Las Ventas Bullring in Madrid, or the Plaza de Toros Monumental de Las Ventas as it is officially known, is the most renowned bullring in the world. Found to the near east of the city center on Calle de Alcala, not far from Retiro Park, this relatively large venue has hosted big time bullfights since 1934 and is considered to be the home of Spanish bullfighting. The ultimate dream of a Spanish bullfighter is to be carried out of the Las Ventas Bullring on the shoulders of proud fans after a worthy performance, and for foreigners who are interested in seeing what bullfighting is all about, there are few venues in the Spain that can even approach this one in terms of quality. Seville and Ronda are home to two of the other top venues, should you be interested.
As Spanish bullfighting started to enter its golden age in the early 1900s, the need for a large-scale bullring in the capital was evident to keep up with the growing demand for the sport. One of the top bullfighters of the time, Jose Gomez Ortega, was among the first to call for a new monumental venue in Madrid, and construction started in 1922. It wasn't until 1931 that the Las Ventas Bullring was inaugurated, and a charity bullfight was held to ring in the occasion. Bull fighting in Madrid Spain went on a hiatus during the Civil War (1936-39), but returned as soon as the fighting stopped. To this day, the largest bullfighting venue in the country hosts various bullfighting events nine months out of the year. When it's not bullfighting season, the Las Ventas Bullring hosts other events, including big ticket concerts and a covered circus. Past concert acts include the likes of AC/DC and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The Las Ventas bull fights in Madrid take place between the months of March and December, giving travelers numerous opportunities to include one or more on the agenda. The peak season kicks off with the beginning of the week-long Festival de San Isidro in May and runs for a month. During festival week, daily bullfights are offered. If you can't make it to the city for the celebration of its patron saint, then any given Sunday between March and December is a good time to catch bull fights in Madrid. Usually, bull fighting in Madrid Spain is an evening event. The fights generally commence around 6 or 7 p.m. and end approximately three hours later. They aren't for the faint of heart, regardless of the time of day, and if you simply aren't up for the spectacle, visiting the bullring when a fight is not going on still proves to be a good attraction.
The Las Ventas Bullring boasts an attractive neo-Mudejar design, and the crests of the various Spanish provinces are represented on the outside. Should you visit the venue when no events are going on, you might see what the onsite museum has to offer. This museum offers insight into the history and culture of Spanish bullfighting, and among the pieces that are on display is the suit that the famed bullfighter Manolete was wearing when he was gored to death in 1947. It is worth noting that tours of the Las Ventas Bullring can be enjoyed on their own or as part of a city tour for those who are interested in learning more about the venue.
If you are interested in getting tickets for one of the bull fights in Madrid, they can be purchased in advance. The cheaper tickets are those that will have you sitting in the sun, as the shaded seats are preferable. To get to the Las Ventas Bullring is concerned, you can hop on a city bus, take the Metro, or hire a taxi. Should the Metro be your option of choice, the stop that you will want to use is the Las Ventas station.