5 Places to See in Bilbao, Spain.
The heart and soul of Bilbao, its old neighborhood of Casco Viejo, the place where the city began over 700 years ago. Today its narrow, stone-paved streets are filled with international tourists: they enjoy strolling in the shade of old mansions and relaxing in the cozy squares.
Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
The Bilbao branch of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary Art is recognized as one of the most interesting projects in architectural history. The museum is covered with thin titanium plates in the shape of fish scales, periodically intersecting with the original glass surfaces.
Flower Dog in Bilbao
Perhaps Bilbao’s most “postcard” landmark, a flower dog named Puppy vigilantly guards the entrance to the Guggenheim Museum. Created in 1992 for an exhibition in Germany, this 13-meter sculpture received a permanent residence at the museum in 1997.
For the residents of Bilbao, Alondiga is a mecca of entertainment. This ultra-modern building, created by the exuberant imagination of the famous Philippe Starck, housed everything a lover of entertainment could need: bars and restaurants, nightclubs and discos, a library and a stage.
Bilbao Archaeological Museum
Bilbao’s Archaeological Museum may not be one of the most visited places in the city, but it is definitely worth a close look if you want to learn more about the long and rich history of the Biscayne region and the Basque Country.
Basilica of Begoña
The Basilica of Begoña is the main place of veneration of the Virgin Mary, the holy guardian of seafarers and ships, according to the people of the Biscayne region. This splendid building, whose architectural appearance combines Gothic and Baroque features, attracts visitors with its slender, graceful façade.
“Iberdrola is the largest energy company on the Iberian Peninsula. The tower of the same name was designed as an office building for the 33,000 employees of the corporation. A glass and concrete skyscraper in the form of an isosceles triangle 165 m high was built in the space of just two years.
The Biscayne Bridge
The Biscayne Bridge is a unique engineering structure from the late 19th century on the Nervión River in Bilbao. Between the two 60-meter piers there is a span to which the gondola is suspended. Locals call it a flying gondola.
British Bilbao Cemetery
The British Cemetery of Bilbao appeared to bury non-Catholic workers and soldiers. It is located in Sondica, about 6 km from Bilbao, on the site of an old English pogost, where British subjects were buried since 1605.
Saint James Cathedral in Bilbao
Bilbao’s main temple, the Cathedral of Santiago is dedicated to the Apostle James and is considered one of the main churches on the famous Way of Saint James, which ends in Santiago de Compostela. For nearly eight centuries it has looked out over the city from its single bell tower.
Bilbao Maritime Museum
The very modern and fascinating Maritime Museum of Bilbao is a must-see for anyone whose heart beats at the sight of the sea and whose soul quivers with the salty wind of travel.
The Subisuri Bridge, like the Guggenheim Museum, eloquently confirms the title of Bilbao as a city of futuristic architecture. The creation of the restless architect Santiago Calatrava more than anything else resembles a bizarre glass harp connecting the banks of the river Nervión.
Basque Museum in Bilbao
The Basque Museum in Bilbao is the most complete collection of exhibits about the culture, traditions and life of this mysterious people, the origins of which are still exciting for scientists. The fact that the Basque language is not related to any of the surrounding languages of Spain is worth a lot.
Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts
Unfairly overshadowed by the “hyped” Guggenheim, the Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts is a must-see for lovers of painting and sculpture. Its vast collections include almost all of Spain’s artistic heritage.
Parque Doña Casilda de Iturrizar
Park behind the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao with the name Doña Casilda de Iturrizar, which is almost 9 hectares and difficult to pronounce for the Russian tourists, is a favorite stroll place for Bilbao residents and a great place to breathe after a busy day of sightseeing.
Euskadi Square is one of the most central squares in Bilbao. It is located between the 19th century Ensanche neighborhood and the modern neighborhood with new buildings, for which the locals have nicknamed it the place where the eras meet. The Guggenheim Museum and the main building of Deusto University are located here.
San Mamés stadium
“San Mamés is the home stadium of Athletic Club Bilbao. It was built in 1913 and is considered one of the oldest in Spain. Locals affectionately refer to it as “la catedral”, after the nearby San Mamés church and because soccer is almost a religion.
Bilbao’s main city theater opened in 1880 and is named after composer Juan Cristóstomo de Arriaga, considered the “Spanish Mozart. The neo-Baroque building is decorated with frescoes and sculptures outside and inside.
Church of St. Anthony in Bilbao
The Gothic Church of St. Anthony is one of the symbols of Bilbao and is even depicted on the city’s coat of arms next to the bridge of the same name. The church was erected and consecrated in 1433; 300 years before that there was a market place and then King Alfonso XI of Castile built a wall to protect it from the floods.
Church of St. Nicholas in Bilbao
The Church of St. Nicholas is one of the oldest churches in Bilbao. It stands in the Arenal neighborhood near the river bank and is dedicated to Nicholas the Wonderworker, the patron saint of fishermen and sailors. The church was built in the early 16th century, at that time sailors could reach it by boat.
The most visited city in the Basque Country, Bilbao is a rare example where history is perfectly combined with modernity. Among the local attractions are the magnificent Cathedral and the famous basilica on the one hand, and the Guggenheim Museum space building with a cute flower dog at the entrance and Santiago Calatrava’s literally soaring bridge on the other. Bilbao is an ancient city with an eternally young soul, thanks to which it has been attracting many tourists from around the world for decades. Not least of all come here for entertainment – to shop in the streets of the old neighborhood Casco Viejo, to hang out in the discos of the Seven Streets and even swim over the heads of passersby in a pool with a glass bottom in the former wine warehouses Alondiga. In short, the attractions of Bilbao are diverse, numerous and stunningly interesting.
Santiago Calatrava has connected the banks of the river with an unfolded arch, something resembling a skeleton of a giant whale.
The famous Guggenheim Museum is the calling card of Bilbao and the number one destination for anyone arriving in the city. The futuristic biotech building – a creation of famous Frank Gehry – literally floats above the abundance of ponds, reflecting in their smooth surface with its glittering in the sun “scales” and glass facets. It’s worth seeing, even if you’re not a fan of modern art, which the museum is dedicated to. And if you are, hurry inside to see Kandinsky, Picasso, and Warhol. Another no less famous and photographed attraction in front of the museum is the 13-meter flower dog, mesmerized by the lushly blooming flowerbeds that make up its surface.
Another example of futurism is the Subisuri Bridge over the Nervión River. Its author, Santiago Calatrava, connected the banks of the river with an unfolded arch, something resembling a giant whale skeleton. The pedestrian fabric of the bridge is made of glass tiles, so that you can watch the running waters of the Nervión right on the move.
The old quarter of Casco Viejo is a portrait of Bilbao as it has been for seven centuries. Here you will find luxurious mansions of Basque hidalgoes, cozy squares and historic streets, cobblestone and inviting you to relax in its many cafes. From there it is a must to head to the Cathedral of St. James, Bilbao’s main temple, to admire its Gothic appearance and the many colors of the stained glass windows.
Exploring Bilbao would not be complete without visiting its wonderful museums. The city, with its inherent openness to new trends, has turned boring museum collections into fascinating itineraries to travel back in time. The Basque Museum, for example, will provide the most comprehensive information about the history and traditions of this enigmatic people. Maritime Museum provides an opportunity to board historical ships and understand the intricacies of the work of the ports, and the Museum of Fine Arts will delight lovers of the beautiful works of Van Dyck, El Greco and Lucas Cranach the Elder. End your day in the luxurious Doña Casilda de Iturrizar park, with its fountains, peacocks and musical evenings.