Iconic, surprising and always interesting, these are some of the most important museums in Euskadi.
Naturally, the visit starts with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the building designed by Frank Gehry which triggered the transformation of a city. Here we are welcomed by Araña (Spider) designed by Louise Bourgeois, a sculpture symbolising motherhood, and Puppy, by Jeff Koons, now the city centre's mascot. The permanent collection and top quality exhibitions have made it one of the most visited places in Euskadi. And what's more, many people come back.
In Bilbao you should not miss the Museum of Fine Arts, a delight with a rich collection of ancient, modern and contemporary art by artists such as Anton Van Dyck, Antoni Tàpies, Chillida, Oteiza, El Greco, Zuloaga, Sorolla, Goya and Francis Bacon.
Also in Bilbao is the Maritime Museum, where you can discover the unique bond between the Basque people and the sea.
In its various tanks, the Aquarium replicates marine environments in which a wide variety of fish, coral, anemones, seaweed and other underwater plants and animals harmoniously co-exist.
The Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum, in Getaria (Gipuzkoa), the designer's hometown, is another destination that attracts many visitors. The museum features a collection of 1600 quality pieces by the influential fashion designer, representing his most exemplary work.
The San Telmo Museum is one of the best-known museums in San Sebastián This unique museum offers an educational and unique insight into the evolution of Basque society through ethnography and fine arts, all in an area of great beauty.
Also in the same city we have the Palacio del Mar Aquarium of Donostia, one of the most frequented places in Euskadi, devoted to the maritime and marine heritage of Gipuzkoa. Of note is the impressive skeleton of a Right whale and more than 200 species of sea life.
Just five minutes from San Sebastián, in Hernani, is the Chillida-Leku Museum. Situated on a farmstead surrounded by green countryside, here you can view the universe of artist Eduardo Chillida in all its splendour.
Lastly, in Vitoria is Artium, the Basque Museum-Centre of Contemporary Art, opened in 2002, and which has become a must for all art lovers. The permanent collection includes works by Picasso, Dalí, Oteiza, Chillida, Miquel Barceló, Cristina Iglesias and Bill Viola.