Barcelona’s main bullring was built with a flamboyant neo-Mudéjar and Byzantine façade, and embellished with Iberian blue-and-white tiles. The bullring was the largest in Barcelona and could seat 20,000, plus another 5,000 standing. After bullfighting was banned in 2012, the ring was repurposed as a museum and concert venue.
Although bullfighting is now illegal in Catalonia, La Monumental Bullring has retained much of its original character. The small Museu Taurí (Bullfighting Museum) recounts the history of bullfighting in Catalonia with displays of branding irons, classic posters, and resplendent sequined matador outfits. One weekend each month, the bullring hosts a music and street food festival, complete with food trucks, local vendors, and activities for kids. Many bike tours of Barcelona pedal past the bullring.
Things to Know Before You Go
- La Monumental is a must-see for architecture buffs and anyone interested in the history of Spanish bullfighting.
- Don’t forget to bring sun protection, especially if you’re attending an event on the bullring floor.
- Be sure to stop and appreciate the ornate façade of the building, even if the museum is closed.
How to Get There
La Monumental is located on Gran Via, not far from La Sagrada Familia cathedral in the Eixample neighborhood. To reach the bullring on public transportation, take the Barcelona metro to Monumental Station (Line 2).
When to Get There
The museum is open daily year-round, but to really experience the grandeur of the bullring, plan to visit during an event or concert that lets you get out on the floor with the grandstands rising up around you.
Barcelona’s Other Bullring
La Monumental was the city’s main bullfighting venue, but it wasn’t the only one. The second, the Plaça Espanya bullring, was repurposed as a modern shopping mall after bullfighting fell out of favor in Catalonia. Today, Las Arenas mall is home to international brand shops, restaurants, and a rooftop observation deck with a stellar view of Montjüic and its colorful Magic Fountain.