LivingTravelWhere to see flamenco in Spain

Where to see flamenco in Spain

Flamenco is probably the most famous art form in Spain (it is certainly much less controversial than that other popular Spanish pastime). There are daily flamenco shows in Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusian cities such as Seville, Granada and Malaga, although many of them are geared towards tourists and it is difficult to know which ones are the good ones.

As a general rule, if a venue has more than one show per night, the last one will be the one that most Spaniards go, and therefore fewer tourists, and the performance will be adjusted accordingly.

Isn’t flamenco just a dance?

Not! Flamenco has four distinct elements: playing the guitar, the voice, the flamenco dance, and the palmas (clapping). Out of the four, he will most likely drop the dance, if any of them.

If watching dance is your thing the most, check that there will actually be some dancing in the show.

Typically, artists will appear on the flyer: ‘Baile’ is the dancer, ‘Cante’ is the singer, and ‘Guitarra’ is the guitarist. 99% of tourism-oriented shows will have all three.

The floral dresses seen in tourist brochures are only for very special occasions (and tourist presentations); Most of the time the dancers are dressed in black.

And I’ve only seen a flamenco dancer use castanets once!

Why is it called ‘Flamenco’?

Some have argued that the music received this name because the dance resembled the movement of a flamenco, although this is unlikely. The word ‘flamenco’ also means ‘flamenco’ (the people on the Dutch-speaking side of Belgium) and it has been said that the music may have some of its roots in that part of Europe. There is a third theory that is popular, which says it comes from the Arabic ‘felag mengu’ (sometimes spelled ‘fellah mengu’) which means ‘landless peasants’. It is quite possible that this is the original form of the word and it was later corrupted to its current form for the reasons explained above.

What kind of show do you want to see?

One question is whether you want to see flamenco in Seville at its best or at its most authentic. What is the difference? Well, imagine seeing BB King in a huge sports arena. It may be the best blues concert you’ve ever seen, but is it ‘authentic’? On the other hand, a smoky blues bar on the back streets of New Orleans is likely to have more authentic blues, but it may not measure up to the BB King stadium gig.

You’ll get a derogatory snobbery from so-called flamenco fans who say that great places like El Arenal in Seville are ‘for tourists’. The truth is that true flamenco fans would go to those places every night if they could afford it because this is where the best artists perform: because tourists bring money. If Jay-Z and Beyonce can complain about the declining income of artists in music, imagine what it is like for flamenco artists? It is no wonder that the best artists perform in such shows.

The ‘tablaos’ generally speak where you will find a very formal and excellent performance, while the flamenco bars will normally be a bit more informal and more ‘authentic’.

See also:

At a festival

A flamenco festival is the best place to see flamenco in Spain. While some of the best stars tend to work in the tourism-focused tablaos , the real superstars are touring the world and can only perform in Spain at the biggest festivals.

Take a look at these flamenco festivals in the main cities of Spain:

  • Madrid: Suma Flamenca throughout June.
  • Jerez: Festival de Jerez from the end of February to the beginning of March
  • Córdoba: Córdoba Guitar Festival first fortnight in July.
  • Malaga: Malaga Fair in August.
  • Granada: Granada International Music and Dance Festival in late June or early July.


Madrid is not the traditional home of flamenco, but as the capital city it of course attracts the best artists as this is where the money is.

As Madrid is less famous for flamenco, its flamenco venues are not so heavily marketed to tourists. Any bar called ‘tablao de algo’ is likely to be a flamenco venue.

  • Corral de la Moreria
    One of the most famous flamenco tablaos in Spain.
    Calle de la Moreria, 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain
  • Cafe de Chinitas
    A less famous (but still great) place Madrid.
    Calle Torija, 7, 28013 Madrid, Spain
  • Bermejas Towers
    Beautiful tablao in the style of the Alhambra in Granada.
    Calle Mesonero Romanos, 11, 28013 Madrid, Spain
  • Patas House
    An excellent flamenco tablao between Atocha station and Sol.
    Calle de los Cañizares, 10, 28012 Madrid, Spain
  • Las Carboneras
    Another well-known flamenco tablao in Madrid.
    Plaza del Conde de Miranda, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain
  • Cardamom
    One of the most popular flamenco venues in Spain, a little less formal than some.
    C / Echegaray, 15, 28014 Madrid, Spain


Although Barcelona is not historically associated with flamenco, the city’s cosmopolitan appeal has drawn flamenco artists from Andalusia to Catalonia. Some of the most important flamenco shows now take place in Barcelona.

  • Tablao Cordobés
    Very centrally located flamenco show, right on the Ramblas.
    Les Rambles, 35, 08002 Barcelona, ​​Spain
  • Opera and flamenco
    The imaginative show entitled Ópera y flamenco en Barcelona is, not surprisingly, a show that combines opera and flamenco. A unique blend of the high arts that you won’t see anywhere else, but don’t expect to see ‘classic’ flamenco.
    Les Rambles, 115, 08002 Barcelona, ​​Spain
  • Flamenco Palace
    In the Eixample neighborhood.
    Carrer de Balmes, 139, 08008 Barcelona, ​​Spain
  • Tablao de Carmen
    Flamenco show at Poble Espanyol in Montjuic, which is a very touristy place to have a show.
    Avda. Marqués de Comillas s / n. Poble Espanyol de Montjuïc.
  • Los Tarantos
    Apparently one of the oldest flamenco tablaos in Barcelona, ​​opening its doors in 1963.
    Placa Reial 17, Barcelona, ​​Spain
  • Tablao Nervión
    Near the cathedral.
    Carrer de la Princesa, 2, 08003 Barcelona, ​​Spain


There are so many places to see flamenco in Seville that you will have a hard time deciding which one to visit. These are the best shows in the city:

  • El Arenal
    One of the best places in Spain to see high quality flamenco.
    Calle Rodo, 7, 41001 Seville, Spain
  • The Andalusian Palace
    Also known as El Palacio del Embrujo.
    Calle de María Auxiliadora, 18A, 41008 Seville
  • Alvarez Quintero Room
    One of the cheapest flamenco shows in Seville.
    Calle Alvarez Quintero 48, Seville, Spain
  • House of Memory
    Also in the Santa Cruz area.
    Calle Cuna, 6, 41004 Seville, Spain



Granada is another great city for flamenco. Watch a show at the Alhambra if there is a concert while you are in town: I saw a ‘flamenco ballet’ there and it was fantastic.

  • Shows in the Caves of Sacromonte Los
    Flamenco shows in the Sacromonte caves can be found in places like Cuevas los Tarantos, Cueva La Rocío, Museo de la Zambra and Venta El Gallo.
  • Zoraya Gardens, Granada
    Calle Panaderos 32, 18010 Granada, Spain
  • Le Chien Andalou
    One of the best low-key flamenco shows in Granada. Carrera del Darro, 7, 18010 Granada, Spain

Other cities in Andalusia

Most cities in Andalusia will have flamenco somewhere in the city. Take a look at these locations in some of the other popular destinations:

  • Córdoba: Tablao del Cardenal
  • Cádiz: La Cava Taberna Flamenca
  • Jerez: Tabanco El Pasaje (irregular shows. Check first)
  • Valencia: La Buleria
  • Malaga: Tocayos Flamenco Tavern scandalous youth-oriented show that shows that flamenco is not a dead art form. Often more flamenquito (pop flamenco) than traditional flamenco. Kelipe is another good option.

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