Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 9-11
Next stop: Madrid Previous stop: Basque Coast Return to full itinerary »

When Frank Gehry unveiled his shimmering, wavy Guggenheim museum in 1997, the world had never seen anything like it, and it's safe to say that no other monument has so radically changed a city's fortunes. As impressive as it is, there is more to Bilbao. The Old Quarter features graceful old homes, and the museum of fine arts can't be missed. The city is also famous for its sophisticated dining.
Learn more about Bilbao »

  • Museums
  • Food and Wine
  • Architecture


  • Frank Gehry's Guggenheim is arguably what put Bilbao on the map. The undulating building is covered in 30,000 sheets of titanium. Inside you'll find works by de Kooning, Braque, Schnabel, and Rothko.
  • The Guggenheim isn't the only museum in town. The Museo de Bellas Artes showcases works by El Greco, Goya, and Velázquez.
  • Stroll around the Caso Viejo (Old Quarter) to take in the architecture. Don't miss the Teatro Arriaga and the colossal food market, El Mercado de la Ribera.


  • The Bilbao Live Festival is a rock and pop-music festival held each summer.

Side Trips

  • Getxo, 8 mi/13 km northwest of Bilbao, offers five beaches and an old fishing port.

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