Ernest Hemingway did Pamplona a great favour when he featured the city’s annual bull run in one of his novels. Ninety years later, the city still pulls the crowds, and not just during the annual festival of San Fermín, when bulls really do dash through the heart of Pamplona’s Old Town.
Pamplona is just 30 km from the French border and, though the city is not on a main rail route, it is pretty easy to reach by train. Approaching from France and the north, the best route is via Irun, from where two to four trains daily take 2 hrs to reach Pamplona. Note that in the local Basque language Pamplona is known at Iruna. Many rail travellers wreck their itineraries by confusing Iruna with Irun.
Onward connections from Pamplona are reasonable. There are a handful of direct trains each day from Pamplona to Barcelona (4 hrs away) and Madrid (just over 3 hrs). There are also direct trains to Gijón (on the coast of Asturias) and to various cities in Galicia (including Santiago de Compostela and Vigo). The Basque cities of San Sebastián and Bilbao are of course within easy reach of Pamplona.
Travel to Pamplona by train from anywhere in the UK or across Europe
Avg 0 changes 3hr 38m
Avg 0 changes 3hr 3m