Seville's bullring—or the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza de Cabellería de Sevilla—is the oldest in Spain. It was here that the corrida, or bullfight, moved from horseback to foot, and many of the cherished theatrical traditions of the matador evolved. Completed in the late 18th century, the bullring is a yellow-and-white baroque beauty.
The Seville Bullring remains a site of historical and cultural importance in the southern city. If you prefer not to watch the spectacle, opt instead for a visit to the museum, including the chapel where matadors pray and the infirmary where they’re patched up. The bullring is included as a stop on many guided walking or bike tours (regular and electric ones), along with other points of interest such as Alcazar, Santa Cruz Quarter, Plaza de España, and Seville Cathedral.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The bullring is a must-see for history buffs.
- Visit the bullring as part of a small group or private guided tour of Seville.
- If you plan to see a fight, book your tickets as far in advance as possible.
- The ring can get quite hot, so remember to bring water, sunscreen, and a hat.
How to Get There
The Seville Bullring is centrally located and serviced by several city bus routes. The nearest metro station is Puerta de Jerez, a few minutes’ walk away. Most guided tours meet at a central location or include transportation.
When to Get There
Bullfighting season runs from Easter Sunday through mid-October. During the Seville April Fair (Feria de Abril), a weeklong celebration of all things Seville, the season's most prestigious fights are held. Every afternoon, crowds pack the Plaza de Toros (or “the Cathedral” as the locals call it) to see the fighters take on the bulls.
The Death of Carmen
In the Prosper Merimée novella, Carmen, (and later Georges Bizet’s beloved opera), the main character Carmen is stabbed to death in the Maestranza bullring. Other real-life Seville sites mentioned in the opera include the tobacco factory where Carmen met her husband and Puerta de Jerez.