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The Guggenheim Museum is probably Bilbao's top tourist attraction. It is situated on the bank of the Nervión River.
Bilbao is a major seaport and industrial center, but in recent years the city has undergone a major urban renewal, in order to move it away from the region's industrial history and instead focus on tourism and services. The developments are centered around the new metro system and most of all, the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum. A new tram line was introduced in 2002. The Port of Bilbao, formerly on the river, has been moved and expanded downstreams on the Bay of Biscay, opening a great deal of real estate on the river, that has been the site of most of the new buildings.

The landscape alone in Bilbao needs to be seen. Most people don`t rent a car during their visit. It isn`t easy to navigate around the one way streets, and it isn`t unusual to run into multiple construction sites along the way. Instead of a car, the public transportation is the easiest way to get to the various locations throughout the city. 

The Guggenheim Museum offers an amazing opportunity to take a closer look at artwork. Aside from the contents inside the museum, the outside architecture resembles a fish, complete with titanium scales throughout the docks.

The Cathedral of St. James is named for the official patron saint of the city. Portions of the cathedral were built in the 1800s, and the adjoining square is known as Plaza de Santiago.

The Mercado de la Ribera is another must see location that offers plenty of opportunities to shop for local goods. Be sure to pick up some of the local produce as well as vinegar, cheeses, and even pickled delicacies.

Right across from the Guggenheim, the Grand Hotel Domine Bilbao makes it easy to walk to several of the local attractions. Each of the five floors is decorated with a different color scheme, making for an interesting stay. There are two restaurants along with a bar that make it easy for guests to get a meal just about any time of day.

For those interested in a room with a view, the Hotel Miro is the way to go. Many of the rooms have windows that stretch from floor to ceiling, offering a wonderful way to take in the sights. This hotel is also near the Guggenheim and overlooks the Abandoibarra Park. Guests interested in a little bit of pampering can take advantage of the His and Her spas.

The Hesperia Bilbao is close to the center of the city and offers stylish rooms for the distinguished traveler. Most people immediately notice the hotel by its multi-colored windows along the outside of the structure.

When visiting the Guggenheim, there are several options for places to eat inside the museum. The Restaurante Guggenheim and Nerua are both run by super chefs known for their take on the local cuisine.

The Cafe Iruna was created in 1903 and is by far one of the most popular places to enjoy a drink in the area. The bar d’Cor is surprisingly refined with details like Alhambra tiles.

The Victor Montes offers tapas outdoors and a beautiful view of the area. This Pinxto bar is located in the old quarter of the city, the most colorful part of Bilbao, a maze of narrow streets full of taverns, shops and monuments.

Bilbao is a great place. When traveling, stay in a location that boasts beautiful landscapes, plenty of museums and culture, and some of the best food in Spain. 


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Spanish HolidaysSpanish CitiesSpanish CostasGolf in SpainActivities in SpainLatin AmericaMaps of Spain & Latin AmericaAbout