Running of the Bulls - Pamplona

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FAQ

 

How long should I spend at Pamplona?

We recommend witnessing at least two runnings of the bulls. Our Opening Ceremony tours have a 2 night minimum stay and include the opening ceremony on 6 July & first bull run on 7 July. Our mid-festival & closing ceremony packages are available for 2 or 3 nights to witness 2-3 bull runs. All our packages enable you to experience all the attractions of San Fermin such as parades, bull fights, nightly street parties and fireworks displays, and also the option of a day trip to San Sebastian. Best of all, being with Fanatics is the biggest & best way to get the most out of your San Fermin experience and party together with hundreds of fellow Fanatics travellers.

Do I have to run with the bulls?

Running with the bulls is not an expectation when travelling on our tours. Anyone who does choose to run with the bulls does so at their own risk - every year there are very serious injuries & often deaths. Injuries are not just from the bulls, it's easy to fall and be trampled as well. The most recent death was in 2009 when a runner was speared by a bull horn and died at the scene. Be warned, running with the bulls is not a joke. If you do run, and you make it to the main arena, you will then be forced to wait on the bull ring floor with thousands of other runners as more bulls are released into the arena - it's every man for himself and the action is frightening if you're a runner, or hilarious if you're in the safety of the grand stands.

How do I watch the bull runs safely?

In order to get a different perspective each day, we recommend watching the bull run from inside the main arena in the safety of the grand stands on your first morning (€8, tickets availble for purchase in the morning). Then, on your second day, watch it from behind the tall safety barricades on the streets. If you're staying for a third day, take your pick! Many locals also sell places on their balcony to watch the bull runs, you will see them hawking for business each day on the streets.

How can I get tickets for a bull fight?

Tickets for the evening bull fights are initially offered for sale to local residents only. If any tickets remain, they go on sale at the ticket booths at the bull ring (Plaza de Toros) at 8pm the night before and 9am in the morning of the fight. Most visitors buy their tickets on the street from touts just before the bull fight starts at 6pm - they're easy to find, just make sure you check the date on your ticket and ensure it's not a fake. Expect to pay anything from €30-€80 depending on your negotiating skills.

Is the Opening Ceremony a must?

The Opening Ceremony is certainly a major highlight of the festival with what seems like the entire town along with plenty of tourists partying in the streets with sangria in hand throughout the afternoon. Bars are cranking, bands are playing and plenty of sangria and beer is flowing!

All of our Opening Ceremony packages begin on 5 July and it won’t be possible to check into our Pamplona campsite on 6 July until the late afternoon when our crew returns from town.

However, the bull runs and nightly parties continue and are just as spectacular right through until the closing ceremony at midnight on 14 July. So if you’d prefer to come along later in the week or for the closing ceremony then you’re certainly in for an incredible experience. With fewer tourists in town the festival is into its true Spanish swing at these times.

How far is the campsite from the Running of the Bulls?

At just 7km our Pamplona campsite is the closest campsite to town. It’s just 10 minutes on our regular campsite shuttles so you’ll be able to spend the maximum amount of time at the festival. Other campsites are at least 30-40 km away from Pamplona.

Can I share accommodation with my mates?

Of course! Tents at our campsite are allocated on arrival so our check-in crew at the campsite will be able to place you together. If you’d like to share a hostel or hotel room with your friends just email us at london@thefanatics.com with everyone’s names and we’ll link your bookings to get you together on the tour.

What is the most popular form of accommodation during Running of the Bulls?

Camping is by far the most popular option for the Running of the Bulls. With its bars and restaurant taking care of everything you need and our live band playing into the night the atmosphere is unbeatable. If you’re not much of a camper never fear, tents are set up ready for your arrival with sleeping mat and pillow and the campsite has plenty of shower and WC facilities (and even power for the hair-straighteners girls!).

If you’d prefer not to camp then we also have a limited number of bunk beds in our campsite dorm room as well as our Pamplona hostel & hotel options for the Opening Ceremony.

What is included in the campsite dormitory?

Our campsite bunk bed dormitory consists of three rooms of 20 bunk beds each. Pillows are provided however you will need your own sleeping bag - these are available to add to our packages or can be purchased at the campsite. Lockers are included for your valuables.

Where are the hostels & hotel located?

Our hostels are located in the heart of Pamplona's old town centre. Each hostel caters for 20-40 guests and we have a tour leader based at each to ensure you don't miss a minute of the bulls & street party action!

Our Pamplona hotel is 30 minutes' walk (or 8 minutes on the local bus) from the old town centre and is the perfect base to experience the entire festival day & night. Our private coach shuttles into the old town centre & back are included each evening as well as for the opening ceremony and first two bull runs.

Can I book extra nights?

Extra nights are available at our campsite, simply select the dates you would like to arrive and depart when making you booking. At our Pamplona hotel you can stay an extra night on 4 July.

What do I need to bring with me?

