Bilbao on the Bay of Biscay is fascinating for its diversity. After arriving at Bilbao Airport, it is a good idea to pick up your hire car there, no matter whether you wish to carry on to your hotel or begin a tour. Before the start of your holiday you can book a hire car to suit your needs from TUI Cars. Nestled in a landscape of mountains and forests, tempting beaches and imposing cliffs, there are many destinations that lend themselves for exploring by car.
The heart of Bilbao is the beautiful, covered market square of Mercado de la Ribera, one of the oldest and largest in Europe, and not only popular among local residents. The Guggenheim Museum, the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Catedral de Santiago are among the most visited sights in Bilbao. In addition to the legacy of historic buildings, modern skyscrapers designed by the architects Arata Isozaki and César Pelli dominate the city skyline. The Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall, or Euskalduna Jauregia in Basque, is an avant-garde architectural masterpiece.
Explore Bilbao and the surrounding area
From Bilbao you are in easy reach of some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast. About 13 kilometres from the city lies Sopelana, a wide sandy beach particularly suitable for bathing and surfing. The beach of Mundaka, north of Bilbao, is also in easy drive in a hire car.
The waves, up to four metres high, attract keen surfers. Wine lovers are close to the wine growing region of Rioja to the south. In a hire car you can soon be exploring traditional wine cellars in the medieval village of Laguardia, where you can see all the steps in the wine making process and get to taste the delicious local wine.
A mecca for culture lovers
A visit to the Guggenheim Museum is one of the highlights of a stay in the Basque metropolis. If you are on the road in a hire car in Bilbao, you can easily get to the banks of the river Nervión to admire the impressive, iconic, titanium-clad building. Inside is a comprehensive exhibition of famous works of modern art. Another outstanding cultural monument is the beautiful Basilica of Begoña, dating back to the 16th century. The facade and the tower date were added much later in the early 20th century. Another impressive building in the city is the Teatro Arriaga, built around 1890 in the neo-baroque style. Theatre, opera and ballet performances take place throughout the year. The Museo de Bellas Artes is one of the most important museums in Spain and is not only popular among tourists.