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Following Hemingway's steps in Pamplona

Pilgrim's Way to Santiago


Following Hemingway's  steps in Pamplona - Ernest Hemingway
icono pie de fotoErnest Hemingway
Following Hemingway's  steps in Pamplona - El Rincón de Hemingway
icono pie de fotoEl Rincón de Hemingway
Following Hemingway's  steps in Pamplona - Plaza del Castillo
icono pie de fotoPlaza del Castillo
Following Hemingway's  steps in Pamplona - Hotel La Perla
icono pie de fotoHotel La Perla
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Ernest Hemingway
The Nobel Prize-winning novelist Errnest Miller Hemingway was born in 1899 in the USA. Considered one of the best writers of the 20th century, he gave life to a number of characters in around twenty novels. Among them, The Sun also Rises (Fiesta), a definitive work to make the festivity of San Fermín internationally known.

Hemingway visited Pamplona nine times, and from the first he walked the streets of the city, drank in its bars and cafés, and enjoyed the local food, the bull runs, the bullfight and the happy atmospheree of the fiesta in general. Apart from Pamplona, other place in Navarre also captivated and inspired the Nobel Prizewinner through its scenery and tranquility. Tourists who follow the steps of the writer in search of the places he visited can follow the route that recalls and pays tribute to Ernest Hemingway.

Following the steps of Hemingway in Pamplona:
  • Plaza del Castillo (Bar Txoko, Hotel Quintana, Café Bar Torino, Hotel La Perla, Café Iruña, Café Kutz, Café Suizo)
  • Paseo Sarasate (Antiguo Restaurante las Pocholas)
  • Avenida San Ignacio (Hotel Yoldi)
  • Calle Mercado (Casa Marceliano)
  • Calle Eslava, 5 (Antigua pensión)
  • Plaza de Toros

Following Hemingway's steps in Navarra:

Following Hemingway's steps in Pamplona
  • 1. Bar Txoko: Hemingway was photographed most on its terrace and on that of the Café Iruña across the square. This bar is located next to the old Hotel Quintana on the corner of Espoz y Mina street.

  • 2. Hotel Quintana: one of the most emblematic places in Hemingway's visits to the Sanfermines. Despite the fact that it closed 65 years ago, many people still come to the Plaza del Castillo looking for the (non-existent) nameplate of the hotel. Hemingway made it famous by calling it the Hotel Montoya, and he also nicknamed its owner Juanito Quintana 'Montoya'. The riotous North American novelist made Juanito Quintana give him a different room every year, provided that his most distinguished customers were not disturbed. The hotel was located in the building above the Cervecería Tropicana, and its exterior appearance is the same as when Hemingway visited.

  • 3. Café Bar Torino: located in the corner of the square by La Perla at no. 3. It is now occupied by a branch of the savings bank Caja Navarra and the Windsor Pub. Hemingway described it in his book as 'Bar Milano'-.

  • 4. Hotel la Perla: (official name: Gran Hotel La Perla), located in a corner of the Plaza del Castillo. It rises elegantly among the other buildings, its light-coloured façade standing out. The first time Ernest Hemingway visited Pamplona (in 1923) he did not have enough money to stay in the best hotels. When he came back years later a rich man, Hemingway was finally able to fulfil a dream and occupied room 217 (now 201) overlooking calle Estafeta, from where he could watch the running of the bulls in the morning.

  • 5. Café Iruña: founded in 1888, its opening coincided with the official inauguration of electricity supplies in Pamplona. Today, the café is on the same site and has the same "Belle époque" atmosphere it had in the 19th century. It is a pleasant place where time seems to have stood still: marble tables, highly decorated columns, large mirrors, shields of many colours, and a long bar... It is a really popular café; most of Navarre has passed through it; the rural and the urban, the elegant and the rough: Also the locals and the foreigners, the bohemians and the yuppies… Basically, it is a great melting pot in which anyone can feel at home.

