The city is dispersed along the banks of the Dragor river at an altitude of 2,019 ft (615 m) above sea level under Baba Mountain . Spreading on an area of 1,798 sq. km. and with a population of 122,173 (1991), Bitola is an important industrial, agricultural, commercial, educational, and cultural center. It represents an important junction that connects the South of the Adriatic Sea with the Aegean Sea and Central Europe .The second Macedonian university is located here. Bitola has one of the oldest and most prestigious theaters in the country.
Traditionally a strong trading center, Bitola is also known as the city of the consuls. At one time during the Ottoman rule, Bitola had consulates from twelve countries. During the same period, there were a number of prestigious schools in the city including a military academy that, among others, was attended by the famous Turkish reformer Kemal Ataturk . Bitola was also the headquarter of many cultural organizations that were established at that time.
Baba Mountain overlooks Bitola from the east. Its magnificent Pelister mountain (2601 m) is a national park with exquisite flora and fauna, and a well-known ski resort.