Museo de Bellas Artes

Top choice in Bilbao

Streetlamp forest beside the Fine Arts Museum, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country, Spain

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The Museo de Bellas Artes houses a compelling collection that includes everything from Gothic sculptures to 20th-century pop art. There are three main subcollections: classical art, with works by Murillo, Zurbarán, El Greco, Goya and Van Dyck; contemporary art, featuring works by Gauguin, Francis Bacon and Anthony Caro; and Basque art, with works of the great sculptors Jorge Oteiza and Eduardo Chillida, and strong paintings by the likes of Ignacio Zuloaga and Juan de Echevarría.

As good as the permanent collection is, it's the temporary exhibitions (see the website for upcoming dates) that really draw the crowds. Past exhibitions have showcased everything from Japanese art to hyperrealist sculpture, as well as one-of-a-kind exhibitions such as Richard Reich's meditative film, Different Trains.