Seville is one of a handful of cities where you can still catch a bullfight, and when I visited I went to experience one for myself. I wish I could say that I left unscathed, but I was an emotional wreck after only watching the first of six bulls.
My advice for anyone interested in seeing one is to completely understand what you’re getting into before you go. I didn’t, which was a mistake that ended in tears. In hopes that my experience helps you have a better one, I have documented my time at a bullfight below.
Tickets and Seats
Before you enter, you will have the option for renting seat cushions, typically for less than one euro. I do recommend doing this if you plan on staying through the whole bullfight because the concrete seats do get uncomfortable.
Stage 1: Tercio de Varas
Stage 2: Tercio de Banderillas
Out of all days on the trip I decided to try out my new telephoto lens, I had to pick this one. Not only was a bull being slaughtered in front of me, but the horror was further magnified by the zoom of my camera.
By now, my sunglasses are on, as if that could shield my eyes from what was unfolding in front of me. As the crowd of locals cheered with each successful attempt at implanting the banderillas, I kept thinking to myself, “I hope this is over soon…”
Stage 3: Tercio de Muerte
At this point, tears are streaming down my face, my head burrowed in J’s shoulders. I only dared to look up when I heard the crowd cheering, thinking the ordeal was over. What I didn’t expect was to see the bull’s lifeless body being dragged around the arena by a team of mules.
There were five more bulls left to fight that night, but I couldn’t stay to watch another, and J recognized that. “Let’s get out of here,” he said, grabbing my hand and taking me for a walk along the river.
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