“The city of the Guggenheim” is an alternative name for this Basque Country destination as, since this original museum was built in 1997, Bilbao has been transformed forever. In fact, now it stands out for its ground-breaking structures created by prestigious architects which make it an international benchmark for modern design.



Since its opening in 1997, the Guggenheim Bilbao and Puppy – a floral sculpture of a dog by Jeff Koons, located outside the museum – have become the most internationally-known symbols of Bilbao. They form part of the collection of works by great figures in the world of art: David Salle, Chillida, Jeff Koons, Louis Bourgeois, and Robert Rauschenberg are just a few examples. The Guggenheim also offers a series of activities for visitors who wish to broaden their knowledge of art.


The Museum of Fine Arts takes you through a journey of art from the 12th century to the present day. The collection combines classical and modern art (Bacon, Menz, Tàpies) and creations by Basque artists (Regoyos, Zuloaga, and Echevarría), as well as a small exhibition of applied arts. The collection contains over 6,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, and decorative arts.


Bilbao residents have a great devotion to the Virgin of this church, “La Amatxo”. Work on this beautiful Gothic building began in 1519. The façade is in Renaissance style and has a large triumphal arch. Inside, special mention should be made of the Neo-Classical Main Altarpiece, where you can see the Camarín de la Virgen (Virgin’s chamber).


The Arriaga Theatre is one of the most important buildings in the city of Bilbao. It was modeled after the Paris Opera House and opened in 1890. It is the work of architects Joaquín Rucoba and Octavio de Toledo. The building is named after the Bilbao-born composer Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga, whose bust presides over the imperial staircase. Its façade is in an eclectic style, with large balconies.