Learn about the importance of bullfighting to Sevillano culture with a behind-the-scenes experience at this well-known bullring.
Embark on a guided tour of the Plaza de Toros, one of the oldest bullrings in the world. The Baroque-style arena features a striking white-and-yellow façade and overlooks the river. Construction of the Plaza de Toros started in 1762 and was completed in 1881.
Take a seat in one of the spectator stands to admire the architecture and the immaculate condition of the ring. Observe the small slope in the center of the arena. The raised ground gives the bullfighter an advantage when escaping the bull. Look up at the Prince’s Balcony, reserved for the Spanish royal family. See the chapel where bullfighters pray before entering the ring. Step inside the infirmary where injured matadors are taken for treatment.
Bullfighting is still popular in several parts of Spain and many Sevillanos consider it an art form and an integral part of their culture. Seville’s bullring holds up to 14,000 spectators who can watch dozens of fights every year.
Visit the small museum that traces the history of bullfighting from the 18th century to the present day. View memorabilia such as capes, posters, photographs and suits worn by famous bullfighters. Also on display are oil paintings that depict bullfighting scenes and portraits of matadors.
The bullring and museum are open daily except Christmas Day and can only be visited as part of a guided tour, which has a fee. There are discounts for students, pensioners and children. Tours in English and Spanish are conducted every 30 minutes. Alternatively, book ahead to watch a fight. The bullfighting season at Plaza de Toros runs from the evening of Easter Sunday until the middle of October.
Situated in the center of Seville, Plaza de Toros is served by local bus routes. The nearest metro station is a few minutes’ walk away. Drivers can use metered parking in nearby streets.
As you leave the bullring stop by the statue of Carmen across the road. The fictional character met her end in the bullring in the opera Carmen, composed by Georges Bizet.