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Bilbao Car Hire

Situated in the Basque region of Northern Spain close to the boarder with France, Bilbao is a busy commercial port on the stormy Bay of Biscay, some 4 hours from Madrid and 6 hours from Barcelona by road.

Once notorious as one of the ugliest cities in Spain, Bilbao has enjoyed a cultural revolution of its own that has and is still transforming it from a polluted industrialised working port into an increasingly chic popular destination for tourists and culture vultures' keen to explore the many attractions that the City and the beautiful, wild Basque countryside have to offer.

Must See in Bilbao

The city is divided into old and new by the Nervion River. The old city known locally as the Casco Viejo to the east is the more atmospheric, with narrow winding streets leading to its core - the Siete Calles or Seven Streets district. It is here that bars and restaurants abound and this historic area is liberally graced by splendid monuments such as the;

Gothic Cathedral of Saint James (Santiago, the Patron Saint of Spain) and the San Antón church. Here also you will find the enormous and sprawling food market - the Mercado de la Ribera where regional specialities and locally produced delicacies can be purchased very reasonably. Walking tours of the old city take place at 10am every weekend.

The West bank is the site of the new' City. The modern architecture is very distinct from but somehow compliments the traditional classical Spanish building styles of its old neighbour to the east. This area is home to the more industrial and commercial quarters of the City.

Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum is also within the new City. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, this fantastic piece of modern architecture is not to be missed. Covered in fish like scales of titanium, the building stands out against a background of the city buildings and the surrounding hilly landscape like some enormous abstract sculpture and houses many interesting works by artists of world renown and holds regular exhibitions throughout the year. In the forecourt of the museum, look out for the famous Guggenheim Dog. Known as Puppy' this giant, living structure made entirely of flowers is incredible.

Events in Bilbao

The waterfront around this area is now served by a modern tramway that will speedily and efficiently take the visitor around the many other attractions including the Euskalduna concert hall and the refurbished Ria de Bilbao Maritime Museum.

An unbeatable view of can be obtained by taking a trip in the funicular railway that travels from the new city every 15 minutes, up to Artxanda where the city and the surrounding area can be seen spread out below you.

Sacred Music Festival between March and April.

Drama Festival (ACT) May to June.

Street Carnivals during February and March and on Saints Days throughout the year.