The Most Unique Experiences to Have in Pamplona

Balconies during San Fermin, Pamplona | © Marcela Escandell / Flickr
Balconies during San Fermin, Pamplona | © Marcela Escandell / Flickr
Photo of Esme Fox
13 May 2017

Pamplona is the capital of the Navarra region, but visitors often overlook it in favour of its more famous neighbours in the Basque Country, such as San Sebastian and Bilbao. Here are some unique experiences to have while in the city and why it might be worth a visit.

Get chased by a bull

The most unique experience in Pamplona is, of course, to take part in the Running of the Bulls festival, known as San Fermín. During this crazy week-long event, both residents and visitors run through the narrow city streets of the Old Town, trying to get as close to the bulls as possible, without getting gored.

San Fermin, Pamplona, Spain | © Asier Solana Bermejo / Wikimedia Commons

Try cuajada

A traditional dessert from the Navarra region is cuajada, so there’s nowhere better to try it than the capital of the region – Pamplona. Cuajada is a curd or yoghurt made from sheep’s milk and produced by local shepherds. It is both thick and creamy and is typically served in earthenware pots and eaten sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with honey.

Cuajada | ©Juan Mejuto / Wikimedia Commons

Have a drink with Ernest Hemingway

The author Ernest Hemingway visited Pamplona a total of nine times, and once every year between 1923 and 1927. He had a love affair with the city and often hung out in its most famous and historic bar, Café Iruña. He also supposedly wrote parts of some of his most famous novels here, including The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Hemingway still sits at the bar here today, immortalised in a bronze statue.

Café Iruña, Plaza del Castillo, 44, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain, +34 948 22 20 64

Walk the City Walls

The Pamplona City Walls run for five kilometres (3.1 miles) around the centre and are among some of the best-preserved military structures in Spain. Built in the Renaissance style during the 16th century, you can still walk around them today.

Visit the Interpretation Centre of the Pamplona City Walls | © Remieh / WikiCommons