Apologies for being that abrupt in the title of this article.
But we feel there can be no questions regarding parking in Pamplona during the festivities of San Fermin. Specially if you are coming to watch the running of the bulls early in the morning.
You will find no parking.
It’s as simple as that.
Not only that!
You’ll spend all your precious time roaming around the city hoping to find a spot where to plonk your car.
For sure you’ll be stressed.
You’ll be irritated.
And you might not even make it to the “Encierro”.
And wouldn’t that be dreadful?
That’s the reason why we wanted to make it very clear from the very start.
Because that’s the big question in the mind of all visitors to Pamplona: where do I park during San Fermin?
And the team at Pamplona Fiesta wanted to answer it unequivocally.
No, it’s best not to try parking in the city of Pamplona during San Fermin.
It’s not good for you and it’s not good for the city.
What if you must at all cost?
If you’re driving to the San Fermin festivities and have no choice but to enter the city by car, first of all prepare yourself for some heartache!
And then, follow these very helpful tips.
There are lifesavers for all Pamplona Fiesta’s clients!
What to do if you must park your car in Pamplona city during San Fermin
1/ Don’t attempt to leave the car in the street
For two reasons.
One, it’s near impossible.
Two, you will probably not remember where you parked it!
And won’t be the first one to forget!
During San Fermin, Pamplona becomes a labyrinth of tiny alleys, narrow streets, squares, and people, a lot of happy people.
You’ll look at the name of the street and will see two completely foreign sounding names.
Don’t forget the streets in Pamplona are displayed in Spanish and in Basque!
And trust me, after a few hours of celebrating in Pamplona, you will not remember those two names nor the actual spot where you parked your car.
So, if the universe aligned that day and you managed to find a spot to park in the streets of Pamplona, take a picture of the name of the street.
There is a new neighbourhood that has free parking spots, it is called Soto Lezcairu, all around Alfredo Landa´s Park. It is just 20 minutes walking to the city centre. You could try it there!!
2/ Park in public car parks (and make sure you budget for it!)
If the universe ignores you, we recommend you head straight to one of the several public car parks you will find in Pamplona during San Fermin.
And even then, cross your fingers and prepare your wallet!
Our car parks fill up really quickly!
You’ll be surprised how early the FULL sign goes up!
Don’t forget that the Encierro (Bull Run) starts every day at 8am and a lot of people come to Pamplona from nearby towns to watch and or participate. Some parkings FULL sign goes on as early as 6:30 in the morning.
If you are attempting to park on the first or second day of the festivities – the 6th, the 7th or even the 8th of July – or on the weekend, give yourself some extra time to park.
A lot, if possible!
Otherwise, chances are all the car parks of the city of Pamplona will be fully booked.
You managed to find a spot?
Well, now, you need to pull out your wallet and prepare about 25€-30€ per day.
Yep, parking is not cheap during San Fermin!
One good thing is that your car will be safe as it will be protected by additional security detail.
Are you attempting to enter the city with a van?
Straight to the car park as quickly and as early as humanly possible! (and remember that the maximum height is 6,8 feet (2.07 metres)).
One more thing, there are some sites where you can pre book a parking spot. There is even one parking that offers this service, well, THEY DO NOT WORK!!! I have tried them, and never got my spot.
Where will you find a public car park in Pamplona city?
> PLAZA DEL CASTILLO: the best car park in town! If you strike the parking lottery and manage to get a spot here, you’ll find yourself right in the middle of the festivities. And while they are 953 parking spots, these fill up very quickly. To be honest, on July 6th and during weekends, don´t bother trying. Remember that the entrance to this car park is via Ave. San Ignacio and so happens that in this street you will find a big fat sign that says that you are NOT allowed to drive through. Not only that! There’ll probably be a policeman or woman insisting you turn around. Just tell them you want to park, and if there is room, they will let you go through.
> BALUARTE: This car park is just 5 minutes away from Plaza del Castillo. You can enter via Avenida del Ejército. There are 883 parking spaces and yes, they also fill up really quickly! In fact, it fills up at night (before 11pm) as we have the International Fireworks Contest only 30 seconds away from the entrance to this car park! So, as you would imagine, all the locals park there. Access to this car park will also be closed every night at 10:30 pm because of the fireworks and will reopen at 12:00 am. A lot of logistics to think about!
> PLAZA DE TOROS: Same problem – amazing location, very difficult access. Extra difficult we would say! Why? Because you will not be able to access it all though the morning due to the running of the bulls. What about the afternoons? Much of the same because of the bullfights next door. And to top all of that, for security reasons they change the entry to the car park so one ends up not having a clue as to how to get underground those days. My recommendation? Stay away from this car park at all costs!
What about outside the city centre?
Surely there will be car parks outside the city of Pamplona we can use?
Yes, there are but there are very small.
And so are your chances to find a spot in one of them!
But try them if you must:
> AUTOBUSES: located under Plamplona’s bus station and 7 minutes away from the city centre, this car park is perfectly located to attend the fireworks. Entrance is trough Calle Yanguas y Miranda. Remember that access to this car park will be closed from 10:30 pm until 12:00 am precisely because of the fireworks. It has 385 parking spots.
>ADUANA: a very well-located facility, tight at the entrance to the city centre and by the church where the actual Saint Fermin is located. What’s the problem? Size (just 118 spots). This is very small car park and the first one in town to fill up. Another thing, if you have a big car, I would not recomend this one, the parking spots are very tight.
3/ Be driven!
I know, it sounds very snobbish!
But I strongly recommend that you come to San Fermin in a driven vehicle.
It’s the only way you will reach the festivities in time and without any heartaches!
It’s an especially good idea when you travel in a group as you can share the costs of your driven vehicle.
Back to where we started:
PLEASE! DON’T TRY PARKING YOUR VEHICLE IN PAMPLONA DURING SAN FERMIN!
And if you need any further advice while planning your trip to Pamplona, make sure to get in touch!
If you are looking for a balcony spot to watch the running of the bulls, just follow this link!!