Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Region: Basque Country


Geographic Coordinates: 42.850000, -2.683300
Temperature Range: -10.0°C to 40.0°C (14°F to 104°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 253672
Language: Spanish

Vitoria-Gasteiz is a lovely city situated in the Basque Country of Spain. It serves as the capital of the province of Alava and is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, Stunning architecture, And natural beauty. The city boasts a population of about 250, 000 individuals, Making it one of the biggest cities in the Basque Country. The medieval old town is one of Vitoria-Gasteiz’s most notable features. The old town dates back to the 12th century and boasts narrow streets, Charming squares, And historic buildings.

Visitors can explore landmarks such as Santa Maria Cathedral built-in Gothic style during the 14th century; Plaza de la Virgen Blanca where locals gather to socialize; or Casa del Cordón that was once home to royalty. Vitoria-Gasteiz’s green spaces are another must-visit attraction. The city has several parks perfect for picnics or leisurely walks such as Parque de la Florida or Parque de la Ciudadela. Additionally, Visitors can hike up Mount Gorbea which offers breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside.

For those interested in history or art, Vitoria-Gasteiz has several museums worth visiting including Museo Fournier de Naipes – a museum dedicated to playing cards – and Artium Museum which showcases contemporary art from both Spanish and international artists. Foodies will also love Vitoria-Gasteiz’s culinary scene with pintxos (small tapas-like dishes) being a popular local delicacy with numerous bars offering an array of options like tortilla de bacalao (salt cod omelet), Gildas (pickled peppers with anchovies), Txalupa (spicy tuna salad), Among others.

yet importantly, Vitoria-Gasteiz hosts major events throughout the year such as Azkena Rock Festival that attracts music lovers from all over the world and Medieval Market, Which brings to life the city’s medieval past. Vitoria-Gasteiz is a charming city that has something for everyone. Its historic old town, Beautiful parks, Museums, Culinary delights and cultural events make it a must-visit destination in Spain.



Important Landmarks

  1. Plaza de la Virgen Blanca is the main square of Vitoria-Gasteiz, known for its iconic statue of the White Virgin.
  2. The Cathedral of Santa Maria is a Gothic-style cathedral dating back to the 13th century and is a must-visit for history buffs.
  3. The Basque Museum Centre showcases the unique culture, history, and traditions of the Basque people.
  4. The Artium Museum is a contemporary art museum featuring works by local and international artists.
  5. Montehermoso Cultural Center was once a palace but has now been transformed into a cultural center that hosts exhibitions, concerts, workshops, and other events throughout the year.
  6. Salburua Wetlands Natural Park is located on the outskirts of Vitoria-Gasteiz and offers hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and stunning views.
  7. Casa del Cordón is an impressive Renaissance building with a rich history dating back to the 15th century.
  8. Florida Park is a popular park in downtown Vitoria-Gasteiz that offers plenty of green space for picnics or relaxation.
  9. Armentia Forest Park provides an ideal place for hiking or biking amidst nature while enjoying amazing views over Vitoria-Gasteiz.
  10. San Miguel Arcangel Church is a historic church dating back to 1181 with Romanesque architecture featuring a cloister with Gothic arches.

Noteable History

  1. The Battle of Vitoria occurred in 1813 during the Peninsular War between the British, Spanish, and Portuguese forces led by Duke of Wellington and French forces led by Joseph Bonaparte. The allied forces emerged victorious, resulting in the end of French occupation in Spain.
  2. Fernando de Rojas was a renowned Spanish author and playwright from Vitoria-Gasteiz during the 15th century. His masterpiece La Celestina is considered one of the most significant works in Spanish literature.
  3. Miguel de Unamuno was a philosopher, poet, and writer who spent some years living in Vitoria-Gasteiz after being exiled from Franco’s Spain between 1936-1937.
  4. Santa Maria Cathedral is an impressive Gothic-style cathedral located in Vitoria-Gasteiz that dates back to the 13th century and remains one of its most notable landmarks.
  5. Basque Country Parliament building situated in Vitoria-Gasteiz serves as a legislative body for Basque Country Autonomous Community.
  6. The Sanctuary of Arantzazu near Vitoria-Gasteiz boasts frescoes painted by Francisco Goya during his later years that are worth seeing.
  7. Jose Sanjurjo played an instrumental role as a military officer involved with politics leading up to World War II before tragically dying on July 20th, 1936 while attempting to land at Estoril Airport outside Lisbon Portugal after being exiled from Spain following Franco’s coup d’etat on July 17th, 1936.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Artium Museum: This modern art museum showcases contemporary Basque and international art.
  2. Cathedral of Santa Maria: This Gothic-style cathedral dates back to the 13th century and is known for its impressive architecture and beautiful stained glass windows.
  3. Casa del Cordón: A historic building that once served as a palace, this site now houses cultural exhibitions and events.
  4. Montehermoso Cultural Center: This cultural center hosts a variety of exhibitions, concerts, and performances throughout the year.
  5. Plaza de la Virgen Blanca: The main square in Vitoria-Gasteiz, this lively plaza is surrounded by bars, restaurants, and shops.
  6. Basque Museum Centre Azkuna Zentroa: Located in a former wine warehouse, this museum focuses on Basque culture and history through interactive exhibits.
  7. Salburua Wetlands Nature Reserve: A natural park located just outside of Vitoria-Gasteiz that offers hiking trails, bird watching opportunities, and scenic views.
  8. Palace of Ajuria Enea: The official residence of the Lehendakari (president) of the Basque Country is open to visitors for guided tours on certain days.
  9. San Miguel Arcangel Church: Built in the 14th century in Gothic style with some Baroque elements added later on; it has an impressive facade with two towers flanking its entrance door.
  10. Gorbea Natural Park – located just outside Vitoria-Gasteiz; it offers breathtaking views from its summit (1’482 m) over much of Alava province as well as parts Navarra province.


