Bullfighting in Barcelona

The sport has been banned in Catalonia since 2010

plaza de toros monumental
••• The Barcelona bullring, a ten-minute walk from the Sagrada Familia. Damian Corrigan

To the delight of both animal rights activists and bovines the world over, bullfighting was banned in Barcelona on July 28, 2010, with the ruling coming into force on January 1, 2012. However, in October 2016, a Spanish court voted to overturn Catalonia's bullfighting ban, citing its long and storied cultural significance in Spain. That being said, it remains to be seen whether the inhabitants of Barcelona will, in fact, reinstate the sport even if the ban is indeed lifted.

Whatever your stance on the issue may be, it looks like bullfighting will continue to be a controversial topic in the region.

So, as of right now you won't be able to see a bullfight when you're in Barcelona. However, if you're really keen on seeing a bullfight while in Catalonia, check out this page on Bullfighting Near Barcelona. There are many non-violent bullfighting alternatives in the area if you'd like to still soak up some Spanish culture while the ban is in place.  

If you're still set on the real thing, the best place to see a bullfight today is in Madrid or Seville (although it is also practiced more or less all over the country).  Check out our guide on bullfighting in Madrid for a list of venues and shows.

Is Bullfighting Actually Popular in Barcelona?

Quite simply, no. The tradition of bullfighting is seen as being quintessential "Spanish", whereas Barcelonans wish to be seen as "Catalan", hence the 2010 ban.

Historically, there have been three bullrings in Barcelona: Plaza de el Torin which was built in 1834, but no longer exists; Plaza de las Arenas, which was built in 1900 but is no longer in use; and the most recent bullring, the Plaza de Toros Monumental, built in 1914.

Where is the Bullring in Barcelona?

The Plaza de Toros Monumental is on the corner of Gran Via de los Cortes Catalanes and Carrer de la Marina, about ten minutes walk from La Sagrada Familia.

Of course, La Monumental no longer hosts bullfights, however, it is now home to the Museu Taurí, a museum dedicated to the sport. You can book tickets to a guided tour of the museum if you'd like to show your appreciation for bullfighting in a decidedly less violent manner.

When are the Bullfights in Barcelona?

Since bullfighting in Barcelona has been banned, there are no longer any fights to be seen. Instead, check out our handy guide to visiting Barcelona. In it, you'll find housing, restaurants, and local activities 

So I Really, Really, Can't See Bullfighting in Barcelona?

No, you can't. But don't despair, Barcelona is a city chock full of interesting things to do—take a look at any of these activity packages and take your pick. You can also follow our guide on How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Barcelona whether you're a first-time traveler or a seasoned pro looking for new ideas.