Bilbao is famous for the Guggenheim Museum. It's a massive structure made out of metal and stone to form an art gallery where the building is an artwork in itself.
I decided to check out this Northern "Spanish" city for a weekend and what I found was exactly the opposite to what I was expecting.
For starters - I was told because Bilbao was an industrial hub back in the day so I was told it is filthy! Those people were incredibly wrong. Granted - one can tell that smog can collect there but it was very clear when I visited. It's a city where things are SO different from each other that they somehow work. A renaissance style building right next to a bright Art Deco building - yet they contrast each other so much that it makes them seem like they fit! It's rather spectacular.
Secondly, I have no idea why but I was expecting the Guggenheim to be small. Quite the contrary! It is a massive building and it really stands out from everything else. The artwork inside is rather amazing as well. It completely messes with your head. The first exhibition are iron sculptures made by the artist Richard Serra. He makes these massive sculptures that are kind of like mazes but they make you incredibly confused. There is an entire floor dedicated to David Hockney who basically creates smaller images and pieces them together to make jigsaw puzzle-like landscapes. It's pretty fascinating!
Bilbao is a good place to visit for a weekend and you can see everything in 48 hours! So a very easy stop over for anyone up North :)