This is Spain


Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Architecture - Picture of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao
This photo of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is courtesy of TripAdvisor


Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country and is also the name of its province.

Bilbao is the largest of the three main cities of the Basque Country and is an important industrial and economic centre. It maintains a beautiful historic quarter with a dominating Gothic cathedral. One of the most famous attractions in Bilbao is the Guggenheim Museum, designed by famed Canadian-American architect Frank Owen Gehry. The structure is considered one of the most important, if not the most important, pieces of contemporary architecture. It has been praised by critics, academics and the public alike.

Vitoria-Gasteiz, or simply Gasteiz in Basque, is the capital of Pais Vasco, and is well worth visiting for its excellently preserved historic centre and its cultural reknown. There are several festivals of international importance throughout the year.

San Sebastian is famous for its bays and beaches. It has along side its historical old quarter an exclusive cosmopolitan ambience. The Miramar Palace overlooking the Bay of Biscay is one of the world’s finest examples of a summer palace.


There are hundreds of value for money hotels in Bilbao and the province of the same name. You can check all out on TripAdvisor.

Spain-holiday has a selection of properties to rent. Please visit the Spain-Holiday website for full details.

Recommended reading

The history of the Basque Country is both fascinating and fraught. Books4Spain has a comprehensive list.

I’d suggest:


In this recently re-released classic V S Pritchett takes the reader on a tour through most of Spain, from the Basque country through Castile, Andalusia, the Levante and Catalonia. He discusses the characteristics of each region in terms of political, economic and cultural history, as well as its geography, and how this has impacted on the character of the people living in these regions. If, as they say, “Spain is different” then the Basque Country is “Very, very different!”

Spain has become a land of extraordinary paradoxes in which traditional attitudes and contemporary preoccupations exist side by side. Focusing on issues which affect ordinary Spaniards, from housing to gambling, from changing sexual mores to rising crime rates, this study offers a portrayal of Spain of the twenty-first century. (Click on the images for more information!)

Europe’s Famous Hostels have also produced an excellent guide for the budget traveller which can be downloaded from the Europe’s Famous Hostels website.

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