Bilbao, situated on the Nervion estuary, has a population of roughly half a million. For a long time it was considered a grey industrial city in decline with little to offer toursists. However, today nothing could be further from the truth.
Since the inauguration of the Guggenheim in 1997 the city has definitely come to life again.
There is now a new metro line conceived by Norman Foster aswell as the new Euskalduna music auditorium. Fashionable hotels, bars and shops have sprung up in the streets surrounding the Guggeheim along side more traditional Basque bars and restaurants offering excellent 'pinchos' (tapas) and Basque cuisine.
The shopping area consists of well known high street chains aswell as exclusive designer labels.
The Guggeheim Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Frank O Ghery, is a magnificent building - it´s covered in titanium plaques and looks good even on a cloudy day.
Other places of interest are the old part of Bilbao made up of narrow streets, lots of bars and small shops, the Maritime Museum and the Fine Arts Museum. The main shopping area is centred around Plaza Moyua and Gran Via.
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