As you wander around the city and the green spaces surrounding Bilbao you can enjoy avant-garde architecture which happily lives alongside a deeply-rooted identity that is evident in the area’s heritage, culture, cuisine and commerce.
On the other hand, the cultural offer in Bilbao is varied and expands throughout the year, especially the last week of August when the Semana Grande (Aste Nagusia) is celebrated, with an intense cultural and leisure offer.
Throughout the year, different activities are scheduled by both public and private entities, with some that are freely accessible. Here goes a selection of the most prominent spaces and activities:
Museums and cultural spaces
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts
Itsasmuseum, Maritime Museum
Bilbao Museum of Reproductions
Museum of Archeology of Biscay
Euskal Museoa Bilbao
Archivo Foral y sala de juntas de Bizkaia
Bizkaia Aretoa UPV/EHU
Biblioteca de Bidebarrieta
Theatre, dances & performing arts
Euskalduna Jauregia, Palacio de Congresos y de la Música
Teatro Campos Elíseos
Bilbao Philarmonic Society
Club Le Larraskito
Bilbaina Jazz Club
Routes and Tours:
walking, riding, by boat, by bus
The city boasts many amenities that make a visit to its streets, squares, its river estuary an unforgettable experience. From the narrow streets of the Casco Viejo [Old Town] to the Gran Vía and the New Bilbao, there is a whole world of history and legends that have turned the small port on the banks of the river into a world benchmark.
We’ll take you where you want in Bilbao by bike! Choose the route or tour that most appeals to you and discover every corner of our city on two wheels. We’re specialists in fun for groups with guides and have a great variety of vehicles, bikes, karts, hoverboards, cuatricycles… You can also hire a bike and go where the wind takes you. Get lost in the best way possible!
If the river estuary played a key role in the development of Bilbao, cruising along its waters seems the ideal way of approaching its history, architecture and cityscape. Discover Bilbao from the water. Enjoy the ría of Nervión and its surrounds. Photograph emblematic buildings from another angle. Discover the hidden area of the bridges, the rhythm of the city from canoe, paddle board, boat or big SUP. You can do it at your own
pace or as a family.
Bilboats offers this possibility on board of its vessel, with both a covered and an open deck, to sail the waters of the River Nervión even on rainy days.
Bilbao City View is Bilbao’s official tourist bus service. The ticket allows you to get on and off as many times as you wish for 24 hours. The 55 minute route has eleven stops. Tools have been incorporated in order to improve accessibility such as: magnetic loops, Svisual, Map’s Voice and Easy Reading information.
Art in the streets
Walking around Bilbao holds a few surprises. If many buildings are striking, so are the sculptures that adorn its streets, squares and gardens. If you like street art, you will love the Bilbao la Vieja area. Numerous artists have portrayed their work on different buildings, walls and bridges in the city to delight tourists and locals alike. The works are in varying styles and address different topics, gradually converting Bilbao into a huge open-air art gallery.
The so-called Bilbao Effect has transformed an industrial city into a modern and cultural destination. Various Pritzker Prize-winning architects have contributed to transforming it into a cosmopolitan city that looks fearlessly to the future.
They accompany you on your walk along the Bilbao River’s left bank, particularly the Abandoibarra area, to enjoy a route with the different architectural works that we chose for you.
Cuisine and shopping
Bizkaia is one of the temples of Basque cuisine, where tasty dishes like cod Biscay, ratatouille or Ondarresa-style hake, among many others, were created. And while the preparation has its secrets, the highest quality raw material is essential and both land and sea are well-stocked to provide top quality produce. Not only is it the opportunity to try the famous Basque cuisine, but you can also discover the many different facets that make up the gastronomy of the Basque Country. The sophistication reached by the world of the “pintxo” demands that it is accompanied by the wine that goes best. The custom of “going out for pintxos” can be found in any town of Bizkaia, cultivating cuisine and friendship together. Enjoy the experience, sampling some of these delicacies of “miniature cuisine”.
Established designers, up-and-coming talent, specialised stores where quality is guaranteed, shirts that are considered to be icons, exquisitely prepared local produce. Art shaped Bilbao, it structures its lively cultural agenda and delights the visitors in the museums, in the streets… and also in the outstanding galleries, delightful antique shops, extensive bookshops, music or comic stores scattered through the city. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover them and linger there.