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Bilbao Sights and Landmarks Guide, Spain

Located in northern Spain, Bilbao is one of the country’s largest cities and the economic and cultural capital of the Vizcaya region (part of autonomous Basque country). Bilbao is a fascinating mix of Basque tradition and modern architecture. Bilbao sights attract thousands of tourists every year, making this Basque city one of Spain’s most visited attractions.

Bilbao Sights – Museums and Monuments

Probably the most visited objective in Bilbao is the Guggenheim Museum, an exceptional piece of architecture designed by Deconstructivist architect Frank Gehry. Made of limestone, glass and titanium, by using state of the art technology, the building hosts contemporary art exhibitions from all over the world, mainly painting and sculpture. The Museum of Fine Arts is also worth of a visit, not only for the impressive collection of eight centuries of art, but also for its splendid location in the middle of Doña Casilda Iturrizar park. Other notable museums in Bilbao are Maritime Museum, Museo Taurino (Bullfighting Museum) and the Simon Bolivar Museum. There is quite a number of architectural monuments that give Bilbao a distinctive look: Colgante and San Anton Bridges, Palacio de Chavarri, Ayuntamiento de Bilbao (City Hall), or Santiago Cathedral. Art lovers will be happy to discover Bilbao’s Museum of Reproductions or the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, or to attend a concert or theatre representation at Palacio de Congresos y de la Musica or Arriaga opera house.

Bilbao Sights – In and around Bilbao

Bilbao can only reveal its true essence when visited by foot. The Casco Viejo (Old Town) district, with its medieval air and crowded streets, concentrates most of Bilbao’s restaurants, shops and monuments. Like any respectable European city, Bilbao includes a number of large squares, like Plaza Moyua, Plaza Nueva or Plaza de Miguel de Unamuno. But even more impressive are Bilbao’s markets, especially Mercado de la Ribera, which is said to be the largest in the world. For the best panoramic view of Bilbao, take the funicular up to Monte Archanda, one of the most popular between Biblao’s sighs. If you’re looking for some leisure time, Bilbao has beautiful parks and gardens: Jardines de Albia, Parque de Europa or Paseo del Arenal. But the best spot for relaxation is Puerto Deportivo El Abra Getxo, populary known as Getxo, Bilbao’s close by marina that would make the surfer’s delight. This wide beach located at the mouth of Bilbao estuary is an ideal spot for shopping, eating out, taking sun baths or practicing water sports. And since you’re in the area, you might like to make a short trip to the historic cities of Pamplona or Valladolid (see Pamplona Travel Guide and Valladolid Travel Guide for details).

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