Pamplona (Basque: Iruña)  is a city in Navarra, Spain. With a population of nearly 200,000 inhabitants and an overall metropolitan population of 320,000 it is the capital of the region of Navarra. Most famous world-wide for its San Fermín festival each year from July 6th to 14th, "The Running of the Bulls" features a daily bull run or "Encierro" in Spanish. This festival was depicted in the writings of Ernest Hemingway (who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954). Pamplona is a green city. There are many interesting things to do and explore in Pamplona for the traveler since it is the first main city on the route of St. James (Camino de Santiago). Furthermore, Pamplona has a beautiful medieval city centre, several museums, an impressive citadel, great gastronomy and wines and lots of parks. The Arga River runs through it. There city has two universities: Universidad Pública de Navarra (Public) and one of the four Universidad de Navarra (private) campuses.
Thanks to Ernest Hemingway, who first visited Pamplona in 1923, the city has become one of the most famous but also most expensive places to stay in all of Spain. Hotel prices can be extremely high, demanding up to €21 for breakfast per person. There are cheaper options, but generally, accommodation is pricey at any time of year.
Pamplona has a little airport (Pamplona-Noain Airport) connected with several cities (Iberia fly several times a day from/to Madrid and Barcelona). Nearby, there are international airports: Bilbao (156 km), Zaragoza (170 km), or Biarritz, France (115 km) with flights to several international destinations. There is NO public transport to/from the airport to Pamplona.
A taxi will cost €12-€15, depending on the traffic.
Daily trains from and to Madrid, Barcelona, Vitoria, Galicia, Asturias and Zaragoza, among other Spanish cities. Urban buses connect the train station and Pamplona's city centre.
Hire a car and drive from/to Madrid in 4 hrs., Barcelona 4 hrs., Biarritz 1.5 hrs., Bilbao 2 hrs., San Sebastián 1hr.
Underground parking is widely available.
The cheapest way to get to Pamplona. Several daily services from Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Bilbao, Vitoria, Zaragoza, Oviedo, etc. Same bus station links Pamplona with all the localities in Navarra (e.g. Estella, Tafalla, Tudela, Sangüesa, Olite, etc.) The bus station in Pamplona is underground, next to the Ciuadela on c/ Yanguas y Miranda.
A great place to walk the streets, with live music and wonderful people. You won't need to take public transportation or car to visit the most remarkable places in Pamplona as most touristy spots lie within the city centre/old town. During Sanfermines, from July 6th until 14th, there is lots of alcohol, music and dancing in the streets all night long and, by 6AM, you'd better go get a good place to watch the running of the bulls, which starts at 8AM and attracts lots of spectators and media. After that, get a good breakfast or "almuerzo" and find time to go to sleep after a long night.
Pamplona offers two very different faces to visitors. During Sanfermines the city is driven by music, bulls, drinking and general madness. The rest of the year it is a charming little place with great food, friendly people, lovely walks in the green parks and stone paved streets and great cafés and bars everywhere you go.
At midnight, get ready for concerts of any type of music in places like Plaza del Castillo, Plaza de los Fueros or Antoniutti. At 11 p.m. there's a fireworks display every night near the citadel or "Vuelta del Castillo." This is a great place to lay down, relax and enjoy the fireworks before going out to bars and concerts.
Visitors can also see other medieval churches a short walking distance from the cathedral. The most important would be San Nicolas and San Saturnino, a former fortress and Christian temple. You should visit San Lorenzo church too, where a chapel with the image of San Fermín, the saint who gave his name to its well-known festival, is kept.
Pamplona, a city originally confined in its medieval walls from the middle ages to modern times, finally decided to open up in the early 20th century. Some walls were demolished to make space for new broad avenues and neighbourhoods, like Avenida Carlos III, nowadays a major shopping street. However, Pamplona has made a great effort to keep the vast majority of its walls and history. There is a museum that outlines Pamplona's fortification history. You can find it in the "Fortín de San Bartolomé", near the bullring.