Sports Teams

  1. Saski Baskonia is a successful basketball team that was established in 1952 and has won numerous domestic and international titles, such as the Spanish Cup, EuroLeague, and Intercontinental Cup.
  2. Deportivo Alavés is a football club that was founded in 1921 and has participated in La Liga many times throughout its history. Although they reached the UEFA Cup final in 2001, they lost to Liverpool.
  3. CD Ariznabarra is a football club that was founded in 1960 and currently plays at the Tercera División (fourth tier of Spanish football).
  4. Aurrerá de Vitoria is a football club that was established in 1923 and currently competes at the Regional Preferente (fifth tier of Spanish football).
  5. Club Deportivo Lakua is a basketball team that was created in 1987 primarily playing at regional levels.
  6. Club Deportivo Gasteizko Ganbara is a handball team established back in 1970 with several regional titles under their belt.
  7. Atlético San Martín de Vitoria used to be an active football club founded back in 1948 but not anymore.
  8. Club Hielo Vitoria-Gasteiz started as an ice hockey team back in 1999 but had financial difficulties leading to its disbandment after just one season.
  9. Club Natación Judimendi-Vitoria Gasteiz offers swimming training for all levels from beginners to competitive swimmers.
  10. CD San Ignacio de Loyola Vitoria-Gasteiz Fútbol Sala competes locally within Álava province as an indoor soccer or futsal club.


Cultural Events

  1. Azkena Rock Festival is a popular rock music festival that takes place in June.
  2. Vitoria Jazz Festival is a renowned jazz festival held every July.
  3. Medieval Market is an annual medieval fair held in September, featuring live music, street performances and vendors selling traditional crafts and food.
  4. Fiestas de la Blanca is the most important cultural event of the year, celebrated every August with parades, concerts and fireworks.
  5. International Puppet Festival is a unique cultural event that takes place every November, featuring puppet shows from all over the world.
  6. Virgen Blanca Festivities are celebrated on August 15th and include a traditional Basque dance called La Alavesa as well as a procession to honor the city’s patron saint.
  7. Santa Agueda Day is celebrated on February 5th and dedicated to women’s rights with parades of women wearing traditional Basque clothing.
  8. Artium Museum Exhibitions – The Artium Museum hosts various exhibitions throughout the year showcasing contemporary art from both local and international artists.

Cuisine

  1. Pintxos: Small bites of food served on a skewer or toothpick. Some popular pintxo bars in Vitoria-Gasteiz include La Viña del Ensanche, Gure Toki, and Sagartoki.
  2. Txakoli wine: A light and slightly sparkling white wine that is produced in the Basque Country. Some wineries that produce txakoli near Vitoria-Gasteiz include Arabako Txakolina and Bizkaiko Txakolina.
  3. Chuletón de Álava: A grilled beef steak from the Álava region of the Basque Country. Some restaurants that serve chuletón de Álava in Vitoria-Gasteiz include Asador Olárizu, El Portalón, and Casa Patxi.
  4. Marmitako: A traditional fish stew made with tuna or bonito fish, potatoes, onions, peppers, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. Some restaurants that serve marmitako in Vitoria-Gasteiz include La Cuchara de San Telmo and Borda Berri.
  5. Idiazabal cheese: A sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque Country with a smoky flavor. Some shops where you can buy Idiazabal cheese in Vitoria-Gasteiz include Alimentación Goya and Quesería Artzai Gazta.
  6. Restaurante Zaldiaran: One of the most well-known restaurants in Vitoria-Gasteiz serving traditional Basque cuisine such as grilled meats and seafood dishes.
  7. La Huerta Vieja: This restaurant is known for its delicious vegetarian dishes made from fresh local ingredients.
  8. El Rincón del Percebe: This seafood restaurant serves fresh seafood caught daily along with traditional Spanish dishes like paella and grilled meats.
  9. La Vitoriana: This restaurant is famous for its delicious Basque-style pintxos and traditional dishes like bacalao al pil-pil (cod in garlic sauce).
  10. Taberna Tximiso: This cozy tavern serves a variety of pintxos, tapas, and local wines in a friendly atmosphere.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Salburua Park – a large park with lakes, wetlands, and walking trails.
  2. Florida Park – a popular park with gardens, playgrounds, and sports facilities.
  3. Mendizorrotza Sports Complex – a sports complex with football fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts.
  4. Armentia Forest – a forested area with walking trails and picnic areas.
  5. Gamarra Park – a large park with an artificial lake for boating and fishing.
  6. El Prado Boulevard – a pedestrian boulevard lined with trees and benches for strolling or relaxing.
  7. Gorbea Natural Park – located just outside of Vitoria-Gasteiz, this natural park offers hiking trails and mountain views.
  8. Basque Museum of Contemporary Art (Artium) – an art museum featuring contemporary Basque art exhibitions.
  9. Cathedral of Santa Maria de Vitoria-Gasteiz- the city’s main cathedral that dates back to the 13th century.
  10. Buesa Arena- A multi-purpose arena used mainly for basketball games but can also host concerts or other events.

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