10 brilliant alternatives for Barcelona's bullring

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 22 May, 2015 Updated Fri 22 May 2015 11:50 CEST
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Since Barcelona banned bullfighting there has been much debate over what should be done with the city's famous bullring, La Monumental. Here's The Local's pick of alternative uses for Barcelona's iconic venue.


The last bull was killed in La Monumental by Jose Tomas in September 2011 after Catalonia's parliament voted to ban bullfighting throughout the region. The famous plaza has since stood empty while debate rages about what should it should be converted into, there has even been a bid by a Qatari sheikh to turn it into a mosque.

Rather than yet another shopping centre or residential block conversion here are some ingenious ways in which we think it could be put to better use. 

Ball pool in the bullring

Photo: Michael Carrasquillo/Flickr

Where better for a ball pool than in a bull ring? Fun for all the family, and no goring involved, we reckon  "the world’s biggest ball pool" would prove an amazing addition to Barcelona’s cultural draws. It might already have the Sagrada Familia and Barcelona FC, but the Catalan capital is currently seriously lacking in balls.

Animal shelter

Photo: Shutterstock

Catalonia is jam packed with animal rights activists and it is one of the given reasons behind the bullfighting ban across the region. So what better way to recycle Barcelona’s bullring than by turning it into a shelter for abandoned animals?


Photo: micadew/Flickr

Why not turn the iconic building into a rave venue, complete with foam parties and visits from the hottest DJs in the world? It is certainly used to seeing a lot of sweating and panting. Maybe Madonna could party there after her latest bullfighting-themed tour?

Stag night venue

Photo: AFP

Barcelona’s problems with rowdy stag nights (or bachelor parties) have been well publicized, so what better for the red blooded male than confining them to a bullring to prevent them rampaging through the city, much like the confined raging bulls of the past.

Gourmet Food market

Photo: Shutterstock

Barcelona’s La Boqueria food market has had to limit tourist groups from entering, so we reckon the city is desperately in need of another market to satisfy tourists’ taste buds. Local businesses could bring their wares to the bullring which would be a showcase for the finest food Barcelona has to offer - and provide plenty of space so tour groups don't rub locals up the wrong way.


Photo of soldiers AFP

If the Catalan nationalists do get their way and the region wins its independence from the rest of Spain then Barcelona may need to establish a base in which to house its newly created national army. Already somewhat fortified and with plenty of storage space, the abandoned bullring could be just the place for a garrison.

Quidditch Arena

Photo: Pottermore / Harry Potter Wiki

As The Local reported back in February, Spain’s fastest growing sport is Quidditch yet there is no official arena in Spain dedicated to holding the tournaments. It may not compete with the fictional Trillenium Stadium of J K Rowling’s imagination but it comes certainly comes close enough for muggles.

Cava Experience

Photo: Shutterstock

Catalonia is famous for its Cava with over 70,000 hectares of vinyards given over to its production so what better for those on a fleeting visit to the Catalan capital than one big space to celebrate the sparkling wine with areas dedicated to its production run by individual cava bodegas and of course its tasting.

Cheap accomodation

One giant youth hostel. With the proliferation ofcheap tourist lodgings cropping up across Barcelona provoking the ire of local residents like a red rag to a bull, why not bring them all together under one roof? Cover the Monumental with canvas, sling some cheap mattresses on the seats and rent lodgings by the night.

El Bulli

Since Ferran Adria, the godfather of molecular gastronomy, closed down his legendary restaurant El Bulli in 2011, foodies have been mourning its loss. Notoriously difficult to get a reservation, with more than a million entering an annual lottery for just 8,000 places in the years before it’s closure, maybe it’s time to reopen on a much larger scale with the creation of El Bulli-ring?




The Local 2015/05/22 11:50

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