    If we talk of Hemingway in Pamplona we must make a reference to this café, his favourite place in the city. Indeed, Hemingway, the café terrace of the Iruña and a big glass of brandy are a trio that it is difficult to break up. Thanks to the author, the café is internationally famous. This is why it has dedicated an area to him as a permanent tribute to the literary giant, a place where the visitor will find the same atmosphere that the writer soaked up. There is a 185-centimetre-high bronze sculpture of him, a natural size replica of Hemingway leaning on the bar, watching the world go by.

  • 6. Café Kutz: this café no longer exists. It occupied the space between the Iruña and the Pasaje de la Jacoba. Nowadays the premises are home to a branch of the BBVA bank.

  • 7. Café Suizo: located at no. 37 in the Plaza del Castillo from 1844, the year in which it was opened by its Swiss owners Messrs. Matossi and Fanconi. It was the oldest café in Pamplona, and Hemingway mentioned it twice in his novel Fiesta: the Sun Also Rises. It remained open for 108 and closed in 1952, being replaced by the Banco de Bilbao. The premises are now occupied by the Banco de Comercio.

  • 8. Antiguo Restaurante Las Pocholas: not many people know this establishment by Its real name, "hostal del Rey Noble". This restaurant, located in the Paseo Sarasate (opposite the Monument to the Charter of Navarre) was frequented by Ernest Hemingway. He always used to sit at the same table near the entrance so that his head would be in line with that of King Carlos III el Noble, whose sculpted bust was above him. Although the restaurant closed in 2000, the Gran Hotel la Perla took over Its name, history and dining room with the same level of quality. The old nameplate of the Hostal del Rey Noble can be seen there, together with the bust of Carlos III and the same chairs that Hemingway used to sit in.

  • 9. Hotel Yoldi: located in Avenida San Ignacio, in the 1950s it became the hotel of the bullfighters because it was quiet and close to the bullring. Hemingway used to visit his bullfighter friend Antonio Ordóñez here.

  • 10. Antigua Casa Marceliano: a popular bar and restaurant that now houses municipal offices in calle Mercado (behind the City Hall) next to the market. It was a classical tavern of old Pamplona where Ernest Hemingway loved having lunch: cod 'al ajoarriero'..

  • 11. Antigua pensión de la calle Eslava, 5: Hemingway did not visit this hotel very much, but the 4th floor - and more specifically the hostel that used to be there- was where Hemingway the journalist spent his first night in Pamplona in 1932.

  • 12. Monument to Hemingway: it stands in front of the bullring, next to the entrance on the Paseo de Hemingway. Inaugurated on 6th July 1968, it is an 8,000-kilo block of granite by the sculptor Sanguino.

Other places that Hemingway visited in Navarre:
  • Auritz-Burguete: the family that owned the Hotel La Perla in Pamplona came from Auritz-Burguete. It seems that they persuaded Hemingway and his friends to visit this peaceful spot in the Pyrenean foothills of Navarre. A few days before or after the fiesta, Hemingway would visit the village to relax, enjoy the scenery and walk down to the river Irati to go trout fishing.

  • Aribe: Hemingway chose the river Irati as a place to spend long hours alone, drinking beer and hoping to catch the odd trout. He used to walk as far as the village, his favourite spot being near the Baños de Aribe.

  • Lekunberri: a pretty town in a beautiful natural setting that Hemingway chose in 1931 to rest, switch off from the hustle and bustle of the fiesta, and really relax.

  • Yesa: 1959 was the last year in which Ernest Hemingway came to Navarre. In that year Life magazine dedicated a lot of column space to the figure of the writer, and at his suggestion the photos of him fishing were taken on the banks of the Yesa reservoir .



The route in Pamplona is pleasant stroll through he main places that Hemingway frequented. To take the route through Navarra you will need a car (total distance: approx. 130 kilometres)

Opening hours, dates and guide prices. We recommend you confirm with the entity in question.

Practical information

  • Locality PAMPLONA
  • Zone The Pamplona Basin
  • Types of route Thematic