Bullfighting in Madrid

While there’s no doubt that it’s a big difference from watching a Knicks game or cheering on Manchester United, that is precisely why you should head to a bullfight when you’re in Spain. Once you get past that whole cruel-to-animals thing, you really have to look at bullfighting as the art that it is.

Madrid’s bullring’s official name is La Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas. It is amazing from an architectural point of view, an impressive red brick and ceramic tile múdejar-style structure exploding out of the ground in a residential neighborhood.

From the suits the matadors wear, to the whole spectacle with the audience waving their white handkerchiefs, to visit a bullfight is a great opportunity to have an up-close encounter with a very unique and extraordinary (albeit somewhat barbaric) tradition. When you go to a bullfight you will either be very interested and jump up and shout “Olé!” along with the die-hard locals, or feel that the whole thing is a barbaric and unjust setup that you would want to distance yourself from. Many tourists visit the bullring only to leave after half an hour.

Las Ventas is located at they eponymous metro stop (Ventas, L2). You literally can’t miss it. Bullfights take place every Sunday from March to October.

A ticket to a bullfight can be very expensive. The closer to the bullring you are sitting, the more expensive it is. The price range is usually 200-15 euros. The cheapest tickets are towards the top of the stadium and there is no shade. But, you get a great overview of the whole spectacle.

Bullfighting in Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring is a bloody spectacle which is heavily covered in the budget travel guide Dirt Cheap Madrid .