Flamenco is not only a fashionable affair in Barcelona, but it’s also an important part of the puzzle that makes up the city’s history. The colorful dance (complete with lots of foot-stamping and hand-clapping) was brought up from Andalucia and has embedded itself in Catalan culture as if it had always been at home there. This means there are a whole host of great venues to watch flamenco shows in, whether you’re looking for a full-on three-course meal type event or simply a drink and a dance.
Cordobes Tablao Flamenco
Barcelona’s best-loved flamenco venue offers an environment so intimate you’re in danger of getting your foot trodden on by the spiked heels of the dancers. The venue now boasts a beautiful baroque interior with wall-carvings and a suitably Moorish style, and it’ll set you back between 30 and 77 euros depending on whether you dine alongside the dance or not.
Palacio del Flamenco
Recently renovated, this elegant venue holds around 450 spectators so you can imagine the size of the performances. It’s not a particularly intimate activity, but that’s reflected in the cheaper prices – 25 euros to see a basic afternoon show or 85 euros if you make an evening of it with dinner and drinks.
Tablao de Carmen
In true flamenco style this venue draws you in with its traditionally Moorish décor and exposes you to some of the best new dance talent in Barcelona. The small space pretty much places you in the centre of the act, so you can actually feel the emotion that warrants such forceful hand claps. Tickets range from 39 to 77 euros depending on the time of day and whether you want to tuck into some tapas at the same time.
Hidden away in the heart of the old town near the Picasso Museum, this restaurant is the go-to flamenco haunt for locals. This is partly because of the calibre of dancers and partly because the prices are very affordable. You’re looking at 14 euros just for the show and a drink or 37 euros to have some dinner, too.
Now this is some hand-clapping and foot-stamping with a difference. Whilst flamenco is a gloriously interpretive display all on its own, the Teatro Poliorama throws in a bit of opera too, forming a new genre of Spanish storytelling entirely. The result is a slightly strange and surreal mix of theatrical opera, lively flamenco, and traditional folklore tales. Tickets can be bought for between 33 and 48 euros, but there’s a downside to this unique evening out – as it’s a theatre you can’t grab a bite to eat whilst you watch on.
Flamenco may not be Barcelona’s baby but it pretty much feels like it is these days, what with the sheer number of great flamenco venues throughout the city. It’s a great way to combine a Spanish history lesson with an awesome night out.