Are you planning a holiday trip to Valencia and would you like to experience bullfighting in Spain? In Valencia there are several possibilities throughout the whole year to experience a bullfighting spectacle with a lot of colours, costumes and music. You can only go to a bullfight during different events in March, May, July and October (Las Fallas, the celebration of the Virgen de los Desamparados, San Jaime and the Day of the Valencian Community).
The last years discussions around bullfighting are more present. It’s an old tradition and part of the Spanish culture some say. Others think it is animal cruelty and are against using animals for human entertainment. Please read carefully about bullfighting before you decide to buy a ticket for a fight. Six bulls are usually killed during one fight. At this webpage we only present some information about bullfighting in Valencia, we do not recommend bullfighting.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Did you know that the first bullfights were already held in Rome and Greece? Approximately in 1726 the first fight was held in Spain. These fights follow a strict set of rules and several phases in the fight can be distinguished. During the fight several assistants are helping the matador, the one that will kill the bull in the end:
- ‘banderilleros’ will place the darts into the bulls neck,
- ‘mozo de espadas’ are the ones that will hand swords and capes to the matador, and
- ‘picadors’ are riding on a horse to agitate the bulls and make them attack.
The bulls that are used for the fights are a special breed known for its aggressiveness and strength and can weigh up to 460 kilos. As well as the bullfighters, the bull also gets honoured after the fight. The bullfighter status in Spain is comparable to football players in Europe.
PLAZA DE TOROS
Just next to the train station you find this spectacular building: Plaza de Toros, which was built between the year 1850 and 1860. The arena was designed by architect Sebastián Monleón Estellés and was based on the work of Flavio Marcelo in Rome (Colosseum). The arena has a diameter of 52 meters and fits more than 10,000 spectators.
In front of the Plaza de Toros you will see a statue. This is the statue of Manolo Montoliu, a matador. During a bullfight on the 1st of May in 1982 the 38-year-old matador was taken on the horns and he died. Montoliu was considered the best bullfighter of the twentieth century.
Throughout the whole year, there are only several occasions to experience a bullfighting event in Valencia:
During Las Fallas – the biggest festival in Valencia, which is celebrated in March – there are several bullfights at Plaza de Toros. The best bullfighters of the previous season are brought together and they will participate in one of the bullfights. From the 14th until the 19th of March there are one or two bullfights per day. Most of them start at 17:00, but some of them start at 11:30. Usually, tickets sell easily, so if you want to attend a bullfight during Las Fallas, make sure you buy your ticket on time!
THE CELEBRATION OF THE VIRGEN DE LOS DESAMPARADOS
The Virgen de los Desamparados, – the virgin of the people that need help – is the patroness saint of Valencia. The celebration in honour of this patroness takes place every second Sunday in May, although the Valencians already start celebrating the evening before. The celebration takes place around the beautiful square ‘Plaza de la Virgen‘. This year at the 12th of May 2019 there is a bullfight at 18.30h in honor of the Virgin de los Desamparados.
FERIA DE JULIO
Feria de Julio is a legendary festival that lasts the whole month of July. There are a lot of different events you can attend, like performing arts, exhibitions and cultural events in true Spanish style. Also you could go to the funfair in the Turia park with a huge ferris wheel, haunted house and various carousels. During the Feria de Julio there will also be some bullfight events at Plaza de Toros. If you would like to attend one of the bullfights, it is recommended to buy a ticket on time. And buy a ticket in the shade (sombre), since July can get pretty hot! The bullfights during Feria de Julio are well known because they have the highest-ranking matadors that fight young bulls.
DAY OF THE VALENCIAN COMMUNITY
On the 9th of October the citizens of Valencia celebrate the national holiday of its autonomous region. It is also the day when King Jaime I officially entered Valencia in 1238 and liberated the city from the Moorish invaders. On the 9th of October parades are held in the city and other towns and villages in the Valencian region. You can also attend a traditional bullfight this day, usually it starts at 17:30.
If you want to see a bullfight event in Valencia, here is some practical information where and how to get tickets.
The majority of the bullfights take place at 17:00, but there are some bullfights that take place at 11:30 and 17:30 or on other times, all depending on the event that you are attending. Always take a look at the website of Plaza de Toros for the actual times or pay a visit at the Plaza itself.
Prices to experience a bullfight at Plaza de Toros vary from 11 until 140 euros. The price of the ticket depends on whether you choose for a seat in the sun (sol) or the shade (sombra). If you choose for a spot in the shade you will normally have to pay a higher price. This is because it can be quite warm sitting in the sun for a longer period and at these moments the shade is definitely more comfortable. This is especially the case during the Ferio de Julio. Another factor that determines the price is the distance from the spectacle: if you prefer to sit first row, you will pay a higher price.
POINTS OF SALE
There are various possibilities to obtain tickets for a bullfighting event at Plaza de Toros. If you prefer to book your ticket online, you can have a look at the following website TorosValencia (Spanish)
Other selling points:
You can also buy tickets at Plaza the Toros starting the week before the actual bullfighting event. Usually the ticket offices are open from 10:00 – 14:00 and from 17:00 – 20:00. During holidays the cash registers are open during the whole day from 10:00.
HOW DO I COME TO PLAZA DE TOROS?
You can reach Plaza de Toros via the metro lines 3, 5 and 9 that stop at Xátiva station. Several bus lines and trains stop at the Estación del Norte. Xátiva and Estación del Norte are directly in front of the bullfighting arena.
In case you are planning to go with public transport, it might be interesting to buy a Valencia Public Transportation Card. With this card you can use the public transportation (metro and bus) unlimited. This card is also includes a private transfer from the airport. A great idea if you want to visit all the city highlights at your own speed.
There is also a museum at the Plaza de Toros: Museo Taurino. In this museum you can learn everything about bullfights in general, but also about Plaza de Toros specifically. You can see the clothes of a matador (bullfighter) and discover what certain symbols and flags mean. You will learn about the history of bullfighting and in the last part of the museum you will find a small counterfeit arena with objects used during a bullfight. You can also view videos of bullfights.
Pasaje Doctor Serra 10
Opening hours Museo Taurino
March to September
Monday and Sunday: 10:00-14:00
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00-19:00
September to March
Monday and Sunday: 10:00-14:00
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00-18:00
- Do you want to see other sights beside Plaza de Toros? Valencia is a perfect city to explore by bike! Check this page for more information about renting a bike or join our bike tour with one of our enthusiastic English speaking guides. The bike tour lasts three hours and takes you through all kinds of neighbourhoods of Valencia including the impressive Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias. And you will get a surprise treat, but of course we are not going to tell you beforehand!
- Besides the bullfights, there are a lot of different events organized in the arena. One of the most famous annual events is Oktoberfest. The Valencians love this party: Oktoberfest is usually celebrated several times a year! Also there are regular concerts and markets that sell products from different cities.
- Do you want to see more of the city but you are not a big fan of biking? We also offer walking group tours or private tours with an enthusiastic official English speaking guide.