Guggenheim Bilbao

Bilbao, Spain
Kirker Holidays

Standing on the banks of the Nervion river, the striking titanium-clad museum designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry displays spectacular modern and contemporary art. Opening in 1999, this iconic building played a major role in helping to lift Bilbao out of its post-industrial depression and into the 21st century, providing the impetus for further regeneration and strongly positioning Bilbao in the international art and tourism spotlight.

Notable large-scale works on permanent display include Jeff Koon’s whimsical Highland Terrier carpeted in bedding plants, a 9-metre-tall skeletal spider-like canopy by Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra’s spiralling sculptural forms and a monumental piece from Mark Rothko. For many people, it is the temporary shows by Spanish and international artists – from retrospectives of the groundbreaking contemporary video artist Bill Viola to wide-ranging exhibitions on fin de siècle Paris – that are the main attraction.

Do not miss the museum’s excellent restaurant where Josean Martinez Alija holds court. You will find restaurant ‘Nerua’just inside the building, at Avenida Abandoibarra 2. The museum also has a more informal ‘Bistró’offering Basque dishes based on traditional recipes.

All Kirker clients visiting Bilbao receive entrance tickets to the Guggenheim Museum and an audio guide. Free guided tours in Spanish take place at 17:45 and 18:30; sign up half an hour before at the information desk. Tours can be conducted in other languages but you must ask at the information desk beforehand. Groups are limited to 20 (and there needs to be a minimum of eight), so we recommend getting there early. It is also possible to organise private group tours in English, Spanish, French and German, among other languages, by prior arrangement.

Open 10:00-19:00 Tuesday-Sunday, until 20:00 over Easter week and the summer season. Closed on Mondays except on the following dates: March 25, April 1, June 17 through September 22, December 23 and December 30.

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Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.


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