Guggenheim Musseum Tickets in Bilbao: how to buy, prices and discounts

Since its inauguration, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao has become the greatest representation of the architectural modernization of this city to the world. I invite you to familiarize yourself with the details associated with tickets to this famous site so that you know exactly how to invest your money.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

12 min read

Guggenheim Musseum Tickets in Bilbao: how to buy, prices and discounts

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao | Piotr Musioł

The Guggenheim Museum building has become a synonym of what Bilbao represents to the world, because along with this construction great urban plans were developed so that this city would stop being an industrial epicenter to be the great tourist destination of today. In turn, a visit to this museum is one of the best things to see or do in Bilbao no matter what time of the year you are traveling to the largest city in the Basque Country.

So I advise you to keep reading this publication to understand where you can buy tickets to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, how much money they will cost, what times you can visit this beautiful museum and what are the works that you can not miss on a tour. All this with the amount of details you need to feel sure that visiting this museum will be one of the best decisions to be in Bilbao.

The most complete option

Bilbao Guggenheim Museum Guided Tour

Tickets to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Ideal to enjoy a unique place, full of magic and without having to waste time in long lines to buy tickets at the ticket office.

If you are looking to know the museum with the accompaniment of a specialist to help you understand the origin and importance of these works along with the history behind the lives of their artists, buy tickets to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao online.

Recommended if you are looking to learn about the important influence the construction of this museum had on the modernization of Bilbao and to make it a major tourist destination in Spain.

How much do tickets to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao cost?

Guggenheim Museum| ©Pom'
Guggenheim Museum| ©Pom'

Tickets to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao are not expensive if you consider that you are guaranteed access to the interior and exterior of this famous museum. Two areas that usually have modernist works of contemporary artists such as Ives Klein or Jeff Koon.

There are two rates for this, the first is the simple and conventional entry offered by the museum, which costs about 13 euros approximately per adult and about 6.5 euros for seniors over 65 years or students between 18 and 26 years of age. Children under 17 years of age enter the museum free of charge.

However, there are other more interesting and convincing tickets that become the best investment available for those who want to understand the history behind this museum, its importance for the city and also the details of each and every one of the works exhibited. This costs about 70 euros per person approximately and consists of a 2-hour guided tour with a specialist in the cultural background of the museum as well as in the curatorship of its art.

You may find this price a little high compared to the basic ticket, but you must understand that this difference arises from the fact that you are paying for an exclusive service. That is, with a guide who is at your disposal to answer all your questions and to give you information that you did not even know existed about one of the most famous museums of the last decades. In addition, this kind of prices are not too far from what it costs to pay a guide to accompany you to the best villages outside Bilbao.

How to get tickets for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao at the box office?

People outside the museum| ©tella gherardi
People outside the museum| ©tella gherardi

You have different ways to buy tickets for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and one of them is the ticket office of the place. It is open every Tuesday to Sunday under the same opening hours of the museum and actually for many it is the best alternative to buy tickets at the last minute.

And is that the official website of the museum does not sell tickets for the same day and also have a limited number. So it is common that they are sold out on the web and therefore tell you that you have to go to the box office to confirm if the capacity allows you to get tickets, knowing that the online tickets are already sold out.

However, the problem with buying tickets at the museum's box office usually occurs during peak tourist seasons. That is, Christmas, Easter and summer. Since most people tend to buy their tickets on the museum's website or through external and private guides like the service I told you about. That means that there is only a fraction left for the physical ticket office and that drastically reduces your chances of getting same day tickets if you arrive too late to the place.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to book your ticket online on some of the websites that also offer you other of the best guided tours in Bilbao or also on the same website of the museum. The latter in case you feel comfortable visiting the museum without the accompaniment of a specialist in their works and their history.

Enjoy the magic in the Guggenheim Museum

Are tickets to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao included in any of the city's tourist passes?

Bilbao Bizkaia| ©viajapedia
Bilbao Bizkaia| ©viajapedia

Tickets to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao are not included in any of the city's tourist passes due to the fact that Bilbao is not big enough to have a pass that includes 20 museums, 10 galleries and 15 attractions in the same package as it happens in other metropolises such as London, Paris and New York.

