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How to enjoy the best flamenco in Madrid

You can enjoy the best flamenco in Madrid going to a flamenco bar. These are small bars where the atmosphere is more intimate and secluded.

Fortunately for you, Madrid (and especially Vallecas) is full of flamenco bars where local artists, sometimes not very experienced but full of passion, spend their nights showing their art and style to the audience.

And, believe me, seeing a performance by passionate Sevillanos in the intimate surroundings of a flamenco bar is something you will never forget!

Whether you want to go to a tablao flamenco, you are looking for a traditional show or you prefer an authentic flamenco show, Madrid offers you a full array of experiences.

You don’t know where to go with so many choices… Well, here is the best flamenco show in Madrid for you.

 

Where can you enjoy the best flamenco in Madrid?

Most of the bars mentioned that I list below don’t charge you for the entrance. And I know that reading the words “flamenco show for free” may sound shady. Well, it’s not.

The only thing you are expected to do is to order a drink (or two!).

So trust me when I say that these they are great places to enjoy the best flamenco in Madrid. I have been to many of them myself, and this is where the locals and connoisseurs go.

 

Two considerations on flamenco bars

Before going to a flamenco bar, you should take note of a couple of things.

The first one relates to the type of flamenco show that you will experience.

Contrary to tablaos or other type of venues, shows at bares flamencos rely almost entirely on improvisation. Sometimes even a person from the audience may stand up and sing!

Apart from this, it is very rare to see bailaoras in this places because of its small size.

If you are keen on watching a full and professional dancing performance, I recommend you to go to a tablao flamenco.

And the second one relates to the time the show takes place.

Flamenco in Spain was originally performed only by gypsies who used to gather late at night after work. So the action starts relatively late (very late for sure, according to your standards) in a flamenco bar. By late I mean at least after 21:30…

… So if you thought about discovering Madrid’s nightlife, change your schedule and mingle with the locals!

 

List of flamenco bars in Madrid

Usually the only way to find out about these places is to search through the local press or take a wander around some of the back streets, and you may well stumble on one of these old treasures…

But why relying on your own luck when I have all the work for you?

Please, take into account that some of them are not only related to flamenco shows. Thus, depending on the day, you may find there is some other live music show going on.

Here is a list with many options of flamenco bars to choose from.

 

O’Pulpo

Address: Calle Betis, 31

O’Pulpo is a Galician-inspired bar but that also breathes flamenco.

And that’s because there is a flamenco school upstairs. So the bar is usually full of musicians, singers, dancers, students and aficionados alike that gather here before and after the lessons.

El Callejón de Madrid

Address: Calle de Manuel Fernández y González, 5

El Callejón de Madrid is the city’s flamenco. Just sit on a stool at the bar, let the music sink (usually cante jondo) in and admire their wonderful collection of flamenco memorabilia decorating its walls.

Bodegas Alfaro

Address: Calle Procurador, 27

Bodegas Alfaro is more a tavern than a bar where you are going to see a performance. It’s charm comes from Manuel, his owner, a flamenco lover who makes you feel at home.

Al Vicente Copas

Address: Plaza de Puerta Cerrada, 7

This bar lives and breathes flamenco. Actually, it’s some sort of underground flamenco temple with a bizarre decoration.

And there is also a large flat-screen TV where Vicente, the owner, plays an extensive selection of flamenco videos non-stop.

Taberna Sanlúcar

Address: Calle de San Isidro Labrador, 14

Entering this bar is like stepping into Andalucía for its vibe, music and décor, and the staff are incredibly friendly. It’s more a slice of the south, with bullfighting memorabilia, virgins and sweaty cured meats (that’s a good thing). But they do play flamenco (often some of the lighter styles) and the food is excellent.

El Burladero

Address: Calle Echegaray, 19

It’s more of a bar in the early hours and patrons hit the dance floor later in the evening.

But it’s also a place where you can run into an actual bullfighter. Just in case you didn’t know, both flamenco and bullfighting are utterly intertwined.

Candela

Address: Calle del Olmo, 2

The key to Candela is arriving late. Very late, like 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning…

Below the bar is a cellar where local gypsies and flamenco performers get together to drink and play. There’s often a bartender guarding the door, but he’s not as tough as you may think. If you make it down below, be quite and enjoy impromptu, like true flamenco should be.

Peña Flamenca Duende

Address: Avenida de Rafael Alberti, 26

The peñas flamencas give a more traditional insight to flamenco, and they are normally run by aficionados of the art whose main aim is the flamenco, and not how much money they can obtain from the customers who use them.

Peña Flamenca Duende was founded in 1992 and it has been a reference in Madrid ever since.

Peña Flamenca Fosforito

Address: Calle Perelada, 5

At Peña Flamenca Fosforito you will see some of the finest flamenco artists performing the very best art…

Oh, I forgot to mention that peñas flamencas like Fosforito do not charge an entrance fee, and the price of the drinks will be the same as a local bar.

Peña Flamenca La Reja

Address: Plaza Puerto Rubio, 24

At Peña Flamenca La Reja heartfelt song, accompanying guitar, rhythmic tap-dance and clapping, all come together with the dance of great artists, who often appear anonymously.

Peña Flamenca Chaquetón

Address: Calle Canarias, 39

Founded in 1982, this is probably one of the oldest peñas flamencas in Madrid. Here you will see flamenco in its purest form.