Pamplona has a good range of budget accommodation and hostels, mainly because it’s set right along the Camino de Santiago. If you’re not here to walk the Camino, don’t be surprised to find yourself sharing a dorm room with many pilgrims who wake up early to start out on the road. In summer, during the San Fermín festival, there will be a very different, party-style atmosphere, and hostels will fill up fast, so remember to book quite a few months in advance.
Hostel Hemingway can be found right in the historic centre of the city and is, of course, named after the famous author Ernest Hemingway, who spent some time living in Pamplona and where he wrote his first novel, The Sun also Rises. Rooms are bright and colourful with wooden bunks, lockers and even cosy seating areas. There is also one double and one twin, if you want some extra privacy. The hostel also offers a self-service breakfast room, free tea and coffee all day and a snug and cosy living room. Special discounts are given for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago.
Hostel Xarma is located just on the edge of town, near the large Parque de la Media Luna and a short walk from the historic centre. It’s a very cosy and friendly place with lots of bright colours and soft furnishings, a big dining room and lounge and a shared kitchen. Rooms are simple, yet light, featuring basic bunks and lockers. There is also an outdoor terrace where you enjoy the sun during the day or drinks in the evenings. For pilgrims, they also offer the extra service of transporting your rucksacks to the hostel or sending them on to your next destination, so that you don’t need to carry them.
Albergue de Pamplona-Iruñako Aterpea
Albergue de Pamplona-Iruñako Aterpea is located on the edge of the historic quarter of Pamplona, close to the river and the famous Portal de Francia, where pilgrims enter the city. The hostel is mainly geared towards those walking the Camino de Santiago, but is also very popular during San Fermín (Running of the Bulls). The layout here is similar to a capsule hotel, where each bed has its own individual compartment. There is also an outside storage area for boots and bicycles, as well as a charming lounge-cum-kitchen and dining area.
Just a few minute’s walk from the main bus station and very close to the centre of the city, you’ll find the charming Aloha Hostel. It may sound more like somewhere in Hawaii than in Pamplona, but this cosy hostel has everything you need to feel right at home. Hang out in the lovely living room, filled with brightly coloured sofas, chatting with other travellers, playing games, reading or enjoying free tea and coffee, or cook your own food in the fully equipped kitchen. The dorms are modern and bright, and have bunks for four, eight and ten people. There are also private apartments available. In addition to facilities such as laundry, internet and hair dryers, the hostel can also organise Spanish language courses and cooking classes.
Municipal Albergue de Villava-Atamabia
The Municipal Albergue de Villava-Atamabia sits just on the outskirts of Pamplona is probably one of the most amazing hostels you’ll ever stay in. As well as the regular dorm bed rooms and a communal kitchen, it offers facilities such as a spa, indoor and outdoor pools, a bar and restaurant, a gym and tennis, paddle and Basque pelota courts. In terms of its décor, it’s very simple and sparse, but in terms of facilities – it’s got them in spades.
Casa Ibarrola Albergue
Located right next to the famous Portal de Francia, where pilgrims enter the city of Pamplona, Casa Ibarrola, is located in the perfect spot. While many of its guests are pilgrims walking the Camino, they are geared towards tourists and backpackers, too. It’s a high-tech hostel reminiscent of the capsule hotels of Japan, where you’ll sleep in bed cubicles set into the wall. The hostel is decked in white with soft yellow and blue lighting and bright red shades in the bathrooms and communal kitchen. There’s everything you’ll need here, from lockers to a laundry area, bicycle storage and free tea and coffee. Wi-Fi, a lounge area and table games complete the picture.