Museums
Basque Country

Museums in Bilbao

The Bilbao most popular museum is the successful and wonderful Guggenheim Bilbao Museum. But the city can also offer many others interesting proposals like: Fine Arts Bilbao Museum, Basque Museum, Bilbao Maritime Museum, Bilbao Museum of Art Reproductions and Athletic Club Museum.

Artean Pass is a joint admission ticket for visit the Guggenheim and Fine Arts Museums getting a discount. It is really an interesting proposal for visitors that want to know more about Bilbao and the Basque Country.

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum

Opened in October 1997 and quickly became the main protagonist of the Basque Country museum offer.

The building is an impressive sculpture of titanium, stone and glass designed by the American architect Frank O.Gehry. Gerhy himself was who personally chose the location, integrating the museum into the urban structure of the city and occupying with new proposals the free space of industrial past whose obsolete structures had succumbed to new times.

The stunning work of Gerhy, houses one of the most important permanent collections of contemporary art as well as, offering temporary exhibitions that collect latest artistic trends.

The Museum has also a fantastic restaurant where you can taste the Basque nouvelle cuisine. Josean Alija is its young chef but has received many awards for example Michelin Star.

Also, there is a café with a nice terrace, where you can take a coffee and relaxing after visiting the museum but, it will be tough job to get a chair.

Fine Arts Bilbao Museum

Fine Arts Bilbao Museum

The museum has over 100 years of history and was born of the merge of two museums, the old Fine Arts Museum founded in 1908 and the Modern Art Museum inaugurated in 1924.

During its long history the collaboration between civil society, local artists and public institutions has determined its configuration and growth and has allowed the museum to gather an extensive collection, considered one of the most important and varied of all Spain.

The backbone of the Fine Arts Museum collection is Spanish School and Contemporary Basque Art, although there is a broad representation of other schools as Flemish and Dutch, as well as some examples of avant-garde impressionist and post-impressionist.

The museum has three main exhibitions:

  • Ancient Art (El Greco, Zurbarán, Rivera, Goya,Van Dyck, ...)
  • Contemporary Art (Gauguin, Bacon, Menz, Solana, Tapies, ...)
  • Basque Art (Regoyos, Zuloaga, Echevarria, Iturrino, Arteta, ...)

Basque Museum

Basque Museum

The museum was opened in 1921 and is installed in a Baroque style building in the heart of the old town.

Its collection, with more than 20,000 objects, covers the Archaeology of Bizkaia and the Ethnography and History of the Basque Country, illustrating Basque lifestyles from its origins to the present.

It is an interesting opportunity to know something more about the history of the Basque Country and see oldest Basques archaeological remains such as, Mikeldi, that dates from before Romans times and it is in the museum cloister.

Artistic Reproductions Museum

Artistic Reproductions Museum

This peculiar museum was created in 1927 with a didactic aim: to teach art history to the general public.

Inside, you can see replicas of works by great figures in the history such as The Venus de Milo or the Moses by Michael Angel.

Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum

Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum was opened in 2003 and is located in the same place where the former Eskalduna shipyard were. The exhibition has as the aim of preserving and spreading the history and identity of the Bilbao estuary.

Its collection is based on elements related to maritime activity. As a relevant example the Crane Carola, in use until 1984 that closed the Euskalduna shipyards and now become symbol of the museum.


Museums in Donostia-San Sebastián

For many people San Sebastian is a lovely town and it is consider the most beautiful city of Spain. In any case, everyone agrees to its amazing cuisine and beautiful landscape.

All fields of creativity are represented in San Sebastian. The city has an explosion of knowledge, art, tradition and modernity available to everyone.

Oceanographic Museum-Aquarium

Oceanographic Museum-Aquarium

It is known as the Aquarium. The renovated Aquarium integrates the traditional facilities inaugurated in 1928 with the new facilities built in a vast underground space gained to Mount Urgull.

It is located in the fishing port and inside we find the museum of marine natural history,the naval historical museum and the aquarium itself, where you can see live fish and which is perfect to be visited in children's company.

We will mainly find Cantabrian-Atlantic and tropical wildlife, and also its star element: the Oceanarium. It is a large tank of about 40 meters, crossed by a 360º tunnel, where you can observe a variety of species.

San Telmo Museum

San Telmo Museum

Located the heart of the Old town, this 16th century former Dominican convent is the home of traditional culture and Basque ethnography. In its church you can admire the Jose María Sert fresco paints.

