One of Bilbao city´s best four star hotels in a prime location over-looking the Bilbao River and close to all major sites.
Each one of this Bilbao hotel´s 82 bedrooms is very spacious and offers a high degree of comfort with many extras such as temperature control, central heating, interactive colour TV with satellite channels, fax & computer connections, safety deposit box, hairdryer, mini-bar and selection of toiletries.
The hotel has a very good, reasonably priced restaurant as well as an outdoor bar & terrace offering fine river views (during warmer months). Ideal for visiting the Museum of Fine Arts and the Guggenheim Museum which are both within walking distance of the hotel. There is both a metro stop and a tram stop close to the hotel.
Leisure facilities include two outdoor paddle courts and there are also bicycles available for rent. The hotel has its own private carpark which is payable locally.
In our experience this hotel has some of the friendliest, bi-lingual staff to be found in any Bilbao hotel.
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Bilbao, founded 700 years ago, is a classic European city in every respect. Uncluttered and easily explored on foot, its wide open boulevards feature interesting public buildings, museums, parks and of course the titanium clad Guggenheim Museum.
A delightful riverside stroll will take you to the Old Quarter where Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassic and Modernist buildings house innovative shops and traditional Basque restaurants and bars. Also known as the Seven Streets the Old Quarter has a special atmosphere and vibrancy all of it´s own. The oldest monument is Santiago Cathedral in the very heart of the Seven Streets - Gothic style with a beautiful neo-Classical retable inside. Nearby colourful La Ribera Market is one of the largest markets in Europe. In La Cruz Street is the Museum of Vizcaya History and Archaeology and not far from here is the 19th C Plaza Nueva where a traditional street market is held every Sunday and where there are also many excellent bars. Be sure not to miss Victor Montes for traditional pinchos (Basque tapas).
Adjacent to the Old Quarter is the Arenal and the Arriaga Theatre which was modelled after the Paris Opera. It is the scene of all kinds of cultural events, such as plays, operas, Spanish operettas; known as zarzuela, and concerts.
While the Guggenheim Museum has been acknowledged as one of the greatest buildings of the 20th century, there are many other modern sights in Bilbao worth seeing too including the Zubi Zuri bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava and the award winning metro designed by Norman Foster.
Between the Gran Vía and the Ría is the Dona Casilda Iturrizar Park, the largest green space in Bilbao. The Fine Arts Museum - opened in 1914 in the old Achuri Hospital - is located near the end of the park and is one of the best art galleries in Spain due to its important collections of Dutch, Flemish and Italian paintings. It also features Spanish masters, such as El Greco, Velázquez, Zurbarán, Ribera, Goya and Picasso and its modern arts section has important collections of Basque paintings: Losada, Los Arrúe, Arteta, Regoyos and Zuloaga. In addition, there are sculptures by Quintin de la Torre, Nemesio Mogrovejo and Eduardo Chillida.
Aside from the many cultural attractions in Bilbao be sure to take a ride on the popular Monte Archanda funicular which is just across the river from the Guggenheim. From the summit you can appreciate a magnificent panoramic view of the city. Or take a scenic river ride on the Pil-Pil boat which departs near the Guggenheim. Later explore the many excellent shops along Gran Vía featuring ranges from provincial to top label as well as the top Spanisg department store, El Corte Inglés.
A short ride on the metro out of Bilbao to Areeta Station in Portugalete and you can visit the Puente Colgante, the first hanging transporter bridge built in 1893 by a student of Eiffel and still in use today. Visitors may also take an elevator to the top of the bridge (not for the faint hearted) and enjoy marvellous views along the river. Afterwards take a walk to the mouth of the estuary and dine in one of the many restaurants found in this area.
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