As a city, Pamplona is easy to get around, welcoming, contemporary, green and safe, and it also boasts a wide variety of restaurants and bars, based on local produce. The city is noted for its healthcare services and commitment to the health and wellbeing of its inhabitants and visitors. The Way of St James and the San Fermin festival have both left their mark on its walled old quarter, which is dotted with parks and gardens. Here, particular mention should be made of the high-quality, small-scale festivals directed at art lovers. Its exceptional location in the centre of Navarra and its closeness to other places such as San Sebastian, Bilbao or the French Basque Country, makes Pamplona an ideal base for your holidays or weekend break.
Declared a National Monument and more than 5 kilometres long, Pamplona’s defensive walls and the Citadel comprise one of the most interesting and best preserved Renaissance military complexes in Europe, and one of the city’s most important tourist attractions. The Citadel, which has now been converted into a cultural centre managed by the City Council, is the venue for numerous events and festivals. Pamplona also preserves its Old Quarter with a medieval layout formed by the three boroughs of Navarrería, San Cernin and the Settlement of San Nicolás, which merged into a single city in 1423 when King Charles III enacted the Privilege of the Union.
The San Fermin festival, which was declared to be of International Tourist Interest in 1980, is held each year from 6th to 14th July. The festival starts on the 6th July at 12 o’clock midday with the firing of the rocket and ends on the 14th July at midnight with the “Pobre de mí” (poor old me, song), the official closing act. This festival is world famous. Nine days of non-stop fiestas in which Pamplona is transformed and its people are the protagonists. It is precisely the inclusive, varied and spontaneous nature of the San Fermin fiestas that makes them unique, inimitable and special, fiestas in which everyone can enjoy themselves freely, in their own particular way, yet showing respect for others.
Located on the Way of St James, Pamplona is the first city on the pilgrimage from Roncesvalles, something which has had a marked effect on its history and character since time immemorial. Being the first city along the way, it has become the first point of support and reference for the thousands of pilgrims passing through the city over the year, offering a wide range of services directed at meeting their needs. The Ultreia Way of St James Interpretation Centre shows all the history of the city and its relations with he Way of St James.
Pamplona and Navarra offer visitors a taste of the past. This is a land in which its people have known how to maintain traditional recipes, based on the great variety of produce grown in the different areas of Navarra, each with its own particular landscape, making mealtime a social event. The regional cuisine has also evolved to more innovative dishes, and is the focus for foodies, anxious not to miss the creations of our top chefs.
In the course of its history, the urban development of the city has led to the construction of a place full of green areas and trees, one in which cultural heritage merges with urban nature. The most important parks in the city are the Taconera Gardens, the Media Luna Park, the Arga River Walk, the Yamaguchi Park, the Citadel and the Vuelta del Castillo green area. These areas make Pamplona a green city with some interesting tree specimens. Its 300 hectares of green areas account for 15% of the surface area of the city.
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