Guernica has many attractions worth visiting and makes for an especially nice day trip from San Sebastián. There’s the Gernika Peace Museum, the Euskal Herria Museum dedicated to the history and identity of the Basque Country, and the Biscayan Assembly House and its Stained Glass Room where windows illustrate the story of the Guernica Tree where Basques were granted autonomy in the Middle Ages.
From San Sebastián, most tours follow coastal roads to Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum and special sites such as San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a rocky islet known as Dragonstone by Game Of Thrones fans. Continue to the colorful fisherman’s houses of Bermeo, and the world-class surfing of Mundaka.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for all travelers, especially history lovers.
- Ask guides for assistance understanding exhibits at the Peace Museum, as the text is in Spanish and Basque.
- Picasso’s 1937 masterpiece Guernica is currently on display at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
- If you visit San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, be prepared to climb the 237 steps to the summit, for incredible views.
How to Get There
Guernica is located with the Urdaibai Nature Reserve, about a 30-minute drive from Bilbao and about a 60-minute drive from San Sebastián. From Bilbao, trains run every half-hour from the Atxuri station; buses also run frequently.
When to Get There
Museum of Peace is closed Mondays, however if you are here on a Monday, enjoy the expansive farmer’s market, one of the best markets in the entire Basque Country.
The Real Game of Thrones Dragonstone Fans of the epic series flock to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe to explore “Dragonstone,” the ancestral homexa0 of Queen Daenerys Targaryen. About a 45-minute drive from Guernica, this magical islet in the Bay of Biscay is connected to the mainland by a stone staircase that snakes its way over the water and up to a gentle peak. Come in the morning or the late afternoon, when the soft sunlight casts a mystical glow. A popular picnic spot is at the base of the stairs near the water.
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- Santimamiñe Cave (Cueva de Santimamiñe)
- Oma Forest (Bosque de Oma)
- Euskadi Biodiversity Centre
- Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera)
- San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
- Butrón Castle (Castillo de Butrón)
- Bizkaia Museum of Archaeology
- Basque Museum (Museo Vasco de Bilbao)
- Artxanda Funicular (Funicular de Artxanda)
- Casco Viejo
- Arriaga Theatre (Teatro Arriaga)
- Bilbao's Santiago Cathedral
- Zubizuri Bridge
- San Vicente Martír de Abando Church (Parroquia de San Vicente Martir de Abando)