The Bullfight Museum
Activity: Plaza de Toros. How to Get There: The entrance is just off Paseo de Cristobal Colon. Cost: 8 euros/person. It’s a guided tour only, you aren’t allowed to wander inside. Hours: 9:30-2100, 3 40-minute tours per hour. Last tour at 20:30, book in advance during busy season (springtime). No tours during fights which are usually on Sunday afternoons.
My parents took me to a bullfight when I was a kid and it pretty much scarred me for life. I felt bad for the bull, even though I come a large family of hunters. Though I don’t think I could stomach an actual fight, bullfighting is as much a part of Spanish culture as flamenco and tapas. This 40-minute tour is an excellent way to learn about bullfighting without actually having to witness an actual bullfight. You’ll get to see the empty arena, a few bull heads of excellent fighters, and the chapel where the matadors pray before they go fight. There hasn’t been a human death here in 300 years because they have blood transfusions ready to go on-site and excellent emergency medical care.
Bullfights are as symbol of masculinity in Spain. Here’s how a typical bullfight goes. The bull comes charging out at the matador who is dressed to the nines. Apparently young girls hang posters of their favorite matadors in their bedrooms, like Spanish Zac Efrons. The matador waves a cape and the bull pounds toward the matador. The bull can only see things that are moving. The matador jumps out of the way just in time and yells “TORRO!” The less he moves when the bull comes, the braver and better matador he is.
Next come the picadores, guys on horses with spears that spear the bull to make him angrier. The banderilleros come out and do flips while throwing colorful sticks into the bull. Finally the matador comes out again and finishes the job, finishing off the bull with a sword and sending the carcass off to McDonalds.
If that description hasn’t made you a vegetarian, you will probably enjoy the bullfight museum. If you are morally opposed, feel free to skip this attraction.