- QA&TEST AREA
- PREVIOUS EDITIONS
Historically, Bilbao has always been a conference city, hosting events for the most diverse groups. Since 1999, the Euskalduna Palace, Convention Centre and Music Hall, has been the main facility for the city's conferences. In 2003, it received the prestigious Apex Award, granted by the International Association of Congress Centres, as the "Best World Congress Centre", and it is the first public convention centre to be awarded Q Tourist Quality (2004) by the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality (ICTE).
Bilbao is a city with a wide cultural offer: The Guggenheim Museum, a 20th century architecture masterpiece, was opened in 1997 and has turned Bilbao into an international artistic centre and the Fine Arts Museum de Bilbao (Museum of Fine Arts) owns the second best classic art collection, behind El Prado. At the end of 2003, the Maritime Museum Ría de Bilbao (Maritime Museum) was opened to keep and promote the cultural and historical heritage that has contributed to the city's development and the maritime activity in the estuary.
Bilbao also has a very important financial tradition - is home to a traditional Stock Exchange with a long-lasting history-, and it is also the place where the headquarters of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work operate, after a decision made by the European Union.
Basque gastronomy and Vizcaya's typical food are well known all around the world. The quality of the products used and the skills of Vizcaya's cooks contribute to this international fame.
Bilbao is home to the best Basque restaurants and chefs. Its restaurants range between the awarded restaurants and the less sophisticated steakhouses, cider houses, taverns, outdoor bars or "txakolis". You will surely find a quality restaurant that fits your taste and budget. There are also "poteo" bars offering "pintxos", "tapas" and "banderillas" in the Old Quarter, Pozas or Deusto.
Only a few kilometres away from Bilbao, you can enjoy coastal landscapes and highly prized beaches: Aixerrota, Gorliz, Azkorri, Sopelana, Barrika and Plentzia are spots with outstanding beauty that offer numerous leisure activities: maritime sports, golf, or walks across the wilderness.
Vizcaya has one further attraction: the oldest suspension footbridge in the world. More than a hundred years old, it was inaugurated in 1893 and rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War. This 160 m long and 50 m high bridge affords a superb view of the Bilbao Estuary and the Abra Bay.
In the heart of the province of Vizcaya lies the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Declared a biosphere reserve and a world heritage site by the UNESCO, this area is the main wetland in the Basque Country.
If you want to get more information about Bilbao and its surrondings, please visit the following websites: