INFO While many people consider bullfighting a cruel sport, others take pride in its tradition, energy, and style, a truth that is reflected in the fact that toreadores (bullfighters) are still among the highest-paid athletes... ... read more
Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
Calle de Alcalá, 237
91 356 22 00
Su (March–October); Check website for schedule
While many people consider bullfighting a cruel sport, others take pride in its tradition, energy, and style, a truth that is reflected in the fact that toreadores (bullfighters) are still among the highest-paid athletes in the world – and these facts are no less true at the bullfights at Las Ventas.
The best fights take place in mid-May during the San Isidro Festival when the most celebrated matadors in the world gather in Madrid to participate in this age-old tradition.
Inaugurated in 1931, the bullring features mudéjar architecture that mixes Castilian and Moorish styles, giving the 25,000-seat venue an aura of classic Spanish grandeur that only adds to the experience.
The spectators are excited and rowdy, and though the rest of the world may look upon this custom unfavorably, many Spaniards are still serious about supporting their toreadores.
Those who are sensitive to animal rights or get queasy at the sight of blood may want to take a pass on this event – but for those who think they can stomach it, watching a bullfight at Las Ventas is a strangely alluring artistic sport that combines athleticism, showmanship, history, and culture and that offers a unique view into another side of Spain’s traditions and people.
For important events, musical acts and other entertainment energize the crowds between bullfights.
Food / Miscellaneous
Concession stands throughout the stadium.
Tickets €20–€70. Sections are divided into sombra (shade) and sol (sun). Tickets in the sun are cheaper, and most of the sun is gone by the time the bullfights start.
When to Go
Every Sunday from March to October, though the most celebrated fights take place during the Festival de San Isidro in May.
It’s best to buy tickets in advance online, but spectators can also line up at Las Ventas at 9am on the day of the fight to see what they still have available. People who have never been to a bullfight might want to research it a bit first to see if it’s something they’d really be interested in.