La Marcha de Pamplona
Calle de la Comunidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Pamplona, Spain
La Marcha de Pamplona Reviews
Apr 27, 2007
The bulk of pre-partying takes place in the historic quarter, with the late-nighters shifting when the bars close between 3 and 4am to the discos just south of Plaza de Juan XXIII. Early evening when the weather is nice, students often congregate in Plaza de los Burgos for a few cervezas con limón (beer mixed with lemonade).
Thursday night is the prime night for university partying, while on Fridays all people, young and old, make the pilgrimage—no, not to Santiago—to the bars of the Old Town. On Saturdays you'll primarily find your high school-aged crowd out and about, especially along Calle Navarrería.
My suggested going-out itinerary: Start out with a beer at one of the café terraces on Plaza del Castillo, migrate over to Calle San Nicolas for more drinks and pinchos, move on to Navarrería where all those under 30 make an appearance at some point in the evening, and end your night (or possibly morning) at one of the Avenida Bayona area's hopping discos.
It doesn't really matter if you start off at Bar Navarrería, Bar Cordovilla, Bar Ezkia, Bar Aldaba, or one of the many other drinking establishments that comprise Calle Navarrería; all the youthful nomads only end up buying a beer and drifting outside to the plaza in the center of this buzzing Mecca for bargoers.
You won't find your international crowd here, but if you're looking to get off the beaten bar track, this crowded, smoky place, where the locals come to mingle amid comic caricatures of famous figures on the walls, won't disappoint. Jarauta 9. No phone. Open Tues-Thurs 7:30-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 7:30pm-4am.
Popular among international students (and with beer for just 1[eu], it's no wonder why), this underground bar is small and dungeonlike but comes alive on Thursdays (University Night) and on Fridays after midnight. If you're nostalgic for home, you can hear English spoken and American music played here. Plaza Recoletas. [tel] 653-198-926. www.barlosportales.com. Open Thurs-Sat 10pm-4am.
Irish, Scottish, American, Scandinavian—all the internationals in town convene at the Harp for football and rugby matches and just about every other odd occasion. Unlike many other Irish pubs in Spain, English is spoken exclusively here (the owners are, gasp, actually Irish). The restaurant upstairs, El Arpa, offers filling meals for 35kat[eu]. San Gregorio 12. [tel] 948-211-549. Open Sun-Thurs 10:30am-1am, Fri-Sat 10:30am-3:30am.
The only thing Irish about this pub is its name. Though one time owned by imports from the land of Celtic folklore and leprechauns, the light-hearted bar is now run by locals. Tapas are served all day long should you need something to feed your tapeworm. Paseo Sarasate 13. No phone. Open Mon-Fri 9:30am-2:30am, Sat 9am-3:30am, Sun 5pm-2:30am.
*Sombrero de Copa
For a younger, more casual crowd of university students, this bar off of Plaza Recoletas is unbeatable. The atmosphere is lively, yet friendly, and there’s a roomy dance floor and occasional live music. Recoletas. No phone. www.pagina.de/sombrerodecopa. Open Thurs-Sat 10pm-2:30am.
**El Negro Zumbon
I prefer this sexy lounge to its more publicized neighbor Marengo due to the starlit ceilings and linear modern art drawings on the walls. The music is a mix of house and techno, and there's never a cover charge to get in. Tip for the ladies: if you're looking particularly hot, you may get an invitation for free drinks from the owner. Monasterio de Cilveti 2. [tel] 948-173-975. www.negrozumbon.com. Open Mon-Sat 8:30pm-4am.
Chances are if you're chatting with locals, they'll send you to this underground discothèque for late night action. With catchy, hip-swingin' Latin flava and plenty of room to dance, Marengo remains a favorite among travelers and residents of all ages. Although the cover charge is a bit steep (6[eu] on Thurs, 10[eu] on Fri, 12[eu] on Sat), students get in for free on Thursdays. Avenida de Bayona 2 off of Plaza de Juan XXIII. [tel] 948-265-542. Open Thurs-Sat and holidays 1-6:30am.
One glance at my plain tank top, jeans (designer, not that it mattered to them), and flip-flop-clad feet got me nothing but upturned noses from both guests and staff upon my entrance into this apparent breeding ground for svelte should-be models and Spanish hipsters. Still, the contemporary ambience of the disco bar further enhanced by the formation of bright, sharp colors and minimalistic décor made me want to come back here again—only next time I'll pack my miniskirt and stilettos. Monasterio de Usun 1. [tel] 609-408-878. Drinks: 4[eu]-6[eu]. Open daily until 5am.
The trendy 20- and 30-something crowd populates this late-night watering hole in search of someone new to go home with that night…. So if you don't like the vibe at Marengo (or just aren't seeing the action you desire), you can flirt to your heart's content at this bumping night club. Cover is 6[eu] which includes the price of a drink. Monasterio de Velate 5. [tel] 948-222-064.
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