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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

This is the building that transformed a city and started an architectural revolution. Ever since Frank Gehry’s swirling, titanium-clad Guggenheim opened in 1997, it has been acclaimed as the greatest building of our time, and its construction supplied the spark for the remarkable rebirth of old industrial Bilbao.

The museum is home to part of the enormous Guggenheim collection of contemporary art, and every year its blockbuster special exhibitions draw art lovers from around the world. It may also be the only museum anywhere with a Michelin-starred restaurant, Nerua, serving haute cuisine. There is also a less formal bistro with prix fixe menus and an outdoor terrace.

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Price from: £22
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The museum is a 15-minute drive or a 30-minute walk northwest from Bilbao’s old town, Casco Viejo, where tourists tend to stay. Otherwise, buses and trams both stop near the museum.

When to do it

The Guggenheim doesn’t have a huge permanent collection. If you can, time your visit to catch one of the more impressive temporary exhibitions. Check the website for upcoming shows.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain[0.2 miles]

Chic, arty, five-star hotel in Bilbao – right on the doorstep of the city’s Guggenheim Museum.

Official star rating:

Hotel Miro

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain[0.3 miles]

This smart little design hotel has a warm welcome, contemporary art and dazzling views of the Guggenheim Bilbao.

Official star rating:

Hotel Carlton

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain[0.7 miles]

This elegant, central grand dame from the 1920s is full of character – and almost next door to the Guggenheim.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Basque Country, Spain

Renowned for its Guggenheim Museum and edgy arts scene, this northern Spanish city has delicious Basque food and nearby golden beaches.

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Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

man standing infront of two portrait paintings, hung on bright red wall

Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain[0.4 miles]

Bilbao’s fine arts museum boasts a superb collection of masterpieces, from  El Greco and Zurburan to  Gaugin and Francis Bacon.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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external view of entrance

Bilbao Maritime Museum

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain[1 miles]

This recently-added museum hosts special exhibitions dedicated to Bilbao’s seafaring and shipbuilding past.

Best for ages: 13+ | £5

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Basque Museum of Bilbao

Basque Museum of Bilbao

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain[1.6 miles]

A Basque ethnographic museum in the old part of Bilbao dedicated to the culture and history of one of Europe’s oldest peoples. Closed on Tuesdays.

Best for ages: 18+ | £5

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Ribera Market

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain[1.6 miles]

One of the biggest covered markets in the world, this Basque food market is a lush, colourful extravaganza of wonderfully fresh produce.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

Round-ups that include this experience