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Bilbao

Travel Guide
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao which includes modern architecture and night scenes

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

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.

Where to stay in Bilbao

Holiday Inn Express Bilbao
Holiday Inn Express Bilbao
3 out of 5
Zarandoa Kalea, 5, Derio, Vizcaya
The price is £63 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 9 miles (15 km) of Monte Artxanda, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and San Mames Stadium. Basilica of Begona and Etxebarria ...
4.2/5Very Good! (972 reviews)
"Great hotel"

Reviewed on 31 May 2021

Holiday Inn Express Bilbao
Hotel Carlton
Hotel Carlton
5 out of 5
Plaza Federico Moyua 2, Bilbao, Vizcaya
The price is £98 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
Located in Abando, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Ensanche, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and San Mames Stadium. Plaza Moyua and Chavarri Palace ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (977 reviews)
"Excellent central location and wonderful view of the Plaza from the front part of the hotel! More friendly receptionist would be an additional asset ! Breakfast was ok although a more diversity would also be appreciated. However, the city view clearly compensate any such small things!!"

Reviewed on 14 Jul 2021

Hotel Carlton
Hotel Gran Bilbao
Hotel Gran Bilbao
4 out of 5
Indalecio Prieto Hiribidea, 1, Bilbao, Vizcaya
The price is £72 per night from 23 Aug to 23 Aug
Located in Santutxu, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Plaza Moyua and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Atxuri ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (694 reviews)
"Very large rooms, great room service and friendly staff."

Reviewed on 12 Jan 2021

Hotel Gran Bilbao
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Fidalsa Living the Dream
Fidalsa Living the Dream
3.5 out of 5
Larrañuzubi 69, Berango, Basque Country
Situated in the mountains, this villa is within 3 miles (5 km) of Ereaga, Portuzarra hondartza and Playa de la Bola. Abra Getxo Marina and Arrigunaga Beach are ...
Fidalsa Living the Dream
Apartamento Labegain 2
Apartamento Labegain 2
Txabarri Kalea 41, Sestao, Basque Country
Situated in Sestao, this apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Estuary of Bilbao and Estadio Nuevo Lasesarre. Solarium-Zona de Pesca Los Cargaderos and ...
Apartamento Labegain 2
Antiguako - Baskeyrentals.com
Antiguako - Baskeyrentals.com
Antiguako Ama Kalea, 6, Lekeitio, Basque Country
Situated in Lekeitio, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Isuntza hondartza and Bay of Biscay. Basilica of La Asuncion de Santa Maria and Karraspio Txiki ...
Antiguako - Baskeyrentals.com
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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