10 Things to Do in Bilbao That You Shouldn't Miss

January 10, 2018 Toi Mattera

Travelers generally come to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim—some for the art inside, but many for the amazing building itself. The Fine Arts Museum and the Basque Museum may not have been designed by Frank Gehry, but are worth a visit, and you can catch international opera stars at the Palacio Euskalduna.
Restaurants in Bilbao

1. Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Abandoibarra Et. 2, 48001 Bilbao, Spain +34 944 35 90 00
Excellent
61%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 13 reviews

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

American architect Frank Gehry is responsible for this architectural masterpiece: this fantastic chrome and metal creation houses a large collection of modern and contemporary art, a continuation of the Guggenheim legacy.

Reviewed By Angel57 - Essex UK

The building is without doubt stunning, whether it's worth paying to enter is another thing.
I enjoyed the experience but my husband who is more of a traditionalist where art is concerned did not think much of the art installations and conceptional art exhibits.
If you are on a budget you can enjoy much of the building, the puppy, the spider etc from just walking around the site.

2. Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

Museo Plaza 2 | Estación de metro de Moyúa., 48009 Bilbao, Spain +34 944 39 60 60
Excellent
58%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum is an art museum located in the city of Bilbao, Spain. It is the second largest and most visited museum in the Basque Country and one of the richest Spanish museums outside Madrid. It houses a valuable and quite comprehensive collection of Basque, Spanish and European art from the Middle Ages to contemporary.

Reviewed By emile r - Ghent, Belgium

When one speaks about Bilbao one alwys refer to Guggenheim but do not neglect this less known museum. It's a good surprise: nice building, nice location (near a park) with a valuable collection. Good atmosphere, not overloaded. Especially the basque painters from the 19 to 20th century are well represented (of course) but i was surprised about the quality of their paintings. These painters are unknown despite their quality. The Civil War has been for several artists their death in reality or from an artistic point of view.

3. Oficina de Turismo de Bilbao

Plaza Biribila 1, 48001 Bilbao, Spain +34 944 79 57 60
Excellent
66%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 184 reviews

Oficina de Turismo de Bilbao

Reviewed By MKMapman - Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

This is a large and apparently recently renovated tourist office, but it contains virtually no information - if you want anything you have to ask people behind (to an English speaker) a very forbidding looking counter. There are no wall displays or maps, and no maps that you can pick up and take round the the town with you. There was also no information visible about major local museums or other attractions.
In contrast I found myself in the Tourist Office in Sopela (a suburb to the NE of Bilbao) later on the same day, and they had plenty of maps and leaflets about the Basque country, in a wide range of languages (including German and Italian). Admittedly they didn't have all that much information about Bilbao as a city, but they could provide me with a decent free map.

4. Playa de Plentzia

48620 Bilbao, Spain
Excellent
58%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 154 reviews

Playa de Plentzia

Una autentica joya a 30 minutos de Bilbao. La opcion ideal es usar el metro y pasear por todo el pueblo hasta desembocar en el mar. Con suerte podra divisar el turista como practican y entrenan por el cauce del rio los deportistas. Ademas, el pueblo tiene unos cuantos restaurantes para disfrutar de su gastronomia. Imprescindible!

Reviewed By Horologist - Aylsham, United Kingdom

We had visited the transporter bridge (Vizcaya Bridge) and then walked to the Areeta metro to catch the train to Plentzia beach. Over the bridge, take a left and a 10-15 minute walk following the river you get to the beach. Lovely sandy beach shelving into the sea which was warm enough to swim in. Definitely worth the trip; and the walk by the river was great too - especially when eating an ice cream!

5. Casco Viejo

Plaza Nueva, 10. 2 Izda., 48005 Bilbao, Spain +34 944 15 16 33
Excellent
52%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Casco Viejo

An old, pleasant neighborhood best known for its open-air food markets, where shoppers can buy some of the freshest and best-tasting fruit and vegetables in Europe.

Reviewed By MarthaFromAlabama - Montgomery, Alabama

The old part of the city is a great place to spend several hours. There are restaurants, shops, the Basque Museum, and wonderful streets and architecture. On Sundays there is a market in the square - a great place to people watch.

