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The Sanctuary of Loyola, Bilbao


The Basque Country's capital

Visit Bilbao


Bilbao is a sprawling city with a strong Basque identity and rich heritage, which has rapidly transformed into a buzzing cultural capital bursting with civic pride. Further back, Bilbao was originally a small medieval fishing village on the Rio Nervión. Today, 700 years later, it retains a small town feel despite being Spain's tenth largest city.

Nevion River & Bilbao

Bilbao's standout attraction is the world-famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. This Frank Gehry-designed contemporary art museum is one of the world's most recognisable modern buildings; its exterior bending and flexing in bright silver panels. The museum's striking design and the collection within – featuring works by Jeff Koons and Richard Serra, among others – spawned a tourism boom, which reinvigorated Bilbao during the 1990s; the city hasn't looked back since.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum is the centre of Bilbao's justified claim as a cultural capital, but there are a whole host of other landmarks and sites that are well worth exploring, too. Close to the museum is the district of Deutsu, full of cafes and bars where students and bohemians discuss the issues of the day. On the other side of the Rio Nervión, meanwhile, is Bilbao's old town, Casco Viejo, home to an impressive gothic Cathedral and a good starting point for exploring the rest of the city.


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Top itineraries in Bilbao

San Sebastian

Highlights of the Basque Country

8-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,030 pp incl. flights

Explore everything from postcard-perfect coastlines to medieval cities and tempting vineyards of, all the while staying in Renaissance palaces, seaside villas and thousand-year-old castles. This is northern Spain at its best.

Picos de Europa National Park, Asturias, Spain

Best of Northern Spain

9-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,390 pp incl. flights

See the best of northern Spain, linking lofty mountains, verdant vineyards and spectacular seascapes on an unmissable road trip. Along the way, you’ll stay in historic parador hotels, taking in everything from national-park idylls to Bilbao's modernism and Santiago's medieval wonders.

Costa Verde Express

Costa Verde Express: Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela

8-day luxury rail journey from £3,910 pp incl. flights

A scenic rail journey that takes you off the beaten track to some of Spain's hidden gems. From the industrial splendour of Bilbao to the medieval quarters of historic Santillana del Mar, this is a taste of authentic Spain in style.

San Sebastián Spain

Highlights of the Basque Country - No-fly self-drive

10-day no-fly self-drive from £1,610 pp

Explore the delights of northern Spain, from its sandy beaches to its charming medieval towns. Stay in historic paradors and taste authentic Spanish food and wine as you uncover the secrets of Basque Country on a no-fly self-drive.

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Top places to stay in Bilbao

View of city Bilbao, Spain

Hotel Miro, Bilbao

Contemporary hotel

This artsy boutique hotel, the creation of fashion designer Antonio Miró, has simple design-driven rooms that serve as a blank canvas for the real asset: the up-close view of Bilbao’s main attraction, the Guggenheim. It’s a four-star hotel, but with five-star guest service

Casa de los Arquillos, Vitoria-Gasteiz

Casa de Los Arquillos, Vitoria-Gasteiz

Traditional hotel

Housed in stone walls that back to the early 1800s, this is contemporary freshness among heritage charm. It’s ideal for longer stays, too, with apartment-sized rooms featuring full kitchens.

Gran Hotel Domine

Gran Hotel Domine, Bilbao

Contemporary hotel

Indulgent dining and luxury rooms wrapped up in contemporary fashion, enjoying the best views of the Guggenheim

Bilbao articles

Madeira, Portugal

10 driving holidays in Spain & Portugal

From wild coastlines and beach curves to mountain peaks and rolling countryside, the charms of the Iberian Peninsula are seemingly endless. To help point you in the right direction our destination experts have put together the following self-drive routes that showcase the best of it all.

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7664 2264 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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