Plaza de Toros de las Ventas is one of Madrid’s largest public squares, dominated by the iconic Las Ventas bullfighting arena—the largest in the world and one of the city’s top attractions. Even those with no interest in bullfights can learn about the history and heritage of this deeply Spanish tradition.
While the bullring here still hosts bullfighting during the season, the impressive Moorish-revival facade of the stadium alone is worth a visit, even in the off-season. Entrance to the stadium and bullfighting museum includes an audio guide that digs deeper into both the architecture of Las Ventas and the history of bullfighting. As one of the Spanish capital’s most notable landmarks, the bullring features on most city sightseeing tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
A Las Ventas tour is a must for architecture lovers and history buffs.
Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
The audio tour of the bullring lasts about 45 minutes.
Parts of the bullring, including some seating areas, are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Plaza de Toros de las Ventas is located in the Salamanca district of Madrid, northeast of the city center. To reach the plaza, take the Madrid metro to Ventas station (Estación Ventas). Several public buses stop at the plaza as well.
When to Get There
The best time to visit the bullring depends largely on how interested you are in seeing a bullfight. The season extends from mid-May to September, with the biggest festival taking place in May. For tours of the facilities, it’s best to avoid days when fights are scheduled.
San Isidro Fair
Each May, Madrid throws a celebration in honor of San Isidro, the city’s patron saint. At the heart of the festivities are two weeks of bullfights, both traditional and on horseback, that draw some of the best bullfighters from around the world. Outside the bullring, the festival features live music, street entertainment, processions, and block parties throughout Madrid.