Posted by: Rachel Arp
Date: March 5th, 2018
It’s not “Tapas,” it’s “Pintxos.”
Many people know Spain for their famous tapas, which are small plates of traditional Spanish food. In Pamplona, they have this – although “tapas” instead are called “pintxos.” This comes from the Basque word for tapas, because there is a large Basque influence in the Navarra region. On Thursdays, there is an event called “Juevintxos” where locals flood into Casco Viejo (the old part of town) to meet up with friends and order pinxtos and drinks. Many bars even offer deals for 1 pintxo and 1 drink for 2 euros!
Public transportation, aka the “Villavesa,” is huge here.
If you want to get anywhere in town and live more than ten minutes walking from it, there’s a good chance that you’ll be taking the Villavesa. This is the locals’ word for the city bus, which has lines running all throughout Pamplona. They offer student discounts as well as bus cards that have a reduced rate. One important note with the Villavesa is that all lines stop running at 11pm and start back up at 6 am, which could make it difficult if you´re out and you live too far to walk home.
The old part of town is called “Casco Viejo”
Locals affectionately call it “Lo Viejo,” and it offers many shops and restaurants for you to enjoy. It also features the famous “Café Iruña,” which is the restaurant that Hemingway used to frequent during his visits to Spain. Take a stroll through Lo Viejo to see all of the traditional restaurants, bars, and architecture that Pamplona has to offer.
Northern Spain can have very unpredictable weather.
One thing that people may not know before coming to Pamplona is how to properly pack for the weather. Many people associate Spain with being warm and sunny all the time. However, in northern Spain, you have to prepare for everything – wind, rain, sun, snow, etc. The winter months are especially cold and rainy, although the spring and summer can be very rainy as well. It´s important to pack wisely!
Finally, take advantage of all Pamplona has to offer!
There are so many things to do in Pamplona, and many times people don´t even know about them. Take the scenic route to Lo Viejo through Parque de La Taconera to experience the beautiful scenery and get a prime view that overlooks the city and mountains in the distance. Spend a day exploring the local museum and the beautiful University of Navarra campus. Catch a play or a concert at the Teatro Gayarre in downtown Pamplona. Most of all, enjoy your time in Pamplona and try to experience as much as possible!