Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Tour: A Guided Crash Course with Skip-the-Line Tickets

Survey Bilbao's iconic museum with an Art Historian
From US$449 privately
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Tour Details
2 hours
Product Type
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Photos & Highlights
  • Explore the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in the company of an art historian or historian
  • Includes skip the line tickets to Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
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Tour Description
On this 2 hour tour we'll explore the Guggenheim museum inside and out, from Frank Gehry's emblematic architecture of undulating titanium forms to the intricacies of the museum's modern and contemporary art collections. We'll see works by celebrated artists such as Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, and Louise Bourgeois as well as lesser known ones including local Basque artists. One of the highlights you can expect from the permanent collection is Richard Serra's large-scale installation of eight weathering steel sculptures exhibited in their own specially-designed gallery. Accompanied by an art historian, we'll work our way through the museum's 20 galleries to gain a deeper understanding of not only the museum and its collection but its impact on the urban and cultural development of the industrial port city that ultimately came to be known as "the Bilbao Effect". 

Sites Visited 

  • Guggenheim Museum (interior and exterior) 


  • Skip-the-line tickets to the Guggenheim
  • 2 hours with an art historian
  • Permanent collection and Temporary Exhibits

Itinerary Details

Beginning our tour outside the museum, our guide may start with an introduction to Bilbao itself since it's difficult to divorce the world famous museum from the city where it dwells. From our unique vantage point along the Nervión river, we'll consider the landscape and the urban sprawl that lies before us. We may also travel back in time to consider the origins of the city which dates back to the 14th century. Later, we'll consider the exterior in detail covering the key features of Frank Gehry's innovative design which was completed in 1997 and is widely considered one of the greatest architectural works of our time. We will take a closer look at Gehry's influences and creative process as well as the brief provided by Basque authorities, which worked together with the Guggenheim Foundation on the project commission.

Once we enter the museum, depending on our guide and particular interests, we may choose to explore in any number of directions. We will likely start with the permanent collection which contains a myriad of interesting works from artists near and far. Your guide will explain the intricacies of a carefully curated selection of pieces which have been exhaustively studied to identify their technical and material characteristics, establish their state of conservation and design the appropriate strategy for guaranteeing its preservation.

If time allows, and depending on the time of year, we'll also consider some of the temporary exhibits, which often feature well renowned international modern and contemporary artists. By the end of our time together we should have gained a much deeper understanding of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao collections and the city itself.


What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.

What are skip-the-line tickets?
For this tour, your tickets are pre-purchased which allows you to skip the ticket office line upon arrival at the venue. You may still have to wait in a security line or in a line to have your pre-purchased ticket scanned.   

Does this tour include any current temporary exhibitions?
The tour visits the Guggenheim's permanent collection. Your entry tickets are valid for temporary exhibitions as well, so if time allows and depending on the time of year, your guide may include them on the tour. If you would like to include a particular temporary exhibition, please do let us know by adding a client note or emailing

Is this suitable for travelers with mobility challenges? 
We cover quite a bit of ground on this tour, although in some cases we may be able to adjust the itinerary based on the needs of your party. Please get in touch with us so we can advise if this itinerary will be appropriate for you or propose modifications where necessary.
Where You'll Start
(4.82) 36 Reviews

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Great tour of the museum and permanent collection. Maria was very knowledgeable of the art and history and fun to be with.
Maria was amazing! Made it fun and insightful for our group :)
We had a wonderful experience with David as our guide. The Guggenheim is an amazing treasure and David brought it to life for us. Thank you David for sharing your experience, knowledge and excitement of this incredible museum!