Bullfighting is a sport, as well as an art form and a tradition that is an integral part of the culture of Spain. While it might not be for everyone, visitors who want to experience a bullfight during their stay in Spain often ask questions about where they can see a bullfight, and how to get tickets.
Bullfights are not held throughout the year, and depending on the location, the season generally runs from April – May through September – October. Bullrings can be found throughout the country, but some of the most popular places to see a bullfight are in Seville, Ronda, Málaga and Madrid.
The popularity of the sport can be seen the most in Andalucía, as this region alone has 70 bullrings, and is home to two of the most significant bullrings: Ronda and Seville’s Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza. Ronda is known for being the home of modern bullfighting, and although not many bullfights are actually held at the bullring, it is still sought out by aficionados of the sport who want to see a bullfight in this historic town. Even if there aren’t any bullfights on the schedule, real fans can still visit the bullfighting museum that is located in this picturesque white village in southern Spain. For more info on the bullring in Ronda, click here.
The Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza in Seville is considered the oldest bullring in Spain, as it was begun in 1761. It shares the distinction with Ronda as being considered one of the places where modern bullfighting was born. The season in Seville runs from mid-April through September. For schedules and info on how to purchase tickets to a bullfight at La Maestranza, click here.
Málaga’s bullring, La Malagueta, is located near the Castillo de Gibralfaro, in the eastern part of the old town. The season in Málaga runs from April through September, and the highlights take place during Semana Santa (Holy Week) and during the Taurina Fiesta (Bullfighting Fair) held in July and August, when there is a bullfight almost every day. Tickets can be purchased from UniCaja Banks in Málaga, or from the box office at La Malagueta.
After Andalucía, Madrid is the next best place to see a bullfight. The main bullring in Madrid is Las Ventas, and it is centrally located in the Guindalera neighborhood adjacent to the upscale Salamanca neighborhood. The bullring has a seating capacity of over 20,000 and the season runs from mid-May through October. The best time to see a bullfight in Madrid is in May and June, when the San Isidro festival takes place. Las Ventas attracts the best toreros (matadors), bulls and aficionados, and during this period there are bullfights every day for 20 days, starting at 7:00 pm. Ticket prices at Las Ventas during the 2012 season range from a low of €4,90 for the higher seats in the sol (sun) section, to the high of €140,70 for seats in the coveted first row in the sombra (shade) section of the ring. For schedules and info on how to purchase tickets to a bullfight at Las Ventas, click here.
Travelers who visit Barcelona and want to see a bullfight will have to travel elsewhere, as the Catalonian government banned bullfighting in the region in July 2010. The last bullfight was held at Barcelona’s Monumental bullring on September 25, 2011, as the ban took effect as of January 1, 2012.
Photo credit: Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza
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