Balconies Vs. The Street Level Scene In Pamplona
Instead, they line the streets and lean over from balconies. This is two very different vantage points and which is better, you ask? Well, frankly you should be in Pamplona long enough to do both – the bulls rum each morning from July 6-14 – but anyway here’s some perspective from each location.
Note: Running Of The Bulls Is Not Happening In 2021. Read the full statement here.
Watching Running Of The Bulls From The Street
This puts you right in the heart of the action. Ground level, right there on top of things. You’ll be close enough to hear the bulls snorting. Or perhaps have someone who is running with them fall into your lap if they jump over the barricade.
That is, if you’re close enough to the action. Lining up on the street is like watching Jordan Speith at The Masters; people line up several rows deep and you can be left standing on your tip-toes just to get a brief glimpse of things.
If you want to be on the street – and it’s an experience highly recommended by PubClub.com – then get there early, by 6 or 6:30 a.m. Stake out your spot and hold it.
The bulls run at 8 a.m., and be ready for it goes quick. The distance they run only about half a mile and the run only lasts for three or four minutes (it can be longer if a bull gets separated and that’s trouble time for any of the so-called mozos, the name for those who are running).
By the way, if you DO run, be sure and follow PubClub’s tips for how not to get gored. Or trampled.
The places to watch from the street are the Telefonica, Plaza Consistorial and Mercaderes. The wildest place is La Estafeta Street, which is downhill and the bulls can lose their balance and crash into the barricades.
You’ll know La Estafeta well; it’s where many of those great tapas bars are located. You’ll probably be in them the night before until a few hours before the run.
Watching Running Of The Bulls From The Balconies
By comparison, being on a balcony is like being in a box suite at an American football game.
You get the scene from above, are able to witness all the mayhem as it unfolds two, three or four stories below you.
It’s also like being at a house party; you put drinks in red solo cup, soak up the scene, then go inside and party with others – some of whom you may actually know! – who are there, too.
The streets of course, are free. The balconies will cost you, between 80-120 Euros. You can reserve these on-line ahead of time from various websites and tour operators or do it when you get to Pamplona. If you’re only there for a couple of days, be safe and reserve in advance.
If you’re there for several days or even a week, just wing it; heck, you may meet someone in one of Pamplona’s many tapas bars who will invite to you their balcony. (PubClub.com is a true believer in the spirt of the travel adventure; if you are more of a planner then by all means, plan this in advance.)