Bilbao was put on the map in recent years with the daring addition of the Guggenheim museum. Visit this fascinating museum - a show stopper of a structure (which can be internally re-modeled to best suit each exhibition) with a private guided tour. Explore the city which has undergone a major urban renewal facelift and features fascinating architecture by some of Spain's most celebrated Architects. Wander through the historical part of the city and along the riverside pathways taking in the cityscape along the way. Consider taking a day trip to any of the interesting sites in the environs such as the coastal city of San Sebastian (the founding city of tapas - which is still very much alive to this day), the wine region of the Rioja, or any of the quaint Basque villages scattered throughout the region.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), a SIM card with 1Gb of data, and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Transfer to/from Bilbao Sondica Airport to/from your accommodation in Bilbao.
Enjoy a private guided tour of Bilbao. The tour will take you through the "Siete Calles" (seven roads), the name given to the historical centre of Bilbao. In this area the "Catedral de Santiago" (Santiago Cathedral) was built, replacing the old chapel dedicated to Apostle Saint James. This Gothic temple is amongst the city's most emblematic buildings. Stroll around its cobbled streets and get to the New Square, San Antón Church and the busy Ribera Market. Discover Bilbao's architectonic and urban development from the 19th century to the present. The new landmarks include the new metro system by Sir Norman Foster; Santiago Calatrava- designed Zubizuri Bridge, the Euskalduna Palace, a conference and music center and, most of all, the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum by Frank Gehry”.
Enjoy a 1.5 hour private visit of the Guggenheim museum with a guide. “The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao offers a comprehensive overview of the visual arts of the 20th century. Its collecting approach includes acquiring singular examples and signature works by leading postwar and contemporary artists; commissioning new, site-specific artworks that respond to the particular space in and around the Frank Gehry building; and representing work by modern and contemporary Basque and Spanish artists in order to preserve and bring global attention to their vital cultural heritage.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Collection has its own unique identity, while also complementing the collections at the other Guggenheim institutions. The Museum’s collection currently features works by some of the most significant artists of the second half of the 20th century, such as Eduardo Chillida, Yves Klein, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Clyfford Still, Antoni Tàpies, and Andy Warhol, among others”.
Bilbao offers plenty of attractions for the visitor - both within the city itself as well as the surrounding cities and area. The obvious "must see" is the Guggenheim museum", but outside of this, the historical part of the city as well as the pathways alongside the river are also worth checking out. If you feel like exploring outside of the city, consider a day trip to the beautiful city of San Sebastian. Located on the coast, this city boasts two beaches as well as a great historical area - alot of which is pedestrianised (and has a plethora of great tapas bars). Alternatively, consider a day trip taking in a number of basque villages and learning about this unique culture. The Rioja wine growing region is within a stone's throw of Bilbao. Consider a day trip visiting some great wineries of the area. Please speak to your Kensingotn Tours Sales Advisor if you are interested in any of these options (or doing anything else).
The Petit Palace Arana Hotel (3*) is located where the old quarter of the city starts which was declared a Site of Historical-Artistic Heritage in 1972, and is opposite the Arriaga Theatre, the river of Bilbao and very close to the Guggenheim Museum. The emblematic building of the hotel, which has a typical Basque architectural style, has 64 rooms with balconies and contrasting stone walls and wooden beams with a homely and modernist décor. Its success since the renovations is due to its prime location, unbeatable price/quality ratio and its services that are designed for all types of guest. It serves buffet breakfasts and offers function rooms, family rooms, rooms for guests with reduced mobility, free admission of pets, free bicycle hire, executive rooms, free WI-FI and hydro-massage showers in all the rooms.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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