Plaza de Toros
Roaring crowds, dusty heat and the flash of the matador’s red cape: Plaza de Toros is a site infused with history, passion and bloodshed. Traditional bullfights are still a national symbol of Spain and occur in this ring almost daily during peak season. If you don’t like the idea of watching this contest of speed, agility and endurance between men and animal, delve into the ring’s history at the Museo Taurino Antonio Ordoñez instead. This museum is a tribute to the great bullfighter of the 1950s and ’60s.
Plaza de Toros La Malagueta was built in 1874. Just over a hundred years later it was declared a cultural asset of Spain and became a heritage site. The ring itself is 170 feet (52 meters) wide and can accommodate just over 9,000 spectators. The arena sits within an immense 16-sided building of neo-mudéjar design, a modernized fusion of Arabic and European styles.
Learn about Spanish bullfighting history at the Museo Taurino and admire ornate antique matador costumes. The museum is open during the daytime bullfight and admission is inexpensive.
Bullfights occur regularly between April and September, but the arena really surges with energy during the city’s major festivities. One of the biggest events takes place during Holy Week just before Easter and another is the La Corrida de la Prensa, the bullfight for Malaga‘s patron saints in June. A third takes place daily during the city-wide Feria de Agosto (August Festival) that sees Malaga overflow with visitors who come to experience traditional music, flamenco dancing and bullfight performances. The final bullfight for the season is held in September, for the patron saint Our Lady of Victory.
Plaza de Toros is located at the end of the leafy Paseo del Parque, on the foot of the Alcazaba fortress and towering Gibralfaro Castle. Gibralfaro’s ramparts actually look out over the bullring, so people often go there to see a fight for free and from a safe distance. The arena has its own box office.