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The capital of Navarre, historically the capital of the kingdom, is situated in the centre of the community, half way between the Mountain and the Riverside zone, on the route to France, Aragón and Castile. Geographically and figuratively speaking, Pamplona has for centuries been he backbone of the community and still continues to be so.

Pamplona and its most immediate districts concentrate half of Navarre´s population as well as great part of the industrial and commercial resources. The Palace of Navarre is the site for the Local Government where all the political and administrative work occurs.

Pamplona is not only an industrial and commercial city but also a city of services. Public and private health services are provided by three centres: the Hospital of Navarre, the Virgen del Camino Hospital and the University Clinic. Due to regular investment in the medical area and highly qualified specialised professionals the health service in Navarre is superb at all levels from the first medical attention to hospitalization. It is not a coincidence that the life expectancy in Navarre is 77,5 years of age.

Education has a great presence in the city life. Three university centres influence and stimulate the cultural activity in the city. A city of the size of Pamplona has necessarily to feel the impelling effect of over 20.000 university students living in the city.


Access to the rest of Spain is excellent, on the motorway Zaragoza is only 175 kilometres away, there is a distance of 480 kilometres to Barcelona, 160 kilometres to Bilbao and Madrid is 407 kilometres away travelling mostly on motorway too. The recent opening of the highway to Vitoria has dealt with the heavy traffic on the old road and now you can get there in an hour. Travelling by car to San Sebastian - 90 kilometres away - has become a wonderful sight as you cross the valley of Leizarán on the new highway. The Concha beach in San Sebastián is less than hour away from Pamplona. A bypass around the urban perimeter redirects the flow of the heavy traffic and simplifies the communication of the centre of the city with the outskirts of Pamplona. The airport of Noáin nearby Pamplona, has daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona. Navarre in general and particularly Pamplona has, in last few years, made considerable efforts in improving its communications with the rest of the country and in breaking through the Pyrenees border. On the motorway you can easily and securely cover the distances to Bordeaux - 325 kilometres - and Toulouse - 428 kilometres -.

The Green City

The urban development of the new parts of the city has been excellently designed, examples are Mendebaldea, Iturrama, Zizur or Mendillorri. The old fortress and city wall areas have been converted into public parks and walks in the heart of the city. For example the Taconera, the northern city wall; the Vuelta del Castillo which preserves the military fortress which dates back to the XVI century; the Media Luna overlooking the River Arga and the vegetable gardens of the Magdalena. To all this, the new parks have to be added: Biurdana, del Mundo, Barañáin, Mendillorri, Aranzadi and Yamaguchi, of Japanese style. However, this is not all, there is a scheme to construct a water park in the Rochapea on the River Arga. Both the private and public universities have carefully looked after campuses ideal for Sunday strolls. In conclusion, the people of Pamplona enjoy 23 square metres of green spaces per inhabitant for their leisure.



Because of its geographical location in the Middle zone, Pamplona has a transitional climate half Mediterranean and Oceanic. Because of the influence of the Cantabrian Sea, the wet northeastern winds bring frequent rainfalls -134 days a year and 833 milimetres of precipitation a year -, a relatively high humidity around 70 %, and mild temperatures - an average 12 degrees Celsius all year round.

The influence of the mediterranean climate predominant in the Riverside zone makes the summers dry with considerably hot days in July and August. Winter is usually long taking up part of spring. It seldom snows but it can snow an average ten days a year. Summer is short, reduced to the months of July and August in which there are days with occasional showers and cool breezes. In the region of Pamplona autumn is delicious for its mild temperatures, changing skies and the beauty of a view in constant mutation.

