Madrid to Pamplona
Travel from Madrid to Pamplona is easy by train from Madrid Atocha Station. Pamplona doesn’t have a super high-speed connection with the Spanish capital, though there is one for Madrid to Zaragoza. There are, however, direct train services connecting Madrid to Pamplona Station on the Alvia trains, which are still fairly fast. There are around eight direct services a day with journey times of around three hours. And because Pamplona Station is just 2kms north of the city centre, you’ll be in the heart of the city in no time!
If you’d rather drive from Madrid to Pamplona with the convenience of your own car, see our Madrid Atocha car rental guides. Many car hire suppliers also offer one-way rentals within Spain, which is worth considering if you’d rather start and finish your trip in a different location.
Best in Pamplona Travel
Pamplona is the historic capital of the Navarre province and region in northern Spain. The city hosts the festival of San Fermin, which has become one of the most famous festivals in the world. The festival is a week-long celebration that takes place every July. Its most iconic feature is the daily encierro, or ‘running of the bulls’. Every morning during the festival, hundreds of people dressed in white with red scarves run through the Old Town’s narrow streets ahead of a dozen bulls. The run finishes at the bullring where the bulls are held until the bullfights take place in the afternoon. In this time, the population of the city swells as hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the world to witness and take part in the festival. If you wanted to be one of them, make sure you book your accommodation in advance.
Pamplona outside of San Fermin
Outside of the festival, many of the city’s attractions are in the compact Old Town (or Casco Antiguo). It includes historic churches, the Palace of Navarre and the colourful Plaza del Castillo. Another highlight of the city is the Citadel park and gardens, which are located southwest of the Old Town.
Best beyond Pamplona
Pamplona’s location on the foothills of the Pyrenees make it a good base to explore them from. Highlights include the Bertiz Nature Reserve, Irati Forest and Baztan Valley where you’ll find medieval towns such as Berroeta, Aniz and Ziga. About 60kms west of Pamplona, you’ll find more incredible natural landscapes at the Urbasa y Andia Natural Park. And for some otherworldly desert and mountain landscapes, head south to Bardenas Reales. Here, you’ll find Navarre’s badlands.
South of the city, Pamplona Airport is the nearest airport. In addition to a small number of domestic routes, it also operates flights to/from Frankfurt. The airport also has a good selection of car hire and may be a good place to return a car hire if you’re ending your trip in here.