Bilbao is a city with a interesting mix between the old and the modern resulting in a vibrant city full of energy prepared to welcome the visitor. It is also the city where the famous Guggenheim Museum is located.
Bilbao is a city in Northern Spain in the Basque Country. It is a city that in terms of size is not very large and the touristic places are very close to each other allowing that you can visit the city in few days. This itinerary results from a trip that we made in northern Spain and where we had two days in Bilbao.
Day one – Museum and historical part
Our main motivation to know Bilbao was the Guggenheim Museum. Based on this motivation this was the first place that we visited.
The museum has a spectacular facade and several giant statues around it that make the delights of all visitors. The most interesting statue is that of a dog that is a vertical garden.
The Guggenheim Museum completed in 1997 came to revitalize the part of the city by the river making it modern and beautiful, with many points of interest. The museum has an exhibition before and other non-permanent.
Even if you do not like modern and contemporary art, you must visit the museum.
In the downstream direction, you will find the Maritime Museum of Bilbao. Along the way you will find other points of interest.
At some distance, in the area of Portugalete there are a very peculiar bridge known as the Biscay Bridge or Bizkaiko Zubia. It is a suspension bridge and already declared a World Heritage Site.
Going back and passing by the Guggenheim museum, up the river Nervión that separates the city into two parts, the oldest and the most modern, you can enjoy green spaces and beautiful landscapes. You will also find the Pedestrian Bridge of the Field of Volantín, or Zubizuri ("white bridge", in Basque) that you must cross to the other margin. The bridge has the crystal surface.
After passing the bridge, follow the signs for the Artxanda Funincular, which allows you to climb to the top of the Artxanda Hill. The trip is relatively cheap and allows you to observe the city from a much higher point. In addition at the top there is another green space that you can enjoy to relax.
Back to the city, take time to walk through the streets of Casco Viejo located between Santiago Cathedral and Nervión River and also along the Gran Via. Here you can enjoy these typical streets, shops and typical flavors of the region. Be sure to taste the Pintxos (basically they are bits of bread covered with various foods).
Second Day – San Juan de Gaztelugatxe chapel
Our second day was reserved to visit a chapel that left us dazzled by its surroundings. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is located near Bilbao and the sea, being quickly reached by car. Click here for a complete itinerary.
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Popular resorts in Bilbau
When to visit
We chose to visit Bilbao during the summer and we did not regret it. Being a city in the north of Spain the best time to visit it will be between spring and autumn because the temperatures. You can also enjoy the beaches if the weather permitting. It is recomended to reserve admission to the Guggenheim museum online so that you do not waste much time in the queues.
For the hotel use the provided links in our page. We stayed at Artxanda Hill in a small lodge near the Funincular. It was a better choice but very wise because we were in the center of the city in a matter of minutes.
How to visit
The city is served by an airport that receives national and international flights and this is a good option to get to the city. We arrived by car and the road network is excellent, as it happens in all of Spain.
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