Serving as the capital of Navarre, Pamplona is a bustling Basque city along the Camino de Santiago, with Gothic churches, cutting-edge museums and a pentagonal fortress among its attractions. It’s famed for the Feast of San Fermin, which includes the running of the bulls made famous in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises”.
Things to do in Pamplona
In the heart of Pamplona is Plaza del Castillo, which serves as a hub of social life in the city. It’s lined with alfresco eateries such as Café Iruña where Ernest Hemingway is said to have written “The Sun Also Rises”. A short walk from the square is the Monumento al Encierro, a bronze sculpture by Rafael Huerta that depicts Pamplona’s running of the bulls.
Take a step back in time at the Ciudadela de Pamplona, a pentagonal fortress constructed between the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, its pavilions, moats and bastions form part of a public park that is dotted with information panels explaining the fortress’s role in protecting Pamplona. Artistic exhibitions and cultural events are held in the former weapons room and powder magazine.
South-west of Pamplona is the Museo Universidad de Navarra, a contemporary art museum designed by the renowned Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. Its collection includes paintings by Pablo Picasso and Wassily Kandinski, as well as sculptures by Eduardo Chillida and Pablo Palazuelo. The museum also boasts more than 14,000 photographic works by artists such as Alphonse de Launay and Gustave Beaucorps.
Getting around Pamplona
Pamplona Airport is around 10 minutes’ drive from the city centre and has flights to destinations across Spain. Trains connect from Madrid and Zaragoza to the Pamplona railway station and buses travel throughout the city. The centre of Pamplona is ideally explored on foot.