So in order to buy tickets to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao it is always necessary to purchase the ticket individually knowing that you are only getting access to this particular site. However, there is also the fact that there is a city tourist pass called Bizkaia Card and it is a plastic and physical card that is sold under 24, 48 and 72 hours modalities.

The benefits of that pass are more focused on transportation, since when you use it you get free access to any transportation system such as the subway, buses or streetcars in the city. It also offers you some discounts for consumption in some very specific establishments of Basque gastronomy or other stores of local entrepreneurs.

At the same time, the fact that these tickets are not included in a tourist pass does not mean that the visit to this museum is not one of the most interesting things to do in the city. In fact, spending a couple of hours at the Guggenheim Museum is one of the best things to do in Bilbao in a 3-day trip.

Are there special tickets for children?

Children inside the Museum| ©Carlos-Martínez
Children inside the Museum| ©Carlos-Martínez

Yes, there are special tickets for children, but the unusual thing about them is that they are not related to additional benefits or additional services, but rather to economic savings. The fact is that children under 18 years of age enter the museum for free, every day of the year, regardless of the time selected for the purchase of other tickets for the adults accompanying them.

This makes the visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao a thrifty experience for the whole family group and the most curious thing is that this site is one of the most elegant and important of the whole city. So getting to this site is one of the best things to see or do in Bilbao with kids. At least if they are old enough to enjoy a tour of one of the most important art collections in Spain as well as a real jewel of modern architecture.

In turn, the price paid by young people under 18 years to participate in guided tours with a specialist in this museum are usually drastically lower than the rates for adults. The price is almost always around 18 euros per child or adolescent, while an adult pays 70 euros on average.

How to get to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao?

Entrance to the Bilbao subway| ©cesar gutierrez
Entrance to the Bilbao subway| ©cesar gutierrez

The Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao is one of the most accessible places in the whole city by public transportation and has at least 5 simultaneous alternatives to reach it from the metropolitan area of Bilbao, as well as from its surroundings. If you want to get there by bus you can take lines 01, 10, 18 and 17 to get off at the Museo 1 stop. Lines 11 and 71 also leave you very close if you get off at the La Salve or Campo Volantín stops.

The streetcar is probably the most entertaining way to get to this site, knowing that it is a very touristic and peculiar means of transport. If you choose this option you would have to get off at the Guggenheim stop. In turn, with the modern metro system of Bilbao you have the option to get off at Moyua station and to get closer to the museum you will have to take the Ercilla-Guggenheim exit and you will be a couple of steps away from the museum.

If you arrive by car you should know that the museum does not offer parking to its visitors, but you could also leave your car in nearby areas such as the parking of the Plaza Pío Baroja or the parking of the Plaza Euskadi. People with disabilities have the possibility of parking in the spaces provided by the municipality in the vicinity of the museum.

At the same time, if you are just arriving in the city, but you are dying to visit the museum immediately after your landing, you also have the option of booking a private transfer from the airport to the center of Bilbao. This will drop you off directly at the entrance of the museum if you wish and is recommended if you are visiting the city without luggage.

Main works not to be missed at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Touring the Museum| ©Enrica
Touring the Museum| ©Enrica

The immensity and beauty of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao's facilities have directly influenced the fact that the sculptures permanently exhibited in its exteriors are some of the most important works to see when visiting this site.

The arachnid sculpture Mama by Louis Bourgois, the 13-meter-high Puppy sculpture by American artist Jeff Koons, the permanent installation by Jenny Holzer, The Big Tree and the Eye by Anish Kapoor and the tulips also by Jeff Koons are some of the most important elements of the museum's permanent collection.

The museum's interiors feature works by Antonio Saura, Jorge Oteiza, Mark Rothko and other great exponents of 20th century art abstractionism. The work The Matter of Time by sculptor Richard Serra is also another of the great artistic treasures that distinguish this museum from other contemporary art collections.

