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Must Visit Attractions in Bilbao

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Situated in La Esperanza street, just behind San Nicolas de Bari church, the Begoña elevator stands out within the urban aesthetic of Bilbao's old quarter (Casco Viejo). Built in 1949 by the architect Rafael Frontan this unusual means of transport takes you from the lowest to the highest point of the city in a very short time. We can take advantage of this trip to go to the Basilica or Our Lay of Begoña or look over to Echevarria. Check website for tariffs and other details.

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.

This large bullring that can hold 15,000 spectators was designed by the architect Luis Maria Gana in 1962. It burned down in 1961 and afterwards was completely restored to the arena we see today. Clearly neo-Mudejar in style, Plaza de Toros de Vista Alegre begins its season in March and ends at the end of September or beginning of October. Notorious for being very demanding with its bullfighters and animals, the Plaza reaches its climax during the Semana Grande, when the best fighters and best-bred bulls in Spain make for a magnificent spectacle that, enthralls the huge public that fills the plaza each day. Inside the arena there is also a museum, Museo Taurino, which has an impressive collection of costumes, bullfighters' weapons and artifacts and posters. Check website for more information.

One of Bilbao's most iconic landmarks, the Vizcaya Bridge is a 19th-century engineering marvel that straddles the Ibaizabal estuary, linking Portugalete with Las Arenas. The bridge was conceptualized by Basque architect Alberto de Palacio who combined Industrial age ironworking know-how with innovative steel rope technology of the 19th Century. The bridge was lauded as a feat of design and soon, other architects copied the same blueprint and constructed similar bridges across Europe, Africa, and America. At 45 meters high and 160-meter length, it was the world's first gondola-style transporter bridge carrying vehicles and people. An abiding legacy of the Industrial Revolution, the Vizcaya Bridge is regarded as a symbol of the city and daily tours are offered to visitors wishing to know more.

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