Video Postcard: Vitoria—A Charming City in Spain’s Basque Country

In this video, IL editor Glynna Prentice visits Vitoria, a charming mid-sized city (population about 236,000) in Spain’s Basque country.

Vitoria is in the green, mountainous interior of northern Spain, about a 45-minute drive south of Bilbao, the industrial port city on Spain’s north coast.

Vitoria (or Victoria-Gasteiz, to give the city its complete name) is the capital, in fact, of Spain’s Basque region, which is one of the most prosperous areas of the country. This region is green and hilly, and many of Vitoria’s streets are steep.

Vitoria dates from the 1100s and has a large medieval center. This lively area is filled with restaurants, bars, museums, and little shops, as well as many apartments where locals still live.

Large parts of the medieval center, as well as sections of the modern city near it, are pedestrian-only; many locals, especially students, get around by bicycle. Though Vitoria does not seem to have an expat community, it’s increasingly popular as a tourist destination, as is the Basque country in general.

In this video you’ll see:

  • An attractive square in modern Vitoria. Much of both the modern and historic parts of the city are pedestrian-only, and many locals cycle from place to place.
  • Part of the old city, which dates from the middle ages…with some modern improvements: mechanized ramps that whisk locals up Vitoria’s steep medieval streets—so that they don’t have to walk up steps. The ramps are also handicap-accessible.
  • An 18th century square in central Vitoria, where children play while their parents enjoy a drink at the many sidewalk cafes—an intrinsic part of Spanish culture
  • An evening’s paseo along Vitoria’s modern shopping streets

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