What to Do on a Rainy Day in Pamplona

Hemingway at the Café Iruña in Pamplona
Hemingway at the Café Iruña in Pamplona | ©Szallasz / WikiCommons
Photo of Esme Fox
21 February 2018

Believe it or not, it does actually rain in Spain, especially in the north of the country. If you find yourself in Pamplona when it begins to pour, then don’t worry as there are still plenty of things to do. Here’s our list of what to do on a rainy day in Pamplona.

Museo de Navarra

In rain or shine, you’ll want to make sure to visit the best museum in the city – the Museo de Navarra. Situated in the Old Quarter, it’s housed in the former hospital of Our Lady of Mercy and traces the history of the region of Navarra from prehistoric times to the present day. It showcases many works of art including the Marquis of San Adrián, painted by Francisco de Goya. One of its highlights is the Roman mosaic of the Triumph of Bacchus.

Calle de Santo Domingo, 47, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain +34 848 42 64 92

Museo de Navarra, Pamplona | ©Zarateman / Wikimedia Commons

Museo de Navarra, Pamplona | © Zarateman/Wikimedia Commons | © Zarateman / WikiCommons

Take to the stars at the Planetario de Pamplona

If you want to truly escape the rain, then what could be better than zooming off into space? The Pamplona Planetarium first opened in 1993 and since then has provided an excellent educational space for both kids and adults. As well as learning all about space and the science of our solar system, you can spend time here browsing exhibitions or joining in events and workshops.

Museo Universidad de Navarra

Located on the university campus, the Universidad de Navarra is a huge art museum, covering 11,000 square meters (118,400 square feet), and designed by Rafael Moneo. It has two collections: one of contemporary art and the other of photography. You can spend hours here on a rainy afternoon admiring works by the greats, from Pablo Picasso and Wassili Kandinsky to Mark Rothko and Eduardo Chillida.

Sample award-winning pintxos at Bar Gaucho

Food is always a good idea when it’s raining, so why not make your way to one of the best pintxos bars in the city? Bar Gaucho is an award-winning bar where delicious meals are served in miniature. Try the pulpo (octopus) with creamy mashed potato, sea urchin or scrambled eggs sprinkled with grated truffles.

Go for a coffee in the historic Café Iruña

Hiding out in a cafe is the perfect way to while away a rainy afternoon, and Café Iruña is one of the best in the city. Located on Plaza del Castillo, the cafe is a Pamplona institution, which first opened in 1888. Decorated in period lamps, gilt-edged mirrors and elegant pillars, you’ll certainly have a lot to look at here. The author Ernest Hemingway spent much of his time here when he lived in the city, and there is a sculpture of him sitting at the bar.

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

Admire the Catedral de Santa María la Real

Duck inside Pamplona’s magnificent Catedral de Santa María la Real to keep dry. It has a striking neoclassical façade and a majestic Gothic interior. Most of the cathedral was built during the 14th and 15th centuries, and at the time it was one of Spain’s most important cathedrals. It was here where many kings and queens were crowned.

Calle Curia, s/n, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain +34 948 22 56 79

Centro de Interpretación de las Fortificaciones de Pamplona

Archaeological site
Map View
Murallas de Pamplona, Spain
Visit the Interpretation Centre of the Pamplona City Walls | Visit the Interpretation Centre of the Pamplona City Walls
The Pamplona city walls and citadel are one of the best-preserved military structures in the whole of Spain, and are quite a sight to behold. It may be too wet to walk around the walls, but you can still learn all about them at the Interpretation Center of the Fortifications of Pamplona. It is located within the barracks of the walls themselves and displays a range of drawings, short films and interactive screens.

Shop for souvenirs at Kukuxumusu

Kukuxumusu is a great Pamplona souvenir shop, which is an ideal place to head to when it’s wet outside. The store first opened here back in 1989 and today has branches all over Spain. Inside you’ll find everything from shoes and umbrellas to t-shirts and bags printed with their funny cartoony designs. The store’s mascot is a blue bull, which has become associated with the city’s famous San Fermín festival for many years.