The region of Navarra, to which Pamplona serves as the capital, is one of Spain’s more overlooked wine producing areas (known as DOs) – perhaps because La Rioja is a neighbour. The good news is you’ll find excellent wines from both regions throughout the city. The highest concentration of bars is around the Plaza del Castillo. Fair warning, though: you might want to hold off on running with the bulls after visiting any of these great Pamplona bars.
The colour-coded spirits bottles behind the bar at Chester will placate the most persistent need for order and organisation. The site is split into two sections: a restaurant and a bar, the latter specialising in classic cocktails such as martinis, old fashioneds and simple-yet-effective pairings such as gin and tonic. There is an outdoor terrace in view of the Plaza de Toros, and the bar opens until very late on the weekends.
As this delightful portmanteau suggests, you can expect live music at Rockollection, although it isn’t only restricted to rock. While the playlist explores the heavier sounds of the ’60s and onwards, you will hear the occasional reggaeton or hip-hop track squeezed onto the list, particularly on the weekends when the student crowd is larger. Live music hits the stage here on Fridays and Saturdays, with blues, folk and rock all covered. At the bar, you will find classic cocktails, such as mojitos, along with good beer and sangria.
San Juan, the area of Pamplona to the west of the beautiful Taconera Gardens, is known for its youthful nightlife and has one of Pamplona’s best vermouth bars, Iruña Prost. While using the Basque words for Pamplona (Iruña) and vermouth (vermú), the food has more of an American fast-food slant to it, serving burgers, hot dogs and fries. But it’s the 10 types of vermouth that are the main reason to visit. Start with the house vermú, a lovely homemade vermouth.
Looking to go dancing? Also situated in the San Juan area of the city is one of Pamplona’s best discotecas. Flirting with garish overexertion is Canalla, a modern club decked out in black and gold, open Thursday to Saturday from midnight until daybreak. Live DJs spin reggaeton and Latin beats throughout the night, and the crowd is mostly student-age; there are also occasional live performances from Spanish stars. This spot usually has a paid cover charge for entry.
Looking for somewhere to stay? Book into one of the best hotels in Pamplona, or opt instead for a top family-friendly stay. For inspiration for your itinerary, we’ve listed the top reasons why you should visit this Navarrese city; don’t miss out on the best restaurants in Pamplona while you’re here.