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Where to buy a SIM card in Pamplona and other related questi

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I will be arriving in Pamplona at 10 am. on a Wednesday morning after leaving DC the previous day at 3 pm. I am debating about walking directly from the airport to Cizar Menor, leaving my pack there, and then taking a bus into Pamplona. The alternative is taking the bus from the airport and then walking from Pamplona to Cizar Menor when I'm finished with all my errands (buying a SIM, a few groceries, lunch).

The plus about walking directly to Cizar Menor is that I wouldn't be taking my whole pack with me into the city which would give me a little more freedom (especially after an all night flight). The negative is I understand that basically everything shuts down by 1:20-2 pm until 4 pm so I have an extremely limited window--except I could use the time to browse Pamplona. And I'm not sure where to catch a bus in Cizar Menor and what the intervals are and then back again to Cizar Menor.

The plus about taking the bus into Pamplona from the airport is that I have a little more time to get my errands done before closing time and then I walk out of the city as a pilgrim. The negative is that I would not really have the leisure to explore Pamplona because of a full pack on little to no sleep. Or can I leave my pack at the Pamplona albergue for a short period of time if I want to see the cathedral, etc.?

A big part of the equation is where is the best place to purchase a SIM for my cell phone (a condition my husband put on my doing this). I not only want decent service & price but also wondering about location in the city, opening/closing times. I will probably also want to purchase a callng card. In addition, is there a convenient supermercado on the way out of the city? I would like to purchase some fruit, yogurt, bread, cheese. Thank you for your insights. I'm running down my last checklists of things to learn, get done, etc. before I leave. It's hard to believe that in a little more than five weeks from today, I will be on the Camino!
 
Can't help you with the SIM card bit, but I think going into Pamplona first then walking to Cizur Menor is the better option. Is your heart set on staying in Cizur Menor that night or does your schedule have some flexibility so you can stay overnight in Pamplona your first night (jet lag--trust me on this ;) ) then tour Pamplona the next day before heading to CM? Alternatively, if you stay in Pamplona the first night, you can stop in Urtega or Obanos the next day if you just can't make it to PLR.

I did see Orange stores all over the larger cities in Spain (sim cards) & I think you can buy calling cards in convenience stores & grocery stores as well.

This might have changed, but there was a small grocery store on the left-hand side of Calle Mayor in Pamplona shortly before you get to the church where the San Fermin statue is. IIRC, there was a pharmacy across (or catty-corner) from it on the right. The Calle Mayor is on the Camino, so you won't be going off-route to get to these places.

Kelly
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
There is a Vodafone store in Pamplona with the usual siesta closing hours. It was to the west of the Ayuntamiento, but I do not remember the address. I got a SIM chip there for my unlocked cell phone. If your phone is not unlocked, you will have a problem using a new SIM in it.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
My phone is unlocked. A cheap Motorola with nothing fancy to consume battery time. Depending on how I feel and the weather, I might stay in Pamplona that night and get out for an early start to Puente de Reina the next morning.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Another possibility, if you take the bus from the airport to the bus station in Pamplona, is that you can leave your pack right there at the left luggage office while you go around doing your errands.
There is a large well known department store, El Corte Inglés just by the Bus station. Pamplona is well worth the walk around and it would be a pity to miss, but most certainly more comfortable without your pack, considering your jet-lag.You will still have time to think about staying the night in Pamplona or walking that short stretch to Cizur. By the way, you can also buy your chip for your phone at Madrid airport before going out of the customs area. Anne
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
Anne: do you pay a premium at the Madrid airport when purchasing a SIM there? I figured that a city store would probably be cheaper. Just like not using ATMs at the airports because you pay a premium. Spainsim.com has Vodaphone SIMs for 39,95euro (includes 18 euro initial prepaid calls) with 4.95 euro shipping to USA. Don't know if this is equivalent to the price in Spain or not--but especially at the airport? I have the time to order one shipped and it might be nice to have the phone number beforehand (plus to avoid the hassle) but if anyone can tell me what the price might be in Pamplona, I would be most appreciative.

On another note, there is a premium charge (additional 30 euro) for voicemail in English, according to Spainsim.com. Is this true for SIMs purchased in Spain? I was told that if I dial ##002# on my phone, it will deactivate voicemail while my phone is turned off. But Vodaphone then stores the numbers who tried to reach my number, time/date and and I would get a list of those when I turn the phone back on. Guess I have to decide if I want voicemail or not while my phone is turned off--which it will be for the majority of the time. In-coming calls are free......

So many considerations and the time is quickly drawing closer--less than six weeks.
 
Are they saying it's 30Euro to let people leave messages on your voicemail in English or just the outgoing message? I'm not fluent in Spanish, but I can pretty much follow voicemail instructions given in that language because of all the times I've left messages. ;)

Kelly
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
On both occasions we bought a Movistar chip. Once at the Airport and once in town. Adriann says that the cost was the same. Might be a good idea to check out their web-site. That said, we find the rates of using mobile phones in Europe extremely expensive, comparing to what we pay here in Costa Rica. (that is not just in Spain, but also in Italy and Switzerland when we visit our families). Just go careful when calling! Anne
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Vodaphone texting is quite cheap, and the message is there regardless of whether coverage comes or goes. I never was able to get voice mail set up, even after obtaining the aid of persons who spoke fluent Spanish (including one Spaniard). The in-Spain voice rates are not bad for making reservations, but for international calls, I would suggest one of the 800-number services that offer low rates. They require punching in a lot of numbers, but you will have time on your hands while the laundry dries.
 

Janeh

Active Member
I bought a vodaphone sim card in the main street where the running of the bulls happens - up the end closest to the bull ring. (the store had recently moved there last September). No-one spoke English but a few spoke French if that will help you. Otherwise, the word 'sim' is understood anyway in Spain. I also bought a calling card from the small tobacco shop opposite the church at the other end of this street. I bought a 'eurodirect' card which was the cheapest to call home to Australia on. Hopefully the same applies for your country. The card cost about 10euros. You will need to show your passport when you buy the sim card and there was an initial set up fee of around 25euros from memory. cheers, Jane
 

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