Advertise here

Pamplona, so much diversity!

Since I am a native to this city, I will introduce Pamplona.

For starters, if there is something special about Navarra, it is its enormous variety in such a small community. In less than 1 hour, you can travel through the deserted landscape (such as the Bardenas, where the James Bond movie was filmed 'The world is not enough' and it also is a military firing range), then to a mountain landscape, such as the Baztán Valley, the Forest of Irati, Bértiz or Urbasa, ideal for hiking and for experiencing some incredible views.

In areas of northern Navarre, we have small rural towns that are worth visiting, and so different from the rest of the peninsula. There is something so special about it that you will only recognise once you visit.

In addition to the great contrasts between north and south, there are also other charming villages such as the medieval fairs of Estella where you can buy bottled air, Castle Olite, walking the main road to Santiago from Roncesvalles, or walk the Javierada path (really popular walk that people do during the first two weekends of March) to the castle of Javier, see vultures from the rocky mountains in the Arbayún gorge of Lumbier, delve into the world of witches in the caves of Urdax and Zugarramurdi, or stroll through the Orgi oak grove south of the Ultzama Valley.

Pamplona is a good city because it is relatively small and therefore very easy to get to know and access. The only public transport is the bus (here called villavesas) or of course you can drive. There are many bus lines that take you to the centre and they are frequent. Regarding the car, most of the city is forbidden to park on but there are some places where you can park but for a fee.

The first place you have to visit as a tourist is the running of the bulls (this time without bulls) so you can see it in real life and not just on the television. It is certainly surprising to see the tiny size of the Town Hall Square filled with people on July 6.

Where the running of the bulls takes place, you will see that the old town is full of tapas bars (hey, here it is worth paying for tapas! ) where you can go and have lunch. If you want to enjoy some good food, Pamplona is definitely the place. The best 'pinchos' are in the Calle Estafeta, Calle San Nicolas and Calle Navarrería. Even in March, there is a 'Pincho Week' where each bar presents a 'pincho' and there is a competition between almost all of the bars of Pamplona to see who has the best one (yes, they prepare a special menu, which are expensive).

Not only do we have good 'pinchos', if you have a sweet tooth, you should buy the special chocolate cudgels in Beatriz (smells delicious from the street and there is always, always, always, a queue to buy some) or an ice cream at Larramendi.

In addition to eating, you can visit other neighbourhoods such as the Parque de la Taconera, where you will find many remains of walls and moats inside the park. On the original walls, there are several species of animals preserved and embedded into them, like deer, peacocks, geese, ducks, goats... There is also the Yamaguchi Park where there is a large, green area and an artificial lake. It is a very nice place to walk around during the spring or summer and it is always crowded. Another well known park is La ciudadela. If you want to go shopping, the best area in the city is Avenida Carlos III, because it has the most shops (a part from the two large shopping malls outside the city, which are 'Itaroa' in Huarte, and 'La Morea', in Cordovilla).

To save money, usually, there are some 'free tapas' bars. But there is also the university bar, Pius XII, or Pio XII bar, which is a little more expensive. In addition to this, there is 'Out of Time' which is really good in Calle Pintor Crispín de Iturrama where there is a good student atmosphere and bottles of beer for 1 euro. Another cheap bar, which is more of a night club, is 'The City' (in San Juan).

As for the weather, we are in the north of the city, so you know what you need to bring... a coat! The summer here lasts about 3 months, but the rest of the year not too cold either. We have a little of everything, sun, cold, snow, rain, boiling temperatures...

Regarding universities, there are two and I will speak about the public one.

The best thing about my university is that it is not divided into faculties, we're all in the same building. There are two main parties that a good university can not afford to miss: the welcome party and the end of the year party. Each degree has its bar, and in the bars, there are several games, quizzes, stickers, badges, etc... there are also concerts, drinking games, football championships...

In university, there are many activities where you can practice all kinds of sports. There are also intercollegiate tournaments, dancing, aerobics, the theatre society... Academically, there are also many conferences, lectures, exhibitions, etc.

A word of advice, do not even think about trying the Spanish omelette nor the coffee in the cafeteria and do not expect a single smile from the waitresses.

If you are interested in languages (which is always interesting), the University has a Language Centre which is opposite the campus and each language you learn counts for around 6 elective credits. Honestly, it is a good centre. It has plenty of different teaching hours so you can plan it around your schedule.

To go out, Pamplona has several good bars. if you are young and a student, you should either go to La trave or BocaBoca, which is in San Juan. If you are slightly older (24 and over), the best place to go is San Nicolas. If you enjoy more alternative music, Calderería and Labrit is the place to be.

As for night clubs, there are a few options: Marengo, Vaivén or Sala Totem (I do not recommend the rest of the discos). They are large rooms, but they are good.

The price of club entry is around 12 euros on Saturdays, 10 on Fridays and 7 on Thursdays. And you can get a 'cubata' for around 6 euros, but at least they're not served in a glass tube.

And what about the festivals? San Fermines is an international festival in Pamplona and the atmosphere is incredible! There is the charanga, the giants, the bullfight where you can see the bulls, and eat and drink. You can also join in the singing at the folk festivals, practice English with Australians, and drink all night long.

As for flats and residences, it is simple! The UPNA has its own residence and is right next to the campus and is very very good. It consists of single rooms that each have a private bathroom and a shared kitchen, it is a new residence (only 2 years old) and has a gym, study rooms, etc.

The rooms cost around 250 euros a month, and you can request a list of apartments from the university that are available to rent. In addition to this, throughout the year, you will find adverts on the boards at the university advertising available flats. The best area to live is near the Sadar (which is 1 minute from college) or Azpilagaña or Milagrosa.

Finally, like the song that Refreshments sang, 'there are no beaches here but the landscapes are even better'.

P. S. : If you vote for me, I will invite you out for a really good 'pincho'! I really want to win my sweatshirt!

Content available in other languages

Share your Erasmus Experience in Pamplona!

If you know Pamplona as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Pamplona! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

Comments (0 comments)

Don’t have an account? Sign up.

Wait a moment, please

Run hamsters! Run!