Things To Do In Pamplona
Pamplona’s notoriety as the bull-fighting capital of the world makes it an interesting choice for tourists but the city nonetheless continues to thrive and is actually one of Spain’s most ecological and culturally rich cities. Aside from the annual San Fermin Festival, trips to the Plaza Del Castillo and Museo Universidad de Navarra are not to be missed. The local planetarium is another spectacular place to explore for lovers of science. The Riverside Park offers visitors a chance to lay back and soak in the beauty of the surrounding countryside and rivers. There are activities here to suit every sort of customer.
Visit the Plaza Del Castillo
A trip to Pamplona is incomplete without visiting its city center and focal point called the Plaza Del Castillo. Once the home of bull fights, since 1843 tourists flock here to take in the charms of the square which is lined with cafes and restaurants, most notably Café Iruna which was immortalized in the works of the beloved author Ernest Hemingway. Exploring this iconic part of town is one of the best things to do here.
Explore the Museo Universidad de Navarra
Another one of the best activities on offer is to explore this inventive development considered by many to be the equivalent of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, appealing to a more global audience. The museum is a product of the outstanding designs of celebrated Spanish architect Rafael Moneo and the collections here have been contributed by María Josefa Huarte back in 2008. This is dream for architecture and art lovers.
The San Fermin Festival
This is what Pamplona is world-famous for. The annual festival that takes place during the second week of July is a fantastic and vibrant cultural experience that is one of the best things to do in the city. Locals tend to participate in what is known as the Bull Run and visitors tend to rent out apartments with balconies to take in the crazy festival rituals. However, visitors are recommended to proceed with caution if actually trying to participate in the run.
The City Walls
Pamplona’s city walls are scattered around the city and historically has always made the city an important bastion for the Basque community and a stronghold in the northern half of Spain. The Fortín de San Bartolome is a great place to explore the city’s culture and history. Today these city walls are home to live music concerts and just serve as a hangout spot at times.
Visit the Planetarium
A surprisingly popular activity for most visitors is to make a trip to the Yamaguchi Park-based planetarium that was set up way back in 1993. This space is a world-class facility and sees nearly 20,000 visitors stepping through its doors yearly. For visitors passionate about space, astronomy and the latest space developments a visit here is encouraged.
The Riverside Park
Nearly a million square meters in size, this park is the city’s greenest area and a getaway spot to picnic and chill out for visitors and locals alike. There is 17 km pathway here zigzagging the reservoirs of the Sadar and Elorz Rivers. This is a great way to spend the day for young couples and families alike.
Visit Museo Oteiza (Alzuza)
A short 10 km trip away from Pamplona is the beloved sculptor Jorge Oteiza who has donated a handful of his best works to this unique museum. A great place to visit for art and history lovers, the museum’s location also offers visitors stunning views of the city and surrounding natural landscape.