A Cinderella story on Spain’s North Atlantic coast, Bilbao calls to more Basque Country travelers than anyplace else. Most come to see what happens when a town reinvents itself. Bilbao shed a grungy, industrial, down-trodden image almost overnight. Somehow, it became a world-class example of modernity without sacrificing its historical and cultural roots. In truth, none of the news coverage or international awards quite capture Bilbao’s remarkable transformation.
The Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, itself a work of art, has been flagship, emblem and catalyst of the city’s renovation. But it is only a part of a broader and more startling strategic plan that reaches into every alley.
People who appreciate architecture, painting, and sculpture love Bilbao. Its streets are an openair contemporary architecture museum with masterpieces by Gehry, Foster, Calatrava, Isozaki, Pelli, Moneo, and Alvaro Siza. These modern works coexist with older neighbors, buildings styled after eclecticism, modernism, regionalism, art deco, rationalism, baroque, Gothic, etc.
Likewise, paintings and sculptures by Koons, Serra and Rothko in the Guggenheim Museum, or the art by Basque & Spanish artists like Zuloaga, El Greco, Murillo, Goya, Sorolla, Chillida, and Oteiza in the Fine Arts Museum are a must-sees for art lovers and connoisseurs.
You can also find art, history and culture in its gastronomy, the Basque wines of Rioja Alavesa, the local txakolis, Basque music, traditional sports,… and many options that you can include in the design of your own customized tours and exclusive in Bilbao and its surroundings.