Vitoria-Gasteiz: Why this little visited city in northern Spain should be on your travel bucket list

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A SPANISH city that is little visited by tourists has been chosen by National Geographic as one of the best destinations for travel.

The prestigious National Geographic magazine has drawn up a list of the 25 best destinations to travel to in 2021, including a Spanish city: Vitoria-Gasteiz.

While the pandemic has brought travel to a standstill, the National Geographic have selected 25 amazing place to inspire future journeys.

Under the heading ‘Best of the World 2021’, the Basque capital has been selected along with other international destinations such as Dominica and its formidable volcanic terrain, the electric-blue ice of Los Glaciares National Park (Argentina), or the island of Guam, all of which the National Geographic describe as ‘timeless places that will define our future itineraries.’

Vitoria-Gasteiz is considered by the magazine to be a city that ‘claims the cultural crown’ in its efforts to welcome ‘emerging and legendary jazz artists’ to its International Jazz Festival, which is held every July.

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Additionally, the publication highlights that the city’s parks and gardens give Vitoria-Gasteiz residents ‘more square metres of green space per inhabitant than any other Spanish city’.

In fact, Vitoria-Gasteiz, founded in 1181, earned the title of European Green Capital in 2012.

The city has a high proportion of green public areas, ensuring that the entire population lives within 300m of an open green space.

National Geographic also highlighted the passion of its inhabitants for preserving tradition, ‘especially in its historic centre’, with streets ‘named after medieval craftsmen’s guilds’ and where ‘the locals crowd the bars and restaurants’ to sample the famous pintxos.

The heart of Vitoria’s city life is Plaza de España or Plaza Nueva, at the foot of the hill, which is built in a distinctive neoclassical style.

Among the emblematic points, the magazine underscores the ‘Gothic majesty’ of the Cathedral of Santa Maria as well as the emblematic Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, which honours the city’s patron saint. These are all found in the old quarter and define the city’s skyline.


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