Once upon a time, Bilbao was an industrial powerhouse with little to offer in the way of looks. These days, courtesy of the stunning Guggenheim Museum - this thriving city in Spain’s Basque Country has transformed into a hub for European art.
The gleaming Guggenheim is perhaps Bilbao’s finest asset – but a host of art galleries and glorious Gothic architectural gems also contribute to the cultural stock of the Biscay province’s capital. Bilbao is a city of depth and character, where the mammoth modern Guggenheim and shiny shops offering the latest fashions stand alongside medieval monuments. On the Nervión River’s east bank, Bilbao’s beautiful Old Town, or ‘Casco Viejo’ is a collection of quaint shopping streets lined with quirky boutiques and bustling bars. Then of course, there is the world-renowned Basque cuisine – waiting to be sampled at critically-acclaimed culinary hotspots. Choose from daily British Airways flights and discover this dynamic destination.
Experience the best Bilbao has to offer
Get the most out of your Bilbao holiday with these memorable experiences
See the highlights of Bilbao and enjoy a different perspective of the city on this tour by open-top double-decker bus. While the tour starts at the famous Guggenheim Museum, you can hop on and off at any of the designated stops around Bilbao. Take in the magnificent Euskalduna Palace and 16th- century San Vicente Church. Go shopping at Zubiarte and explore the medieval Old Town. Visit the renowned Fine Arts Museum and stroll through the stunning Doña Casilda Park.
The Sanctuary of Loyola, Getaria, Zarautz and San Sebastian
Visit Loyola, Getaria, Zarautz and San Sebastián on this full-day tour from Bilbao. Explore the beautiful Basque Country along the way, taking in lush valleys and traditional industrial villages nestled among mountains. Your first stop is the Sanctuary of Loyola, hometown of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. You will then visit the unique medieval fishing village of Getaria and beautiful beach town of Zarautz, before a panoramic tour of stunning San Sebastián.
Visit the renowned Rioja wine region and enjoy a guided tour of a wine cellar during this essential experience for wine lovers. Your journey begins with a guided walking tour of Vitoria-Gasteiz, capital city of the Basque Region. Exploring the beautiful old quarter, you will take in remarkable historic landmarks including Santa Maria Cathedral. You will then continue to the famous Rioja wine region and visit the atmospheric medieval village of Laguardia, before a wine cellar tour and tasting.
The Bilbao Bizkaia Card and Sightseeing Pass is your key to the region’s top attractions. Choose between a 24-, 48- or 72-hour pass and take in these superb sights at your own pace. Collect your pass at a choice of convenient redemption points, then enjoy cash-free entry to attractions including the Guggenheim and Fine Arts Museum. You will also receive a complimentary guidebook with maps, and travel easily between destinations with unlimited access to public transport.
Enjoy a walking tour of stunning San Sebastián and visit beautiful Biarritz – ‘the beach of kings’ – on this full-day Bilbao experience. Take in the glorious natural scenery of San Sebastián on a panoramic tour and explore its historical old quarter. Your next stop will be the medieval village of Hondarribia, followed by a visit to pretty Saint Jean de Luz on the French Basque coast. Your tour concludes in bustling Biarritz – a magnet for surfers and well-to-do sun seekers.