Temperatures and rainfall in Pamplona

Month Average monthly temperatures Average rain days per month
January 4.8 11
February 5.6 10
March 8.6 13
April 10.8 14
May 14.1 14
June 17.6 10
July 20.5 7
August 20.3 8
September 17.8 11
October 13.5 10
November 8.3 13
December 5.4 13


The early period: the Basques and the Romans

Strategically located on the River Arga, from its origins Pamplona has proved a strong will to exert its dominance over the rest of the territory. The Romanization of the area begins in the I century B.C. moment in which the Roman city is established producing the invasion of the primitive Basque people. The christianization of the territory and the cultural presence of Rome established Pamplona as the religious and political capital. Excavations round the Cathedral have manifested the existence of a fully developed city. The Museum of Pamplona holds evidence of this crucial stage in the history of the city, when the primitive Basque people were led into History by the Roman civilization.

The Kingdom of Pamplona

In the second half of the IX century, after the Visigoth, Muslim and Carolingian episodes, the city emerges as a Christian centre of growth which like its neighbouring kingdoms: Aragón and Asturias, formed a group of opposition to the Islam invasion of the territory that used to be under the Visigoth Monarchy. During the X century, the Jimena Dynasty is the centre of this social and political movement which gives birth to the Kingdom of Pamplona, known as such during the following two centuries and finally, in 1164 as the Kingdom of Navarre. This change meant to mark the supreme control over the whole of the territory, Navarre, and make the Crown of Castile especially aware of this as the kings of Navarrre had in the past occasionally been subjects to Castile.

The three medieval burghs

Pamplona city was not one, but three. Three urban settlements coexisted but each with their own city walls, local authority, law administration and they were socially distinguished. The primitive Basque settlement, that was later Romanised, were the people of Navarre, the first settlers in the burgh of Navarrería. The burgh of San Cernin, suburb known as San Saturnino, was the site for the powerful and prosperous burgess group mainly made up of merchants who brought their language and their own images to venerate - Saint Cernin and Saint Saturnino in Toulouse - from France. The third burgh, San Nicolás, consisted of a heterogeneous community in its origins and social condition but was essential for the development of the future Pamplona.

The city divided into burghs persisted during the XIII and XIV centuries, not without conflicts and violence that hindered its development. The tension reached its peak in 1276, when the arrival of a foreign dynasty -the Capetos, Monarchs of France - and the intense political crisis that it raised, provoked the attack on the Navarrería burgh, killing people and devastating their properties.

Pamplona united

The Evreux royal house in 1328 opened an era of political, economic and social consolidation and development. Charles III, the Nobleman, puts an end to the division of the city in 1423 ordering the union under a single town council and coat of arms. At last, the city is reconciled and a moment of great splendour begins. Testimony worth signalling of this, is the Cathedral in which the late gothic closter and the superb tombs of Charles III, the Nobleman, and his wife Leonor of Castile in the Cathedral.

The fortress on the borderline

The political crisis that shook Navarre during the XV century, principal cause of the civil war that broke out between 'agramonteses' and 'beaumonteses' had a negative effect on the capital of the Kingdom. The extreme weakness and social chaos of the moment was the opportunity Castile was waiting for to invade Navarre and lay siege to the capital. The Kingdom surrendered when Pamplona did in 1512 along with the Monarchs - Juan de Albert and Catalina de Foix - who sought refuge in the domains of the Lords on the other side of the border where they plotted secretly unsuccessfully to restore their Kingdom.

After the conquest, the capital of the Kingdom acquires a new strategic value as a fortress against the threat of invasion by the French Monarch who had been the persistent enemy of the Castilian Monarchy. During the XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries important works of fortification were undergone in order to uphold the French attack the city was fearined. Nevertheless, the capital continued to develop politically and spiritually. All the political institutions were united among which the most important, was the viceroy who substituted for the original monarchs.

The new city

Pamplona remained closed behind its walls until the beginnings of the XX century. The population lived compelled to the limited space between the city walls and unable to face the challenges of a society that was starting to abandon the lifestyles and working systems of the Ancient Regime.

