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DeborahAnn Mar 12th, 2008 12:25 PM

Stopping in Bilbao to visit the Guggenheim with our luggage in the car, bad idea??
On our Spain/France May trip while on the way to St. Jean de Luz from Burgos I had a plan to stop in Bilbao to visit the Guggenheim. This would avoid back tracking to see the museum from France.

In the Frommers guide there is a travel tip alerting people going to the Guggenheim against using the nearby car park due to "countless car robberies" It seems to occur even if the luggage is locked in the trunk. They recommend arriving by bus or taxi instead.

I'm not sure how many "hoops" I want to go through to visit the museum if we shouldn't park near it.

How much credence should I or would you place on this travel information? When traveling with luggage in our car we usually just park with the trunk backed against a solid wall, that seemed to be secure enough.

Thanks for any helpful comments. Like any good Scout, I want to be prepared ;;) Deborah

lincasanova Mar 12th, 2008 12:52 PM

you could park at the nearby sheraton, and i would feel comfortable with that as long as you never put anything into the trunk once stopped.

before you arrive in this area, make sure maps and all other travel related items are out of the car.

if you would like to have lunch there at the museum restaurant you MUST make a reservation as it is very small and popular.

i like the building more as a sculpture than a museum of art, and most of the exhibits i, personally, have seen there are not anything i care if i ever see again.

the entire riverwalk area is a fabulous example of urban redevelopment.

cigalechanta Mar 12th, 2008 12:57 PM

We parked on a nearby busy street with nothing inside the car in sight.

Robert2533 Mar 12th, 2008 12:58 PM

We always park in downtown Bilbao in an underground parking garage with, as you mention, the car backed up against the wall because we always have something in the trunk.

The Guggenheim does not have its own parking garage, the closest being the municipal car park at Plaza Pio Baroja. You could park there, or at one of the other nearby garages as long as you can find a wall to back up against and you don't have anything inside the car that would attract someone's attention. Something that says your a tourist. You might want to leave a copy of Gara or Diaro Vasco, Basque newspapers, open on the back seat.

It's an easy walk to the museum from most of the major car parking garages, and public transportation is excellent.

Michael Mar 12th, 2008 01:24 PM

Placing maps and other travel related items out of sight might slow down the novice robber, but the experienced one will probably be able to identify the car as non-local just by the license plates.

DeborahAnn Mar 12th, 2008 01:52 PM

thanks for the comments, I was more interested in the building than the art so I may give Bilbao a pass while we have the car full of our luggage.

thank again, now I can go on to post several other questions about this region ;;) Deborah

Maribel Mar 12th, 2008 08:01 PM

I encourage you to keep Bilbao and the Guggenheim on your list! We often stop there with luggage in the car, parking in an underground garage. We do as Robert says-just park with the trunk backed against a sold wall and no travel related items visible. Or just park in the garage of the Sheraton, as lin suggests.

DeborahAnn Mar 12th, 2008 08:17 PM

thanks, Maribel, I really didn't want to deviate from the original plan but what I read did give me some second thoughts.

thanks again, Deborah

smarty Mar 13th, 2008 09:00 AM

There is a check room at the museum.

mikelg Mar 13th, 2008 09:16 AM

At present, it is complicated to know if a Spanish car is non local by the license plates...all are now identical and tell nothing about the origin of the car. Just four numbers and three letters, following a logical order, thatīs all.

In any case, Bilbao is a very safe city in general terms and you shouldnīt have problems with your luggage if you park in the street or a public parking (against the wall is a good idea).

clarasong Mar 13th, 2008 11:21 AM

If you are renting, try to get a car with a proper 'trunk' that hides the contents of the car from eyes..We have always insisted on theft is rampant in Europe.

Michael Mar 13th, 2008 12:43 PM

The difference between a proper trunk (of a sedan?) and a hatchback is unimportant. I've never rented a hatchback that did not have a lid to cover its trunk area. This year may be different as I have rented a Twingo.

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