Thanks to these bullfight tips you will make the most out of your experience of attending a such a colorful and lively event.
If you decide to go to a bullfight while on a trip to Spain, you should take into account that this a complex event in which many people participate and lots of things happen in the span of 1.5 and 2.5 hours.
So in order to have a great time and enjoy the spectacle, please consider these bullfight tips.
As you can imagine, the sooner you buy your tickets, the greater the possibility for getting tickets for the bullfight you are interested in and choosing the best seats.
So get your tickets as soon as you know your travel dates and your itinerary.
Most cities and towns in Spain have a very short season and you may end up missing the opportunity.
Here is a complete guide on bullfight tickets to help you out.
There, you will learn where you can purchase them and how to decide where you sit at the bullring.
The cartel or poster is bullfight’s program. It contains all the details referring to the bullfight. In other words, all the practical information you need to know before getting your bullfight tickets.
Even though you may be thinking that mixing an inexperienced matador with a gentle bull may end up being a disaster, it can in fact prove to be the exact opposite.
This is particularly true if the novillero is allowed to perform in a first class bullring (plaza de toros de primera categoría). He will be eager to demonstrate his skills, grace and courage in front of the audience.
If he succeeds, he will make sure that his transition from novillero to matador (professional) is faster.
But be careful!
Not all novilladas have the full complement of picadores and banderilleros. So, when planning to attend a bullfight and before getting your bullfight tickets, make sure that the poster states “novillada CON picadores“.
Going to a bullfight differs from going to a concert.
You’re going to be seating outside, and the weather could be hot and sunny or it could be cold and wet. So, you need to wear clothing appropriate for any eventuality, and a couple of life saving things.
Remember that it’s a very popular event so you can also take with you a few perks that will make the experience much more comfortable and enjoyable.
Here is the only bullfight aficionado kit you will need:
The atmosphere around a bullring before a bullfight is electric, and you should consider it part of the experience of attending one. So my recommendation is that you get to the bullring about an hour before it starts.
First of all, it gives you the chance to soak up the ambience and await the arrival of the toreros. They usually do so about 20 minutes before the bullfight starts. Look for the crowds of autograph-seekers, they will be waiting at the gate the toreros use to enter the bullring.
Secondly, it’s a great opportunity to take pictures of the outside of the bullring and the atmosphere.
Most bullrings are surrounded by bars called “bullfighting bars”. Here local aficionados and journalists gather beforehand to discuss the upcoming event. It may be a cool place to grab a pre-bullfight drink!
A bullring is a maze – it’s full of gates, corridors, stairs and the seats grandstands are divided into several sections.
It’s very easy to get lost and it will take you some time to get to your seat.
Obviously, the bigger the bullring, the harder to find your seat… And remember that if you get late, you won’t be allowed to enter the tendido (seating section) once the 1st bull has entered the arena.
So here are two pieces of advice:
If you don’t speak Spanish, or don’t feel confident of understanding the bullring staff member, find your seat on your own.
Don’t worry, it takes a few minutes but it’s not hard.
The 3 main data on your ticket are:
Now, look for the information signs. The numbers of the tendidos bajos and tendidos altos are written above the gateways in the passageway:
If you don’t find your way, ask for help. There will always be someone ready to guide you. Don’t wander around aimlessly!
Again, don’t underestimate the time it will take you to get to your seat.
Most aficionados wait until the last minutes and long lines are formed at the gates. Then, once you are at the tendido, the seats’ labeling is usually hard to find, the corridors are very narrow, and you are likely going to disturb other aficionados to get to your seat. They will need to stand up to give you some space, so try to disturb them as soon as possible and not when the action is about to start.
Obviously, the main action takes place at the arena. However, while you are waiting between one bull’s exit and the entrance of the next one, pay attention to some little details that are also part of experiencing a bullfight.
The callejón is the circular low wooden-walled alley surrounding the arena where the toreros enter and exit the sand circle.
There you can see all the bullfight participants – the matadores and their teams, the monosabios, the alguacilillos… And other people such as the press (mostly photographers), the police, the doctors and the veterinary surgeons. All are carefully watching the action at the arena.
The orchestra plays during the paseíllo, before each bull enters the ring and if the matador is performing well during the tercio de muerte.
The later is awarded as a prize to the matador and it’s the president who takes this decision.
As a curiosity, you won’t listen to music at Las Ventas in Madrid) while the matador is on the final stage of his stage against the bull. Since it’s considered the climax of the fight, the music may be distracting for the matador.
The are located opposite to the president’s box. Their job is to interpret the signals the president makes using different handkerchiefs and announce the changes between one stage and the other.
This article is part of a complete tutorial about bullfighting in Spain where you can read all the information you need to organize your road trip around the country.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. What is bullfighting?
2. How to watch a bullfight
3. Bullfighting festivals in Spain
4. How to buy your bullfight tickets
5. 7 Bullfight tips to make the most out of the experience
6. FAQ about bullfighting, Spain’s oldest tradition
7. Understanding Spanish bullfight rules
8. Who are the bullfight participants?
9. Spanish bull fight preliminaries
10. First Spanish bullfighting stage: tercio de varas
11. Second Spain bullfight stage: tercio de banderillas
12. Third Spain bullfighting stage: tercio de muerte
13. The bullfight awards
14. 27 Interesting and curious bullfighting facts
15. A brief history of bull fighting in Spain
16. Glossary of bullfighting terms