For most of the year, Pamplona is a sleepy town located in the very north of Spain with little to offer except relaxation and richly decorated buildings. From the 6th to 14th of July however, the city transforms to host one of the biggest parties in Europe, the San Fermín festival. The festival, most well known for the daily running of the bulls, runs nonstop for eight days, with bars and clubs open 24 hours.
If you are traveling to Pamplona anytime except during the San Fermín festival, you will find an overwhelming number of hostels for extremely cheap and that are (relatively) empty. Many of these are quality hostels, but make most of their profits during the festival. Many other hostels close for the time outside of the festival, or only stay open for a fraction of the high season. With all this choice, you may as well stay right in the old town.
If you are traveling during the San Fermín festival, book your Pamplona hostel well in advance. Prices skyrocket during the time, with hostels often charging 4-5 times as much as they normally can. Expect overcrowded rooms and, if you choose to stay downtown, more noise than you will usually find in even the busiest of hostels. Most hostels are prepared for the crush of tourists, however you will still find some making mistakes such as not enough food for breakfasts, not enough lockers for bags, or double booked beds. Trust the reviews for the hostel, but understand that due to the sheer number of tourists every hostel will have several bad reviews.
Hi, I'm Josh,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Pamplona hostels. Welcome.