The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Plaza Virgen Blanca, Vitoria Gasteiz | © Mikelcg / Wikimedia Commons
Plaza Virgen Blanca, Vitoria Gasteiz | © Mikelcg / Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Esme Fox
12 April 2017

Vitoria-Gasteiz is located in Spain’s Basque Country, and although it may not be as well known as Bilbao or San Sebastian, it’s definitely worth a visit. From its own modern art museum to its magnificent cathedral, fine dining restaurants, and its playing card museum, here are our top ten things to do in the city.

Explore the Museo Bibat

The Bibat is housed in the Bendaña Palace and is actually two museums combined – the Museo de Arqueología and the Museo Fournier de Naipes. The Archeological Museum is divided into three floors and includes pieces from the Paleolithic era, the Iron Age, Roman times and the Middle Ages, all found around the town of Vitoria. It also features huge screens that bring the past to life. The Museo Fournier de Naipes is a playing card museum and displays cards dating as far back as the 15th century. It is based on the collections of the Naipes Heraclio Fournier card company.

Bibat, Cuchillería Kalea, 54, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, +34 945 20 37 00

Marvel at the Catedral de Santa María

Vitoria’s imposing María Inmaculada Cathedral is quite a sight to behold. It was first constructed in 1907; however, it was stopped soon after, due to financial problems. The building work was abandoned for many years and only continued in after the Spanish Civil War. Even though it was consecrated as a cathedral in 1969, the building work even today has still not been fully completed.

Dine at the Michelin-starred Zaldiaran restaurant

The Basque Country is known for its haute cuisine, and while the restaurants in Vitoria-Gasteiz may not be as famous as those in San Sebastian, or even in Bilbao, it does have its own Michelin-starred restaurant – Zaldiaran. Its modern interior serves beautifully presented dishes such as roasted and flambéed lobster, stuffed snails and seafood salad with spider crab and prawns.

Zaldiaran, Avenida de Gasteiz, 21, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, +34 945 13 48 22

Discover the Museo de Armería

Vitoria’s armoury museum is a must-visit for all those interested in medieval warfare. It details the evolution of offensive and defensive weaponry throughout history, and displays everything from weapons to armour, costumes and other war-related objects. Look out for the sections on African, Asian and Arab weaponry, home to some fascinating pieces.

Museo de Armería, Paseo Fray Francisco, 3, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, +34 945 18 19 25

Stroll down the Paseo de los Arquillos

Vitoria’s neoclassical covered arcade – the Paseo de los Arquillos – was designed by the Victorian architect Justo Antonio de Olaguíbel, and was built between 1787 and 1802. Located in the heart of the city, it acts as a bridge between the historic centre and the modern town.

Paseo de los Arquillos, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Cycle along the Anillo Verde

Vitoria-Gasteiz is a very green town, and around its outside is a a green belt known as the Anillo Verde. Not just a green space, it’s actually series of parks, marshes, ponds and meadows, and is the perfect spot for a bike ride. Vitoria was actually named the European Green Capital in 2012 because of its green commitment.

Anillo Verde, Vitoria-Gasteiz | ©Mariordo (Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz) / Wikimedia Commons

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