Finally, in 1905 the walls fall, from the Taconera to the Labrit, allowing an organised urban expansion towards the South producing the second enlargement - the first enlargement was a timid expansion around the Ciudadela in 1888 -. New streets were opened from the Castillo Plaza in the way the enlargement was planned in Barcelona by Cerdá.




Pamplona is well connected with all the other towns in Navarre, with the major cities in the neighbouring provinces and with the national highway system. It is 407 kilometres away from Madrid, 480 kilometres away from Barcelona, 158 kilometres away from Bilbao, 92 kilometres away from San Sebastian, 93 kilometres away from Vitoria, 175 kilometres away from Saragossa and 88 kilometres away from Logroño.

Pamplona is the crossover point between the Basque Country and the Ebro Valley. Its well maintained and varied transport network also connects the city to France: Pamplona is 110 kilometres away from Biarritz, 325 kilometres away from Bordeaux, 428 kilometres away from Toulouse and 900 kilometres away from Paris.

The A-15 Northern Motorway (or Autovía del Norte) means you can travel to San Sebastian in 45 minutes; and, in a little over an hour, you can be in Vitoria if you take the A-10 Barranca Motorway. These roads enable you to travel quickly to the international airports at Vitoria, Bilbao and Biarritz. There are also daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona from Noain Airport, which is six kilometres from Pamplona. You can also travel by train to and from Pamplona.



By car

If you are coming to Pamplona from:

●Barcelona: driving along the AP-68 Ebro Motorway and continuing along the AP-15 Navarre Motorway to Pamplona

●Bilbao: take the motorway to Vitoria and then the A-10 Barranca Motorway to Pamplona

●France: If you are coming from France, then take one of the following routes:

            - A-8 Behovia Motorway to San Sebastián and the A-15 to Pamplona

- N-121-A Behovia-Pamplona via Puerto de Belate

            - N-121 B France-Pamplona via Baztan

            - N-135 France-Pamplona via Valcarlos

            - N-138 France-Pamplona via Alduides

●Madrid: drive along the N-1 Madrid-Irun Road to Vitoria and then join the A-10 Barranca Motorway

●Irún: drive along the A-15 Northern Motorway from San Sebastian passing Irurzun (30 kilometres or 20 miles from Pamplona) and continuing along the AP-15 Navarre Motorway to Pamplona

How to arrive at the university by car?

If you are coming from the south entrance (where converge the roads from Barcelona, Zaragoza, Madrid, Huesca, the airport…), take the detour to the right which leads to the roundabout of the shopping area and continue to the roundabout of the Rectorate building, at the University.

If you are coming from the west entrance (Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastian, Logroño…), take the Navarre Avenue (known locally as the Ronda Oeste). Once it is finished, there is a triple road sign: Madrid-Zaragoza, in the middle; Cordovilla, to the right; and Francia-centro ciudad (in English, France-city centre), to the left. Take this last lane, France-city centre, and, passing under the flyover, continue to the next roundabout, which is near the University.



By bus

The bus station, which is in the city centre (2, Conde Oliveto Street), offers daily services to a large number of Spanish cities and regions: Andalusia, Barcelona, Bilbao, Oviedo, Irun, Logroño, Madrid, San Sebastian, Santander, Saragossa, Vigo and Vitoria. There are daily services to important destinations in Navarre too.

There are also bus services that connect different neighbourhoods of Pamplona to the University. The bus lines that operate from Pamplona to the University are 1, 5, 6 and 9.



By train

The railway station is in the San Jorge district, near the city centre. There are regular services to a large number of Spanish cities. If you come from southern Spain, you must change at Madrid.

For further information, check the website of the national train service:



By plane

Noain Airport is some six kilometres outside Pamplona, on the Zaragoza road. There is a good road connection to Pamplona. There are regular connections to Madrid and Barcelona.

For further information, check the website:


The Campus
At first sight, the Arrosadía Campus shows the predominance of the straight line in buildings and perspectives. The most impressive building is the library, it has 9.000 square metres and is placed longitudinally in the centre of the campus. From the exterior the library seems a polygonal solid building but the interior is transformed into a large space crowned with a vault through which the light softly shines through inviting to concentration and learning.

