Málaga’s beautiful and Neo-Mudejar La Malagueta bullring was built in 1874 by Spanish architect Joaquín Rucoba and is today privately owned by wealthy entrepreneur and former president of Málaga Football Club, Fernando Puche Doña. The arcaded stadium has capacity for 14,000 spectators, stables and training grounds for the horses, corrals for the bulls and even a mini-hospital.
The tiny but fascinating Museo Taurino Antonio Ordoñez – dedicated to one of Spain’s best-loved matadors, who was born in nearby Ronda – provides an insight into the history of bullfighting and displays some sparkly bullfighters’ costumes (traje de luces – literally ‘suit of lights’) and swishy red capes (muletas). A memorial to Ordoñez stands outside.
There are daily bullfights during Semana Santa (Easter Week) and the Feria Taurina (Bullfighting Festival) throughout July and August. For the best views of La Malagueta, make the 20-minute climb up to the Castillo de Gibralfaro (or cheat and take the shuttle) to gaze down on the bullring.