Despite its industrial history, Bilbao is a city rich in art thanks to two incredible museums. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao house some glorious artwork against the backdrop of this Basque city. Each has their own appeal and knowing what you are going to experience at each of these museums is essential to fully benefit from your visit in Bilbao.
Of course, the variety and extension of artwork is important on what to expect when visiting each respective museum. Both have exquisite pieces to enjoy and it is important to know the styles each museum has to offer.
Founded by Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum franchise began in New York. The Guggenheim Bilbao opened in 1997 and can be distinguished from its unique architecture. As for what is on the inside, there are nineteen galleries that include work from the 20th century from artists such as Joseph Bueys, Robert Rauschenberg and Jeff Koons.
With artwork from as early as the 1900s, the modern marvels of the Guggenheim are impressive to any visitor. Passersby tend to be amazed just by the unique aspect of the outside of the building, so seeing the collections that the museum holds only make the experience more enjoyable!
The Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts Bilbao opened its doors in 1908 and has had numerous expansions since then. Their modern wing was added in 1970 and current renovations were added in 2001. This museum houses a lot of older works, but nevertheless still valuable and is combined with modern works as well.
The Museum of Fine Arts is more notorious for its older Roman pieces dating back to the 1600s by Spanish artists. This museum is one of the richest in Spain, afterall. Yes, there are modern pieces but the expectation is to see a range of century pieces.
Useful Information for Visiting the Museums
The locations of these two museums are quite convenient and are both located around the Euskadi Plaza. They are a short nine minute walk from each other, or a six minute drive if hopping in a taxi is more convenient.
Some visitors can spend around three hours at the Museum of Fine Arts, and as for the Guggenheim Museum, the collection seems so extensive that you could spend a whole morning or evening there. You could fill your entire day with artwork, you can get your dose of art throughout a few days visiting Bilbao.
Entrances to the Guggenheim Museum are only 10€ if bought online and 12€ if bought in person. The Museum of Fine Arts cost is only 5€. However, if you want a personable experience when visiting these museums, ask us to set you up with person tours to make the experience more private.
Overall, you cannot go wrong with visiting either of these museums. The Guggenheim Museum is of course very well known and a beautiful building, but do not forget the hidden gem of The Museum of Fine Arts. It would not be a visit to Bilbao without seeing both of these museums.