The library is the centre of learning, deposit of science. It collects and distributes the knowledge of the different university disciplines. For this reason the department buildings are placed at each side of the library. Like this, it symbolises a reality. Everybody is supplied by the library and simultaneously everyone supplies the library with her or his teaching and research activity.

At the back of the library, stands the 'Aulario', a rectangular building occupying the northern flank of the campus. Its the closest to the city centre and has the largest parking lot to give direct access to teachers and students to the 124 classrooms in the building.

Along the sides of the library you can enjoy a long walk. The architect, Sáenz de Oiza, reproduced the dimensions of the Sarate Paseo - in the city centre - on the Arrosadía campus. At the end of this open space stands the Rectory building, once again a glassed topped polygonal building that intends to collect the surrounding light and at the same time, radiate the light from inside.

All the buildings designed by Sáenz de Oiza converge towards a single point detached from the University. Every line is directed to the Higa de Monreal, a mountain nearby Pamplona, a natural pyramid that defines the area.

There are other buildings and centres close to the complex site organised by Sáenz de Oiza, such as the Institute of Agrobiotechnology and Natural Resources, the Sario building where the old Industrial Engineering School used to be and which holds other university services, for example Room '0' that has a capacity for 600 people, used for scientific meetings and conferences.

The campus of the Public University of Navarre is designed by the creative and controversial architect, at theoretical and practice levels, Javier Sáenz de Oiza. Originally from Navarre, concretely from Cáseda, he has universal works: the Monastery of Aránzazu, the BBV central office in Madrid, the Modern Atlantic Art Centre in Las Palmas or the Palace of Festivals in Santander.

In Pamplona, Sáenz de Oiza has left the trace of his creative force, building the University of the XX century, serviceable and not subject to the typicality. On a surface of over a quarter of a million square metres, he framed a system of buildings that create a favourable atmosphere for working, learning and the interrelation between the university collectivities. 


Formalities of the host country.

Students from EU countries do not need any special formalities for entry into Spain. However, the Police Department requires notification of their stay in the city, for which reason they should provide proof of the following:

  • Having been accepted by the Navarre Public University as exchange students with a stated limited period of stay (certificate provided by the External Affairs Office)
  • That they have sufficient financial means to meet the cost of their studies and to cover expenses in Pamplona and the cost of the return trip to their country of origin.
  • Proof of medical insurance covering accident and illness.
  • Photo

C/ Bergamín, 31 - Foreign Nationals Registration Office (Oficina de extranjería)


The city

The capital of Navarre, historically the capital of the kingdom, is situaded in the centre of the community, half way between the Mountain and the Riverside Zone, on the route to France, Aragón and Castile. Geographically and figuratively speaking, Pamplona has for centuries been the backbone of the community and still continues to be so.
Pamplona and its most immediate districts concentrate half of Navarre´s population as well as great part of the industrial and commercial resources. The Palace of Navarre is the site for the Local Government where all the political and administrative work occurs


The Public University of Navarre offers to the students selected the possibility of free accommodation in an apartment for the first 4 nights. Therefore, we need to know, before the end of August, the date and time you will arrive in Pamplona.
During these four days, the Office of Housing of the University will provide to you a database of the different available accommodation.

During the first weeks of September we will send you the family´s address and phone number, so you can arrange with them the details of your arrival.

