If you're planning on visiting for the bull runs, you need to have your accommodation booked well in advance. Start looking for hotels at least six months before your journey to get the best prices.
If you aren't visiting for the bull run and just looking for a stop on the way to San Sebastian, we would recommend stopping in Logroño instead.
Suggested Stops en Route
With 450km between Madrid and Pamplona, it makes sense to break up the journey with a stop or two along the way.
Burgos is famous for its beautiful cathedral and is worth a short stop on your way to Pamplona. But the real gem on your way is Logroño, the capital of the Rioja wine region and home to some of the best tapas bars in the country.
Train and Bus
Trains from Madrid to Pamplona take three-and-a-quarter hours and cost 60 euros. Buses from Madrid to Pamplona cost about 25 euros and takes under 5 hours.
Trains from Madrid to Pamplona depart from Atocha train station, while buses leave from Avenida de America Bus Station.
The 450km drive from Madrid to Pamplona takes about five hours, traveling mainly on the A-1.
There are regular flights from Madrid to Pamplona but they tend to be quite expensive.