The Best Things to do in Pamplona Besides Running with the Bulls

January 20, 2020
olite navarra church spain
Pamplona is a city in the region of Navarra, in northern Spain, best known for San Fermin, the festivity that involves the running of the bulls which happens every year on July 7. However, Pamplona is much more than that. Pamplona is worth visiting any time of the year for its history, monuments and nearby quaint towns and villages.


A fun walk around the city is to follow the path that runners do when running with the bulls. It goes through iconic streets like Cuesta de Santo Domingo o Calle Estafeta. There are signs on the streets leading the way to the bullfinghting ring.

Other than that, these are the main spots in Pamplona:
  • Plaza del Castillo: the main square of the city is the epicenter of social life. During Christmas you will find a Christmas market selling local delicacies and products made of leather.
  • Calle Estafeta: the most famous street in Pamplona is a vantage point to see the bulls during San Fermin. In fact, you can rent out a balcony for that.
  • City Hall: probably the most amazing building in the city because of its beautiful architectural design.
  • San Fermin Statue in Cuesta de Santo Domingo: walking down the street you will find a little statue of the patron Saint of the city.
  • Cathedral: an imposing building that is a wonderful architectural example of Neoclassicism.
  • Jardines de la Taconera: the main city gardens are home to a little treasure called "the ditch" where lots of different species live: peacocks, deer, hens, ducks...I've never seen such a wide variety of animals all in one place.
ayuntamiento city hall pamplona navarra spain
pamplona spain
san fermin statue imagen pamplona navarra spain
pamplona running bulls statue
taconera pamplona


Just like in San Sebastian -which is just one hour away by train-, gastronomy is an important part of this region. You can find pintxos on the two streets that concentrate the vast majority of restaurants: Estafeta and San Nicolas.

We had lunch at Picnic, a little restaurant in San Nicolas street which serves simple dishes made with the best quality ingredients like this tomato with tuna.
picnic restaurant pamplona san nicolas
picnic restaurant pamplona san nicolas


Our headquarters during our trip to Navarra where in Parador de Olite. This Parador hotel is located in a wing of the Royal Palace of Olite which was once one of the most impressive castles in Europe. Built in the 13th century, it was the seat of the court of the Kingdom of Navarre, which ruled by Charles III. It is believed that back in the day it had spectacular gardens and even a zoo. Nowadays you can visit the rest of it (entrance fee 3.5€). The palace consists of different buildings made from pieces coming from different times in history. This variety of architectural styles is what makes it so special.

We were breath taken by this unusual construction which is actually common in Navarra as we could see in the next two day-trip destinations: Ujue and Javier.
olite navarra spain
olite castle castillo navarra spain
merindad olite navarra spain
olite belen navarra
parador olite navarra spain
parador olite navarra spain
Our favorite places to eat in Olite were the restaurant and cafeteria at Parador de Olite and Merindad de Olite restaurant. Both are similar in price, quality and great service. Below you can see veggie burgers from the former and pintxos from the later.
parador olite navarra spain menu
pintxos olite navarra


Ujue (also spelt Uxue) is the only town in Navarra that is included in the "most beautiful villages in Spain" list. The town's highlight is Santa Maria de Ujue which is both a church and a fortress. It was originally built in the 11th century in a Romanesque style, on the site of an ancient temple. It's a wonderful architectural masterpiece and another example of that mixture of styles I mentioned before.

Before exploring this magnificent town, we had lunch at Asador de Uxue, a traditional restaurant with wonderful views of the mountains. They have a delicious menu for 24€ that consists of 3 starters to share, a main dish and dessert.
ujue uxue navarra spain
ujue uxue navarra spain
ujue uxue navarra spain
restaurante asador uxue navarra
restaurante asador uxue navarra menu


The imposing Castle of Javier is another must-see in Navarra. The castle is currently closed for renovations but your can visit the beautiful modern chapel attached to it.
castillo castle javier navarra spain


Another of the top places to visit in Navarra is Monasterio de Leyre. This monastery was built from the 9th to the 11th century and it comprises a crypt, Gothic vault and Romanesque porch. The monastery is still in use today and therefore is home to a monks. You can hear them do their Gregorian chant, a practice which dates back to the 8th century, in the evenings. Part of the monastery is a hotel and there's also a restaurant. Last but not least, the site is surrounded by beautiful walking paths. This is without a doubt a great place for a spiritual retreat.

If you have time for more, I recommend you check out the following towns Estella, Tudela, Puente la Reina and Sangüesa.
monasterio leyre navarra spain
monasterio leyre navarra spain chapel capilla


The vineyards in Navarra can be found from the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains to the Ebro river in Northern Spain, between Madrid and San Sebastian.

Thirsty for more? There's just a two-hour journey to the wine region of La Rioja.
Read all about the spectacular wineries of La Rioja here


This map includes all the must see places in Pamplona and the day trip destinations you can't miss. I've also added the places where we ate and slept. To take this map with you simply click on the star next to the name and the map will be saved to your Maps in Google.
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pamplona javier olite ujue navarra


  1. It's so beautiful and romantic there. And the food booth is so pretty!


  2. Awesome!

    So glad you shared at

  3. Great blog filled with relevant information and wonderful photos.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  4. All pics are wonderful!

  5. Pamplona looks like a fascinating place to visit. Gorgeous photos!

  6. I would be mesmerized by the architecture, it's astounding! Thanks for sharing the city with us. The food looks wonderful :)

    It's delightful to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

  7. Nice to see more of Pamplona - I know only the bull run!

  8. It looks like a really lovely place to visit, with so much history and beautiful architecture xo

    Makeup Muddle

  9. What a charming place indeed. Love the photos dear!
    Jessica |

  10. I need to visit Pamplona. It’s beautiful. ❤️

  11. I've never heard of this place before but it looks like there are a lot of fun things to do there, thanks for sharing! You got some stunning photos of the architecture, so different to anything in Brisbane!

    Really like the scarf you wore at the Castle of Javier too!

    Hope that you are having a lovely weekend :)

    Away From Blue

  12. Spain looks absolutely gorgeous! There are a lot of foreign to me designs and influences.

    7% Solution

  13. Beautiful photos Cristina. It really captures the spirit of each city. I am intrigue with how close each location are but also unique from each other. I would love to try the food too. It looks amazing!

    Maureen |

  14. Thanks you for hosting and stopping by, Betty :)

  15. Glad you learnt something new, Riitta! :)


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