Bullfighting in Spain – Top 10 Places To Go!
Bullfighting is a deep rooted tradition in Spain that has gathered crowds of aficionados and recently animal rights activitsts fighting for the ban of this bloody spectacle. The latter were successful to ban bullfighting in certain regions of Spain, like in Catalonia, so if you were hoping to find Barcelona on our list of top 10 places to go, you are out of luck for now. However, there are plenty of other spots across the country where tourists and locals can witness this long time Spanish tradition.
Bullfighting in Spain season runs from early spring to fall and most shows are normally scheduled on Sundays. On average the shows last from 3 to 4 hours and if you know how hot summers in Spain can get, you will be glad to pay extra for the “sombra” seats in the shaded sections at the bullring.
1. Las Ventas Bullring In Madrid – This is one of the most well known venues for bullfighting in Madrid, and can hold twenty thousand spectators with shows held every Sunday. Most of the bullfights are held here, especially those with famous matadors or large numbers of attendees. During famous San Isidro Bullfighting festival (May/ June) the shows run daily with 100% capacity.
2. Vista Alegre In Madrid – Vista Alegre is one of the top places to visit in Madrid if you are interested in watching the ancient art of bullfighting. Not as large or popular as Las Ventas bullfighting in Spain venue, this ring is still used for a number of events each year.
3. Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza In Seville – Seville is well known for bullfighting in Spain, and around the world. This ring is one of the oldest built which is still in use known for bullfighting on foot rather than on horseback. Though this ring seats only about 12,000, it attracts the very best matadors across the country. If you visit the country during April, do not miss the quintessential event, Feria de Abril (Seville April Festival), showcasing the finest corrida performers in the country.
4. Ronda – Home to the first bullfighting in Spain which did not use horses, Ronda has a reputation as the home of this tradition. There are a number of important matches during certain the season lasting from April to October, even though the area is somewhat remote. One of the most beautiful rings in the country also has an adjacent bullfighting museum with excellent displays and memorabilia.
5. Valencia Plaza de Toros – One of the most popular Valencia attractions to tourists are the bullfights. The bullring is conveniently situated very close to the train station, making it easy to find. Valencia bullring built in 1861 in the best traditions on Roman Colosseum is one of the most beautiful bullrings in the world. Off season the facility hosts a number of cultural events but during festivals, namely, Las Fallas and Feria de Valencia, you can see some of the best bull fights out there.
6. Plaza La Malagueta In Malaga – Unlike some of the locations for bullfighting in Spain, Malaga is the place where the traditional bullfights occur. These are not simply fights put on for the tourists, but rather fights which follow the traditional rules and art of bullfighting running from April through September. During the annual Feria de Agosto (August Festival) viewers can enjoy daily shows and special entertainment.
7. Bilbao – Bilbao is another area of Spain where there are a number of bullfights held each year, and the bullring is located west of the downtown of the city. Though this area in Spain does not hold as many bullfighting events as Madrid or Andalusia, here tourists can enjoy these spectacles during Corridas Generales, a very important festival held annually.
8. Pamplona – One of the top places to go for bullfighting in Spain is Pamplona. After the Running of the Bulls festival in San Fermin, which is an annual festival and a world famous event, the bulls which run are involved in bullfighting later on that evening.
9. Ciudad Rodrigo – A small city situated in Salamanca showcasing one of the most unique festivals in the country, the Carnival Ciudad Rodrigo that features an interactive and non traditions approach of audience interaction. The public can try their hand with the young bulls to see how it’s done first hand.
10. Alicante – During the last week of June, the city of Alicante holds numerous bullfights to celebrate a local San Juan festival in June. If you want to see an authentic bullfight this is a great opportunity to do so. Nearby Plaza de Espana holds a pretty informative museum on this iconic Spanish pastime.