My husband and I prefer to visit Europe during shoulder season, but seeing a bullfight is on his bucket list. How do we make the best out of both goals? When and where to go?
The season runs from April to October. The best rings are in Madrid, Seville, and Cordoba.
If your husband hasn't already read "Death in the Afternoon" by Earnest Hemingway, he may try it as a literary preparation for the bullfight. It is nonfiction and is the seminal work on bullfighting.
James Michener's IBERIA examines the bullfight culture with some thoroughness.
If it helps. You will find this spectacle almost every Sunday from March to late October in the San Isidro Stadium in Madrid. Should be easily web researched for more information. There are (I think I recall correctly) approaching six hundred bull rings in Spain. All have at least a one day festival. Catalonia has banned bullfighting. When you say 'bullfight', do you understand there are likely to be six at about 20 some minutes long, much the same as the last to the untrained eye?
I have no wish to start a debate, but I trust you have or will do some further research (YouTube perhaps) and will be happy with what you will see, as I have seen many an upset compatriot of yours.
Like you, a corrida was something we wanted to experience. We visited in April, which is shoulder season in most of Europe but already high season in southern Spain - the heat of the summer is too much for most travelers. In April, there weren't many choices for a corrida. Our only possibilities seemed to be Seville and Madrid. Madrid starts earlier than most of Spain, but only on Sunday evenings. Supposedly, they also run a "minor league" corrida on Thursday nights but I can't say for sure because we opted for Seville. Seville runs nightly bullfights during Semana Santa, Easter week, then on weekends until the April Fair. During the April Fair, they again run nightly. After April Fair, their season starts but I don't know the exact schedule. By May, the choices expand around the country; the season closes down for the year by October.
Thanks for the input!
My husband I have been to bullfights in Tijuana, so we have some idea of what we're in for. I hear that there is some difference in Spanish and Mexican bullfights, though...so that will be interesting to learn.