San Fermin, an unbeatable fiesta

San Fermin, an unbeatable fiesta


You are bound to have heard hundreds of stories about the San Fermin fiesta, seen the thrilling Running of the Bulls on the telly from the safety of your sofa and maybe even visited Pamplona at some time. But you are yet to experience Pamplona imbued with the “San Fermin spirit” at first hand.

Something really special takes place in Pamplona between the 6th and the 14th of July; something that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. But be careful, the San Fermin fiesta is addictive!

The air is thick with nerves, excitement and expectation throughout Pamplona before midday on the 6th, be it in the Plaza Consistorial, cram-packed with people, or any bar in the old quarter. Everyone has their eyes fixed on the balcony from which the rocket whose explosion announces the start of the fiesta is to be launched and, when the moment arrives, everything everybody has been waiting for gets under way.

Thousands of people from all round the world mix in with the locals to live the San Fermin fiesta to the full. With everyone dressed in the white attire typical of the occasion with a red kerchief tied about their necks, the streets of the city are a swarm of red and white over the 9 days that the event lasts.

Nine days of joy, music, camaraderie, tradition and never-ending fun.  The Troupes of Giants and Bigheads, brass bands, “peñas” and concerts take care of the last detail. Only the bullruns, known the world over, manage to add a dose of tension. Every morning at 8 o’clock, newspapers in hand and having chanted to Saint Fermin asking for his blessing, the courageous get ready to run 849 metresin front of 6 bulls and 8 oxen at an average speed of 20kph on the premise that nobody knows what will happen.  The more cautious can always watch from the barrier or rent a balcony to see this unique spectacle. (We can even help you rent one!)

Once the long-awaited 6th is over, the 7th, the day of the co-patron saint of Navarre, Saint Fermín, arrives. Tradition and folklore hit the streets with the procession of the saint, the dances of the Giants of Pamplona and the races of the children trying to get away from the Bigheads and the Zaldikos (Men dressed up as horses). But the 7th is not the only day on which you can see traditional festive activities. You have to choose which events to attend every day: the folk dances in Plaza del Castillo, the Riau-Riau, the Dance of the Espadrille in the Casino Principal, the Reveilles first thing in the morning, the parade of horsemen and mules, the txistularis and pipers…and many, many others. More than 300 programmed musical events.

One of the daily events that attracts most spectators is the International Firework Display Competition. Every night at 11 o’clock, thousands of people go to the gardens on Vuelta del Castillo to enjoy the fireworks explode over Pamplona’s citadel and its defensive walls.

Fuegos artificiales

We shouldn’t forget to mention a number of events which have gradually taken hold over recent years either. The Jazzfermin season, the unpredictable Estruendo Pamplonés and the “Running of the City Bus”. Going out for a stroll every day just to see what surprising things are going on, whatever the hour, is also a must. Brazilian baterias, mime artists, jugglers, magicians, musicians and dancers of every style imaginable await an audience. And they don’t have to wait long!

And so, with a great outpouring of joy and a huge desire to live this unique experience, the days pass. Everything comes to end on the 14th with the Pobre de Mí. Although many now bid the fiesta farewell on the morning of the 15th with the last “bullrun”, the “Running of the City Bus”, the Pobre de Mí still draws a greater crowd come midnight. Holding candles and singing the popular song “Pobre de mí, pobre de mí que se han acabado las fiestas de San Fermín” (Poor old me, Poor old me, the San Fermin Fiesta has finished), the time to see off the fiesta arrives. But the chorus of “ya falta menos…” (Not long to go… (for the next San Fermin Fiesta!)) is also repeated a good number of times.

So what better opportunity to get to know us and our hotel with the best prices and special offers? At the Pamplona Bed4U Hotel, we are #smartcost and we look forward to seeing you, eager for you to enjoy a stay as unforgettable as our city’s fiesta. We are just 5 minutes away from the city centre by car and opposite a bus stop, from which you can reach the main streets of Pamplona or the coach station. Far enough away from the hubbub of the fiesta in order to rest, but only a couple of minutes away from the chance to enjoy it to the full.

Be sure to take a look at the 2014 San Fermin fiesta programme. We look forward to seeing you!