Las Ventas

Get yourself a ticket to a fight or take a tour of Spain’s most important bullfighting ring.

Las Ventas is a 23,800-seat bullfighting ring on Madrid’s east side. It was constructed between 1922 and 1929 to accommodate the huge growth in the sport’s popularity at that time. The ring was built on land donated to the city and designed by architect José Espeliú. It’s considered Spain’s premier bullfighting venue and hosts some of the country’s most prestigious competitions.

Wander around and admire the neo-Mudéjar architecture, a Moorish-influenced style that developed in Madrid in the late 1800s. Las Ventas is known for its dusty orange brickwork, horseshoe-shaped arches and detailed façade. You’ll also see ceramic tiles painted with the coat of arms of each of Spain’s provinces.

Take a tour to learn about its history and go behind the scenes. Walk around the 200-foot (60-meter) wide ring and imagine the adrenaline and intensity of a fight. Check out the Puerta Grande to see where victorious matadors leave the field. Explore the Patio de Cuadrillas, the place where competitors wait before a fight, or head to the Patio de Arrastre to see where bulls are taken afterwards. There are tours with knowledgeable staff or you can grab an audio guide and explore the venue at your own pace.

Anyone looking to see a bullfight should visit during the San Isidro festival for some of the highest-profile fights of the year. There are fights each day between mid-May and early June. The standard season is from March through October, with fights held every Sunday evening. Be sure to book tickets well in advance and be prepared to pay a premium for good seats. This is the most famous ring in Spain and it’s often packed. You can buy tickets either online or at the on-site ticket office. Check the website for dates and details.

You’ll find Las Ventas on Madrid’s eastern side. The closest metro stations are Ventas and El Carmen. The ring is open for tours every day of the week. The tour has a fee, which includes the audio guide.

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