You can’t talk about this city in northern Spain without mentioning San Fermín, the explosion of merry-making every July. During a week of mayhem there are daily bull runs, in which crazy tourists and locals try not to get trampled or gored by marauding fighting bulls and steers.
There’s a lot more to the fiesta than just the bull-run, just as there’s much more to Pamplona: For most of the year it’s a quiet provincial city, with a quite peculiar history, beautiful sights, superb food and some of the best wine in Spain.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Pamplona:
1. Ciudadela de Pamplona
In the Vuelta del Castillo Park is this renaissance-era citadel, which shows off the flat star-shaped design that took shape after gunpowder was adopted by European armies.
Construction began in the 1570s and wasn’t completed until 1645, although extensions were made in 1685 to bolster the outer walls.
And after that, well, not much happened! It never faced a siege and so is in a good state of preservation.
The bastions now host art exhibitions and concerts take place within the walls in the summer.
During San Fermin in July the nightly fireworks competition takes place from the citadel walls.