After the Guggenheim, personally I enjoyed the Fine Arts Museum the most. It is a huge space, with 33 rooms, a temporary exhibition space and shop, so make plenty of time.
It is free on Wednesdays, or 6 euro entrance fee. I picked up an audio guide for 1 euro and walked around alone.
There are guided tours every Sunday at 12.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am -8pm.
A great little museum that you can enjoy in a few hours and not be over arted. There are some great pieces, El Greco, Murillo, Goya. While I visited they had a special exhibition of Artemisia Gentelishi's Holofernes and her father's Orasio's Lotts Daughters
This is the Basque museum, and to be honest I only went because I had lots of time before my flight and didn't know what else to do. The museum is like most other ethnological museums - collections of plates, chairs, shirts, forks, etc. that were produced and/or used in Euskadi. It isn't all that interesting, except perhaps for the description of the Basque economy and the importance of the fishing fleet on the ground floor. There was also a Jules Verne special exhibit when I visited, but its likely gone by now.
I arrived in Bilbao too early to check into my hotel and went to the Museo de Bellas Artes instead. The museum houses an exhaustive collection of artwork from all over Euskadi, starting with religious art from the Middle Ages to modern Basque art. There are also foreign exhibits that come to the Museum - when I was there the featured exhibition was pop art from the 60s. In truth I prefered this Museum to the Guggenheim, perhaps because it was a traditional institution and presented Basque art, rather than modern exhibitions with no ties to Euskadi.
Athletic is the second oldest football club in Spain, founded by the British in the 19th century. The trophy room and museum reflects its history. There are also tours around the ground. Data from the Athletic website http://www.athletic-club.net as follows:
Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 - 13:30 and 16:00 - 19:00
Guided tour of San Mamés: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 16:30, 17:30 and 18:30* (*except for winter).
Saturday: 10:00 - 14:00 and 16:00 - 19:00.
Guided tour of San Mamés: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:15, 16:30, 17:30, and 18:15* (*except for winter).
Sunday: 10:00 - 14:00.
Guided tour of San Mamés: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30 and 13:15.
On match days, the museum will close at mid-day.
Adults: 6 Euro Children under 14 years: 4 Euro Members and Supporters: 50% discount. Groups (20 or more): 15% discount.
San Mamés Stadium, gates 26-27. c/ Rafael Moreno Pichichi, 48013 Bilbao Teléfono: 94 441 39 54.
N.B. They are planning a new stadium!!!
Although Bilbao is well know because of the Guggenheim museum, if you are interested in art you must not miss the Fine Arts Museum (Museo de Bellas Artes), 5 min walk from the Guggenheim.
This museum is one of the better Spanish museums and has a very good collection with paintings of El Greco, Goya, Van Dyck, Gauguin, Chillida...
The museum is free on Wednesdays, and it has a very nice cafeteria facing the Doña Casilda Park.
There are different areas where you can have a good time and enjoy yourshelf. It´s true that its culture has also developed . Thanks to the inaguration of the Guggenheim museum, the tourism has increased a lot, and that it is a good point. There are also other types of museums and historical places like the museum of Fine Arts or the Arriaga theatre.The old area of the city continues being the traditional place of Bilbao. It´s formed by little quaint bars where you can see lots of people going from one bar to another having different types of snacks called "pintxos".
It´s a long time since I haven´t been there, but I can remenber that there where many paintings and sculptures from different eves.
I think that it´s free on wednesdays but I´m not sure. Maybe I should go there to refresh my mind!! ;-)
Not far from the Guggenheim, this museum is a little jewel, and it deserves a visit. Here you can find mostly spanish paintings (el Greco, Ribera, Murillo, Zurbaran, Goya...).
Opening Hours: Tuesday to saturday 10 - 13,30 & 16 - 19,30 h. Sundays 10 - 14 h. Mondays closed.
Tickets:PRICE: 4,5 euros. There is a special ticket for visiting both this museum and the Guggenheim (10 euros). Ask for it at the ticket office, you'll save money.
The permanent collection of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum includes mainly works by the most prominent artists of the last four decades of the 20th century, and it is complemented with collections on loan from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation - which include significant examples of Pop Art, Minimalism, Povera Art, Conceptual Art, Abstract Expressionism, etc.-, and with the special programmespatronised by the Foundation. Also, some of the rooms of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum display monographic exhibits and others display works made specifically for this museum. Contemporary Basque and Spanish art is also represented with a selection of works by our best artists, which, as a whole, provide an extensive view of the most modern trends of our art.
Zabalaga country house, 15 km from San Sebastian, was built in the 16th century and was purchased and restored by the sculptor in 1982. The fields adjacent to the country house serve as a display space for over 40 large pieces created using iron and granite. Inside the building one can view smaller works, drawings and even his first sculptures of torsos. But his real personality is outside where his sculptures are displayed in the open air.
Stately Donostia-San Sebastian is lost amongst the backstreets of the Old Town. The undeniable glamour the city has is charmed by the local colour of its small fishing port. On the slopes of Mt. Urgull is this dream area, a source of inspiration for innumerable stories and legends which brings us closer to the true spirit of the city.
Old Donostia-San Sebastian is shaped around Mount Urgull. On the top are the ruins of Santa Cruz de la Mota Castle and the Chapel of the Christ of the Mota. All the mountain has been declared a pedestrian area and several paths lead to the Sacred Heart Monument.
As a starting point for our itinerary through Donostia's old town we will take the neoclassical Constitution square. In this square, apart from its unique architecture, it is worth noticing the numbering of its balconies, as if they were theatre boxes. In the old days, this square, now urban and cosmopolitan, used to be a bullring.
We leave the square via the back street to the Municipal Library, which used to be the old Town Hall, towards the 31st of August street. Here we come across the small Trinidad square, with its characteristic pelota court. Opposite the pelota court is the Basilica of Santa Maria. This temple has a baroque facade and two tall twin towers. Inside is the Virgin of the Coro, the city's patron saint.
Angel Street leads us down to the Port, passing through the so-called Dock Gate or Portaletas. Donostia's small port has many very interesting little corners full of local fishing colour. As we approach the end of the dock we can see the Aquarium and the Naval Museum, on the bottom of Mount Urgull, in an area particularly beaten by the sea. This is the New Promenade, which spans from the Aquarium to Zurriola bridge, just outside the neighbourhood of Gros.
In order to continue on our tour of the Old Part, we must return to Portaletas. Through Campanario street we get to Plaza de la Sala and from here to Mayor street, where we find the Principal Theatre building, which every year hosts the International Festival of Horror Films. The adjoining street, Fermin Calbeton, is one of the arteries of Donostia's Old Town. If we follow it to San Jeronimo and Embeltran, we will get to Sarriegui square, named after the famous composer of 'The March of San Sebastian'.
After crossing the square we arrive at 'La Brecha', the place where the popular La Brecha market is held. Very close to this spot is St. Vincent's church, with its imposing appearance of a gothic fortress. Next to is the headquarters of the craftsmen's Union, the oldest of all festive gastronomic societies in the city.
From the small Cañoetan square we can access San Telmo Museum, an old Dominican Convent which houses some interesting frescoes by the Catalonian painter Sert on the church wall, and several collections of Basque ethnography, art, anthropology and culture.
This interesting museum describes the ethnicity and cultural heritage of the Basque people from prehistory.
Not a museum for children though.
This musuem contains more "traditional" art than the Guggenheim and should be taken in as part of a cultural trip to Bilbao.
It was recently enlarged substantially.