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Bilbao today is a prime example of urban restructuring, having transitioned from an industrial city to a city of services and culture.

Discover the urban evolution of Bilbao visually and intuitively by taking a historical look at the most relevant projects undertaken in the process.


In project

Bilbao's transformation has no start and end date, but rather is an ongoing process.

Learn about the projects that will become the new landmarks to consolidate Bilbao as a leading city in urban planning and architecture.


New constructions

For some time now, Bilbao has been unveiling significant urban and architectural novelties.

This section will provide full detail of recent endeavours which are already a part of the New Bilbao.


Heritage buildings

Bilbao has taken great pains to preserve its heritage as much as possible, making renovating and preserving Bilbao's historic buildings a key aspect to combining the new architecture with that of inspired artists of yesteryear.



Modern architecture has raised twenty-first century Bilbao off the ground. As great national and international architects -many of them recipients of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize- left their mark in the form of modern works of art.The city's commitment to world-class architecture is self-evident and has been successful.




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Metro Bilbao

Metro Bilbao's lines

Although the original idea of a metropolitan transport network dates back to 1920, the present underground railway system for Greater Bilbao finally took shape in 1985, with work commencing in 1988. By November 1995, Metro Bilbao had begun to truly roll. The Metro was planned from start to end to be a world-class, innovative and unique service. By combining symbolism and functionality, British architect Sir Norman FOSTER brought into existence an exquisite, highly original, simple and efficient project. It is indeed the most appreciated project realized by the residents of Bilbao.

The final route of the Metro is shaped like the letter ‘Y’. The initial common track runs for 10.5 km from Basauri to San Inazio, from East to West. From here, the line divides into two: line 1 runs along the same track as the old Euskotren, (Basque Railways) line, which served the towns on the Left bank of the river to the end of the line in Plentzia. Line 2, however, runs through the main towns on the Right bank, as far as the sea port of Santurtzi, recently extended from Portugalete.

Also under construction is Line 3, which will join Districts 2 and 3 with the centre of the city, as well as joining Lines 1 and 2 currently in service. Casco Viejo (Old Bilbao) is intended to be the transfer and intermodal station with a specially designed building for the purpose by Sir Norman FOSTER.

metro bilbao pictures

Of all the underground stations in the network, San Inazio stands out as a small underground city where the two lines meet, and where one appreciates a feeling of freedom due to its spaciousness and lighting. Certainly, the pride felt in this vital means of transport is even greater when we consider that the train carriages were built using cutting-edge technology by the Basque company CAF. All the carriages have motors with extremely efficient technology, especially as regards power, acceleration and braking. Each traction unit is autonomous, capable of reaching a maximum speed at 80 km/hr. Each train unit is composed of four carriages coupled together without doors or separation of any kind, creating a single unified space with greater mobility for passengers. The train’s maximum capacity, while maintaining comfort, is four persons per square metre, which translates into 523 per carriage, 379 standing and 144 seated.

This is the first construction of the new Bilbao, hidden underground but coming to the surface to join the rest of the city in the form of unique curved glassy structures. These Metro entrances are known as fosteritos by the people of Bilbao in honour of architect Sir Norman FOSTER. In 1998, the Metro was awarded the Brunel Prize, the most prestigious international award for railway architecture for Sarriko station. Moreover, this magnificent construction, which has revolutionised transport in Bilbao, has also been awarded the Prize for the cleanest Metro service in Europe.

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