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Pamplona Travel Guide // Spain


When you hear of Pamplona, most likely it’s in relation to the San Fermín festival or better known as the place where the Running of the Bulls takes place. But there's much more to the city than that and here are few reasons you should add this city to your Spain itinerary.

Pamplona, España.
This charming historic town is located in northeastern Spain. You'll find yourself wandering around medieval walls and is filled with architectural gems like its Gothic cathedral.Also don't forget to sit and relax in it's beautiful parks and gardens. The quaint narrow streets and spacious squares of the old town are busy with shops and outdoor cafes which has it's inviting ambience to many travelers to come and visit Pamplona.

After staying in San Sebastian for a couple of hours, we finally made it to Pamplona. I've always heard of Pamplona over the years through people mentioning running with the bulls but not much else besides that. I was curious to see what the town was about since it was August and that festival had already passed. After getting our walking tour throughout the city and learning about it's history, this town became very intriguing. We had a lot of free time after the walking tour and we got to walk around and grub on some amazing pinxtos and drink until we met up with the rest of the group to hit the town! 

Also I would like to mention one of our tour mates missed our departure time in Bilbao and had to find his own way to Pamplona. When he finally reunited with us in the city center we heard the craziest story he encountered. So to anyone who find's my posts and is researching about doing this tour, just know you are warned to always be on time and if something does happen you have to make your own way! Other than that, Pamplona was one of those cities you should add to your traveling itinerary when planning your trip to Spain.

San Fermin Festival.
Although this festival is controversial to many, I can't not discuss it just because it's one of the many reasons people travel from all over the world to come to this city for this festival. The festival is held every year, the second week of July for the past 250 years. Running with the bulls is a daily event during the festival whether you choose to run or be a spectator. Six oxen and six fighting bulls are released from a cage at the starting point of the run. They are made to run the 825-meter passage through the old-town until they enter the stadium. It's worth noting that it's a very dangerous activity with many getting severely injured every year. Whatever your views are on this festival it's still a popular festival that gets bigger and bigger every year. It's on many people's bucket-list to visit this festival and one of the city's highest season of tourism. Although we came in August, it was still pretty busy during the day as many travelers take day trips to visit this city. On our tour we actually walked the running with the bulls route (minus the bulls haha) from the beginning all the way to the stadium. It was very interesting to see how narrow the streets are and the stories of people who have done it in the past.




Admire the Architecture.
There is endless of architectural beauty here in Pamplona. I recommend walking around and getting lost within the city. There's so many beautiful buildings and hidden streets here that have the classic Spanish design. Starting off with the Plaza del Castillo, it's the main square of Pamplona and known as a meeting place for locals to shop, go for a drink, or sit with friends. In this square, there's a cafe called Cafe Iruña which is famous because Ernest Hemingway spent his time there writing his infamous book "The Sun Also Rises." Pamplona's Town Hall is definitely a building not miss while walking around. It's Baroque architecture will capture your attention as it's one of the most famous buildings here in Pamplona. They city walls are another point of interest that can't be missed. They long walls span of a total of three miles and consists of medieval forts and gates. Only three quarters of the original walls remain today and are considered as some of Spain's best preserved architecture and recognized as a national monument.





Experience the Nightlife the Local Way.
One of the best nights during this trip was here in Pamplona! I don't think I've ever experience a night like this where we were the very few tourists amongst the locals. Thursday night is for sure the night to go out, it was actually a college night. A few streets away from the Plaza de Castillo was where people bought some pinxtos and tinto de verano drinks and casually sat on the street and talked to their friends. As the night progressed more and more people came out to eat and drink on the streets that you can barely walk. It was such a fun and chill atmosphere. After that we headed to some bars and danced the night way. I definitely suggest exploring the town at night it sure does come alive!





Comment below,
Have you visited Pamplona before?

16 comments

  1. Can't wait to visit, definitely in my bucket list!!

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  2. Saving this post as this is my bucket list

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  3. Beautiful write up.as always Stephanie...enjoye e going yhthrou it..such vivid description and beautiful pics..the city became all very through your description.

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    1. Thank you so much, I appreciate your kind words Krish!

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  4. Oh my I so want to go to Spain! Thank you for sharing this beautiful place!

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  5. I would never want to support the Running of the Bulls festival, but nevertheless I'd still like to visit Pamplona! I absolutely love Spain and nothing makes me happier than exploring the narrow streets and sipping on a tinto de verano. It looks like you had an amazing time, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes everyone has their views on running with the bulls. It's crazy that you don't hear much of this city besides that festival. Tinto de verano's are the best, hope you get experience Pamplona!

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  6. Definitely one of my Spain go to's. Not been yet but it's there with the Basque country, Santiago De compostela and Asturias as my go to list. The bull runs are crazy!

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  7. Wwwwoooaahhhhhh!!!! I haven't been to Pamplona before but this is sooooo seductive! Thanks Stephanie, for sharing.

    Much love.

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  8. It was a lovely read, Stephanie. Your pictures are beautiful too..I haven't been to Pamplona yet but your post is making me want to visit right now! Thnanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Hope you get to experience Pamplona yourself someday :)

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