At the heart of the Basque Country in northern Spain lies Bilbao, a city with medieval origins that has become a popular destination for both art and nightlife lovers. Sleek modern buildings standing alongside medieval structures line the brick streets. The city is home to the Guggenheim Museum, an icon of art and architecture that has driven many to book flights to Bilbao each year.
Many who travel to Bilbao spend the majority of their stay near the Guggenheim, affectionately called the ‘Googen’ by locals, so there is plenty of undiscovered territory for the adventurous tourist. For another sampling of fine art, visit Museo de Bellas Artes, which features more than 10,000 works. Get a taste of the local cuisine at Mercado de la Ribera, a food market on the banks of the river. Take at least a day to lose yourself in the Old Town, where you’ll find several attractions including St. James Cathedral, Plaza Nueva, and the Basque Museum.
You’ll find cheap hotels in Bilbao near the museums and the city’s historic old quarter. Tourists are encouraged to purchase a Bizkaia Card and Sightseeing Pass, which covers the cost of tickets to Bilbao’s museums and other major attractions, as well as offering unlimited access to public transportation and discounts at several shops and restaurants.