Cost of living

Expenses may be broken down into the following items:

  • Accommodation 200-250 euros (in a shared flat)
  • Meals: 150-180 euros
    The University has a refectory where lunch is served from 1 pm to 3.30 pm for a cost of about 3.93 euros. Also available are vouchers for 10 meals costing 37.49 euros or for 30 meals costing 109.91 euros.
    As well as the refectory on campus, there are 2 cafeterias serving sandwiches and hot meals.
  • Transport: City bus service:
    A single ticket costs 0.85 euros, although we advise buying travel cards, which are on sale at savings banks, allowing you to travel for 0.45 euros and make connections for free.
  • Personal expenses:
    All the teaching material is similar in price to elsewhere in the European Union. A cinema ticket costs 5.5 euros, although some savings banks offer discounts with their young people's saver card.
    A coffee costs around 1 euro and a soft drink is about 1.5 euros, although these prices are cheaper on campus.

The Climate

Temperatures can vary from 3 to 10 degrees Celsius in the winter and from 20 to 25 in the summer.


Erasmus Student Network (ESN)
University Services
Bank branches
Post Office
Tourist Office
Travelling in Spain
Young People's Card
International Student Card
Spanish Language Courses

Erasmus Student Network (ESN)

The ESN is a students' association in the Navarre Public University, belonging to the European federation of the same name, which is voluntary and sets out to help the integration of Erasmus students in the University. It organises excursions, teas, dinners, visits to Pamplona and is available for all enquiries on +34 948 16 97 88.

University Services

Most University services are described in the Navarre Public University site. The University also has a Sports Hall, and for those sports with no facilities on campus, there are a number of agreements with various institutions and sports associations which allow students to use their facilities. There are also students' associations for other kinds of sports such as pot holing.


Students are advised to take out health and liability insurance valid in Spain.
All European Union students must fill in the E-128 form. Students should find out about this form in their country of origin as only with this can they use Social Security facilities free of charge.


It is a good idea to open a bank account with branches both in your country of origin and in Spain to make payments of grants and availability of money easier.
Times: Monday to Friday: 8.30 am - 2.30 pm
Central branches: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm
Saturdays: 8.30 am - 2 pm


The voltage used in Spain is 220 Volts at 50 Hz.

Post Office

Open from Monday to Friday: 8.30 am - 9 pm
Saturdays: 8.30 am - 2 pm


Times: Monday to Friday: 9 am - 2 pm and 5 pm - 7.30/8 pm
Saturdays: 9.30 am - 2 pm
Department stores: Monday to Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm

Tourist Office

C/ Eslava, 1
31001 Pamplona
Telephone: + 34 948213210
Fax: + 34 948207034

Travelling in Spain

The easiest and cheapest way to travel around Spain is by coach. Coach services in Spain are cheap, fast and go to virtually every inhabited region of the country.
To give you an idea:

· To get to Madrid or Barcelona (approx. 5 hours), a ticket costs approximately 18 euros.

· To get to San Sebastián (approx. 1 hour), a ticket will cost approximately 10 euros.

Young People's Card

The Young People's Card is personal and non-transferable. Any young person may apply for one, as the only restriction is on age.

The card is for young people from the age of 14 until the age of 26. It is normally valid for two years up to the following May or until the holder turns 26.
Places accepting the Young People's Card are identified by a sticker showing the HERCULES<26 logo.

Your card is valid everywhere in Spain and in 31 European countries. Simply ask for your free Guide in any European Young People's Card office.

In Navarre, the Young People's Card is available at all branches of the Caja Navarra Savings bank. The Card costs 6 euros.

Further information at:

Navarre Institute for Sports and Young People
(Instituto Navarro de Deporte y Juventud)
C/ Arrieta, 25 1º
31002 Pamplona
Telephone: + 34 948427841-948427854

TIVE International Student Card

Everyone below the age of 30 enrolled at a Spanish university, no matter what nationality they are, may apply for the International Student Card. You will need your passport, two photographs and the Certificate of Enrolment in the University. The card costs 4 euros.

Apply for it at ANAVI (Navarre Association of Travel Agencies):

Students' marks certificate

At the end of their stay in the Navarre Public University, every exchange student will be awarded a certificate showing the marks they have achieved, which will be sent to their university of origin.

