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.
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.
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.
A good way to get to know a community is buy investigating its roots. The Museo Vasco, commonly known as the Basque Museum, is the right place for this endeavor. The permanent collection is dedicated to Prehistoric times and Archaeology in Vizcaya province and the Ethnography and History of the Basque Country. In the Pre-History section, special emphasis is placed on the ancient world of trade, old tools, early fabric-weaving, ceramics, weapon making and furniture. The Basque Sea hall is livened up by fun sound effects: shrill seagulls and furious waves. The Pastoral Culture hall, with bleating sheep and clanging cowbells in the background, will take you back in time. Finally, the Consulate hall, has an incredible model of the entire Vizcaya region. The museum also organizes temporary exhibits. In the shop you will find books, traditional Basque music and reproductions of items. Check website for more details.
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.
Created in 1927, this old museum exhibits full-size reproductions of original sculptures in plaster, of some of the best known works in the history of Art. The collections range from Ancient Art (Mesopotamic and Egyptian civilizations) to Classic Art (ancient Greek, Classical, Hellenic and Renaissance). Museo de Reproducciones Artísticas is well-known among artists and painters in Bilbao, as a lot of them have been there for drawing, painting and modeling lessons from Manu, dubbed 'El Ruso'. The museum also has a video library and a photographic laboratory. In the audiovisual room you can learn to sculpt using the 'grafting' method. The newly restored La Iglesia del Corazón de María is used to organize art exhibitions. Check website for more details.
Rendez Vous is a 15 year old Karaoke bar. Guests are allowed to pick up wireless microphones, and show their singing talents on any of their favorite songs. It is one of the best bars in town, where you can take your loved ones and spend the most romantic times of your life. The bar serves beer, cocktails, vodka, whiskey and wine. They have a separate menu for appetizers, snacks and meal. They keep organizing theme nights every weekends, which would certainly interest you.
Kafe Antzokia is a café-theater that promotes work in Euskara (the Basque language) and Basque culture in general, although lots of musicians from all over Spain play here regularly. The ground floor is a café-restaurant during the day and turns into a music bar later on at night. The stage is used for all sorts of cultural activities including film shows, theater and concerts. On Thursdays and Fridays there are always live concerts featuring different musical styles as diverse as classical, jazz, folk and pop-rock. There's a regular programs throughout the month of various conferences, discussions, theater, dance and children's activities as well as special events for World Theater Day once a year. Check website for more details.