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Euskal Museoa - Basque Museum

Euskal Museoa - Basque Museum

The Museum of Basque Archaeology, Ethnography and History is a cosy little museum in Plaza Unamuno, at the heart of the Old Town. This is a great place to visit on a rainy day before or after an aperitif of pintxos and drinks in the nearby bars of Casco Viejo. Learn about the ins and outs of Basque history, culture and language in this three-storey museum and let yourself in for a journey from the Paleolithic to the present day. Most of the signs are in Basque and Spanish, although rooms have leaflets in English with translations of some of the signage.
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The Old Port - Algortako Portu Zaharra

The Old Port - Algortako Portu Zaharra

Effectively a tiny fishing village in the midst of a city, the Old Port of Algorta in Getxo is made up of a handful of houses by the shore. It is one of the main attractions in the area, only 20 minutes away from the centre of Bilbao by metro. The Old Port makes for a very pretty and charming setting on a summer's day. A stone's throw away from the beach, the charming white houses follow a downwards path to the water. Here is where, come the sunset, locals gather outside in the gentle summer breeze to enjoy a beer or two, along with a plate of green olives or crispy fried calamari from the nearby bars.
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Climbing Pagasarri and Ganekogorta

Climbing Pagasarri and Ganekogorta

Take a sneak peek at a day in the life of a local by going on one of the most typical and easily accessible hiking routes in the region. Reaching some 673 metres (2,208 feet) in height, Pagasarri is one of the smaller mountains that surround Bilbao and most locals will have tried this hike at least once before. There are buses from the city centre, with a few different routes starting from the area of Zabalburu or from Peñascal, in the outskirts of the city. At the top of the mountain there is even a bar selling 'bokatas', the typical no-nonsense baguette rolls filled with your local delicacy of choice, from tortilla de patata to txistorra or chorizo. If you've reached the summit of Pagasarri you're already halfway to Ganekogorta, a summit at 998 metres (3,274 feet) which is a little further away.
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The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao only opened in 1997, but it has since become one of the most revered and celebrated buildings in the world. The museum’s collection focuses primarily on 20th-century American and European art. Just like the popular saying, it's not just the outside that counts - but it's pretty important for this museum. Architect Frank Gehry designed the building with the vision of ''letting the randomness of the curves catch the light". After the opening of the museum, the building was said to be one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.
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Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museo de Bellas Artes has an exceptional collection of traditional works by well-known masters such as El Greco, Goya, Gauguin, Francis Bacon, Picasso and Velazquez. The era of the collection begins in the Middle Ages all down to the contemporary art of today. The museum has been around since 1908 and started as one of the first Fine Art museums. The popularity of the museum caused the extension of the building with another part in which the rest of the art could be displayed.
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Bilbao Maritime Museum

Bilbao Maritime Museum

The Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum is a place to uncover Bilbao’s past as a shipbuilding and seafaring hub. Outside there are striking floating exhibits with special exhibitions. The exhibitions are structured around three main themes: physical environment of the estuary, the evolution of trade in Bilbao, and the development of shipbuilding in the Bilbao estuary. One of the most striking features are the many mini-ships made entirely out of wood, with incredible attention to detail.
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Arriaga Theatre

Arriaga Theatre

The original theatre, created by Joaquin Rucoba (also known as the Spanish Mozart), burned down in 1914 and a second one was built, resembling the Opera House in Paris. Today, it remains the major cultural venue of Bilbao. Beautifully located on the banks of the Nervión, the theatre is host to world-class opera, classical music concerts and ballet. Besides shows, you can also take a guided tour behind the scenes and see the opera costume collection and the stunning stalls.
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Plaza Nueva - Plaza Barria

Plaza Nueva - Plaza Barria

There are 64 arches around this enclosed square, which is the oldest surviving square in town. Built in 1849, it’s a perfect place to stop and sip a cup of coffee while you watch the world go by. This plaza is home to some of the best and most up-market pintxos in the area. One of the cafés that you can try is the famous Café Bar Bilbao. Sure, the name is not very original, but it is known for its finger-licking pintxos. Look out for the squid pintxo, as well as the ham and onion one. These the two specialties of the house.
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Plentzia

Plentzia

Plentzia is a happening resort just outside Bilbao, in the province of Bizkaia. Located atop a hill, its streets pour down the hillside leading to lovely sandy beaches. Plentzia is a popular weekend destination from Bilbao, as it takes a short 30 minutes to get there on the overground metro service from the centre of Bilbao. In the town of Plentzia there are plenty of bars and cafés which serve locally caught fresh seafood. The town also has an indoor court for the sport of Basque pelota. Here you can watch this traditional game which involves two teams of players who hurl a small hard white ball at a wall swinging at it with the full force of the palms of their bare hands.
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Day Trip to Donostia - San Sebastián

Day Trip to Donostia - San Sebastián

This is a city set between two hills around the beautiful bay of La Concha. San Sebastian, or Donosti as it is known by the locals, makes for an unforgettable day trip, where you can take in the glorious Belle Epoque balustrades and visit the world-famous restaurants. There are four areas that you should visit. The first one is Parte Vieja, the old town, where you can find the popular pintxo bars and eat til you drop. South of Parte Vieja you'll find the shopping district and heading towards the coast you will come across three beaches: Zurriola, the preferred spot for local surfers, La Concha and Ondarreta, where the posh neighbourhood is.
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