Take an insider's tour of Madrid's most famous bullfighting venue, Las Ventas Bullring, during this 45-minute audio-guided tour. This self-guided experience offers the perfect opportunity explore this unique facility at your leisure, learning about the history and traditions behind this controversial sport and key aspect of Spanish culture.
Start your visit to Las Ventas any time during the building's opening hours of 10am to 5:15pm, presenting your already-purchased ticket and picking up your optional audio guide. The audio narration lasts for a total 45 minutes, but feel free to explore the building at your leisure. Learn about the fascinating history of this contentious sport and one of its most important stadiums. In the past, many Spanish nobles fought bulls while mounted on horseback, though this practice was outlawed by King Felipe V in the 18th century. This however did not end the tradition, as men took to the ground to continue engaging in the practice of bullfighting, creating the typical Corrida de toros (classic bullfighting style) events that remain popular with Spaniards and persist to this day.
Take time to investigate the key sites in this elaborate stadium, including the beautiful architecture of its main entrance, before continuing to the tendidos (levels of seating) where you can explore the stands where visitors watch the fights. Check out the alleyway that surrounds the main ring, which is typically used by matadors to escape from enraged bulls. Then stop to view the stadium's principal gates, including the Door of Madrid, famous as the exit used by victorious matadors.
Make sure to spend some time admiring the architecture of Las Ventas. This brick façade building, first constructed in 1931 by Spanish designer José Espeliú, is considered an excellent example of Neo-Moorish style. Look for the beautiful ceramic tiles lining the stadium's walls and keep your eyes peeled for the glazed plaques that display the emblems of the various Spanish provinces.
Continue on to the Bullfighting Museum of Madrid at your own pace and see works such as engravings from the tauromachy of Goya, bullfighters dresses from the twentieth century, a section devoted exclusively to Manolete and a large testimonial sample of the birth of the historic Las Ventas bullring.
Continue your visit as long as you like and feel free to purchase food or drinks at the on-site café if you'd like some refreshments.