Spanish Language Courses

As most teaching is through Spanish, an intensive Spanish language course is organised by Higher Centre of Language. The course is held the week before the start of the academic year.
Besides this, all foreign students may study on a special Spanish language course of 3 hours a week from October to June


Pamplona (Basque: Iruñea or Iruña) is the capital city of Navarre, Spain. It has a population of 171,150, and is 92 kilometres from the town of Donostia, and 407 kilometres from Madrid. From the 9th century up to the 12th century, Navarrese country was known as the Kingdom of Pamplona. Iruñea is the Basque name proposed by the Royal Academy of the Basque Language, but the Basque name recognized by the Government of Navarre is Iruña.

Pamplona is famous for the San Fermín festival, on July 7, also known as The running of the bulls or 'encierro'. Ernest Hemingway made this feature of Pamplona famous in his writings and was duly honored by having a street in the city named after him, Avenida de Hemingway.

The area South of Pamplona is warm, dry, arid and very similar to the landscape found in parts of Castile. Northwards, however, it is cool and dry and very similar to the landscape of Aquitaine's forest. The city itself is very green: together with the old section of the city, which hosts the San Fermín festival, with its cobbled streets, it is a pleasant tourist destination.

Located at an altitude of 444 m above sea level on a hill overlooking the Arga River and overlooking the surrounding valley, Pamplona has been populated for more than 2,000 years. In the winter of 74-75 B.C., the area served as a camp for the Roman general Pompey. He is considered to be the founder of "Pompaelo" (Pamplona).

By the 2nd century, Pamplona was a significant Roman town with a forum and hot baths. By 409, however, Pamplona was controlled by the Visigoths - it served as an episcopal see from the end of the seventh century - and from the eighth century, it was run by the Moors. After his expedition to Zaragoza in 778, Charlemagne tore down the defensive walls surrounding Pamplona.

In 781 Abd ar-Rahman I reconquered the city. Destroyed by Abd ar-Rahman III in 924, Pamplona was reduced to a small country village also called Iruña and later Navarreria.

By the 10th century, Pamplona benefitted from pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela, and gave rise to new city areas beside the original Navarreria site: the "Burgo de San Cernin", supported by the Kingdom of Navarre and mainly inhabited by Franks and merchants, and the village of "San Nicolás". These three independent towns, being placed so close together, were almost always engaged in quarrels among themselves, until the King of Navarre Charles III the Noble united all of them into the single city of today by the "Privilegio de la Unión" signed in 1423.

In 1515 the area of Navarra associated itself with the Castiles and became an autonomous kingdom with its own institutions and laws. By the 17th century, Pamplona became a fortress on the edge of the Pyrenees. During the 18th century, several beautiful palaces were built in the capital of Navarra such as the Casa Consistorial or Town Hall in 1752. The neoclassic facade of the Cathedral was undertaken in 1783.

The city did not escape the regional wars of the 19th century. French troops occupied the city after a surprise attack when they had pretended to be citizens playing nearby with snow balls, and remained in Pamplona until 1813. During the Carlist Wars (1833, 1872) Pamplona supported the Isabelian monarchy, as opposed to rural Navarra which fought in favor of the pretender to the throne, Don Carlos.

Pamplona has maintained the medieval layout of the town, including a star fort, but expanded to include suburbs in the past 100 years. The city is home to two universities: the Universidad de Navarra, founded by Opus Dei in 1952, and the Universidad Pública de Navarra, created by the government of Navarra in 1987. There is also a local branch of the UNED (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia).

Pamplona has been listed as a city with one of the best standards of living in Spain. In 2003, the population was 183,000 showing an increase because of immigration, especially from South America. Pamplona is well urbanized and some of the suburb towns include Baranain, Burlada, Cizur Mayor, Cizur Menor, Villava and the town where wealthy people tend to move to - Gorraiz, a town with a golf club. Residents benefit from well-organized public buses called villavesas. Much employment is based at the Volkswagen factory located in Landaben.




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