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Bullfights in September

We are traveling in Spain during September of this year - 2014 and would like to experience a bullfight. We have flexible dates right now and so would like to know how to decide on these. I looked in the "R. Steves Spain" and went to the websites and so far I have come up with only these dates:

Madrid 9/7,9/14, 10/2 all novillado and 10/3, 10/4,10/5 general which I assume are the experienced matadors.
Sevilla is harder to navigate because the translation page is hard to follow, so I THINK it is 9/27 Saturday and 9/28 Sunday during the San Miguel festival.

Soooo, does anyone have any opinions on these choices?

Are the dates in Sevilla experienced matadors and are tickets available since it is the festival time? Also, is the city too crowded during that time because we are not happy to be there if it is. We like to experience a place during the "real" time. Are there any dates that I am missing?

How much difference is there between the novillado and the experienced?

Any other suggestions?

Posted by
984 posts

What do you and those in your group know? Are you quite sure you know what to expect? I have seen many younger tourists exit after the first fight, green around the gills.

'would like to experience a bullfight' - that will be six, all much the same in format, if you stay the duration.

'How much difference is there between the novillado and the experienced?' - Unless you are an aficionado I strongly doubt you will recognise the nuances and differences. It is highly unlikely any one of the novice matadors will make clean kills and there will be more blood (and stench, depending on where you sit).

If you can afford the ticket you see renowned participants.

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks so much for your reply. No, we don't know what to expect but my husband says it's a top thing to see in Spain for him. I am not sure I want to attend. We are both senior citizens.

Wow, I never thought about the smell/stench. I was going to buy tickets down closer to the ground but I guess you are bringing up an important reason not to do that. I also get the idea that it can be very gory up front. We will definitely see the experienced ones then.

You have been so helpful.

Posted by
2 posts

I would suggest reading the book Death in the Afternoon, written by Ernest Hemingway about the ceremony and traditions of Spanish bullfighting. I did so before attending a bullfight in Madrid a few years ago and it helps to put context into what you are experiencing. Although I did read the book beforehand, I will admit that I found myself hyperventilating during the first fight.

Posted by
20 posts

What a good suggestion. I usually like to read books, novels especially about the areas that I am visiting and I hadn't thought of this one. I also suspect I will need help preparing myself for this. Thank you.

Posted by
16878 posts

Will you and your husband be comfortable making a plan to split up, if he wants to stay and you want to go? With the bullring close to the metro, that shouldn't be too hard.

Posted by
20 posts

Yes, we will have been in Madrid for a few days already so I will have acquired a sense of direction. Thanks,