Bullfighting has deep roots in the Spanish tradition and it is the most picturesque spectacle you can attend in Spain. For many people it is exciting but others may find it disgusting.
Las corridas (bullfights) are held in Las Ventas mostly on Sundays. Try to get tickets for the lowest possible row in Sombra (shadow). Not only because of the heat but due to the fact that most of the corrida occurs close to that area.The official website is www.las-ventas.com but there are resale opportunities in the surroundings of the bullring.
If you're in any way attracted to the exciting, complicated and colourful world of bullfighting, you'll love this museum, located in the world's most important bullring - Plaza Monumental de las Ventas. It contains a fabulous collection of the "suits of lights" worn by the most famous bullfighters along with portraits of great bullfighters, like Belmonte and Vicente Pastor. You'll also see a selection of taurine memorabilia and the stuffed heads of brave bulls. Admission is free and i found it very interesting.
In my opinion, you can't visit Madrid without attending a bullfight at Las Ventas. At first glance, the arena interested me. Then ,the crisply dressed Spanards (who never seem to wilt in the heat) intriqued me. But when the matadores (bullfighters) gracefully filed out on the rings I was entranced! I had always heard it was an "art" but thought lightly of it -- now I know what they mean. While the actions towards the bull seemed cruel, the actions of the matadores almost counterbalanced it.
Word to the wise! Shell out the extra money (it's not much) for the shady seats! We were confused at first at the different seat pricing but someone kindly explained to us that the pricing was based on how close you were to the ring and how much you would be in the sun. Trust me, you will enjoy the experience much more if you have a shady seat -- unless you wear a VERY wide hat.
Tickets are sold at the Las Ventas bullring ticket offices from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for fights on the following 5 days, and until 7 p.m. for the fight of the same day. Prices range from 1.50 to 100 euros.
This beautiful arena was erected in 1929. It is used for bullfighting (corridas) during the period May - October.
In September and October the arena is used for rock-concerts.
When flags are waving in the flaggstaff there is bullfighting that day.
Beside there is the Museo Taurino with exposition of memories of great toreadores and bulls.
I have put some pictures from a bullfighting in the t-logs (part1 and part2) with short explaination of the steps.
Having read about these bull fights in childhood books, never did I expect to see a real one in Madrid. It was done in a real traditional way too, with costumes and all. While some scenes were a little bloody, I took it with a pinch of "culture" salt. Afterall, its not like they wasted anything-- these conquered bulls were later served as fine dinners across lavish restaurants in Madrid.
Hemingways most favourite place in Madrid.
"Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death.”
"Bullfighting is an ancient Spanish tradition - it is a spectacle, a voyeurism into the blood of death. "
"The only place where you could see life and death was in the bullring and I wanted very much to go to Spain where I could study it. I was trying to learn to write, commencing with the simplest things, and one of the simplest things of all and the most fundamental is violent death… one of the subjects that a man may write. Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death.” (Death in the afternoon, Hemingway)
Bullfighting........... well we just wanted to see the arena, which can hold 22.000 people !!! Bad luck for us, the only way to see the arena is to buy a ticket for a fight and there wasn't one when we were there.
You can visit the free museum next to it, Museo Taurino, where you can see the history of the bullfights, the clothes, ...
All information is in Spanish AND English.
The Plaza de Toros is about the most amazing building in Madrid as far as I am concerned. I loved it and I didn't ever go in.
I used to get off the metro specially to look at it and then carry on my journey.
Lots of people don't agree with bullfighting, and I have to say that I had no burning rage to see a bullfight - so I didn't. But I would have liked to visit the inside at some point. I never managed to find out if this was possible. In august there are lots of bullfights and therefore the ring is pretty busy.
See the Travelogue for further photos
Bullfighting is a national passion; if you are interested, you must visit Las Ventas, the main bull ring. But even if you do not like this activity, you can visit it (when there are no bullfightings!), because it is a very nice and traditional building.
Las corridas de toros son una pasión nacional; si te interesa, debes visitar Las Ventas, la principal plaza de toros. Pero incluso si no te gusta esta actividad, puedes visitarla (¡cuando no hay corrida!) porque es un precioso y tradicional edificio.
Plaza de Toros. Even though this is a controversial activity in some circles, it doesn't seem right to go to Madirid without taking in a bullfight. We bought the tickets from people on the street, and probably paid too much. Still, it was cheaper than a hockey or football game at home. We got "nosebleed" seats, and were amazed at how good a view we got. There's not a bad seat in the house.
Madrid isn't the most famous place to see a bullfight in Spain. I'd put them at 2nd or 3rd on the list, behind Seville for sure. I personally like the Madrid ring better than Seville's, but that was just personal preference I think.
No matter where you sit in Madrid's bullfighting ring, you should have a good view, and have a great time. There are tons of people packed into every inch of the old ring, and everyone is always cheering. There are also people going around selling shots of Jack Daniels, it was pretty funny.
The bull ring is quite a ways out the city center, but it has it's own metro stop, so it's really easy to get to. Just hop on the metro, ride to the Toros stop, get off, and you're right nextdoor to the ring.
Seeing a bullfight is really an interesting experience. I saw my first and only (thus far) bullfight while in Madrid. My ticket was something like 20 euros, and it was really close to the action, I had a great time. There is an entire sport to the match, it's just not about killing the bull. I could dive into the specifics of it, but I don't know Spanish, and I also don't know that much about the sport, so I will just show you my photos from the match.
Bullfight... I know... many people don't like to ear about that. It's a crime against the animals... maybe... but it's a Fiesta that I like even if I'm not an aficionado as many Spanish and Portuguese people... and about the bull... well... we still use humans in the pharmaceutical research... and You still take pills if You're ill, no?... and we eat the meat from the animals and we eat vegetables that are also living creatures... and I like bullfights. I only have the pic of the Bulfigthing building... I have pics from the fiesta in Portugal... I put that in other page.