Can we all agree that there’s nothing more passionately Spanish than a night of flamenco?
If you’re coming to Barcelona you’ll be spoiled for choice.
The city’s thriving tourist economy brings the best flamenco dancers from all over the world. That’s where you come in. If you’re having a tough time telling the frauds from the real thing though read on for some inside info.
I’m going to show you the best flamenco in Barcelona and how to save €10.00 in the process.
1 – Flamenco in Barcelona
2 – Why the Palacio del Flamenco?
3 – Barcelona flamenco tickets – options and prices
4 – Palacio del Flamenco hacks
5 – Address + how to get there
6 – Option 2: Gran Gala Flamenco + Palau de la Musica
7 – The history of Flamenco
Where to See the Best Flamenco in Barcelona
Until even a few weeks ago I had to base my information on second hand sources but now I can officially profess to being an expert on the subject! 😛
I’ve always been hesitant on Barcelona flamenco since it’s the equivalent of eating Cajun food in Michigan – the dance was invented in the south of Spain and has nothing to do with local Catalan custom.
So what changed my tune?
Flamenco e Ole.
Flamenco e Ole – a Show You Can’t Miss
As always I asked some locals where they thought the best flamenco show in Barcelona was – time and time again I was told about Flamenco e Olé at the Palacio del Flamenco.
The theater here offers three daily shows with different time slots at various price options: the one I chose was the second nightly showing with a tapas dinner.
Here’s my flamenco review:
I got there right on time for the 7 pm show and was invited to take a seat in a waiting room. Before the show guests are invited to take in the “Flamenco Experience” – a video (in English) on the origins of flamenco and its primary participants.
At this point two flamenco artists enter the room and say a few things about the technicalities of the music and the dance – they even show guests a few dance steps.
Did I hold up?
Not really! I wasn’t really able to hold the rhythm but don’t worry about making an ass of yourself, I assure you you’ll be in good company. Just let yourself go and enjoy the moment!
The Food and Drinks
From here we head into the theater room where there attentive wait staff rolls out dinner.
The tapas plates are six dishes including meat and fish courses (vegetarian also available): highlights included gambas al ajillo (prawns in a garlic sauce), solomillo con fois gras (a pork sirloin with fois gras), and salmón al lime (salmon with lime sauce).
What about drinks from the bar you say?
The meal also included water and a bottle of wine for every two diners. With a good quality wine and a solid set of tapas being served the price-quality ratio here is more than acceptable – and we haven’t even heard a note!
Once dinner finishes (at about 8:20 pm, 80 minutes after entering) we start the show.
The Flamenco Show
A group of six musicians take their seats at the back of the stage and begin to play for the dancers.
For an hour dancers come and go on stage and in between the light shows, fantastic dresses, and amazing music the crowd really gets worked up into a fervour!
I don’t wanna end up shooting off any spoilers but the last dance in particular left everybody with their jaws on the floor, so I guess you’ll have to see it for yourself!
Ticket Options and Prices
Remember: buying Barcelona flamenco tickets online gives you about a 10 euro discount on any ticket option, so it’s absolutely recommended to buy from the Official Barcelona Tourism Office by using the blue buttons below.
Drink + Show Only
The drink option is sangria, beer, wine, or standard soft drinks.
Children (12 and under): €12.00.
Dinner + Show
Adult dinner includes paella, a fish appetizer, salad, profiteroles, wine, and water.
The children’s dinner includes spaghetti, chicken, french fries, and soft drink.
Children (12 and under): €22.00.
Tapas Dinner + Show
Dinner includes a Spanish potato tortilla, calamari in ginger sauce, prawns in garlic, lime salmon, chicken with potatoes, a beef skewer, chocolate profiteroles, sangria or red wine, and water.
Vegetarian options available on request.
Adults and children: €60.00.
Where to Get Tickets
For all ticket options above the easiest way is through the Official Barcelona Tourism Office. Plus, buying your Barcelona flamenco tickets online at Barcelona Turisme using the button below includes a €10.00 discount.
How to Get to the Palacio del Flamenco
You’ll find some Barcelona flamenco shows on La Rambla but I’ve got to agree with the locals on this one: there’s not a better place to see a show in the whole city, and since the area is less touristy you’re way less likely to be hassled or even pickpocketted.
It’s really easy to get to: 139 Carrer de Balmes is just a few steps outside the Diagonal metro stop (blue line L5 or green line L3). From super-central Plaça Catalunya it’ll take about ten minutes.
Palacio del Flamenco 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 especially over the holidays as it can get hot with a full theater.
- It gets dark and tight in the theater at show time: use the washroom beforehand!
- Skip the VIP seats – they’re the same as the others except you get a glass of sangria.
- 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 Napa.
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 tear-drop chandelier.
Yes, you’ll be in the best venue in Barcelona but the flamenco show here is nothing to shake a stick at.
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 €38.00 with a 5% Barcelona Turisme discount using the button below:
Careful: sometimes both shows go at the Teatro Poliorama, a smaller and more intimate theater that’s not as impressive as the Palau de la Musica, but the show itself maintains its quality.
How to Get There
If you’re attending the flamenco shows at the Palau de la Musica you’ll need to take the metro to Urquinaona (red line L1 or yellow line L4. The address is Carrer Palau de la Música 4-6.
For the Teatro Poliorama the metro station is the super-central Catalunya (red line L1 or green line L3). It’s right on the famous La Rambla and the address is Rambla dels Estudis 115.
Other Barcelona Flamenco Shows
In considering the best place to watch flamenco in Barcelona I’d like to add that though the Palacio del Flamenco is in my opinion the best value, it isn’t the only game in town.
You’ll find flamenco shows in Barcelona for all tastes and price ranges and you can get the tickets clicking the blue buttons below:
This traditional Barcelona flamenco club has been running since the 19th century and is the only survivor of Barcelona’s golden age of entertainment.
The cozy venue attracts a list of flamenco legends like Farruco, Camarón, Manuela Carrasco and more.
Your tickets include the Great Tasting Festival dinner menu including welcome cocktail, hand carved Serrano ham, canapes, fish and meat courses, and much more all representing different regions in Spain.
Like the Palacio del Flamenco this hour long show can be enjoyed with drink only, tapas menu, or full dinner service.
Entrance includes free entrance to Poble Espanyol: a €14.00 value.
El Patio Andaluz
This 40 year old 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.
Buying these tickets online includes a €10.00 discount.
The unique surroundings of the Las Arenas Shopping Centre (a historic bullring) are a great location for this profound and personal Barcelona flamenco show directed by Susana Escoda.
Ticket options include show only, show and drink, tapas and show, or full dinner.
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 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 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. If you’d like to take a look on Youtube you can start with guitarist Paco de Lucia an singer Camarón de la Isla.
Dance with me in the Comments Below
I’ve gone through the motions and written the article about my opinion on the best flamenco in Barcelona but what have I missed? If you need any extra advise please get in touch using the form below.
Also! If you’ve already seen a show how did you like it? Fire away 🙂