Basque Country Attractions

Places to visit, points of interest and top things to see in Basque Country

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Bilbao is a beautiful city to walk around especially in the old town area, Casco Viejo. This neighborhood, situated on the right bank of the river, is full of stunning Basque architecture and interesting sights. The heart of the Casco Viejo lies around the historical seven streets of Bilbao, the oldest part of the neighborhood, featuring enticing shops, cafés and an abundance of taverns to choose from for an excellent culinary experience. This is the part of town where you can spend hours just walking around, either checking out the St. James Cathedral, the atmospheric little squares, or walk up to the Plaza Nueva for tasting the best pintxos (tapas on sticks) of town.

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Gaztelugatxe is a small peninsula on the coast of Biscay that is connected to the mainland by a man-made footbridge over the rocks. On the top of Gaztelugatxe islet stands a small chapel that is dedicated to San Juan (St. John) and can be reached by climbing 231 stairs. The effort to the top will be rewarded with breathtaking views over the rugged Basque coastline.

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The Azkuna Zentroa (formely "Alhóndiga") - that was completely remodeled by French designer Philippe Starck in 2010 - is one of the most symbolic buildings of Bilbao. What was once the city's wine warehouse, is today a cultural center occupying a 43,000-square-meters site in the Indautxu district. The Alhondiga hosts many exhibitions and is home to a media center, libraries, a multiplex cinema, a variety of shops and restaurants. Even you can swim in the glass-bottomed swimming pool and visit the rooftop terrace for great views.

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The Ribera Market is situated in the southern corner of the Old Town, right next to the river. This marketplace, built in 1929, is a perfect place to experience the everyday life of Bilbao. The 10,000-square-meter space is characterized by its open spaces inside and over-sized stained glass windows that allow natural light to enter. Here you find high-quality Basque culinary products, fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, and other ingredients used to prepare the regional cuisine. 

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The Basilica of Begoña - featured by an impressive triumphal arch in its facade - is located on a picturesque hilltop that overlooks the Old Town of Bilbao. This important pilgrimage church features an image of the Virgin of Begoña, patroness of the city and without a doubt, the most important Virgin in Bilbao (the locals often call her “Amatxo,” which means mom in Basque). The easiest way to reach the Basilica is by taking the lift from behind the Church of San Nicolás. Alternatively, you can take a footpath, which requires a 20-minute walk to the top of the hill, from which you get exceptional views of the city.

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Bilbao sits at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by the slopes of Mount Artxandra ("Monte Archandra" in Spanish). From the summit of this mountain, you are awed by the spectacular panoramas of Bilbao's urban landscape. Here you can also find lovely areas for taking a walk and admiring the views. Mount Artxandra can be reached by a cable car that leaves from Plaza del Funicular and only takes three minutes to travel through the hillside of the Arangoiti district to the top.

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Designed by architect Frank Gehry, this museum is widely acknowledged as one of the most famous architectural buildings in modern times. The Guggneheim museum not only deserves a visit for its architectural beauty, but also for its impressive collection of contemporary and modern art from some of the finest artists, including Picasso and Andy Warhol.

Ever since the doors of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao opened to the general public back in October 1997, the museum has become one of the top tourist destinations in the city of Bilbao. The collection of artworks housed inside the museum are just as spectacular as the building itself. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is home to hundreds of some of the finest artworks created by the most notable artists of the 20th century.

Visitors and locals alike can avail of guided tours facilitated by qualified and highly trained guides on certain times of the days... read more arrow

* Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

You can also rate and vote for your favorite Basque Country sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in Basque Country by visiting the individual Basque Country attraction pages.