What to see at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao: timetables, prices and tips

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is an impressive modern structure in the central area of ​​the city, born to exhibit contemporary European and American works of art with a particular focus on Spanish and Basque artists. Reaching the building is not difficult, let alone visiting it. Here's everything you need to know about this beautiful museum, with tips, prices and information on how to get there!


  1. What to see and how to visit Guggenheim Museum
  2. Untitled, Mark Rothko
  3. The Renowned Order Of The Night, Anselm Kiefer
  4. Nine Speeches on Commodus, Cy Twombly
  5. The Matter of Time, Richard Serra
  6. Barge, Robert Rauschenberg
  7. Maman, Louise Bourgeois
  8. How Deep is the Air, Eduardo Chillida
  9. Large Blue Anthropometry [Ant 105], Yves Klein
  10. Puppy, Jeff Koons
  11. Seascape, Gerhard Richter
  12. Hours and prices
  13. Online tickets and guided tours
  14. User questions and comments

What to see and how to visit Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum it extends over three floors starting from a huge atrium of 650 square meters which is considered the heart of the building because the 19 galleries that form the exhibition itinerary, which are connected by curved walkways suspended in the air.
You can move comfortably between the various floors using the panoramic glass elevators or the particular tower stairs with the possibility of stopping in some internal refreshment points to take a break. At the entrance each visitor receives an audio guide and along the way there are gods models to touch ideal for the blind.
In addition to the permanent collection, there are several temporary exhibitions that change frequently, so better check them out from time to time on the official website.

In the meantime, however, here's a taste of some works always present in the Guggenheim Museum!

1 - Untitled, Mark Rothko

This painting with a curious name that indicates the fact that the work does not actually have a real title, simply presents colored blocks with bright shades typical of its artist, the American Rothko, famous for his abstract pieces designed to arouse in the visitor basic emotions (as defined by himself) such as tragedy, ecstasy, ruin, happiness etc.

  • Author: Mark Rothko
  • Year: 1953

2 - The Renowned Order Of The Night, Anselm Kiefer

In this work by Kiefer we find both elements that distinguish the author: the night sky he was obsessed with and the recurring theme of war, as the artist was born in Germany during the Second World War. The painting therefore depicts the body of the same painter lying on a bed of earth as if it were a corpse but under a beautiful and vast starry sky.

  • Author: Anselm Kiefer
  • Year: 1997

3 - Nine Speeches on Commodus, Cy Twombly

This time it is not a single work but a series of nine paintings, all based on the brutality, madness and murder of the Roman emperor Aurelius Commodus. The style is characteristic of the American artist who is oriented on graffiti and uses a way of painting that manages to vary the atmosphere of the work from serene and calm to violent and terrifying.

  • Author: Cy Twombly
  • Year: 1963

4 - The Matter of Time, Richard Serra

The work in question is a set of eight weatherproof steel sculptures that show the evolution of the sculptural forms adopted by the artist over the years from simple ellipses to complex spirals ending in perfect spheres. In fact, construction began in 1994 and ended 11 years later in 2005.

  • Author: Richard Serra
  • Year: 2005

5 - Barge, Robert Rauschenberg

The artist of this piece was strongly influenced by the then well-known Andy Warhol, so we are faced with a work made with the technique of oil and screen printing on canvas. The images used are photographs of the artist himself and popular forms of information such as newspapers, maps, magazine advertisements and comic books.

  • Author: Robert Rauschenberg
  • Year: 1963

6 - Maman, Louise Bourgeois

This work, unlike the others, is located just outside the museum and the reason is obviously its size. It is in fact a giant spider 9 meters high, made of bronze, marble and stainless steel. The artist's most ambitious project by far, made as a tribute to his mother, a woman weaver.

  • Author: Louise Bourgeois
  • Year: 1999

7 - How Deep is the Air, Eduardo Chillida

An unusual sculpture that at first glance might seem dull but is actually one of a kind. It was made by one of the most important Basque artists of the twentieth century and is an alabaster cube with side holes that wants to explore form and space, like most of Chillida's works.

  • Author: Eduardo Chillida
  • Year: 1996

8 - Large Blue Anthropometry [Ant 105], Yves Klein

A postmodern painting that arrived earlier than the style. It is a piece made on paper and mounted on canvas with pigments and synthetic resin, a typical technique of his artist who was known both for the use of rollers instead of brushes and for the use of naked models to create the marks on the paper.

  • Author: Yves Klein
  • Year: 1960

9 - Puppy, Jeff Koons

This work is also located just outside the museum, but this time it is a huge West Highland Terrier made of stainless steel and carpeted with bed plants and flowers. Sophisticated computer modeling techniques were used for its realization in order to create a work that referred to a garden by combining puppies and flowers, two elements that have always been much loved.

  • Author: Jeff Koons
  • Year: 1992

10 - Seascape, Gerhard Richter

An oil on canvas painting which is a wonderful representation of the sea based on a photograph taken by the artist himself in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. The use of one's own shots as a basis for the realization of the paintings is the technique that has always characterized the artist Richter, and this work is its greatest expression.

  • Author: Gerhard Richter
  • Year: 1998

Hours and prices

The Guggenheim Museum it is open 6 days a week with a single weekly closing day and opening also during most of the holidays. This attraction is almost never overcrowded however, the time slot not recommended for the visit, as the most popular, is from 11:00 to 13:00. The cost of the ticket is € 13,00 ma There are reductions for groups, the disabled, the elderly and students, also the entrance is free for children. Here are all the details:

  • Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00 - Closed Mondays except July and August and public holidays
  • Best time to avoid queues: in the early part of the morning between 10:00 and 11:00, in the afternoon between 15:00 and 16:00 and in the evening closing between 19:00 and 20:00
  • € 13,00
  • Reductions: € 7,50 for the disabled, retired elderly and students under 26 - € 12,00 for groups with less than 20 people
  • Free: children

Online tickets and guided tours

Useful tips for visiting the attraction

  1. Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the entrance by 11:00
  2. Priority ticket: buy your ticket online and print it or download it on your phone to get in earlier and avoid the queues
  3. Watch out for restrictions: in this museum it is not allowed to enter animals, bring food, take photos and enter with backpacks, umbrellas, strollers and other bulky items which can however be left in the cloakroom
  4. Minimum time: we advise you to consider a minimum of 2 hours for the visit. The ideal would be to be able to dedicate 2 and a half hours
  5. Accessibilità: the structure is suitable for anyone thanks to its innovative methods designed for any type of physical disability. Entry is priority for the disabled who can request a wheelchair in the cloakroom.

Where is it and how to get there

  • On foot: the museum is only 10 minutes from the center of Bilbao and can be reached by walking on Via Iparraguirre Kalea or by crossing the Republica de Abando Park - Get directions
  • By bus: lines 1, 10, 13, 18 and A7 to the Museo 1 / Hainaut stop
  • By tram: line 7 to the Guggenheim stop

Historical notes and curiosities: what to know in brief

The creation of the Guggenheim Museum was part of the great urban renovation plan of Bilbao designed to revive this Spanish city at the time severely depressed in terms of tourism. Thus, thanks to the project of the American architect Frank Owen Gehry, the resulting structure is now considered a real masterpiece of 900s architecture with its 24.000 square meters, 10.600 of which are entirely used for the exhibition!

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