6. Azkuna Zentroa

Plaza Arriquibar, 4, 48008 Bilbao, Spain +34 944 01 40 14
Excellent
56%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Azkuna Zentroa

Azkuna Zentroa houses a cultural and leisure space within one of the most emblematic buildings of the city, offering a wide variety of events for anyone who visits. A meeting point where you can share, learn and enjoy the different cultural, leisure and sports proposals aimed at all target publics either individually, in groups or as a family. The 43,000 square metres of Azkuna Zentroa have been erected in the old wine warehouse of the city. It is a building with a modern character where past, present and future blend together, declared "Heritage of Cultural Interest" by the Basque Government in 1999. The façades and part of the space, designed by the Bilbao architect Ricardo Bastida at the beginning of the 20th century, have been maintained and renovated. The exterior classicism contrasts with the unique, innovative and sober interior space designed by Philippe Starck, where the life and energy of Bilbao are crystallized. Exhibitions, Concerts, conferences, children's workshops, physical activities of all kinds, Reading area, a place to have a coffee, etc. The offer of Azkuna Zentroa is daily and highly varied thanks to its multidiscipline programme and extended opening hours. It doesn't matter whether your visit is a one-off or if you live in a nearby geographical area, you will always find an attractive proposal that suits you which you will thoroughly enjoy.

Reviewed By westy54 - Sydney

The Azkuna was formally an old wine warehouse built in the early 1900's that fell into disuse and was totally renovated and rebuilt, whilst keeping the original facade. It was opened in around 2010.
We stumbled across it one day whilst out walking and, wondering what all the people were doing, followed some inside.
The ground floor was amazing. Quite a large dark space, that was only partially covered by the floors above (which had windows looking down onto it) and a staggering number of multicoloured columns.
We went upstairs to the library and observed a conference centre and what looked like examination rooms with students in them. There was also a gym, theatres, an art centre and cafes and restaurants.
It was only later that we read that there was an indoor pool upstairs as well as a Terrace where you could sun bake.
The architects and builders have done an excellent job in retaining the facade of the old building whilst providing a beautiful modern multi-purpose facility.

7. Tetro Arriaga

Plaza Arriaga, 1, 48005 Bilbao, Spain +34 944 79 20 36
Excellent
54%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 217 reviews

Tetro Arriaga

Reviewed By Graceharvey - Barcelona, Spain

For just 5 euros you can take a guided tour of this beautiful theatre. The architecture is also magnificent. Also most Performances start at about 20.00 hours should you wish to see a show. It is situated in the old part of Bilbao and close to the Plaza Nueva.

8. Palacio de la Diputacion

Gran Via Don Diego Lopez de Haro, 25, Bilbao, Spain +34 946 08 35 37
Excellent
56%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 161 reviews

Palacio de la Diputacion

Reviewed By Hi_HoSilver2013 - Paris, France

We went to Bilboa during the height of their fiesta (end August/Beginning September). we tried to visit the Palacio de la Diputation but when we arrived we were told we had to telephone in advance to make a booking and even then if the total number of visitors at any particular time is low you have to wait until there is a quota to go in. So check in advance. The guard on the door was very helpful and let us go into the main entrance and view the fantastic staircase and lights. I am sure this is worth a visit. Maybe next time we are there we can do this.

9. Dona Casilda Park

Paseo Don Jose Anselmo Clave, Bilbao, Spain +34 944 39 60 60
Excellent
50%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 497 reviews

Dona Casilda Park

Reviewed By asocrates - Devon, UK

Went for a couple of walks in this lovely park which was close to my hotel. There lots of nice routes, trees and grass everywhere also interesting statues, Fountains and sculptures. In the centre is a pretty lake complete with bird life like ducks and geese. I enjoyed the evening walk with a lot of people relaxing on the grass. In the morning it was quieter and pleasantly cool in the shade despite temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius

10. Plaza Nueva

Plaza Nueva, S/N, 48005 Bilbao, Spain +34 944 79 57 60
Excellent
42%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Plaza Nueva

Reviewed By MarthaFromAlabama - Montgomery, Alabama

There are lots of restaurants serving pintxos all around the square, with tables inside and outside depending on the weather. On Sundays there is an open market - mostly books and flea market finds, but there was also a vendor selling brightly colored birds. Good place to see locals having a good time.

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