THE CITY OF BILBAO
Bilbao may be considered a model of space recuperation and spectacular change; it offers harmony between tradition and modernity, and a friendly space for those who are interested in innovation, architecture, art, technology, design, leisure, gastronomy, and culture.
On the one hand, Bilbao offers visitors a wide range of activities, including the visit to museums, theaters and other cultural centers. The most important museums in the city are: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Fine Arts Museum. The former was designed by Frank Gehry and there you will have the opportunity to see a real icon of the vanguardist dimensión of Bilbao. It has been visited by nearly a million people per year since it opened its doors and one of its main attractions is the ArcelorMittal Gallery, a large space where eight works by sculptor Richard Serra are permanently on display. While the latter contains important examples of ancient, modern, and contemporary painting and has a special interest in the Spanish school of art and in Basque artists, whose work is represented in a large collection. However, there are eleven other museums in the city that visitors can discover. On the other hand, Bilbao’s theatres are a balanced compendium of the modern and traditional. The buildings that are home to the theatres are often icons of the city’s heritage, catalogued as monuments in some cases, and, in general, are outstanding urban works of art: Arriaga Theatre, Bilborock and Campos Eliseos Theatre are the most important buildings.
In addition, there are other buildings such as Azkuna Zentroa known as “La Alhóndiga” and the Iberdrola building. Azkuna Zentroa is not only one of the most iconic buildings in the city, but also an innovative new cultural and entertainment space, with a whole variety of activities for all interests. In the same line, Iberdrola is an intelligent, business-center building based on the latest sustainability, security, and installation technology.
Other areas of interest in the city are the “San Mames” area and “Old Town” (Casco Viejo). One of the greatest icons of Bilbao is its football club: Atheltic. “San Mamés Barria”, the new stadium, is the heart of a district that is in the throes of social, commercial, and residential urban transformation. Nevertheless, a look at the city’s origins is its old town. This is an interesting route for discovering medieval Bilbao. Its cobbled streets, cantones, charming squares and corners bear witness to the intense commercial and port life that made the city grow.
However, if something characterizes Bilbao as different is its gastronomy. A symbol of creative gastronomy and of high-quality cooking, you can enjoy restaurants such as Azurmendi, Mina and Nerua, Etxanobe and Zortziko, holders of Michelin Stars. Moreover, for the visitor, Bilbao offers an excellent opportunity to savour the pintxo-food culture to the full in seven different areas: a bite to eat in the old quarter, Ledesma, Diputación, Poza, Guggenheim space and Deusto.
The character of the locals in Bilbao is so cheerful and open that it shows in the atmosphere. So it is important to enjoy the nightlife of this city. The night, which is at its wildest at weekends, goes on. Consequently, a number of towns or spaces can be found very close to Bilbao: beaches and urban areas, which are easily reached by public transport, thanks to the nearby Metro Bilbao underground stations.