Basque Country is more than just home to idyllic fishing villages, mossy green mountainsides and some of the world's best cuisine: it also boasts a rich culture, unique language, and a proud history worth getting to know. Immerse yourself in this “country” within a country by making a trip to the Museo Vasco, located in the region's largest city, Bilbao.
The Museo Vasco, or Basque Museum, occupies what used to be a 16th century convent. Within its walls, you can peruse its comprehensive collection, which covers Basque ethnography and history, and delves into their history as shepherds and fishermen. Visit its galleries, browse photos, ceramics, textiles, and even the gigantic figurines that are typically used in parades (common in other parts of Spain as well). Get to know the lay of the land better too – literally – while studying a three-dimensional map that covers both the city and its surrounding region.
While the majority of the museum's exhibits do not offer English translations, the displays -- for the most part – sufficiently communicate the story, thus giving visitors insight into the region's past.
The Museo Vasco is located on the east side of the Nervión River, near the Old Quarter. It is closed Mondays, and open every other day of the week from 11am to 5pm, apart from Sundays, when it closes at 2pm. Admission is three euros to enter, but free on Thursdays, and free every day to children, seniors and those who are disabled.