Sanfermines (Festival of San Fermín ), city-wide, July 6 - July 14. The city festival of Pamplona. The festival begins with the txupinazo: a rocket fired from the city council's balcony at 12 p.m. on the 6th. A large street party ensues that night and for the rest of the week. The best-known feature is the encierro (running of the bulls), which occurs every day at 8 a.m. Six bulls run through the town center towards the plaza de toros (bull ring); the adventurous and foolhardy run in front of them. Note that on July 6 there is not encierro as the festival officially starts at noon. If you want to run with the bulls, arrive at the track no later than 7:30 a.m. You will form up behind a line of police that will happily remove you from the crowd if you are drunk or improperly dressed. Having a camera when you run is not allowed.
Research before you attempt to run the bulls. It is extremely thrilling, but very dangerous. The best place to start, with advice from Spanish and American bull-runners, John Hemingway (Ernest's grandson), and edited by travel author and former bullfighter Alexander Fiske-Harrison, is the eBook, available on Amazon, Fiesta: How To Survive The Bulls Of Pamplona.
Many people are surprised to learn that San Fermin has a nightly fireworks show. Each night different companies (many of them international) competes for a prize. This happens nightly near the ciudadela or fortress, the former citadel built 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 classy bar and restaurant, an excellent wine cellar below and is surrounded by a golf course.
You can buy good wine, Patxaran, ham, and tins of red peppers (the best are from Lodosa), and of course asparagus from Navarra.Souvenirs can be bought on every corner, like small bulls, red & white clothes, festival T-shirts, etc. Kukuxumusu is a famous shop situated at the beginning of Estafeta Street.
In Old Town you will find kiosks throughout selling Navarrese handicrafts, antiques and souvenirs.
Except for Sanfermines day, many eateries close at 3:30 p.m. Dinner is served up from 9 p.m. There are plenty of restaurants in the old city, from budget menús del día for lunch to more expensive and renowned venues. Navarra's cuisine stands out for the quality of its vegetables, e.g. asparagus, artichokes, piquillo red peppers. Visitors can always try typical Spanish dishes.
Pamplona, as other cities in northern Spain, has a reputation for gastronomy. Moreover, local wine is served in every establishment. You can enjoy homemade-style food in many restaurants serving "menú del día" (11 to 14 euros aprox.), a traditional Basque txuletón (beefsteak) accompanied by fresh cider (sidra), or more elaborate menus in some of the finer restaurants if you want to splurge.
In Pamplona, as in the rest of the Basque region, 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 pintxos are small-sized nouvelle cuisine dishes, so it is really worth giving them a 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 dinners at Spanish lunch and dinner time. In the last few years a little event called juevintxo has become very popular. This event offers customers a drink every Thursday (usually wine or beer) plus a pintxo for a reduced price of 2 euros. Many bars in the old city have joined this campaign, particularly those located in Estafeta Street.
In Pamplona you can find excellent wine from Navarra. You can order it in every bar as tinto (red wine) or as clareteor rosado (rose wine). There's a liquor called Patxaran made with wild berries and anisette that should be tried.
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 San Antón, Calle Estafeta, Calle Navarrería 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. If you see a good bunch of locals enjoying their pintxos, it is usually a good sign!
Accommodation is mostly expensive or semi-expensive. Note that during Sanfermines, due to the great demand, prices rise up alarmingly, so make sure you book a place in advance. Otherwise it will be very difficult or impossible to find a room in a mid-range hotel.
For those on a low budget, there is a camping site located a few kilometers from the city, as well as some hostels and guesthouses.
Most Hotels can be found within the city centre or near the Hospitals and University Campus, a half-an-hour walk from the old city and tourist attractions.
For pilgrims doing the Camino de Santiago there is a public "albergue", called Jesús y María, in Calle Compañía 4. 
Recently, a parking space for caravans has been built in the neighbouring town of Berriozar.
Tourist Office: Avda. Roncesvalles 4. Phone no. +0034 848420420 
Turismo de Pamplona 
Bus Station 
Emergencies Phone no. 112
Booking for accommodation in the region of Navarra 
Navarra News, Navarra's first online newspaper in English