Are you at a loose end for something to do at Christmas
? Have you got a few free days to spare? Do you feel like enjoying the Christmas spirit? Well, carry on reading because we've got a host of suggestions for things to do here in Pamplona.
Visit this capital of the kingdom of Navarre and enjoy the magic of the lights, the smell of roast chestnuts, the heart- warming traditions and customs, the customary "poteo" (bar hopping) and soak up the wonderful atmosphere which, despite the cold, is ever present in the streets. And if you tend to leave present buying to the last minute, then take a look at the fairs and local shops, whose festive window displays simply invite you to go inside.
Families, athletes, romantics, gourmets and culture lovers... we've got something to do for everyone, because variety is the spice of life:
- Christmas Fair in the Plaza del Castillo square: the Pamplona city centre becomes a showcase for regional food products and craft goods, on sale in delightful wooden huts. Chocolates, cakes and biscuits, cheese, silver accessories, leather, pottery, handmade clothing, as well as workshops and demonstrations of the different trades.
- Christmas Fair in the Plaza de Toros bullring: the stalls hold an extensive range of products, so you're sure to find just what you need for your family, friends and even for you. Items ranging from handicrafts, traditional food, clothes and accessories, right up to esoteric products.
- Ame & Art Market: an independent design and art market, held on the 13th and 15th December and 20th and 22th December in the shop in Tejería street.
- "Navipark" Children's Park: inflatables, sledging slopes, ball pool, boating pool, jumping, bumper cars, giant puzzles, a variety of workshops and much, much more. A must-visit so that the kids can have a fun time. From 26th and 30th December and 2nd and 4th January. From 11:00 to 20:00 h
- Giant Toboggan: in the Paseo de Saraste
Hours: until January 4, every day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. On December 24 and 31, it will close at 7:00 p.m. December 25 and January 1, will open at 12:00. Price € 4/3 descents.
- "Échale cuento... ¡y juega!": in the Escuela Navarra de Teatro wtih differents games and children's activities during the mornings of the Christmas school holidays in the last week of the year.
- Olentzero: on the 24th December, a procession led by this pot-bellied, ruddy-faced charcoal maker who, each Christmas Eve, comes down from the mountains to announce the arrival of Baby Jesus and to give out presents to the children in the house. The procession, dressed in traditional costumes, accompanied by farm animals, zanpanzar (men dressed in traditional costumes, shaking cow bells), moves through the streets of the old quarter to the sound of well-known carols accompanied by txistus (flutes) and fanfarres (brass bands).
- Saint Sylvestre Race: so that it's not all just about eating and drinking, on the 31st December, you can get in form by running this race to fight the cold.
- New Year's Eve Carnival: on the 31st December following the traditional evening meal and the 12 grapes at midnight, the old quarter of Pamplona is packed with people in fancy dress, having fun.
- Procession of the Magi Kings, on the 5th January. This is really spectacular in Pamplona, with the procession coming into the city over the Magdalena Bridge and entering the old quarter through the Portal de Francia, one of the main gateways offering access to the city in the 16th century with its drawbridge and moat. The Magi Kings demand access, and the drawbridge is then lowered so that they can enter.
- Nativity Scenes: throughout the Christmas period, such as the open-air scene in the Gardens of La Taconera or the one in the Zaguán (entrance hall) of the City Council. Exhibition of Nativity Scenes at the Baluarte palace of congresses and auditorium: more than 30 Nativity Scenes of varying dimensions, constructed with different techniques and materials, portraying typical Christmas scenes.