We’d advise you to only bring along what you’re going to need while at the festival. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need:

Clothes:

  • During the Running of the Bulls everyone wears all white and a red scarf for the entire festival - day & night. All Fanatics travellers will receive their white tour t-shirt and red scarf when they arrive. Cheap white trousers are easily purchased at the campsite or in town, there's no need to buy them before you depart. We also sell extra souvenir t-shirts at the campsite if you're after a fresh one. Forget wearing your usual going out threads at Pamplona - all you wear in town is white!
  • While days are usually warm to hot evenings can be cool so bring along a variety of clothing for hot, cool &/or rainy weather.
  • Boardies/bikini (for the campsite pool or the beach at San Sebastian).
  • Closed shoes - the large amounts of glass on the streets means closed shoes must be worn at all times when in town (i.e. no thongs/flip-flops, sandals etc).

Essentials:

  • Passport (a visa is not required for Aussies & Kiwis)
  • Travel insurance documents - contact us if you’d like information on purchasing travel insurance
  • Any essential personal medication
  • Some Euros in cash (there’s no ATM at the campsite)
  • Sleeping bag for campers (also available to purchase at the campsite; a sleeping mat, pillow & towel are included for all campers)
  • A small lock is advised for locking your tent zippers
  • Money belt to carry cash, passport etc. There are lockers available at the campsite capable of storing iPads & tablet/notebook laptops, however we advise keeping valuables to a minimum.

Is it safe to store my belongings in my tent at the campsite?

Our tents are located in our own section of the campsite and the campsite has security to prevent anyone not staying at the campsite from entering and also patrolling our tent area when the group is in town. While we haven’t had any problems with theft in the past we would still recommend that you keep the valuables you bring with you to a minimum and keep any valuables you do have (wallet, phone, camera) on you when you go into town.

What size suitcase can I bring on the coach tour?

Every coach tour passenger can bring one standard size suitcase or backpack to be loaded in the luggage hold area of the coach. You may also carry a day pack on board with you and a travel pillow is also a good idea.

Can I park a car or van at the campsite?

All of our camping accommodation is in our pre-erected twin and single tents. Our campsite doesn’t have places for vans to park on site. If you are driving to Pamplona you can park in the campsite car park for approx €15 - €20 per day.

Is there anything I need to know before I come to maximise the trip?

All tour information is on our website and will be on our tour notice boards during the festival. We also have a mobile tour app available to download a few weeks before the tour including all the information you need to get the most out of your bulls experience. Finally our Facabook event page is the perfect place to link up with other people coming along on tour or ask our crew any questions you have about the festival.

If booking for more than one person what is the best way to pay?

Getting a group along to Pamplona? You can either make your booking together on one invoice by paying the deposit payment on one card and then making balance payments on as many different cards as you like, or you can simply make individual bookings and then email us at london@thefanatics.com and we will link your booking invoices together.

When is final payment due?

Final payments are due six weeks before the tour. When making your booking you can either pay the full balance or deposit amount. Bookings made within six weeks of the tour require full payment when booking.

How can I make my final payment?

Payments can be made online or by calling one of our offices. To pay online simply sign in at the top of this page and then go to 'My Invoices' and 'Pay'. Part payments can be made using multiple cards. Contact us to pay over the phone.

How do I get to Pamplona?

Flights + Fanatics Airport Transfers

Flights: The most popular airports that people fly into from the UK are Bilbao, Barcelona and Madrid (via Easyjet or British Airlines).

Fanatics Airport & City Transfers: Fanatics transfers from Barcelona Airport & city centre, Bilbao Airport, Madrid Airport and San Sebastian are now available to book online. See ‘Transfers’ on the right hand menu to book.

Getting To Pamplona On Your Own

If you plan to make your way to Pamplona entirely on your own there are several alternatives. However, you need to consider that in most cases the links into Pamplona are not direct & require several changes, and subsequently make the actual cost and time of your journey greater than you might have considered. Also, most services are fully booked out during San Fermin so you need to book early to guarantee a seat.

Pamplona Coach Station:

On the afternoon of 5 July we operate our own private shuttle service from Pamplona Bus Station direct to our Pamplona campsite for €5. Pre-bookings not required, simply turn up at Pamplona coach station & report to Fanatics reps in the main waiting area near the ticket office.

Coaches run to Pamplona from Barcelona (Alsa), Bilbao (La Union), Madrid and other locations in Spain (Alsa).

Pamplona Train Station:

Pamplona train station is located a couple of kilometres out of town. There is a limited local bus service into town, however the best option is probably a taxi into town or direct to the campsite (expect to pay around €20 one-way).

Trains to Pamplona are available from Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and other locations. See Renfe for details.

Pamplona Airport:

Flights into Pamplona Airport from the UK are usually not direct services and are generally more expensive than flying into other Spanish cities. If you are flying from elsewhere in Europe you may be able to get a flight into Pamplona. From Pamplona airport you will need to take a taxi to the campsite which will cost around €30.