Where can you see flamenco? Madrid is where you will see the top echelon of the world of flamenco, although it has its roots in Andalucía – specifically Seville, Jerez, and Granada.
As flamenco is such an important part of the cultural heritage of Spain, you’re probably considering going to see a flamenco performance during your stay in Madrid.
You’ll quickly find that the best artists and performances happen in theaters and large modern venues, rather than in traditional venues.
If you’re not lucky enough not to coincide with a flamenco festival or a performance by an important company while in Madrid, you can always go to one of these places:
All have a fantastic ambiance with top quality talented performers.
However, with so many venues, some especially geared towards tourists, it might be tricky to seek out the best. But fear not, help is here!
Are you still wondering where to go? OK, this is the best flamenco show in Madrid.
A tablao flamenco is a place where flamenco shows take place with a social atmosphere referencing to this beautiful and passionate Andalusian art. It’s heir to the old cafés cantantes, popular places that proliferated in the 19th century.
Flamenco was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010. And tablaos have contributed to the preservation of flamenco.
The most passionate flamenco fans usually refer to them as “flamenco temples” and it’s not surprising.
Although Andalucía is the origin of flamenco, Madrid features some of the best tablaos in the country.
Apart from tablaos, Madrid has a wide range of small venues where the atmosphere is much more intimate and the performance is not exactly a perfect routine, but rather a much more improvised and passionate event.
Talented dancers light up the stage at these unique takes on a traditional flamenco venues. The actual show is truly mesmerizing and you’ll leave feeling a passion for dance, and wanting to learn the moves for yourself.
The audience comes for flamenco and is quiet and attentive during the performance, so it’s a great listening environment.
Spend a night out taking in the intimate and electric energy of these genuine locales. Enjoy drinks as you marvel at the creativity and power of talented dancers and musicians in a casual, laid-back setting.
If you’re looking for a flamenco venue that offers an intimate experience and is not as touristy as others, go to a flamenco bar.
Usually a flamenco bar doesn’t put on flamenco shows as such, instead favoring the spontaneous bursts of songs from locals over organized spectacles. It fills with local, amateur talent, perhaps lacking in experience but possessing double the passion.
There are a number of flamenco bars in Madrid that provide a unique insight into the tradition without the cover charge. These venues give you the chance to feel the passion of aficionados for this Spanish most iconic tradition.
Alternatively, you can go to a peña flamenca.
A peña flamenca is a cultural associations dedicated to flamenco offering the chance for gifted amateurs to perform and practice, and network with local flamenco artists.
So it’s a great option for both locals and visitors like you to see flamenco performed in a more relaxed setting. Depending on the peña, you may be charged with a small fee to finance part of the cultural association operations.
Most of them usually offer bar service, and sometimes tapas or basic food. But don’t expect fancy dishes or any other services.
Because they are less business oriented, the publication of their events is often hard to find.
Have a look at a special map that I have created especially for you.
It shows the exact location of a long list of places where you can attend a flamenco show. All the most important venues are located – tablaos, smaller venues, and both bares flamencos and peñas flamencas.
Pick the right one for you according to your preferences, your flamenco knowledge and the distance from your accommodation.
This article is part of a complete tutorial about flamenco in Madrid where you can read all the information you need to enjoy this typical Andalusian folklore.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. What is flamenco?
2. Where to see flamenco in Madrid?
3. The best flamenco show in Madrid
4. Flamenco tablaos in Madrid
5. Small flamenco venues in Madrid
6. Flamenco bars in Madrid
7. 6 tips to enjoy flamenco dancing in Madrid
8. Where to take flamenco dance lessons in Madrid
9. Flamenco history and origins
10. Understanding flamenco singing (cante)
11. Understanding flamenco dance (baile)
12. Understanding flamenco guitar (toque)
13. The different flamenco styles
14. A flamenco glossary