Bilbao © Turespaņa
The industrial port city of Bilbao is the
political capital of the Basque people, who inhabit Spain's three
northern provinces (an area known collectively as Euskadi). The
city is not exactly beautiful - the buildings are soot-stained and
the Nervion River running through it is one of Spain's most
But Bilbao does have some wonderful surprises to
offer visitors, and there are plenty of attractions in the
surrounding countryside and around the coast on the Bay of Biscay,
which can be easily reached on excursions by rail or road.
The main attraction in the city is the Guggenheim
Museum, relatively new on the scene, having been opened in 1997.
The city regard this avant-garde building as the beginning of
Bilbao's revitalisation, and the city has also recently acquired a
new metro system and airport terminal.
Bilbao has some good beaches and a few scenic
spots - a favoured picnic site is on Monte Archanda, north of the
old town, accessible by funicular. Of the beaches, Getxo is the
favourite, particularly with surfers, and features a 100-year-old
suspension bridge and some lively bars and nightclubs. Bilbao is an
interesting industrial city which is steadily increasing in
popularity with tourists and makes for a fantastic weekend
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