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The once unremarkable city with a gray appearance has now turned into a land of futuristic skyscrapers and landmarks. Many of Bilbao's sights are known throughout the world, but even aimless walks through the streets of the unofficial capital of the Basque Country bring pleasure. We will advise what to see in Bilbao while traveling. Industrial complexes, a lot of entertainment centers, a magnificent promenade offer excellent opportunities for shopping and recreation.
What to see in Bilbao in the first place
Despite the obvious development of the city in terms of architecture, everything is here folk traditions are equally sacred, and ancient places of interest are harmoniously interspersed with modern facilities of developed infrastructure.
1. Guggenheim Museum
Panorama of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Subisuri Footbridge in the distance Matt Kieffer
The sight of this object is breathtaking. All guides in Bilbao recommend seeing it first. It is difficult to understand what the futuristic style of the 50 m high building symbolizes – a flower or a liner. The walls are represented by titanium plates in the form of fish scales, sparkling with the glare of the sun. Inside – stone installations, running video lines, if you're lucky – exhibitions of paintings by famous artists, arranged there from time to time. In front of the museum there is a metal sculpture of a spider called “Maman” and a 13-meter-high terrier made of flowers. In general, the rating of this place is deservedly high.
Official website: https://www.guggenheim-bilbao
2. Plaza Nueva or New Square
A square square, surrounded on all sides by buildings with arcades
Don't know what to see in Bilbao in 1 day, if time is running out? This square is interesting because it looks like a large courtyard surrounded by majestic buildings. Palm trees around the perimeter, a statue of King Ferdinand III and a flea market on Sundays. A sunny place with cafes and benches where you can sit away from the hustle and bustle. On holidays, mass celebrations are organized here.
3. Biscay Bridge
The oldest bridge with a suspension cabin over the city at night
If we list the main attractions of Bilbao briefly, this bridge will definitely be among them. The bridge-transporter, which began to function at the end of the 19th century, is capable of moving a suspended gondola with people and cars around the clock. A panoramic elevator takes passengers to the very top, from where you can walk to the other side, unless, of course, you are afraid of heights. The very idea of creating such a bridge is amazing, as is its implementation.
Official site: https://puente-colgante
4. Campo Volantin Bridge
View from the Nervión river to the Campo Volantin suspension arched footbridge
In the Basque language, its name means “White Bridge”, also one of the best attractions in Bilbao. The basis of the 75-meter bridge is constructed from a large number of strings, by this nuance one can easily guess the author of the project. The fantasy of Santiago Calatrava has created several similar “string” bridges, and each of them is original. The concept of an arched suspension structure creates a feeling of airiness, and the bridge itself is paved with glass tiles, which, as reviews show, is extremely impractical, but very beautiful. In the dark, glass fragments glow, emphasizing the contrast of the white bridge with black water.
5. Basilica de Begogna
Façade of the Basilica de Begogna or the Basilica of Our Lady of Begogna, built in the 16th century
The church is located on a hill from which you can see the city. In the temple there is an icon of the Virgin Begonya, the patroness of sailors. Its history is interesting and complex. The church underwent a series of reconstructions and seizures, for some time it even served as a fortress for the army of the Christinos. Not every tourist will find their way here, unless you have time left after visiting the main sights.
Feel the atmosphere of Bilbao in this beautiful video!
6. St. Nicholas Church
The Church of St. Nicholas in San Nicolas Square is dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen
Spanish sailors have always been under the patronage of saints. St. Nicholas is one of them; before sailing, sailors came here to pray to their patron. When you travel to Bilbao, plan a visit here. Baroque style is visible through the facade with clocks and towers, dimensions and external design. No less impressive is the interior with a lot of gilding. The temple is located on the bank of the river, so after visiting you can walk along the bank and walk along the bridge located nearby.
Official website: http://www.bilbaoturismo.
7. St. James Cathedral
The facade of the Cathedral of St. James Zarateman
We will advise where to go in Bilbao connoisseurs of old churches. The Cathedral is a bright representative of the Classical Gothic style, decorated with lancet arches and high sharp spiers. In the interior, a dozen and a half chapels, statues of saints dating back to the Middle Ages, and other historical relics deserve special attention. Fruit trees grow in the courtyard of the cathedral.
Official website: http://catedraldesantiago.es/en/
8. Artxanda Funicular
Artxanda funicular station at night
Opened at the beginning of the last century, this funicular lifts tourists to Mount Artxanda in 3 minutes. The top of the mountain is equipped with a hotel complex, restaurants, a recreation park, and a sports ground. Well, what is a trip without colorful photos? A wonderful view opens from here – a great occasion for a memorable photo session.
Official website: http://www.bilbao.eus/
9. Arriaga Theater< /h3>
The main façade of the Arriaga Theater in the Old Town near the Arenal Bridge, with balconies, convex
Travelers are fascinated by both the architecture of the theater and the location on the waterfront. It fits so well into the landscape of the city that it is visible from all sides. Luxurious interior decoration is in no way inferior to the beauty of the facade; right at the entrance, the wide imperial staircase strikes with beauty. If you succeed, try to get to one of the performances.
Official website: https://www.teatroarriaga.
