Bilbao and the Guggenheim Effect

3 nights starting from

  • Frank Gehry’s amazing Guggenheim Museum

  • Bilbao’s superb modern architecture – Calatrava, Gehry, Foster, Zaha Hadid

  • Old Bilbao and the excellent Museum of Fine Arts

  • A tasty “pinxtos” tour of the old town’s famous bars

  • Two lectures from Dr Peter Higginson

Bilbao is a city reborn, thanks largely to a single building that kickstarted the revival – Frank Gehry’s 1997 Guggenheim Museum, built in a rundown port area – that was hailed as a masterpiece of the 20th century. It has led to a series of buildings by world-famous architects, some of which we will see on this superb new tour in the company of Dr Peter Higginson, not forgetting the city’s older artistic, architectural and culinary heritage.

Available Departures


13 - November - 2019 Limited Availability Travel Info Please Call

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 13th November 2019 at 07:20

Returning: 16th November 2019 at 19:40

18 - March - 2020 £ 899.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 18th March 2020 at 07:20

Returning: 21st March 2020 at 19:40


Day 1: Guernika
Fly from London Gatwick to Bilbao and transfer by coach to the town of Guernika, destroyed by relentless bombing in the Spanish Civil War, which inspired Picasso’s renowned painting of the same name. Time for lunch, a guided tour and the Peace Museum before heading to Bilbao to check in to your hotel. Welcome drink, lecture “Bilbao: from its origins to the Guggenheim effect.” and dinner with wine at the hotel.

Day 2: Casco Viejo and Guggenheim
A morning walking tour to see the Casco Viejo (old town) and La Ribera food market before an afternoon to see inside the shimmering Guggenheim Museum with its permanent and temporary exhibitions, though the building is the star attraction for most visitors. Second lecture, “Picasso’s Guernica and its legacy”and dinner with wine at the hotel.

Day 3: Museum of Fine Arts, Ensanch-Abandoibarra neighbourhood and Modern Architecture tour
A morning visit to the excellent Museum of Fine Arts (including works by El Greco, Goya and Gauguin), before a walk of the 19th century Ensanch-Abandoibarra neighbourhood. This afternoon we will have a coach tour to see the exteriors of some of Bilbao’s stunning modern architecture with work by Calatrava, Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster. Evening free.

Day 4: Maritime Museum, Pinxtos tour and home
A morning visit to the Maritime Museum which puts Bilbao’s history into context, before a “pinxtos” guided tour of the old town including three drinks and snacks. Pinxtos are the Basque form of tapas and the bars a Bilbao institution that no visit to the city is complete without experiencing. Transfer to the airport for return evening flight to London Gatwick.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.


  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Bilbao
  • Three nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Barcelo Nervion Hotel, Bilbao, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • Two dinners with wine at the hotel
  • Two lectures at the hotel
  • Transfers, tours and entrance fees
  • Peter Higginson throughout


  • Single room supplement
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities


Barcelo Nervion Hotel, Bilbao

The Nervion Hotel enjoys a superb location right on the river of the same name on the edge of the old town. Facilities at this modern four-star hotel include bar, Ibaizabal restaurant and very comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities.

Hotel Website

Similar Holidays

Delphi to Macedonia - An Historic Journey

8 nights from £1475


Walking in Menorca

7 nights from £1295


Scenic Epirus Escorted Tour

7 nights from £1195


Umbria Classic Culture and Cuisine Escorted Tour

7 nights from £1045