To take a walk with your children and not miss the essence of the city, we recommend the following route:
Start next to the bull ring, at a bust of Ernest Hemingway, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist who made the festivity of San Fermín famous worldwide plaza de toros, en el lugar donde se encuentra el busto de Hemingway quien dio a conocer mundialmente las fiestas de San Fermín.
From there, head for the Cathedral (12th and 15th centuries) by walking the top of the city walls along the Ronda del Obispo Barbazán, stopping to admire the fine views offered by the viewpoint of the Caballo Blanco. You can climb the tower of the Cathedral and get a superb view of the city or visit an exhibition for children titled “Catedral Infantil”, in which 10 parts of the cathedral have been made smaller so that children can appreciate them. See the information here.
We recommend a stop in the authentic heart of the city, the Plaza del Castillo, always full of pigeons to feed. You can restock on energy in the bars and terraces there. How about trying drinking chocolate with churros (a kind of long doughnut) in the Café Iruña, one of Ernest Hemingway’s regular haunts? A good choice, for sure.
If your little ones like sweet things, stop at the picturesque traditional shop Garrarte, located in Calle Estafeta on the route of the bull run of San Fermín. This can be an unforgettable experience, especially if you take the opportunity to take part in a workshop on how to make sweets!
Crossing City Hall square in front of its elegant neo-classical façade, you reach Calle Mayor with its fine noble houses that leads to Taconera park, whose moat contains a small zoo in which deer, ducks, pheasants, swans and peacocks roam around in a state of semi-freedom. There are swings in the gardens and a stall where you can buy sweets for the children.
Another excellent option is the Planetarium. As well as having one of the biggest dome screens in the world it has an intensive programme of projections, talks and workshops. It is located in the Japanese-style Yamaguchi park, which contains all the traditional elements of a park of this type: a pergola on the pond, wooden bridges, a waterfall, a rock garden, a fountain...
Before leaving, take a stroll along the Arga River Park. You reach it by taking the elevator that descends the city walls (from Calle Descalzos) or walk down Santo Domingo street behind the City Hall. It is a delightful walk in the setting of the meanders of the river Arga that runs for about 12 kilometres. You can go on foot, by bicycle or on roller skates, give the ducks some bread, or even hire a canoe.
There are also other leisure options for children within a short distance. In nearby Berrioplano you will find Rocópolis, a climbing centre with an indoor adventure wall; in Oricáin is Salting Iruña, a place to jump around with more than 50 trampolines (vertical and horizontal), and in Huarte you will find an ice rink.