Hotel Options

You have two options. You can get a hotel/hostel/apartment in Old Town Pamplona where the bull run is, or in the outskirts or nearby towns.  You are best off in the Old Town where the bull run is, but here are the pros and cons of the two options so you can make an informed decision:

Old Town Hotels
  • It can be a quick walk to the bull run. 
  • You can run back to the hotel for a quick change or shower during a sweaty day
  • You can stay out super late with a quick and safe walk home
  • You save on taxi
  • You can go home for a rest after the bull run and come back for the festivities or the fireweorks at night
  • Generally Pamplona is a boring town.  There is not much sightseeing, so you are right where the action is
  • Hotels double the price and you're not getting the value
  • The streets can be loud right through the night depending on your room/floor and hotel location
  • Yes, marching bands actually play music right through 3 and 4am, and people are making noise in the streets right through to the bull run the next day.
  • You'll probably end up eating near your hotel in Old Town where the prices for food are doubled.  You can end up paying $50.00 for a basic meal.
  • If you are staying in a hostel, I guarantee you sleeplessness and the place being ridden with drunks, annoying fools, and the place will probably smell like urine (from drunks urinating in any corner they can find)
  • Packed streets, people drinking wine out of the bottles and spraying alcohol on people is common, so you will be faced with that all day and all night
  • I do not recommend renting an apartment.  You are likely to stay with a bunch of young drunks who are inconsiderate and will keep the place in a huge mess like its their personal bedroom. Further, companies may cram too many people in the apartment, or people may bring in unwanted guests

Though the cons list is longer than the pro list, the pro list is far more important.  If you can get a good price for a room at a nicer hotel, I recommend it.  Ensure you ask for a spacious room on a higher floor that is not near the loud streets. ( For suggestions on hotels or hostels, please check )

Outside Old Town

  • Quiet
  • Clean

  • Too much for a taxi to go back and forth everyday. You will have to go early for the bull run, and then back again for festivities, food, the bull fight or fireworks
  • There's nothing around (little to no restaurants and shops and sights)
This list is not extensive because it is simple. It will simply cost too much for the taxi. There are three main events during the festival:  The Bull Run, The Bull Fight and The Fireworks.  You dont want to spend money going there and back for the bull run at 8am, plus on top of that having to come back for the bullfight at 6:30pm or fireworks ├át 11pm in the evening.  To go back and forth twice, that can cost you a minimum of 60€ (euros) each day.

My personal experience:
Outside Old Town - We stayed at Hotel Ibaiondo in a nearby town called Olaiba.  It was approximately a 10 minute drive from Old Town . It cost 15€ (euros) to get into town one way. Staying outside of Old Town resulted us making one long lengthy day visit to the old town and coming back in the evening, and killing time doing nothing until we felt sleepy.  The hotel was very nice and the staff catered to you. There is a restaurant there and a lovely garden with lots of seating and eating areas. 

Old Town Hotel - We stayed at Hotel Maisonnave  ( which is basically one street over from the bull run route, which was sweet/perfect.  We asked for a spacious room that was away from the loud street. We were offered a room on the 6th floor.  When you open the window, you can hear the people enjoying themselves outside, and the bands playing in the streets, but I was shocked that when I closed the window, I basically had complete silence.

Though we were one street over from the bull run, we did not have restaurants down our street, so there were often few people on our street, except for the few times musicians would be playing live folk music infront the hotel. But in this case, it was an elderly crowd, so it was tolerable.  Other than that, our street was not crowded, which was pleasant because who wants to struggle through a boisterous crowd after a long day or at 7am for the bull run? 

But what I most enjoyed about staying in Old Town was that anytime I needed a break from the loud music and crowded, urine-smelling streets, I could walk back to my hotel and rest my feet for a few hours and then head back out.

Any questions? Please type your question in the comment section and I will be happy to respond.