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Last updated: 06 February, 2024
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.


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.

Destination guides


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Basque Country, Spain

Exterior view of the museum

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

Basque Country

Basque Country, Spain

External view looking to the entrance. The curvy building has mountains behind

Fascinating ancient traditions, world-famous gourmet treats, Spain’s finest wine region and a gorgeous golden coastline.



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