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), 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.
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.
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).
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."
Edwards Family ,
November 28, 2013
"People do not know what they are missing by not going to Romania. The landscape: beautiful, clean, untouched. The people: People exceeded friendly! Super safe. Wherever we went, we received the reception of "Welcome, welcome! You are our guest", by everyone. Food & Drink: Everything had such incredible flavor! They use only the freshest ingredients and everything is organic. Every meal was a new, exciting experience to our palettes. Architecture: The beauty, intricacy, history. One cannot help but appreciate the abundance of castles, churches and buildings boasting such incredible architecture. Experience Romania sooner than later! You’ll be so glad you did! Once again, Kensington Tours, and special thank you to Claudia.
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."
Mike Mikkelsen ,
November 15, 2013
"Lianne Kim did a great job for us (on our tour of Spain). Most enjoyable - thanks for all you did."
November 09, 2013
"My trip to Holland and Belgium was a lifelong dream and Kensington Tours made it greater than my dream. I was treated like royalty, even when I missed some of my connections. They quickly solved any problems that U had. All the drivers were courteous and helpful. My accommodations were top notch. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a better tour experience. Thanks to Richard Racicot for booking the best fo me."
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 lWestlund ,
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 bend over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangement 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. Our time in Dubrovnik and Split were awesome, in hind sight we both wished we would have went back to Split from Plitvice Lakes rather than carry on to Zagreb. We both found Split much more appealing and would have definitely preferred to spend another night there rather than Zagreb. We’ll know for next time! 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. "
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