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The designing and building of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao went hand in hand with urban regeneration and the cultural development of this industrial Basque city. Most people come to view the astonishing architectural feat that is the museum. The curvy, metal-encased structure with a lofty, glassed atrium was designed by US architect Frank Gehry to blend into and incorporate its physical environment. Its collection includes the art of Picasso, Miro and Kadinsky and temporary avante-garde exhibitions. Bilbao has a lovely, lively casco antiguo featuring the Gothic Catedral de Santiago, the Museo de Bellas Artes and the porticoed Plaza ...

The designing and building of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao went hand in hand with urban regeneration and the cultural development of this industrial Basque city. Most people come to view the astonishing architectural feat that is the museum. The curvy, metal-encased structure with a lofty, glassed atrium was designed by US architect Frank Gehry to blend into and incorporate its physical environment. Its collection includes the art of Picasso, Miro and Kadinsky and temporary avante-garde exhibitions. Bilbao has a lovely, lively casco antiguo featuring the Gothic Catedral de Santiago, the Museo de Bellas Artes and the porticoed Plaza Nueva. This is a great area to sample highly-rated Basque cuisine and to take in the city's ambience. Don't miss the Museo de Bellas Artes collection of Spanish masters Goya, El Greco and Zurbaran. Near Bilbao is the town of Guernica which was immortalized in Picasso's painting of the bombing of that town by Hitler, with Franco's blessing, in April 1937. Guernica is worth visiting for its Museo de la Paz (Peace Museum).

John Noble
About the Expert

John Noble is a coauthor of Lonely Planet's Spain, Andalucia, and Mexico as well as many other LP titles from Indonesia to Belize to Brazil.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June, July, and September; August for the city's biggest fiesta