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EDIT 28TH SEPTEMBER 2016: I’ve rethought this and I admit my mistake. Barbaric, hugely wrong and should be banned. I’ll leave the info below to show how wrong I was, I’m sorry 🙁


Straight to the top 10 in my bucket list is the ‘Running of the Bulls’, held in Pamplona, Spain each year from the 6th to the 14th of July.

Running of the Bulls Spain

What is the ‘Running of the Bulls’? Held in a few cities across Spain, Pamplona is without doubt the most popular scene for this madness. Each morning, in Pamplona, at 8am during the San Fermin festival, 6 huge bulls and a few oxen are released 800 metres from the town’s bullring. In essence, the rationale behind the movement of the bulls is to get them from A (where they slept in town) to B (where they’ll participate in the evening’s bullfight) but that’s not actually how it pans out!

Anyone who wants to get involved group together near where the bulls are to be let out, a rocket is set off and they start sprinting the 800m or so to the bullring. Shortly after another rocket goes off to let them know the bulls are coming, then it’s a foot race to the ring and the bulls normally win! Expect multiple injuries, drunken crowds, crazy bull runners and a lot of energy!

Is the Running of the Bulls dangerous? Running away from 6 angry, huge bulls? Yes, it is dangerous. Every year a couple of hundred of people get (minorly) injured from falling over, get trampled on, getting whacked by a bull and 15 people have died over the last 100 years or so (the most recent death was 2009, from goring – ouch!). That being said, thousands upon thousands of people are running so the chances are – you’ll be fine (*johnny holds no responsibility for any injuries incurred after reading this :P)

Running of the Bulls pamplona

How much does it cost to run with the bulls? It’s FREEEEEEE! If you’re over 18 and (not too) drunk then you’re more than welcome to jump in.

Can I just watch?! Good choice 😛 Yeah you can, from behind the barriers but it’s tough to see anything unless you’re up high. Still an amazing atmosphere though.

How long does the run last? It’s fast, around 4 minutes. The bulls outrun the people so you gotta make sure you’re not in their way when they overtake you!

Where is Pamplona and how do I get there? The cheapest way is by bus guys, so that’s the way to go. About 4 hours from Madrid and 4 hours from Barcelona.  Trains run daily too but my choice is always the bus.

Alternatively if you need car hire Spain has a lot of options for that too.

Pamplona also has a small airport with connections to Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon but that will eat your budget.

NOTE: PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals) are holding ‘Running of the Nudes’ each year on the 5th of July, so get there a day early for a very different experience!


Check out this very real video for footage of the Running of the Bulls and imagine being there – new pants time!

Alright guys, I know this may not sit too well if some of my readers (sorry!) but I can’t wait to give this a bash. Let me know if anyone plans on hitting this up next year!

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4 thoughts on “Bucket List: Running of the Bulls

  1. Did you end up going? I’m planning to go this summer with two of my friends…it’s REALLY hard to get to though! And obviously during that week the lodgings sell out fast and anything that is available is super expensive. Do you have just an itinerary of your travels through Spain? Like where you list Day 1, Day 2…and so forth? We’re flying into Barcelona from Dubrovnik…but then need to make it up to San Sebastian and Pamplona for the running of the bulls so we’re not exactly getting through Spain in the most logical way. Just curious on your thoughts as where to go after the Running of the Bulls…our goal is to end up in Morocco (your boat info was very helpful!). Thanks, and continue enjoying South America! =)

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