10. Allondiga Entertainment Complex< /h3>
Cultural and entertainment center Alondiga in the building of the former winery of the early XX century Tereajuria
Recreation in the understanding of many is not only sightseeing. If you are wondering what to visit in Bilbao for the purpose of having fun, then this entertainment complex is perfect for this. Inside there are venues for concerts, a disco, nightclubs, restaurants, a library, and the center of the courtyard is illuminated by an artificial sun! For lovers of original relaxation – on the top floor, in the pool with a transparent bottom.
Official website: https://www.azkunazentroa.
11. Basque Museum
Stone sculpture of Mikeldi in the open courtyard of the Museum of the Basques KneeniG
With the aim of preserving the culture of the Basques, at the beginning of the last century, the city authorities created this museum. The first exhibitions consisted of gifts from the townspeople, who voluntarily parted with old clothes of historical value, artifacts, books, dishes, etc. Today, more than a thousand exhibits have been collected here. The museum will be of interest to everyone who is interested in the culture of the Basques and the region as a whole.
Official website: https://www.euskal-museoa
12. Museum of Fine Arts
Futuristic building of the Museum of Fine Arts with glass walls
This is a traditional museum with a good collection of fine arts. The works of El Greco, Goya, Tapies, Bermejo and others are stored here. It is convenient to differentiate the halls by time periods. The reviews mention inexpensive tickets, a pleasant cafe on the 1st floor, the neighborhood of the river and the park, where you can take a walk after visiting the expositions.
Official website: https://www.museobilbao.com /
13. Maritime Museum
The exposition of the maritime open-air museum in the docks of the old Euskalduna shipyard Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
This museum attracts visitors with the non-standard architecture of the building and the original design of the exhibits, some of which are located in the open air. Don't know what to see in Bilbao? Come here! Inside, on the third floor, there is a collection of schooners, boats, launches and ships from ancient times. Among other expositions there are cabins of scientists-researchers, instruments. Some of the exhibits tell about the hard work of fishermen and their way of life. If you wait until noon, you can see how a diver descends into a large aquarium to feed its inhabitants.
Official website: http://www.museomaritimobilbao
14. Euskalduna Palace
The Euskalduna Palace building on the river bank in the night illumination
The city symphony orchestra works in the building, built in the shape of a huge ship. In addition to the traditional venue for concerts and rows, there are opportunities for shopping and relaxation in the form of restaurants (one of them was awarded a Michelin star) and a gallery with shops.
Official website: https: //www.euskalduna
15. Palace of the Council of the Province of Biscay
Council Palace – the building where the government of Biscay sits
The building, also a landmark of Bilbao, was built at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries in an original eclectic style. The architectural project was approved only as a result of two competitions. The construction turned out to be recognizable, monumental, richly decorated with decor. In front of the main entrance there are original cast iron lanterns in the shape of eagles with lamps in their beaks. At the beginning of this century, the building was restored.
Bilbao sights: what else to visit in Bilbao?
Looking at the photos with names and descriptions before the trip, you involuntarily analyze the contrast between ultra-modern architecture and decent restraint of ancient buildings. But it fascinates, captivating with the desire to see it with your own eyes.
16. Bilbao City Hall
The elegant City Hall of Bilbao or the Consistor's House in Ercoreco Ernesto Square
Quite a classic building, crowned with a spire, is located on the river bank. It is made in a classical manner, not burdened with unnecessary decorative elements, has clear lines and strict proportional proportions. Not to say that it is insanely beautiful, but still catches the eye even from the other side. It is always crowded in front of the building, sometimes you can witness rallies and demonstrations taking place in front of the city hall.
17. Concordia Station
Stunning Concordia Train Station in Ensanche Björn S. < p>Not far from the station are the best hotels in Bilbao with high-quality European service. The area in which it is located began to be built up at the dawn of the 19th century. The station building was erected in the first years of the last century, the author of the project chose modern as a conceptual style. Despite the modest decoration with architectural elements, the building is quite interesting and attracts attention.
18. Ribera Market
The Art Deco Ribera Market stands at the water's edge
One of the largest in Europe, this market can be considered a landmark in Spain. The building, made in the form of a liner with three decks, accommodates a huge number of shops with fish, vegetables and seafood, restaurants. The farm department is located on the top floor.
19. San Mames Stadium
View of the San Mames Stadium from the Nervion River
A strong recommendation for football fans to take a look at this imposing structure. Built several years ago, the stadium can accommodate up to 40,000 fans. As of today, construction work continues. In tourist reviews, its comfort and convenience of location are noted.
Official website: https://www.athletic-club.eus
20. Donja Park- Casilda-Iturrizar
Fountain on the territory of the Doña Casilda Iturrizar Park
After a busy excursion in Bilbao, a walk through this park will relieve fatigue like a hand. The eye is pleased with the garden, created in the English style, a pond with swans and ducks, peacocks, importantly walking around the territory. You can also visit the Museum of Fine Arts here. Visitors enjoy the sight of a singing fountain and variety shows that take place in the evenings.
This city is devoid of the traditional Spanish fiery fuse inherent in the conquistadors, graceful girls and, in general, the indigenous population of Spain. The beauty of Bilbao is in the antiquity of traditions, the mystery of the people, the originality of their life. The Basque Country is a special region, it can surprise you! Read also about the sights of Granada and get inspired for your next trip to Spain.