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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.
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