of the world capitals for Art, Architecture and Design. With host to beautiful streets and numerous museums and galleries it has become an attractive tourist destination over the last twenty years. Here’s a guide of Bilbao attractions to see on your trip:
The Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim Museum can lay its claim to putting Bilbao on the arts map. It first opened in 1997 and the city has certainly been on its way up since then. If the exterior (a ship-like metal design combined with the “art village”) wasn’t interesting enough to look at there is even more inside. With works of art from Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons and Yves Klein, you’ll spend hours looking in amazement.
Walk around Casco Viejo
Casco Viejo is Bilbao’s old town. It’s filled with narrow, winding streets that have beautiful colourful architecture. There are plenty of bars and shops to keep you occupied, as well as sights such as the Catedral de Santiago de Bilbao, Plaza Nueva and the San Nicolas and San Anton Churches. There is truly something for everyone.
Bilbao Attractions: La Ribera Market
Just outside of Casco Viejo you will find Europe’s largest indoor market. La Ribera covers 10,000m2 and is a great way to get familiarised with Basque food and culture. There are endless amounts of stalls, restaurants and live music to enjoy. It’s even hosted inside a beautiful 1929 built building.
Museo Bellas Artes
In a region that is known for its art, Museo Bellas Artes is one of the best collections in the whole of the Basque Country. Dating all the way back to 1914, you can enjoy art from the modern era all the way back to the 12th century. Famous works from Francis Bacon, Eduardo Chillida and El Greco are all here.
Sail Down the Ría de Bilbao
A great way to explore a lot of sights in a shorter space of time is to take a boat trip down Bilbao’s river. Not only will you get to see an array of different landmarks, you’ll be able to relax and catch some rays while doing so. Sights you’ll see along the banks are the Guggenheim, Ribera Market, Hotel Arenal Bilbao and the Town Hall.
Go To the Top of Mount Artxanda
For the very best views of the city, there is only one place to go. Using an old cable car system, you’ll easily be able to get to the top of Mount Artxanda. Atop the mountain you’ll get unobstructed views of the city that will take your breath away.