The name Pamplona is now synonymous with one of the biggest festivals in Europe, the “San Fermín” or the Running of the Bulls. The legendary celebration creates an infectious party atmosphere in the city, but come outside of that time to experience a place packed with culture. Feast on the famous food of northern Spain, visit fascinating museums and mingle with the friendly locals in an otherwise seldom-seen destination.
Stroll along streets that were once frequented by Romans, who founded the city in 75 B.C. The city’s tactical location near the French border means that the Spanish built multiple fortifications to protect the town. Learn more about these structures in the Interpretation Centre of the Fortifications of Pamplona.
Explore the Museum of Navarre to learn about the region’s colorful history. The museum features diverse displays on prehistoric archaeology, Roman Pamplona and the Moorish occupation. Peruse a selection of paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Tour the architectural highlights of the city. The 19th-century Palace of Navarre is the regional seat of government, with a selection of murals and an impressive throne room. Bring your camera for photos of St. Mary’s Cathedral, a stunning Gothic landmark that houses relics and royal tombs.
Join thousands of visitors to Pamplona during the Running of the Bulls, a tradition which dates back to the 13th century. The festival takes place every July and involves a herd of bulls charging through the city center. Watch as the runners, dressed in white with a red handkerchief, pray to San Fermín before running 0.5 miles (825 meters) through the town.
Spend your evenings dining on Basque cuisine. Pinxtos, the local form of tapas, is on offer in most restaurants, accompanied by a selection of Navarra wines.
Fly into Pamplona Airport, which is about 10 minutes outside of the city center by car. Hordes of tourists flock to Pamplona in July to take part in the San Fermin. Visit outside of this period for lower prices, fewer crowds and sunny days in the hills of northern Spain.