Also it is worth to mention the room dedicated to the Basque painter Ignacio Zuloaga.


Museums in Vitoria-Gasteiz

You will find many museums in Vitoria and they all are located in interesting buildings that deserve a visit by themselves.

Contemporary Art Museum (ARTIUM)

Contemporary Art Museum (ARTIUM)

Opened in 2002, the ARTIUM collection consists of around 3,000 works where all the techniques used in contemporary creation are represented. There, we find the creators who have written and are writing, the art history of the 20th and 21st centuries in the Basque Country and in Spain.

Fine Arts Alava Museum

Fine Arts Alava Museum

The Fine Arts Museum is housed in the Agustin-Zulueta palace, an interesting building from the beginning of the 20th century. It has a very exhaustive collection of Basque art from the 1850-1950 period, with great diversity of painters such as: Juan de Barroeta, Antonio Mª Lecuona, Darío Regoyos, Aurelio Arteta and Ignacio Zuloaga.


Museums in Basque Coast

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum (Getaria)

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum (Getaria)

The museum is located in the hometown of the fashion designer, Getaria. The permanent collection has 90 pieces, among which highlights the wedding dress of Queen Fabiola of Belgium or some dresses he designed for Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly.

In addition, the funds of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Foundation, composed by more than 1,200 models, can be viewed on rotating basis.

Ignacio Zuloaga Museum (Zumaia)

Ignacio Zuloaga Museum (Zumaia)

Located in a privileged place behind the Santiago Beach in Zumaia, is the house-museum dedicated to Basque painter Ignacio Zuloaga.

But in the museum, in addition to works of the painter there are works of his private collection with great artists such as: Goya, Ribera, El Greco or Rodin.


Museums in Inland Villages

Chillida Leku Museum (Hernani)

Chillida Leku Museum (Hernani)

The great Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida has met the dream of creating a space in which to present a large part of his work. For this, he restored old Basque farmhouse (Caserio) dating from 16th century, called Zabalaga, surrounded by a large space of gardens and forests where the artist distributed 40 sculptures of different sizes.

After 10 years of existence the museum is closed to the public, but its door remains open to study and research.

Basque Railway Museum (Azpeitia)

Basque Railway Museum (Azpeitia)

This museum is placed in the old Azpeitia station and houses one of the best railway collections in Europe.

Rail fans will certainly enjoy the Basque Railway Museum, which has more than forty historic vehicles, including a steam locomotive.

Every weekend, from April to November, a steam train covers the five kilometres distance from Azpeitia to Lasao.

Basque Mining Museum (Gallarta)

Basque Mining Museum (Gallarta)

Mining was for centuries the most important activity in Bizkaia and made possible the economic and social development of the province. Gallarta was chosen to houses the Mining Museum because is an important village of the exploitation of iron ore and within the region of Encartaciones as well.

Over the last 25 years, the Cultural Association of the Mining Museum has compiled a large number of pieces, tools, machinery and documentation from the old iron mines.

You can also see in the museum an interesting collection of paintings from the mines.

Gorrotxategi Confectionery Museum (Tolosa)

Gorrotxategi Confectionery Museum (Tolosa)

This amazing museum is located in Tolosa, and you will discover the interesting history of the confectionery. The Basques were present when Cristóbal Colón and Hernán Cortés discovered chocolate. In the museum we teach you the technical evolution from the times of the discoverers to the present day.

It is highly recommended to try the products of the Gorrotxategi brand, they have great quality and they are delicious.


Outdoors Museums

Forest of Oma (Kortezubi)

Forest of Oma (Kortezubi)

It was created in 1984 by the sculptor and painter, Agustín Ibarrola. Ibarrola looking for a new relationship between art and nature has covered hundreds of pines with colours and life, composing a gigantic natural canvas.

The forest consists of an easy circular route, designed for family outings with about 7 kilometres that can be completed in about 2 hours. The forest is located inside the wonderful Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and very close to the Santimamiñe Cave, which has a large sample of rock art.

Pueblos de Europa Park (Gernika)

Pueblos de Europa Park (Gernika)

Pueblos de Europa Park was inaugurated in 1991 and is located in Gernika, next to the Biscay Parliament.

The Park houses two well-known sculptures: Gure aitaren etxea (The house of our father) Basque artist Eduardo Chillida and Large Figure in a Shelter by the British artist Henry Moore. In addition, the park has an interesting variety of trees and ecosystems of Basque Atlantic: beech, oak, holm oak and riparian vegetation.

Open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. in summer)