Bilbao: A Visit to the Guggenheim

Though our time spent in Spain’s Basque Country was largely confined to lovely San Sebastián, we did find time for a daytrip to Bilbao. Our main reason for going? The Guggenheim Bilbao, of course.

The Guggenheim Bilbao is a modern art masterpiece. In truth, I found the structure itself – its dramatic facade, its grand riverside perch, its high ceilings – far more fascinating than the art contained within. We arrived in Bilbao on a grey, hazy morning, but the moody weather only made the museum look more impressive.

Inside, we perused various modern art exhibits. None of them stuck out to me that much, save the gigantic room with Richard Serra pieces: huge, circular mazes that we made our way through. We also paused for a coffee break (and to wait out the drizzle) at the museum cafe.

After spending the morning museum’ing, we headed into the heart of old town Bilbao. There, we had lunch and simply explored. Bilbao was extremely quiet on the day we visited but, boy, its streets sure are pretty, aren’t they?

Before catching our bus back to San Sebastián, we stopped for a quick churro break. They weren’t exactly the best churros of my life (or even my two weeks in Spain), but they weren’t too shabby a way to end a daytrip, either.

My verdict on Bilbao? Nice, though not necessarily can’t-miss. We enjoyed the Guggenheim, and the old town is lovely, but overall, the entire city had a sleepy vibe to it. It wasn’t riveting, but it was pleasant.

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