Located in Northern Spain, Bilbao is a thriving port city and the largest city in Basque Country. It is Basque’s principal industrial center, with a modern skyscraper-filled downtown. It boasts easy city mobility and high-tech facilities to accommodate congresses, meetings, and incentives of all sizes. Since the opening of the Guggenheim Museum in 1997, Bilbao has been enjoying a tourism and MICE revival, with some amazing updates and new additions to the venue and hotel scene. From riverside promenades to the cobblestone streets of Old Town, Bilbao has come into its own as a cultural center and prosperous business center, with intimate spaces in the outer banks and large modern spaces in and around the city center.
Near the Bilbao International Airport, the Bilbao Exhibition Center consists of the convention center, with 5 levels of rooms, an open-plan and multipurpose space called “Luxua”, and 5 pavilions including the Bizkaia Arena.
The Bilbao Turismo & Convention Bureau offers a plethora of information to assist in finding the perfect venue that fits the requirements for your event. A few notable and unique options in the city include:
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao: The museum is a unique venue to host your event with an atrium, auditorium, and several smaller spaces. The Frank Gehry designed structure perfectly integrates within Bilbao’s urban pattern and its surrounding area. The sculptural grounds include, among other fantastic sculptures, the Jeff Koons designed “Puppy, a behemoth puppy dog covered in colorful plants and flowers, at the doors of the Museum. Makes you smile!
ITSamuseum, formerly the Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum, presents the maritime history and culture that has shaped Bilbao and the surrounding areas. The museum’s exhibition space is based on the left bank of the Bilbao river estuary, and features both indoor and outdoor exhibition areas, against a backdrop of maritime spirit and culture.
Yimby Bilbao offers innovative space for meetings, conventions, conferences, gastronomic experiences, workshops, product presentations, and launch campaigns, right in the center of Bilbao.
Teatro Campos Eliseos, a performing arts theater renovated in 2010, is in the center of Bilbao, close to the Guggenheim Museum and Old Town. They offer state-of-the-art technology and spaces for MICE events of all types and sizes.
The Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall, a multi-purpose complex located close to the airport, has a 2,164-seat auditorium, a 61-seat theatre, a gallery, an exhibition hall, and 12 meeting rooms.
San Sebastian is a cosmopolitan seaside town in Spain’s Basque Country, one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations. Some describe it as classic and elegant. It boasts one of the highest number of Michelin star restaurants, per square mile, in the world. It is billed as a commercial, service, and conference tourist destination. Voted year after year as the Basque Country’s best congress destination!
San Sebastian Turismo, the official site for San Sebastian, offers in-depth information on all things San Sebastian. They can assist with your search for your perfect MICE venue.
Notable unique venues include:
The Kursaal Center, a conference center and auditorium space, hosting and promoting events of all sizes. Easy access to most hotels, restaurants, and shops.
San Telmo Museum: In the heart of the historical center of San Sebastian, the San Telmo Museum can accommodate a banquet of approximately 350 people, in a historic building dating back to the 16th century.
Miramar Palace: Located in front of La Concha Bay, the Miramar Palace, built-in 1893, offers banquet space, overlooking the bay and Santa Clara Island and can accommodate up to 400 guests
Gu San Sebastian: Located in the Royal Yacht Club, this is a beautiful, exclusive space overlooking La Concha Bay.
Above, are just a few of the many options available for private MICE events in Bilbao and San Sebastian. These are two cities that offer arts and culture, cutting-edge technology, easy mobility, beautiful scenery, and a moderate climate. There really is something for everyone.
For further information, please contact the Tourist Office of Spain at www.spain.info.
Photos courtesy of Turespaña.