As a major city in Northern Spain Bilbao is a great place should you be going on an onward journey into Spain. It is Spain's 6th largest city in addition to being its biggest port. It is situated in the heart of the Basque country and has its own airport in addition to its own port.
Within Bilbao is a medieval heart at Casco Viejo, which was built in the 14th century, and is teeming with cobbled lanes, leading to the Basilica of Santiago in addition to an anthropological and archaeological museum, which chronicle an ancient civilisation.
But recently a bizarre shape appeared in Bilbao, upsetting the locals, apart from those who gain the most from the influx of art loving tourists coming to see the Guggenheim Museum. The museum is a space-age, lunar module which was designed by Frank Gehry, the American Architect, who had a vision of a crossing of a mystic flower and a ship. The museum plays host to many travelling exhibitions in addition to a priceless collection of contemporary art. The contemporary art includes works by such abstract impressionists as Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning as well as Miro, Picasso and Kandinsky.
Other museums that you can visit include the Museo de Ballas Artes which contains both medieval and modern works. Meanwhile, the commercial heart of Bilbao contains many bankers who are attracted but the shipping interests and shipbuilding in the port. Beneath the industry of Bilbao is a culture which should be explored.
On the east side of the river, connected to the newer side by many bridge is the Old Quarter of Bilbao. You can climb the 64 steps to the church built in the 1500's at the top of the town. There is also a Cathedral built there in the 14th century. You should know though that you can only get around the old town on foot.
Within Bilbao there are many lively bars and sensational restaurants. You can also go to the Fine Arts Muesum, the Arriaga Theatre, the Plaza Nueva and the Basque Museum. Add to these that with the 19th century serenity of the beaches of San Sebastien and the stately promenades containing it's world-class haute cuisine restaurants and you have a lovely place to go, certainly worth the length of the journey by ferry.
Near to Bilbao you can visit the lovely town of Guernica , which was firstly the first victim during the civil war of saturation bombing. This was immortalised forever by Picasso in his painting of the same name.