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The Fiestas de San Fermín, also known as the Sanfermines, are a traditional celebration that takes place in the city of Pamplona, in the region of Navarre, Spain. Every year, from 6 to 14 July, the city is transformed into a vibrant and colourful stage to honour San Fermín de Amiens, the patron saint of the city. But there is something else that makes these festivities even more special: they have been declared of International Tourist Interest.1.


What does “International Tourist Interest” mean for the Sanfermines?

This distinction awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture recognises the global relevance and attractiveness of the Sanfermines. As they have been declared of International Tourist Interest, the following aspects are highlighted:

1. Global Promotion: The Sanfermines are promoted at international fairs and Spanish embassies all over the world. This attracts visitors from different countries and cultures.
2. Financial subsidy: Pamplona City Council receives a financial subsidy to support the organisation and development of the festivities.

In addition, the Sanfermines have been inscribed as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This distinction was awarded in 2013 and recognises the cultural and traditional importance of this festival, which gathers crowds and beats in the hearts of its people.



When do the Sanfermines take place?

The Sanfermines are held annually from 6 to 14 July. During these nine days, the city is transformed into a vibrant and colourful stage, attracting visitors from all over the world.

The 6th of July is the famous day of El Chupinazo, when the festivities are kicked off and the Sanfermines are announced with the launching of the rocket, or chupinazo, and the singing of “Pobre de mí” (Poor me).


What do the Sanfermines commemorate?

The story of Saint Fermin dates back to the 3rd century. Saint Fermin, a Christian saint, was martyred in the city of Amiens (France). However, his devotion spread to Pamplona, where he is believed to have been born. The festival commemorates his life and sacrifice, and has become one of Spain’s most emblematic celebrations.


Everything you can’t miss during the San Fermín Fiestas


During the Sanfermines, the city is full of exciting activities:

1. The Running of the Bulls
The running of the bulls is the most famous and exciting event. Every morning, at 8:00 a.m., the runners face the bulls in an 825-metre run through the narrow streets of the historic centre. Adrenaline, speed and tradition mix in this unique race.


2. Parades of Giants and Big-headed Bigheads in San Fermin
The little ones enjoy watching the parades of giants and big-heads. These colourful and animated figures walk through the streets while people applaud and have fun. The giants represent historical and mythological characters, and the big-headed figures are figures with huge heads that interact with the public.

3. Festivals and Concerts en San Fermin

Live music is an essential part of the festivities. The Plaza del Castillo and Plaza Compañía are filled with joy with concerts by local and international artists. Dance, sing and celebrate with locals and other visitors.

4. Visit to the Bullring

The Pamplona Bullring is an iconic place. If you want to immerse yourself in the experience of the running of the bulls, take a guided tour. Discover the history, architecture and secrets behind this emblematic building. The bullring has a capacity for more than 19,000 spectators and is the second largest in Spain, after Las Ventas in Madrid.


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The Pamplona bullring during Sanfermines

The epicentre of the Sanfermines is the Pamplona bullring, inaugurated on 7 July 1922. With a capacity of 19,721 people, it is the second largest in Spain, second only to Las Ventas in Madrid, and the third largest in the world (the first is the Monumental in Mexico). Here, the running of the bulls culminates with the arrival of the bulls in the bullring, creating a unique and intense experience.

If you visit Pamplona during the Sanfermines, you can’t miss a guided tour of the bullring. In approximately one hour, you will learn about the 102 years of history of this emblematic place. From its architecture to the modifications made due to the running of the bulls, this immersion will immerse you in the essence of the fiesta.


Guide to getting to Pamplona in your hire car

If you plan to arrive in Pamplona from some of our offices with your hire car, we leave you with the best options:

From Bilbao: Take the A-68 and the AP-15. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. (You can book your car hire at Bilbao airport with Record go Mobility).
From Madrid: The fastest route is via the A-15 and the journey takes about 4 hours. (Book your car hire in Madrid airport; in Madrid Atocha or your car hire in Chamartín).
From Valencia: The A-23 will take you to Pamplona in about 4 hours and 30 minutes. (Car hire at Valencia airport or next to Joaquín Sorolla station, at the cheapest price).
From Barcelona: The AP-2 and AP-68 are the best options. The journey takes around 4 hours and 30 minutes. (Make your own route with full flexibility and autonomy with car hire in Barcelona airport or, if you prefer, car hire in Barcelona Sants).

If you are travelling in Spain between the 6th and 14th of July, visiting Pamplona with your Record go Mobility hire car during the Sanfermines is an ideal option to enjoy this fiesta and soak up its essence.


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