It is also appropriate to highlight the benefits associated with a guided tour, since a specialist can help you understand more easily the importance behind the permanent collection of this museum. The same goes for other sites in the Basque Coast region, as a planned and guided visit from Bilbao to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is usually a more recommendable plan for tourists, at least if compared to having to reach the site by your own means.

Enjoy a planned and guided tour from Bilbao to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

How much time do you need to visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao?

Inside the Museum| ©Charo Rui
Inside the Museum| ©Charo Rui

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has 9,000 square meters of exhibition space between the interior and exterior of the iconic building that houses the permanent and temporary exhibitions of this institution dedicated to contemporary art.

According to the museum's curatorship, it is estimated that in about 90 minutes you can thoroughly appreciate most of the permanent collection. That while with 1 additional hour you can appreciate in full any of the temporary exhibitions with works from other parts of the world that are commonly held in this museum throughout the year.

That means that with about 3 hours you should have already toured the entire museum in its entirety and in that context it is very appropriate to know that the guided tours that I have mentioned have the perfect duration. For with two hours of continuous information you can leave the facilities with a deeper and more precise understanding of the works that characterize this museum without having to endure long walks along a kilometer-long system of corridors and exhibits, as happens in other museums around the world.

This also means that this can be an activity that can fit perfectly into any time of your day during a three-hour time gap. Allowing you to enjoy other plans such as one of the best gastronomic tours in Bilbao without any inconvenience during the same day of your visit.

Opening hours of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum at night| ©Giuseppe
Guggenheim Museum at night| ©Giuseppe

As one of the most important tourist attractions, the Guggenheim Museum remains open for as long as possible. If you want to visit it you can do so from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. However, there are also exceptions throughout the year, because depending on the influx of tourists it is possible that some Mondays are open under the same schedule that they keep for the rest of the week.

Also you have to know that the museum is closed on December 25 and January 1. Also, on December 31 and December 24 the museum closes its doors a little earlier for the holidays at around 5:00 pm.

As for the guided tours it is useful to keep in mind that you can select different times throughout the day and on average they usually start at 10 am, 10:30 am, 1 pm and also at 4:30 pm. Anyway this depends on your interests, as this is a private tour that is reserved exclusively for your group of companions.

The fact that the museum stops receiving visitors at seven in the evening allows you to have the rest of the evening available to enjoy the best things to do at night in Bilbao. This in the hypothetical case that you have decided to visit the museum just before it closes.

Tips for visiting the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Museum Day| ©fermin el fiero
Museum Day| ©fermin el fiero

There are several tips I can give you to make the most of your experience visiting the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The first recommendation that is relevant is that you should choose a day when you know that you will have two or three hours available for a leisurely tour of the facilities of this famous institution dedicated to modern and contemporary art.

The second recommendation I can give you is that you should opt for guided tours with specialists in the history and art collections of the museum.

This is because it is an experience that offers you a clearer and more comprehensive understanding of the importance of each and every one of the works of art that you get to know in the tour. You will also be able to understand more easily the importance of such an impressive architectural work for a city like Bilbao that in its past was an industrial epicenter for the economic axis of the Basque Country.

If you visit the museum in summer or winter I recommend that you choose days in which there are weather projections of rain or too hot. And is that touring a building with internal air conditioning as this is one of the best things to do in summer in Bilbao, knowing that any urban tour through its streets would involve having to endure some of the heat waves that characterize the Spanish summer for a couple of years.

Where to eat near the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao?

Museum Flats| ©Je suis Eli
Museum Flats| ©Je suis Eli

In the vicinity of this museum there are hundreds of options to enjoy a good and authentic Basque meal or also enjoy a more conventional meal. Crossing the street Alameda de Mazarredo you will find at least a dozen restaurants ranging from Moroccan food proposals to traditional taverns of Spanish gastronomy.

If you walk a couple of streets towards Plaza Moyúa you will get close to some of the best pintxos in Bilbao, as it is precisely in this area that you will find several of the most authentic and beloved restaurants by the locals.

The Odoloste restaurant , La Casita de Sabino and the modest seafood restaurant Mazarredo are just some of the best and closest to the museum that could satisfy your appetite if you are not willing to walk a little further to find another restaurant that also belongs to the gastronomic treasures of the city.