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No Stay in Madrid is Complete without Taking in a Bullfight

Written by damien

Settling down in or visiting any new city should be a time of great excitement with new experiences and often adventures to be tested on just about every street corner. However those who are fortunate enough to be relocated to Spain and to its capital city Madrid are liable to enjoy living in one of Europe’s most exciting cities, as it offers the best of many worlds as well as insights into Spain’s rich traditions and histories. ShMadrid will tell you more about one of those traditions today: bullfights.

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Where to see bullfights

Photo via Pixabay

One of Spain’s richest traditions, and indeed among its greatest spectacles, is the bullfight, with Madrid having long been regarded as the traditional center for bullfighting throughout the world. It can be possible that people have formed the wrong impression about bullfighting, usually garnered from slanted press reports. However anyone who has ever seen a real bullfight actually happen, will soon realise that the spectacle itself is so overwhelming and any rumours regarding animal cruelty are grossly exaggerated. That’s why visiting a bullfight in Madrid at the famous Plaza Toros Las Ventas situated in Madrid’s Salamanca district are short journey from the city centre should provide new residents of the city a real insight into Spanish and Madrileños culture. Irrespective of the bullfight itself even visiting this massively impressive stadium, the third largest bullring in the world as well as the largest in Spain, constructed in the Moors style and capable of sitting more than twenty-five thousand people can be an overwhelming experience. Many residents of the city who have entered the stadium for the first time recall the tremendous levels of excitement that begin the moment they arrive and never let up until the last bull has left the area.

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Photo via Pixabay

The first impression that a first-time spectator at a bullfight will gather is that instead of the chaotic shambles that much of the foreign press portray bullfights as being, it is actually very well organised and carried out according to specific and traditional schedule held in an impressive sixty meters area with the spectators towering above it. Many people who have grown to understand bullfighting look upon it as more of a tightly orchestrated choreographic event rather than anything else, and especially as every symbolic bullfight is accompanied by music played by Madrid’s highly talented municipal band. Although bullfights take place just about every week of the year, any veteran bullfight lover will tell you that the optimum time to take in a bullfight in Madrid is during the San Isidro fiesta, between the months of May and June each year. Bullfights generally begin around seven in the evening and last till about ten. As the crowd disperse the action in the  arena, the neighbourhood is just beginning with the local bars and cafes filling up as bullfight lovers gather to discuss the events of the evening. Bullfights are as much a part of Madrid as any other sport or pastime and it is important if you make a home in the city that you add that taking in at least one bullfight to your list of experiences.

Have you ever been to a bullfight?

About the author


Originally from France, Damien has made Spain his home. He loves languages, learning, food and startups.

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