"Run (away) with the bulls" Top 5 Page for this destination Pamplona by mikey_e
Pamplona Travel Guide: 214 reviews and 534 photos
Pamplona, or Iruñea in Basque, suffers from a sort of tourism Dutch disease – where the effects of the San Fermín bull runs cause everything else to be blown out of proportion in terms of costs and tourist facilities. It also causes the city’s other tourist attractions to be overshadowed by one event that takes place for a few days each year. I’ve been to Pamplona a few times, but never really remembered the city or its attractions. We never visited during the running of the bulls, and otherwise I didn’t quite have memories of outstanding views or architecture, the way that I did of Toulouse or San Sebastián. Perhaps that’s because Pamplona is very much like other smaller Spanish cities, and it has a very sleepy attitude about daily life. To be honest, when I was making trying to close the tour of southern France and northern Spain, the reason I stopped in Pamplona was essentially because it was along the route and I assumed that there would be something to do in the town.
In truth, I didn’t find that the town was much different from the few memories that I had of it. It was very hot when I arrived and there were few people out and about in the town centre. Unfortunately, the hotels and pensions didn’t quite feel that they had to lower their prices two weeks after end of the San Fermín festivals, so accommodation was more than I expected, but apart from that Pamplona hardly felt like a tourist town or anything other than a sleepy provincial capital. I was lucky in that I was able to secure a very nice room steps away from the Plaza Mayor. Indeed, what seemed to please me the most was that there wasn’t a rush to do as much as possible, and that I could relax and recover from some hectic site-seeing in Donostia and Bayonne the previous few days.
To be fair, Pamplona has its charms. The pintxoak and the cider are as good here as it was in Donostia, and sometimes it is much cheaper than what you would expect. There are quite a few pretty churches and Golden Age buildings to discover, and some nice parks to wander about, with a huge citadel to explore at your leisure. The thing is that the city seems to do best from tourism related to the Camino de Santiago and the busloads of Italian tourists who arrive for guided tours, but because they come in pre-arranged groups, there is little effort made to ensure than independent travels can fully access all the city’s sites of interest. As a result, don’t be surprised if you find yourself, like me, wandering around a lot, happening on things to do purely out of chance.
I know, this tip title seems to be suspiciously like the one for the Monumento a los Caídos, but they are actually for... more travel advice
The Roncon de Rodín may seem like a quaint, old part of the Casco Antiguo, but don’t be fooled – it was all built in the... more travel advice
mikey_e's Related Pages
Pamplona Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Surviving the Bull"
- "Run (away) with the bulls"
- "" The Camino Frances" (Part 1)"
- "San Fermin Encierros on Spanish TV."
- "WHEN BULLS ARE GONE"
- "Pamplona and San Fermin"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Pamplona
- Hotels in Pamplona
- Transportation in Pamplona
- Nightlife in Pamplona
- Restaurants in Pamplona
- Shopping in Pamplona
- Warnings and Dangers in Pamplona
- See All...
Explore the World
Badges & Stats in Pamplona
- 30 Reviews
- 114 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 1 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (19)
Have you been to Pamplona?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Pamplona
Photos in PamplonaSee All Photos (114)
Top 10 Pages
- London Intro, 94 reviews, 390 photos
- Istanbul Intro, 60 reviews, 235 photos
- Toronto Intro, 88 reviews, 184 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Kuwait Intro, 55 reviews, 213 photos
- Quito Intro, 54 reviews, 199 photos
- Lisbon Intro, 63 reviews, 173 photos
- Sarajevo Intro, 51 reviews, 175 photos
- Budapest Intro, 47 reviews, 174 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Hong Kong Island Intro, 40 reviews, 169 photos
- Concelho de Macau Intro, 39 reviews, 160 photos