The best flamenco in Barcelona is hard to find, being so far from Andalusia and all – yet luckily the city’s thriving tourist economy brings the best flamenco dancers in from all over the country.
But which are the flamenco frauds and which ‘ll leave you tender and teary-eyed?
I’ve taken in some of the top Barcelona flamenco shows to find out.
Where to See the Best Flamenco in Barcelona
I can officially profess to being an expert on this subject I once knew little about.
It started with asking some locals where they thought the best flamenco show in Barcelona was – and the name that kept coming up was the Tablao Flamenco Cordobes – right in the heart of the city centre on Las Ramblas.
The theater offers two nightly shows with different time slots. The one I chose was the second nightly showing (7:30 pm) with dinner and drinks.
Those who just want show + drink can also pay less and join the fun at the start of the show at 9:00 pm.
A Barcelona Flamenco Show with Food and Drinks
The Tablao Cordobes experience starts with dinner in the form of an abundant, buffet-style attack on the senses.
The many tapas style plates include highlights like gazpacho, Galician octopus, lamb chops with saffron potatoes, paella, traditional Catalan noodle dish fideua, wine braised beef, a choice of 8 different desserts, and even traditional hand cut jamon serrano.
There are also vegetarian options available.
It should be noted that one of the cooks is Jordi Norra, who has been a longtime collaborator with legendary local chef Ferrán Adrià.
They’ve also got a bar that can rival the best bars in Barcelona, including traditional Spanish wine and sangria. The meal also includes water, coffee, and soft drinks.
In all, the meal takes 90 minutes and is a performance in itself.
The Flamenco Performance
Keep in mind that the best seats are reserved for those who have booked dinner, so this is highly recommended as the food is as good as Barcelona’s best restaurants so adding the extra money is never gonna be a regret.
Once the show starts you’ll have all 7 flamenco artists take the stage: two on guitar, two singers, two dancers, and one at the cajon. The most amazing thing, and this gives it such a tinge of tradition and authenticity, is that the show runs entirely without microphones, speakers, or amplifiers.
The way the room echos the passion is something to behold.
In all, the music hall is not very large and I counted about 100 seats, which makes this quite the intimate affair and comparable to the small group size of traditional flamenco houses of southern Spain.
Expect to see some of the biggest names in flamenco like Carruco, Camarón, and Manuela Carrasco.
Each flamenco performance lasts about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Without getting too much into spoiler territory, here’s a sneak preview of the passion:
Flamenco Ticket Options and Prices
Drink + Show Only
The drink option is sangria, beer, wine, or standard soft drinks.
Children (3-8): €22.00.
Dinner + Show
Adult dinner includes over a dozen Spanish classics plus aperitivo and dessert.
Children (3-8): €39.75.
Where to Buy Tablao Cordobes Tickets
I recommend doing so at Barcelona Turisme, the official tourist board of the city.
Here you get the lowest prices.
At the same time (at no extra cost to you) I earn small commission to cover the expenses and time I put in… if you think I’ve helped please book online using the blue buttons below.
How to Get to Tablao Cordobes
It’s really easy to get to: La Rambla 35 is just a few steps outside either Liceu or Drassanes metro stations (green line L3). From super-central Plaça Catalunya it’s just a 10 minute downhill walk along Las Ramblas.
Tablao Flamenco Cordobés Hacks
Yes, it’s the best flamenco show in Barcelona but remember that you’ve gotta do your part! Here are some hacks to maximize your experience:
- Show up at least 20 minutes early to ensure your meal doesn’t distract you during the show.
- If you’re really early put your name in at the desk to ensure closer seats to the stage.
- Wear layers while watching flamenco as it can get hot with a full theater.
- It gets dark and tight in the theater at show time: use the washroom beforehand!
- The late show is usually less crowded and more intimate.
- Consider bringing children since it’s always a hit and great value for them.
- Don’t get down by the often rushed/impersonal service – it’s about the show!
- Put your phone on silent and don’t take pictures with flash – the ushers will be mad!
- If you don’t fancy show+dinner you can get a fantastic dinner at nearby at Louro.
Other Top Barcelona Flamenco Shows
Gran Gala Flamenco – Two Shows in One!
The first show you’ll get with this package is even before the artists take the stage.
How? Just take a few steps into the Catalan Music Palace and you’ll be amazed by this jewel in the Catalan modernism crown.
Show aside, the theater itself is one of Barcelona’s top attractions.
Whether you’re in the orchestra or upstairs in the balcony you’ll be blown away by the beauty of the only naturally lit auditorium in Europe, the explosion of colour from its mosaics, and that rainbow teardrop chandelier.
Yes, you’ll be in the best flamenco venue in Barcelona.
Here you’ll get the whole package with a showcase of different styles of flamenco accompanied by 3 musicians (guitar, violin, and drums), 2 singers, and 4 ballerinas that’ll get you out of your seat with their pirouettes.
Tickets cost €33.25 with a 5% Barcelona Turisme discount using the button below:
While the show operates on fixed dates the team is often abroad for various flamenco tournaments, so you might not have the opportunity to see them. The good news though is that the same group (called ‘Barcelona y Flamenco’) organizes a substitute show: Opera y Flamenco.
This show is performed by intense and passionate singers and dancers telling a cute (or tragic?) love story through the interpretive dance.
Tickets cost €33.25 with a 5% Barcelona Turisme discount using the button below:
Careful: sometimes both flamenco shows go at the Teatro Poliorama, a smaller and more intimate theater that’s not as impressive as the Palau de la Música, but the show itself maintains its quality.
El Patio Andaluz
This 40 year old traditional flamenco show may be in Barcelona but you’ll be whisked away to a replica Andalusian courtyard and be taken through all the different flamenco genres.
A good value, no-hassle flamenco dinner to soak up Spanish culture.
If you book online you’ll receive a €10.00 discount.
El Tablao De Carmen
This is another place to visit for real flamenco, and its a classic venue found in Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) – in fact, you’ll get free entrance to this open air architectural museum with your flamenco tickets.
Tickets to Tablao de Carmen can also include a tapas menu, dinner, or just drinks.
The flamenco show lasts 1 hour.
The History of Flamenco
Flamenco was born in the South of Spain in the regions of Andalusia, l’Extremadura, and Murcia in the 18th century. While there is no evidence pinning this phenomenon to an exact time and place, the evolution of the dance was found in gypsy populations living in Spain at the time.
To create this famous art form, flamenco artists must fuse cante (song), baile (dance), and toque (musicianship).
The vocal component involves a seated man or woman running the gamut of feelings – joy, tragedy, fear, regret, sadness – through simple, expressive lyrics.
The dancers purvey passion and courtship over a series of complex steps, the complex technique often varying between sexes. Men tend to be heavier on their feet while woman make more calculated, sensual movements.
Though originally a mere accompaniment, the raspy and percussive-like guitar playing during these performances has spawned its own genre and has become an essential part to any good flamenco performance.
In November 2010 flamenco was put on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Flamenco in Barcelona today continues to evolve through various interpretations and some of the artists have even become celebrities.
Before booking I suggest looking up the best flamenco performance videos on Youtube – you can start with guitarist Paco de Lucia an singer Camarón de la Isla. Another of my favourites is Carmen Amaya.
Looking for Flamenco in Barcelona?
I’ve taken in a show and wrote an article about my opinion on the best flamenco in Barcelona but what have I missed? If you need any extra advice please get in touch using the form below.
Also! If you’ve already seen a show how did you like it? Fire away 🙂