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Bilbao, Spain

Steelworks and shipyards used to define life in this Basque city. Since the 1997 opening of the Guggenheim Museum, Botxo -- as locals call it -- has become a top international destination for art and cutting-edge architecture.

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Bilbao, Spain

Port of Call

The One Thing You Don't Want to Miss

The Guggenheim Museum is the biggest attraction in Bilbao. The internationally acclaimed design of the building, by Frank Gehry, combines shimmering titanium curves, glass and limestone to create a spectacular, futuristic sculptural effect. Beyond the building itself, the museum features works of art by Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Kandinsky, Picasso, Miró, and many others. The collection spotlights 20th-century and more recent European artworks.

Other Fun Things to Do

  • Discover Bilbao's beaches. Gexto is a popular beach with the surfers. It also features an active bar and nightclub scene, plus a 100-year-old suspension bridge.
  • Explore the museums, bars, restaurants, shops and the oldest building in Bilbao, the Catedral de Santiago, in the old quarter.

Get a Taste of Local Flavor

The cuisine of the Basque country is widely considered the best in Spain. Regional specialties include bacalao al pil-pil (cod filets in garlic emulsion), kokotxas (cod gill flesh) and cured ham. For a change of pace, visit a sidrería (cider house). The sidrerías tend to be less formal, offer local cuisine such as cod omelets and grilled garlic beefsteak, and they have plenty of hard apple cider to wash it all down.

Shopping for Bargains

When looking for souvenirs, keep an eye out for botas, the wineskins locals drink from at fiestas and bullfights. Or try to convince your friends you ran with the bulls by picking up some pañuelos, kerchiefs that are typically worn during the event. Txapelas (berets) are also popular gifts from the area.

Local Currency

The Euro (EUR), the currency of the European Union, is the official currency of Spain. Many stores and restaurants also accept major credit cards, which usually offer you a good exchange rate. When shopping, remember there is a Value-Added Tax added to most purchases.

Weather in Bilbao, Spain


Temperature Fahrenheit Celsius
Average High 56° 13.33°
Average Low 43° 6.11°
Mean Temperature N/A N/A
Record High N/A N/A
Record Low N/A N/A
Precipitation Inches Centimeters
Average Precip. 2.7 in 6.86 cm

    Before You Visit

    Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.


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