ADD TO LISTPamplona attracts a decent number of travelers visiting Spain, and it can be worth stopping by if you're traveling through the area. Most travelers go to check out the Pamplona and enjoy Pamplona's monuments and parks. Explore this Pamplona travel guide to get more ideas for things to see and do.
Questions answered about visiting Pamplona
I want to go to Pamplona in 2010 for a few days for the San Fermin Festival. What is the best way to do this? I will probably be going with some friends and we like to drink. Thanks
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Travel Tips from people who've been to Pamplona
Run with the bulls on day one and dont get pushed off the course before the cannon fires. Enter the ring after the first herd but before the second or you will get locked out. Stay in the ring and dodge the bulls as long as possible, its the best buzz going.
Someone recently asked me for any advice on running with the bulls as a female. Honestly, I've only done it once, but this is what I came out with:
1.) Don't attempt to run the first day. It's way to crowded and they tend to pull people from the route...first to be pulled: Women...followed by the obnoxiously drunk, ill-prepared and just plain drunk.
2.) Walk the route ahead of time. Do you want to make it to the arena afterwards? If so, you need to start as far down the route as possible. That would be the Plaza Consistorial (sp). They give you 30 seconds to a minute or so to get as far down the route as you want before they release the bulls.
3.) Be aware of Dead Man's Curve or Corner (can't remember what they call it)--it's the 90-degree turn that the bulls can't make, so they tend to crash into the left side of the wall. Yes, it is a false sense of security, but I started just around this corner and jumped up into a crevice along the right side and didn't jump in until I saw the first set of bulls coming, then I jumped in, outside of their path.
4.) If you are standing along a wall waiting for the bulls to get close, if you don't have a clear shot of the route behind you, watch the people on the balconies: the cameras start flashing and the runners coming toward you start having that "Oh Shit" look on their faces. Now you know the bulls are coming.
5.) Run like hell. Don't look behind you and be consiously aware of what and who is in front of you. If someone goes down ahead of you, jump the hell over them.
6.) If you fall, stay down, head covered and do not get up until someone tells you to. I saw a guy fall, get up, then immediately get gored in the back. Also, you then impede the runners behind you. Not cool to jump over someone who decides to get up.
7.) They release 6 bulls, plus the mother cow. Don't forget about her. The first day I watched, the 6 bulls ran by, people stood in the street like it was over and then she came plowing through.
8.) Don't hesitate to jump out of the route after it starts. You're only option is via the makeshift fences put up along the route.
9.) If you just want to watch, if you can get your hands on a balcony, do so. Sitting on those rails sucks like there is no tomorrow. If you can't get a spot on one or don't want to sit for 4 hours to watch, I suggest standing in the route near a fence a bit aways down the route. Then, when they set off the rocket to let you know the bulls are coming, wait about 15 seconds and jump out. Now you can watch from b/t the spectators and the medics.
10.) If you can, watch a run the day before you decide to. It took 2 days of watching before I had the guts to do it.
11.) Don't try to run w/your camera out or camcorder--the cops will take it away and it can be a pain to worry about. If you're able to have it on you though and make it to the arena, it's cool to have. But don't try to get a shot during the run.
12.) Have fun. It is an adrenaline rush unlike any other!
Do not miss the opportunity to experience the San Fermin Fiesta. But remember to be well prepared and hopefully you do not need sleep. I arrived the friday afternoon while the party had already been going on for two days. Every one was partying and dancing around the whole evening. Everyone had the characteristic white suit on and the red belt. And how they were drinking. Most popular was a mix between red wine and coka cola. Not my favorite.
Around in the streets did alot of bands march and playing orchestrated music. A popular dance/song was'La Chocolateria'. You hold on to each other and then you walk back and forward. When the music change you start to bow up and down heavily.
In the morning after partying all night all the men gathered in the old town and all the exits were blocked. Suddenly the bulls came from the back and the men were running around the streets for there lifes. At the end all the men gathered at the big bull arena to do some extra tests on there man hood.
Then everything was resting until half past 5 in the evening where it all began as the evening before with a big bull fight before the music began. Six bulls had to loose there life every evening for the 12 days fiesta.
I ended up partying for three days, then I was beat and did not have more energy for more partying. But I must admit that I admire the spaniards who are able to party every year for twelve days.
Only remember to lock up your travel pack some safe place while staying there. There are heaps of pocket thiefs.
Also remember that it is nearly impossible to find a room to stay in, so many youngsters end up sleeping in the parks. But you need to take precautions if doing so.
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