What to see in Bilbao?

Even though you may have heard a lot about Bilbao, you might not yet know what to do there. It is true that in Bilbao you can experience pintxos in a way you never did before, witness new things in the world of art that you’ve never seen previously, enjoy golden beaches and much more. In fact, everybody would certainly feel satisfied there because their interests are always being met. There is something for everyone, and now we’ll give you some suggestions for sights you could consider visiting!

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao opened its doors in 1997, after it was designed by the North-American architect Frank O. Gehry. It is a building with a high significance in relation to contemporary architecture. Indeed, together with its huge floral sculpture in the shape of a dog, the museum is a symbol of Bilbao. What is more, a full schedule of exhibitions is held. Quite intriguing is the broad range of 20th-century artists who are represented in its permanent collection. The museum also features pieces by Jeff Koons, Mark Rothko, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Miquel Barceló, among other names. That means only one thing: surely, you should visit Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum if you enjoy and know how to admire art, particularly modern art. However, if you feel like you would rather visit something else, Bilbao has other places to offer you. For that, we will give you a few more options that will not leave you disappointed!

Catedral de Santiago de Bilbao

On top of an ancient shrine from the Jacobean era, the Gothic church (Catedral de Santiago) standing now there was established. In fact this cathedral is Bilbao’s oldest building! We believe that connecting with such an ancient place and its unique spirit is a quite thrilling experience. What is more, that location is acknowledged as an iconic stopover for travelers on the Camino de Santiago’s Northern Way – a route leading pilgrims from the Basque Country through Cantabria, Asturias, and on to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia along the beautiful northern coast of “Green Spain.” The temple was dedicated in the name of the apostle Saint James the Great (Santiago), so it is no accident that the city’s principal patron saint is the apostle. Architecturally speaking, the current structure is a mash-up of several styles. It ranges from the extravagant Gothic Revival façade and spire to the 15th century Gothic of the cloister and the main vault, which are of particular relevance for their magnificence and their role as entry points to Correo street (Puerta del Angel). It is important to clarify that this cathedral should not be mistaken with the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Mercado de la Ribera

La Ribera Market is the largest market in Bilbao! It is a place with a lengthy past. To replace a previous structure that, in the late 1920s, suffered from intolerable heat, insufficient ventilation, and a lack of room for new stands, Pedro Ispizua, an architect who learned with Gaudi, built the current structure in 1929 in a rationalist and Art Deco style. However, the La Ribera Market has a much longer history than that. Its foundations are located on a spot that was regarded as Bilbao’s center from the city’s medieval beginnings until the early 20th century. With its roots in the long-gone Plaza Vieja de Bilbao, it was in fact recognized as the largest covered food market in the world by the Guinness World Book of Records in 1990. As for the inside, there are three floors of market stalls filled with a wide variety of fresh goods. On each floor, you will find a different type of market – a fish market on the first floor, a meat section on the second floor, and a produce section on the ground floor. And this is not where it ends! You will also find a variety of pintxo bars and restaurants which will give you the opportunity to tap into the culture gastronomy.

Plaza Nueva

Plaza Nueva, translated into New Square, has been transformed into an urban monument in Bilbao’s historic center. It is one of the main centers of the city’s social life! If you want to experience a lively atmosphere, this is your place. You will find shops, bars, restaurants and cafés which will be hard to resist. Moreover, on Sundays the square hosts a street market for people who are into collecting things like books, used records, minerals, fossils, coins, stamps, artwork, and much more. Plaza Nueva has maintained its unique significance as a witness to the social and economic life of the city ever since it was built. This is why it is normal to see big groups of friends having a nice time together while sipping fine wine and indulging in a ton of pintxos in the city’s numerous bars and restaurants. We assure you that once you go there you will immerse yourself and merge with the life that flows in a different way there. 

In this post we have mentioned just a few from the many places you could visit in Bilbao. We can assure you that it is a place certainly worth the visit. However, it is important to choose the right accommodation in advance. For that, we invite you to have a look at our webpage where you can find a plenty of options to stay:


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