Alluring architecture, an unexpected dining culture, and stunning landscapes that surround the city center; Bilbao is one of the marvelous hidden gems of the Basque Country. What once was an industrial city has transformed into a city of art after the unveiling of Frank Gehry’s shimmering titanium-clad Guggenheim museum. Download the Bilbao Travel Guide and Offline Map to get to know this unexpected city of beauty.
1. Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
It’s hard to imagine a more mesmerizing sight than the shimmering titanium Museo Guggenheim Bilbao. It is definitely one of modern architecture’s most iconic buildings. Frank Gehry’s work helped lift Bilbao out of its post-industrial depression and catapulted it into the 21st century forefront. It sparked the city’s inspired regeneration, stimulated further development, and placed Bilbao in the international art and tourism spotlight.
2. Bilbao Old Quarter
Bilbao’s atmospheric old quarter, Casco Viejo, may be compact but it is brimming with charming streets, boisterous bars, plenty of quirky and indie shops that will keep you busy for hours. The original seven streets date back to the 1400’s, so expect a lot of photogenic, colorful houses that line the main streets. The 14th-century gothic Catedral de Santiago has a splendid Renaissance portico and pretty little cloister you should not miss visiting.
3. Basilica de Begoña
Towering over Casco Viejo from atop a nearby hill is this 16th-century basilica. It’s mainly Gothic in look, although there are still touches of Renaissance such as the arched main entrance, crept in during its century-long construction. The austere vaulted interior gleams by a gold altarpiece which contains a statue of the Virgin Begoña, the patron saint of Biscay.
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