Sign In
Maritime Museum | ©  Courtesy of Maritime Museo Bilbao
Maritime Museum | © Courtesy of Maritime Museo Bilbao
Save to wishlist

The Best Galleries And Museums In Bilbao

Picture of Milan Cater
Updated: 12 July 2017
Bilbao is the capital of Spain‘s Basque Country, an industrial port city full of cultural and historical museums and galleries in its art district. Bilbao is a city where art and architecture are one and the same, and has gained an international reputation since the turn of the century. Find out more about the best museums to visit while in this historically unique city.
Save to wishlist

Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim in Bilbao is renowned internationally, not only for its excellent exhibitions and wealth of information presented in creative ways, but for its unique architecture. Many pay a visit to the Guggenheim, located on the banks of the River Nervión, just to admire the shape and titanium structure of this incredible building. Designed by the North American architect Frank Gehry to imitate the form of a scaly fish, the museum’s unusual architecture is reminiscent of the days of Bilbao’s thriving historic reputation as a port city.

Abandoibarra Etorb., 2, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain, +34 944 35 90 80

Save to wishlist

Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts

The Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts is a respected and well-established institution in Bilbao, home to ‘100 Years of History, 10 Centuries of Art’. Works by Francis Bacon, Velázquez, Goya and Picasso are proudly displayed and well maintained in this high ranking museum. The Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts is also known for its pieces by Basque artists. One of the museum’s core characteristics lies in its desire to be contemporaneous in response to the concerns of the local artistic community: it hosts new and dynamic exhibitions and explores Spanish culture and history through its art.

Museo Plaza, 2, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain, +34 944 39 60 60

Save to wishlist

Museo Maritimo

In the interest of preserving Bilbao’s history as a port city, The Bilbao Maritime Museum vows to ‘bring sea and society together through an integrated experience, working to spread knowledge of the Bilbao Estuary’s seafaring heritage’. Its permanent exhibitions explore this heritage by focusing on the sea port, the market and factory, and the shipyard. The halls are constructed in metal or wood to give the appearance of ships’ hulls, adding meaning to the different themes and making for an enjoyable and remarkable journey through Bilbao’s history.

Ramón de la Sota Kaia, 1, Bilbao, Spain, +34 946 08 55 00

Maritime Museum | © Courtesy of Maritime Museo Bilbao

Maritime Museum | © Courtesy of Maritime Museo Bilbao

Save to wishlist

Euskal Museo

If you want to know about the history of Bilbao, The Euskal Museo Bilbao is your go-to museum for superb displays detailing the history and lives of the Basque people throughout history. Focusing on the ethnography of the Basque people, walking through this museum is an archaeologist’s haven; the many ancient historical artifacts and photographs transport you directly into the lives of the Basque people of Bilbao, examining how they lived, their work, their customs and age-old traditions. The museum is located in an ancient building first established in the 17th century as the San Andrés de la Compañía de Jesús College and Church.

Plaza de Miguel de Unamuno, 4, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain, +34 944 15 54 23

Save to wishlist

Sala Rekalde Contemporary Art Gallery

Established in 1991 the Sala Rekalde Gallery dedicated itself to looking at contemporary art in Spain and abroad in all its respects and dimensions. This space is dependent on the Culture Department of the Executive Council of Biscay and aims to ‘serve as a forum for all those who want to take part in the debate on the various languages of culture’. Here, you will find thought-provoking exhibits and artistic experiences provided by new and up-and-coming artists with many abstract works and installations.

Alameda Recalde 30, Bilbao, Spain, +34 944 068 755