The most popular museum in Bilbao is the successful and wonderful Guggenheim Bilbao Museum. Butcity has also many others interesting proposals as: Fine Arts Bilbao Museum, Basque Museum, Bilbao Museum of Art Reproductions, Bilbao Bullfighting Museum.

There is a combinated ticket (Artean Pass) to the Guggenheim and Fine Arts Museum and you will get a better price. Really an interesting proposal for visitors that want to know more about Bilbao and the Basque Country.

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum


Opened in October 1997 quickly became the center of museum offer.

The building is an impressive sculpture of titanium, stone and glass desined by the Canadian artichect Frank O.Gehry. Gerhy was himself who choose the location for the building using vacant room of an industrial past that succumbed to the 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 are 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.

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum

Fine Arts Bilbao Museum


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

The backbone of the collection is Spanish School and Contemporary Basque Art although there is a broad representation of other schools as Flemish and Dutch.

This veteran museum has the best collection of Basque art and it is considered the third art gallery of Spain for the value of its collection.

Besides his permanent collection has interesting temporary exhibitions.



The museum has three basic collections:

  • Old art (El Greco, Zurbarán, Rivera, Goya,Van Dyck....)
  • Contemporary art (Gauguin, Bacon, Menz, Solana, Tapies....)
  • Basque art (Regoyos, Zuloaga, Echevarria, Iturrino, Arteta....)
Fine Arts Bilbao Museum

Basque Museum

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

Its collection pick up the Prehistory and Archaeology of Bizkaia and the Ethnography and History of the Basque Country, showing 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.

Basque Museum

Artistic Reproductions Museum


This peculiar museum was created in 1927 with a didactic vocation because, his principal aim is teach art history to the general public.

Inside, you can see some of the most well-known works and always, first copies of the originals.

Artictic Reproductions Museum

Bilbao Bullfidhting Museum


The museum reviews boullfighting history in Bizkaia by means of graphic documents. Also includes bullfighting costumes, capes, swords etc.... and practically all the original posters advertising main events held in Bilbao.

It is an interesting visit for bullfighting supporters.

Bilbao Bullfighting Museum

Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum


The museum was opened in 2003 and is located in the same place where were the former Eskalduna dockyars.

Bilbao stuary has undergone a spectacular change, and now, it is a place for leisure and entertainment but, the museum purpose is to preserve and spread the history and identity from the Bilbao stuary with great maritime tradition.

Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum
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Donostia-San Sebastián

For many, San Sebastian is a lovely town and consider it the most beautiful city of Spain, in any case, everyone agrees 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


The Aquarium was inaugurated in 1928 and it is located in the fishing port. With renovated facilities inside you can enjoy three several different parts: marine history natural museum, naval historical museum and the aquarium, where are live fish and it is ideal if you go with children.

Mainly you will find Cantabrian and exotic wildlife and star element is the Oceanarium. A large aquarium of about 40 meters length that visitors can walk around inside its transparent tunnel. The tunnel has a 360 section allowing visitors to feel completely surrounded by water and ensures more complete visibility of what is happening around them.

Oceanographic Museum-Aquarium

San Telmo Museum


Located the heart of the Old town, this 16th century former Dominican convent is home to traditional culture and Basque ethnography.

It is also prominent the room dedicated to the Basque painting Ignacio Zuloaga.

San Telmo Museum
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You will find many museums in the city. Moreover, they are all housed in buildings which in themselves are well worth a visit.

Contemporary Art Museum (ARTIUM)


Opened in 2002, the ARTIUM collection comprises around 3,000 works which represents all techniques used in contemporary creation.

There, we find the creators who have written and are writing the history of the art of 20th and 21st centuries in the Basque Country and Spain.

Contemporary Art Museum (ARTIUM)

Fine Arts Alava Museum


Housed in the Agustin-Zulueta palace building of the early 20th century. The museum has an important collection of painting and sculpture of Spanish School of 18th and 19th centuries.

Also has a very comprehensive collection of Basque art of the period 1850 to 1950.

Fine Arts Alava Museum

Military Museum


Located next to Ajuria Enea palace, where lives Basque President. The museum present the evolution of offensive and defensive weapons from remote times until the end of 19th century.

Admission is free

Military Museum
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Basque Coast

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum (Getaria)


The museum is located in his hometown Getaria. Permanent collection has 90 pieces some as famous as wedding dress of Queen Fabiola of Belgium or dressed he designed for Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly.

Also can be seen the Foundation funds Cristobal Balenciaga, composed of more than 1,200 models.

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum

Ignacio Zuloaga Museum (Zumaia)


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

But besides his works, are exposed works from his private collection with paintings and sculptures of Goya, Ribera, El Greco or Rodin.

Ignacio Zuloaga Museum
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Inland Villages

Chillida-Leku Museum (Hernani)


The great sculptor Eduardo Chillida has met its dream of creating a space in which to present much of his work. This restored old farmhouse dating from 16th century, it is called Zabalaga.

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

Chillida-Leku Museum

Basque Railway Museum (Azpeitia)


This museum is in the former Azpeitia station, houses one of the best railway collections in Europe.

If you are fond of railway history the museum offers the visitor more than forty historical vehicles and even one vapour locomotive. Besides old locomotive pieces, there is also an important exhibition of railway clocks.

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

Basque Railway Museum

Mining Museum (Gallarta)


Iron mines were the most important industry during centuries and made possible the economic development of the region. Gallarta history is close to the iron-ore and nowadays you can find there Mining Museum.

For the last 25 years the Cultural Association of Mining Museum has been working in getting a large number of pieces, tools, machinery and documents from the old iron mines.

You should also visit an interesting collection of mining pictures.

Mining Museum

Gorrotxategi Confectionery Museum (Tolosa)


This amazing museum is in Tolosa, and we will discover the interesting confectionery history from the beginning, in 15th century to the late 19th century.

Highly recommended try some Gorrotxategi brand products because they have a high quality and are delicious.

Gorrotxategi Confectionery Museum
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Outdoors Museums

The Animate Forest of Ibarrola (Kortezubi)


It was created by the Basque sculptor and artist Agustín Ibarrola, in 1984.

It is a fantasy world where nature and art go hand in hand. When you arrive, you will find that the landscape has become a huge canvas. Come and explore this magical forest.

The Animate Forest is setting in a quiet place, the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Once you have seen this forest, don’t miss the chance to discover the rest of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve in more detail. Very close to Oma Forest (you can go on foot), is Santimamiñe Cave, which has wonderful examples of prehistoric rock art with a hundred or so animal figures.

Parque de los Pueblos de Europa (Gernika)


Parque de los Pueblos de Europa was inaugurated in 1991 and it is located in Gernika, next to the emblematic Biscay Parliament.

This park displays two well-known sculptures: Gure Aitaren Etxea (Our Father's House) by the Basque artist Eduardo Chillida and Large Figure in a Shelter by the English artist Henry Moore.

Open everyday from 10:00pm to 19:00pm.


There are some areas like Dato street or Fine Arts Museum gardens in Vitoria-Gasteiz where art comes out to the street. Other good example is the sculpture of Chillida "The Wind's Comb" in Donostia-San Sebastián.

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Copyright © 2018 Arantza Pascual-Bilbao & Alfonso Fernandez-Barandiaran