Pamplona

For other places with the same name, see Pamplona (disambiguation).
Pamplona Cathedral

Pamplona (Basque: Iruña) is a city in Navarra, Spain. It is most famous world-wide for its San Fermín festival, held each year from July 6-14. San Fermín festival includes the legendary "Running of the Bulls", which features the daily bullrun or "Encierro" in Spanish. Pamplona is a beautiful green city and ranks the highest in environment and recycling cities in Spain & Europe. There are many interesting things to do and explore in Pamplona for a traveler as it is the first main city on the route of St. James (Camino de Santiago)It is a city with beautiful parks, historical buildings, medieval city walls and a river running through it too. The city is home of two universities, Public: Universidad Pública de Navarra & Private: Universidad de Navarra, and two campus´ located in different but close parts of the city.

Get in

By plane

Pamplona has a little airport (Noain Airport) connected with several Spanish cities (Iberia flies several times a day from Madrid and Barcelona). Nearby, there are international airports like Bilbao (156 km), Zaragoza (170 km), or Biarritz, France (115 km) with international flights from the UK, Ireland, Germany, etc.

By train

Daily trains from and to Madrid, Barcelona, Vitoria, Galicia, Asturias, Zaragoza, Burgos. Also routes to other towns in the region of Navara like Tafalla or Tudela are available. Urban busses connect the train station and the city centre.

By car

Hire a car and drive from Madrid 4 hrs. - Barcelona 4 hrs. - Biarritz 1.5 hrs. -San Sebastián 1 hr. - Bilbao 2 hrs. -Zaragoza 2 hrs. -Logroño 1 hr.

Underground parking is widely available.

By bus

The cheapest way to get in Pamplona. Several daily services from Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Bilbao, Vitoria, Zaragoza, Logroño and many other cities. Almost all towns and villages of the region are daily connected to its Capital City, Pamplona, by bus. This is a very good option if you don't have a car but want to visit places like the Castle in Olite, the Romanesque art of Estella or the old streets and Cathedral of Tudela, just for instance.

Get around

Pamplona offers to very different faces to the visitor: while in San Fermín festival, the city is driven by music, drinking and the incredible amount of people celebrating and packing the streets. People from all over the World "pay tribute" to San Fermín by having fun, and for the more adventurous, run in front of six bulls at eight o'clock in the morning. If you want to see the bullrun from the street, keep in mind you will need to be in the spot at least two hours in advance to secure yourself some good sights of the event.

The rest of the year, Pamplona is a tranquile and yet vibrant place full things to do. It is indeed a great place to walk the streets and parks. Food and wine is also a big part of the navarrese culture, so make sure you taste some local especialities.

See

Aside from the evening bullfights, at 11AM some mornings during San Fermin, there is a chance to enter the bullring for free, and watch student bullfighters hone their craft. Pamplona's bullring is the second largest in Spain.

July 5 is becoming an extra day of fun, as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has a "running of the nudes" to protest the bullfights. Sadly though no one is totally naked, it's against the law.

TIP: To gain free access to tha main event in the bullring after the bullrun is to run at the last segment of the bullrun to gain access to the bullring for free.

Do

Running of the bulls

If you are wanting to run with the bulls, then arrive at the track at about 7:30AM. You will form up behind a line of police that will be glad to take you out of the crowd if you are drunk. Also having a camera when you run is not allowed.

Pamplona Cathedral Pamplona's gothic cathedral was constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries. The church also has a neoclassical façade which was completed by famous architect Ventura Rodriguez in 1783. The cathedral is listed as one of the most important religious buildings in Spain. There is a museum located next to the cathedral which has more interesting information on the history and architecture of the building. Definitely worth stopping by if your in Pamplona.

Plaza de Toros is a bullring in Pamplona which is still currently used for bullfights. The stadium was built in 1922, and holds over 19,000 people. Most notably Plaza de Toros is the ending point for the annual Running of the bulls at the festival of San Fermin.

Learn

Many people are surprised to learn that San Fermin has a nightly fireworks show. Each night a different company (many international) competes for a prize. This happens nightly near the ciudadela or fortress, former citadel to defend the city and nowadays the biggest park of all.

Pamplona has many old palaces, most of them in the heart of the city. One of them, on the outskirts of town in Gorraiz used to belong to Sir Lancelot (of King Arthur fame). He received this palace upon marrying a Spaniard. The palace has a nice upper class bar and restaurant, and an excellent wine cellar below.

Work

English teaching is the main source of income for many tourists who come and eventually fall in love with Pamplona. In Sanfermines, many tourists end p working for some hostels to get free lodging. They may be soliciting fellow tourists to get a room in the hostel where they are lodged or giving out pamphlets to tourists.

Buy

You can buy good wine, Patxaran, ham, and tins of peppers the best are from Lodosa, and of course asparagus from Navarra. Presents can be bought on every corner, like small bulls, red & white clothes, festival T-shirts, etc. also you can find the Shop of Kukuxumusu, the shop situated at the beginning of Estafeta Street.

In Old Town you will find kiosks throughout selling Navarrese handicrafts.

Eat

Outside Sanfermines day, many eateries close at 3:30PM. Dinner is served up from 9PM There is plenty of restaurants in the old city, from budget menús del día for lunch to more expensive and renown venues. Navarra's cuisine stands out for the quality of its vegetables, e.g. sparragus, artichokes, piquillo red peppers. Plus, visitors can always try typical spanish dishes.

In Pamplona, tapas are called "pintxos", and in contrast with other places in the south of Spain do not come free of charge with drinks. However, most of these "pintxos" are small-sized nouvelle cuisine dishes, so it is really worth to try. Remember that going out to a bar to have a drink and some "pintxos" is pretty much a social event, and there is not a settled time for it. Normally, the same bars that offer "pintxos" prepare menús del día and dinner at Spanish lunch and dinner time.

Drink

In Pamplona you can find good wine from Navarra, try it! it's really good. You can order it in every bar as "tinto" (red wine) or as "clarete" or "rosado" (rose wine). Besides there's a liquor called "Patxaran" that should be tried.

You should also make sure you try the Sangria. It's a red wine punch, usually with some fruit, red wine, and some honey to sweeten. The alcoholic content can vary greatly from place to place.

Calle San Nicolas, Calle Estafeta, and Calle de Jarauta are all lined with different bars, pubs, and bodegas. Most do not have signs so feel free to wander around in and out of these places.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

NOTE: Fifteen people have been killed in bull runs in Pamplona since 1911.

Cope

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, August 10, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.