What to see
What to see
Bilbao has become an urban reference internationally recognized for its avant-garde based on integration and respect for its industrial past.
What to see in Bilbao
Architecture, tradition and avant-garde
Bilbao, an icon of urban transformation
One of the biggest urban emblems of Bilbao is the Guggenheim Museum, Frank Gehry’s work of impressive architecture, which you have probably heard of. You will have to come to check with your own eyes that the design and architecture permeate the entire city, starting with the Abandoibarra promenade, very close to the Museum itself, an area of unquestionable charm where tourists and Bilbao, runners and families meet and they mix every day.
From the promenade you can see new buildings such as the Isozaki towers or the Iberdrola towers, the tallest in Euskadi. Design is also the subway in the city that bears the seal of Norman Foster and the Alhóndiga, an old wine warehouse converted into a space of culture and meeting by Philippe Starck.
The River and its bridges
During your visit to Bilbao, use The Bilbao River as a reference, that artery through which ships arrived in the past and that today is still key in the life of the city. Following its course you will find the Bizkaia Bridge, jewel of industrial architecture and World Heritage.
To get around The Bilbao River and its bridges is to explore the history of the Villa. The Zubizuri (white bridge in Euskera) or the Arrupe gateway are icons of the new Bilbao and others such as the San Antón bridge, which has been there for over 700 years and is on the shield of the city, are great representatives of its past.
The Bilbao River will also be the one that takes you to the Casco Viejo, an area full of life and also the most beloved by the people of Bilbao. Walk its bustling “seven streets” and almost without realizing it you will be of pintxos or “txikiteando”. In addition to appetizing and colorful pintxos bars, the Casco Viejo offers you countless shops where you can browse, old shops full of charm and also the latest trends in fashion and accessories.
Athletic Club of Bilbao
Much more than a football team, the Athletic Club represents a way of understanding life, the pride of the land itself and for all this is lived with passion. If you go to the city on a game day you will see that the incomparable atmosphere that is created around San Mamés and Pozas area is a spectacle.
Also, if you really like football, you can visit the Ibaigane Palace, in a neo-Basque style in the center of Bilbao and the Official Headquarters of the Athletic Club. You will be moved by the Athletic Museum with its Trophy Hall and temporary exhibitions; and of course, you can participate in a guided tour of the San Mamés field, popularly known as “the Cathedral of Football”, where “the Lions” play.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
In the middle of the Abandoibarra promenade and framed by two of his great sculptures, Mama, a spider-shaped sculpture made by Louise Bourgeois, and Puppy, a beautiful 12-meter-tall floral dog by Jeff Koons, is the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
The Guggenheim Museum symbolises the revitalisation of the city. It was designed by US architect Frank O. Gehry and opened in 1997. Behind its striking exterior, it combines a permanent collection with temporary exhibitions dedicated to some of the world’s leading artists and offers an all-round view of visual arts in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Museo de Bellas Artes
With a collection of over 10,000 exhibits covering all manifestations of art, the Fine Arts Museum is another must-see attraction for visitors to Bilbao.
It opened in 1908 and has been extended several times. It now contains an outstanding collection of heritage items. Its research work and exhibition policy are admirable.
The Old town delves us, through its pedestrian streets, the famous seven streets, to the origins of the Villa de Bilbao. In its corners we not only find the oldest churches and monuments in the city: the Cathedral of Santiago, Arkeologi Museoa (Museum of Archeology of Bizkaia), on the roads of Mallona, and the Basque Country Museum-Museum, in the Unamuno Square , the Church of San Antón, the Municipal Library of Bidebarrieta or the Plaza Nueva, but we also find an ideal place to experience the gastronomy of its many bars and restaurants, reference of Txikiteo and pintxos of the city.
In addition, this place allows us to be a scene of numerous recreational and festive events from concerts and street theater, to the busy market of Santo Tomás; and where to tour the most important open mall in Europe.
The Bilbao River
Bilbao is a city that wants to grow in the face of its estuary and even further in the face of the sea, an example of this is the transformation experienced for years in this unique scenario.
To live it in all its splendor we can take a boat on the same walk of Abandoibarra and sail its waters while we contemplate authentic works of art of architecture such as the Isozaki Towers or the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and navigate under the many bridges that cross it: the Zubi Zuri, the Salve, the Pedro Arrupe walkway, the Euskalduna bridge …, reaching almost to its mouth, where the most famous Euskadi bridge, the Vizcaya Bridge, stands , World Heritage and symbol of industrial power.
Once there we will discover true fishing villages in the city like Portugalete and Santurtzi where you can enjoy a magnificent walk, some good pintxos and of course, its famous and succulent sardines.
Located next to the San Antón bridge in the Ribera del Casco Viejo, it is an important commercial reference in the capital of Biscay, being the largest covered market in all of Europe.
Since it was built in the 20th century by the architect Pedro Ispizua, the market has been reformed several times; the last one in 2010, where faithful to the original project, has been rebuilt without the apse near the Church of San Antón, winning a new public space of 1,700 square meters and improving the aesthetics of the posts in addition to other improvements to the welfare and comfort of merchants.
The building is composed of three floors, where you can find a wide variety of foods.