The Top 6 Things To Do In Bilbao
The six best attractions in Bilbao, Basque country
Bilbao, Vizcaya’s capital, is a Spanish city that had a rather rough upbringing. As a former industrial city with an environment surrounded by vast industrial wastelands, Bilbao was severely abused by those who are in power for years, and had to keep its nose to the grindstone to keep its tourism alive. But, like a country kid who made it big in the city, the city’s tourism drastically improved, thanks to a scintillating titanium museum known as the Museo Guggenheim, as well as a handful of other world-class galleries and museums. Today, the city is widely viewed as an epicenter of European art.
From local haunts and insider hot-spots to exquisite must-see sights, the city has a wide range of tourist traps and attractions to offer to its visitors. So, how do you decide? To help you discover the best and most authentic experiences in this Spanish city, check out our handpicked attractions and things to do in Bilbao.
1. Marvel at the architectural beauty of Museo Guggenheim
The Museo Guggenheim is by far the undisputed star of the city’s tourism. Designed for Frank Gehry, this titanium-clad twisting architectural masterpiece has been drawing millions of tourists who all want to catch a glimpse of this spectacle. Shaped like a gigantic whale, this artistic architectural wonder is considered one of the most significant architectures in modern time.
Its stunning architecture, however, is not the only reason why travelers flock to this tourist magnet. As a museum of modern art, the Museo Guggenheim houses an impressive collection of art from the finest artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Andy Warhol and Picasso.
2. Visit the Catedral de Santiago
While this breathtaking building was officially anointed as a cathedral in 1949, the Catedral de Santiago has been around for more than 700 years. A Gothic-styled Cathedral, the Catedral de Santiago features a charming mixture of styles, thanks to the building’s undertaking various upgrades throughout its life. As you visit this cathedral, you will get to lay your eyes on a gorgeous façade and Neo-gothic tower that were designed in the 1800s by Severino de Achucarro. In addition, it has an adjoining square known as Plaza de Santiago that boasts a picturesque fountain made by Luis Paret.
3. Climb the Mallona stairs
Get amazing panoramic views of the city by climbing the Mallona stairs, from Plaza Unamuno to Parque Etxebarria. Aside from enjoying great views of Bilbao, a climb to these stairs allows you shed some excess pounds and calories during your trip to this city.
4. Scenic Flight of Bilbao
See the city of Bilbao and the entire Basque Country from a completely perspective by taking a one-of-a-kind aerial tour with Scenic Flight of Bilbao. With this intoxicating aerial tour, you will be able to get a load of the most celebrated attractions and natural wonders of the country, such as Basque Country’s striking coastline, Bilbao’s modern areas, the old quarter and the Guggenheim Museum.
5. Wander around Casco Viejo
Casco Viejo, the city’s old town area, is a great place to stroll around, and take pictures of awe-inspiring Basque architectural gems and other interesting sights. Packed with restaurants and bars, Casco Viejo is also an amazing venue to dine and chat with the city’s laid-back locals. On top of it all, the town is a host to the biggest indoor market in Europe, the Mercado de la Ribera. In this market, shoppers and tourists get to choose and buy from a wide array of delicious foods, vegetables, fruits and locally produced goods.
6. Drop by the Museo de Bellas Artes
The Museo de Bellas Artes is certainly one of the most distinguished and beloved magnets in this idyllic city. As an art museum, it showcases more than six thousand wonderful art works that date from the 12th century to modern times. Spectators and visitors on this museum will be feasting their eyes on vintage decorative objects, engravings, drawings, sculptures and paintings.