Basilica of Begoña dominates the city from its hilltop location. It dates from the 16th Century and its most outstanding feature is the Renaissance-style main entrance. The main altar is an important example of the transition between the Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture. The Basilica attracts tourists, agnostics and believers alike. No tourist visits are allowed during mass.
One of the largest parks in Bilbao since the 1980's, Parque Extebarria is located right in the city's old town, the Casco Viejo. This large green space is a favorite among the locals and visitors to Bilbao to relax and spend some time outdoors in nice weather. The park is especially popular among joggers and cyclists. Visitors can see the remnants of Bilbao's industrial past at the massive chimney that stands to this day. With beautiful views over the city, the park is a popular spot for evening strolls.
The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum houses one of Spain's most important modern art collections that includes work by the best Basque painters along with an excellent display of Gothic art as well as fine examples of the Dutch and Flemish schools. The museum also hosts classical music concerts and its cinema offers a program of Spanish and foreign language films. The Chillida Hall can be used to organize business meetings and conferences.You'll find it in the midst of the peaceful and pretty Doña Casilda Park.
Great plays have been performed by some of the country's best actors in this much-loved theater over the years. Joaquin Ruboca designed the building using the Paris Opera House as a model to which he added some Renaissance touches. Outstanding architectural features of the Teatro Arriaga Antzokia include the two polygonal towers, the grand foyer, the mezzanine, the huge windows and the rooftop terrace with views of the river, Arenal and Campo Volantín. The elegantly furnished and sumptuously decorated interiors of this theater have a magnificent imperial staircase designed by Francisco Hurtado de Saracho. The theater opened in 1890 and was later named after a young local musician. Check website for exact schedule.
Gran Vía Don Diego Lopez de Haro, better known as simply Gran Vía, is one of Bilbao's main drags. The street begins at the famed Plaza Circular and runs northeast all the way to the Plaza del Sagrado Corazon. Gran Vía runs by many of the city's most famous attractions like the Plaza Moyua and the Palacio Chavarrí. A visit to the Gran Vía is almost impossible to miss during a trip to Bilbao.
Museo Guggenheim Bilbao's first exhibit included a collection of over 250 examples of cubist, futurist, constructivist and other 20th-century art movements. The museum features a permanent collection of late 20th-century art spotlighting more of the century's best creative talents including young Basque and Spanish artists. Famous works include those by renowned artists like Richard Serra, Willem de Kooning, and Clyfford Still. Frank O. Gehry designed this complex with spectacular curtains of glass, stone curves, titanium and glass walls, walkways hanging from the ceiling, transparent elevators and immense open spaces that offer a mesmerizing foil for the avant-garde art it houses.
There's a varied program of cultural activities on offer here and admission is free M-F and at weekends you can dance to the latest hits. The live shows are musical concerts, stand-up comics or café-theater performances and you can dine at the same time, choosing from a range of delicious house platters of cheeses, cured hams, cold meats and canapés. If you come for breakfast, try El camarote de los Hermanos Marx (The Marx Brothers' Cabin), a house special containing nine different types of ingredient. The interior has an atmospheric 1950s decor and you'll find it in the city's nightlife zone.
Teatro Campos Elíseos Antzokia is part of the large theater chain Arteria, which has venues in some of the major capitals of the world, such as New York, Madrid, Barcelona, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. This theater is located very close to public transport stations, so you won't find it difficult to get there. Apart from hosting a wide range of cultural activities, the theater has its own restaurant and cafeteria, which makes it the ideal place for a night out.
You'll find this park alongside Bilbao's Gran Vía and you can escape from the traffic to spend some peaceful time walking along the pathways amongst an amazing diversity of majestic trees. It was laid out between 1912 and 1920 along the lines of an English country house gardens and it boasts four ponds. The most popular sites are the duck pond and the pergola pond, with its spectacular cybernetic fountain that offers a veritable sound and light show during the summer. Next door, you can visit the impressive Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum). All parks in Bilbao are open 24 hours a day.