Where to get a pilgrim passport in Pamplona in 2023?




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Pamplona does not belong to the most common starting points of Camino de Santiago. Majority of pilgrims who want to follow the French way start either from Saint Jean Pied de Port, or from Leon, or from Sarria, depending on whether they want to walk 800 or 500 or just the last 100 kilometers to Santiago. But Pamplona marked a starting point for over 3,000 pilgrims in 2019 (the last year before the pandemics), and it will continue to attract certain pilgrims, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, people who do not feel fit enough to cross the Pyrenees on the very first day of their pilgrimage (a daunting task indeed for many) may decide to skip the Saint Jean to Pamplona section altogether. In my opinion, there’s no shame in acknowledging that you do not feel fit enough for the task. Better to walk “only” 700 kilometers from Pamplona to Santiago than having to quit after first 100 due to some injury…

And secondly, logistically speaking, the city is much easier to reach than Saint Jean or Roncesvalles. You take one flight with Iberia from Madrid, or with Vueling from Barcelona (a seasonal route), or take a direct bus from any of the bigger Spanish cities. Summing it up, for many people it makes sense to start their pilgrimage from Pamplona, and this won’t change in the near future. Once in a town, however, where can you get your pilgrim passport? You actually have several options, and we will look at them right now.


Getting a pilgrim passport in the cathedral of Pamplona

At the end of the day, Camino de Santiago is originally a catholic pilgrimage. The catholic church still plays a prime role on the Camino, especially on the French way. Hence it should not surprise you that you can get your pilgrim passport in a local cathedral, the Catedral de Santa María la Real, located right in the city center, at the address C. Dormitalería, 1, 31001 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain. You can also click the following link to see the place on Google Maps: Link.

The opening hours of the place vary according to the season, but year round you should be able to get your credential from 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 7pm on Monday to Friday, and from 10am to 2pm on Saturday. On Sunday the Diocese Museum (where they sell and stamp the credentials) is closed for visitors. However, if you are lucky and meet one of the priests on Sunday, you can always ask them for a credential (unless they are in the middle of the mass of course).  You will see the Camino signs right in front of the cathedral, so you can start walking right upon collecting your pilgrim credential.

* May also interest you: How long it takes to walk the Camino?


Getting a pilgrim passport in a pilgrim hostel in Pamplona

You will find plethora of albergues in Pamplona, including the famous “German” albergue Casa Paderborn, that typically fills up within fifteen minutes of opening at 1pm, if there isn’t already a queue in front of it from noon. But it isn’t the one albergue I wanted to talk about now, though you may sometimes get a credential there.

You can definitely get your credential in an Albergue Jesus y Maria, located at Calle Compañía, 4, 31001 Pamplona, Navarra, or you can click the following link to see the location on the map: Link. One great thing about this albergue is that it serves also tourists, and hence it has a reception open until 11pm, which isn’t the case with vast majority of pilgrim places. Hence even if you arrive late to Pamplona, and even stay elsewhere, you can make an evening walk to the albergue and buy your credential for 2 euro.

This is a great option for everyone who arrives to Pamplona after 7pm (when the cathedral is already closed), but wants to start earlier than 10am the next morning when it opens again. 10am start is possible on lesser trodden Caminos, but on Frances you’ve already lost your race for beds if you start so late :). Unless you reserve your bed for a night in advance of course, which is a great option in this case.

If you find any information on this page incorrect or outdated, or have a suggestion how to improve it for fellow pilgrims, please let us know. Thank you for helping the pilgrim community, and buen Camino 🙂

-Town hall (ayuntamiento) of Pamplona on a sunny day. The tourist office is located just across the street.

Getting a pilgrim passport in the Ayuntamiento de Pamplona (city council, tourist office)

I haven’t tried this option in person, but according to the website of the city council of Pamplona, you can get your pilgrim passport there as well (I am not sure if directly in the main building, or in the tourist office located just across the street). You can see the location here: Link, it is basically on the main square and you should have no problem locating it. There are also pointers to the place all around the center of the town.

The tourist office is open from 10am to 2pm and then from 3pm to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and until 2pm on Sundays. I see two big advantages of getting your pilgrim passport from the tourist office of Pamplona. Firs one is no language barrier. I visited the place on a couple of occasions (for another purpose) and there was always at least one staff member fluent in English. It makes things a lot easier for a pilgrim who speaks English only. Second advantage is that they will give you some interesting maps and recommendations on what you can do and see in the city, and on the next stage of the Camino. If you’re into history and sight-seeing, visiting a tourist office is a great idea, regardless of whether you want to get your pilgrim passport there.

* May also interest you: Stray dogs on the Camino – Myths vs Reality


Final thoughts

Pamplona doesn’t belong to the major starting points of Camino de Santiago. On the 2019 list (the last pre-pandemic year), it ranked just 18th on the list, with about 3,000 pilgrims starting their camino from there. For comparison, over ten thousand started from Leon, over thirty thousand from Saint Jean, and almost one hundred thousand pilgrims started walking from Sarria.

Nevertheless, it isn’t difficult getting your credential in the town. You can get it in the cathedral, in one or more of the pilgrim hostels, and supposedly also in the local tourist office. Each of these options has some advantages, and at least one of them should fit your schedule and plans. I sincerely hope you will get your pilgrim passport in Pamplona, and wish you a wonderful Camino!


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