Bilbao: a city, endless possibilities

Bilbao is an exemplary city that has modernized well. It currently combines the medieval charm of its historic center with recent constructions that give the city a completely distinct feel.

Since the construction of the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao has undergone a very interesting transformation. The blend of classic and modern-day styles makes Bilbao an attractive city like few others that also has great cultural and tourist offerings.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum is, in all likelihood, the biggest tourist attraction in the city. It is a museum of contemporary art that is internationally recognized for its distinctive architecture designed by Frank O. Gehry.

The museum ensures that its interior does not harbor a completely flat surface. It exhibits works of unquestionable artistic quality owned by the Guggenheim Foundation. Just the act of walking around the museum and observing its structure is a unique and worthwhile experience. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Church of San Antón

This church is also known as San Antonio Abad. It is one of the most popular churches in Bilbao and is emblematic of the city landscape. It is a Gothic style church that dates back from the 14the century when it was built on the ruins of the old Alcázar (fortress) of Bilbao. There are guided tours available.

The hours from Monday to Saturday are 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., while on Sundays and holidays hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Basilica of Begoña

Devotion to the Virgin of Begoña, also known as “la Amatxo”, is popular in Bilbao. The current structure was built on top of an old hermitage in the Gothic style, work of architect Sancho Martínez de Arego.

Legend states that the Virgin appeared here during the 16th century. The Renaissance style facade is lovely. The Mass schedule is available on its website www.basilicadebegona.com

Casco Viejo (Old Town)

If you visit Bilbao, it is essential that you take a leisurely walk through the old town, also known as Las Siete Calles (The Seven Streets). It was the first neighborhood in the city. Its narrow streets exude charm, have a medieval air, and quite a bit of commercial activity.

It is a wonderful area for those who would like to try the cuisine of Bilbao. It is known as a city where people eat food in abundance and of great quality. In the old town you will find the churches of San Antón, Santo Juanes and San Nicolás in addition to the Cathedral of Santiago. You can also find all types of shops, museums, and libraries.

Cathedral of Santiago (St. James´ Cathedral)

The Cathedral Basilica of Santiago is located in the historic quarter of Bilbao It is a Catholic, mostly Gothic-style church, built in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. In 1950, it was proclaimed a cathedral by the Catholic Church. Due to its many renovations and reconstructions, there is a mix of styles that is very interesting to those who are interested in art. Its three entrances are of palpable beauty. It was named after St. James the Great, the patron saint of Bilbao.

It is open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 5:00-7:30 p.m. during the week and from 11:00 a.m. – noon on holidays.

Plaza Nueva (New Square)

This is one of the finest sights in the historic quarter and a great attraction in Bilbao. Built in 1849 and located in the historic quarter, it was the first town square, the hub of commercial and institutional affairs in the past.

Square in shape and surrounded by 64 Doric columns, it maintains its medieval charm and unique beauty. Today it is the headquarters of the Basque Language Academy. On Sundays, it hosts a small market where objects and antiques of all kinds can be found.