Currently in Madrid, the CARDAMOMO tablao is open daily and other tablaos such as CAFÉ ZIRYAB, LAS TABLAS, CENTRO CULTURAL FLAMENCO MADRID, ESSENTIAL FLAMENCO and TEATRO FLAMENCO MADRID have reopened with special programming and hours during the weekends. The Corral de la Moreria reopens on its 65th anniversary on May 13, 2021 with 25% capacity. Only 30 people will be able to enjoy the show one day a week.
Flamenco concerts are being held during some festivals, with capacity restrictions and specific sanitary hygiene regulations. Now and then, flamenco is performed in concert halls, but often in a less traditional manner. Rooms such as the Café Berlin, Galileo Galilei, Clamores. etc. offer flamenco recitals with singing, guitar and, occasionally, dance and present shows that fuse flamenco with jazz, pop or rock. You can also find authentic flamenco in some of the flamenco clubs, which focus on flamenco singing. Such shows occur almost always on the weekend and it’s not easy to find them.
Flamenco is also offered in Madrid theaters during important flamenco festivals such as: Flamenco Madrid (between May-June) at the Fernán Gómez Theater in the Plaza de Colón and Suma Flamenca (October / November) at the Teatros del Canal. During the year, specific concerts of important flamenco artists can be held in those same theaters and in others such as: the Nuevo Apolo Theater, the Spanish Theater (dance), the Lara Theater, and the Nuevo Alcalá Theater.
In this article, we will talk about the different places where you can see the best flamenco in Madrid, in flamenco tablaos, concert halls, peñas, theaters and some places where you can have drinks in a flamenco atmosphere.
Flamenco tablaos in Madrid
The tablao CARDAMOMO is open daily and others such as Los tablaos CAFÉ ZIRYAB, LAS TABLAS, CENTRO CULTURAL FLAMENCO MADRID, ESSENTIAL FLAMENCO and TEATRO FLAMENCO MADRID have reopened with special programming and hours during the weekends. CORRAL DE LA MORERIA reopens its doors on May 13, 2021 one day a week.
It is said that the tablaos are for tourists, it is even said that it is ‘flamenco for tourists’ and certainly, it is the tourists who fill them every night, just as it is tourists who fill the Prado Museum every day and nobody considers looking for museums that are not for tourists. The key is not to be mistaken, to be well informed and go to tablaos that guarantee a good flamenco show, for all audiences, for tourists, Spaniards or foreigners, for beginners, the curious and also for flamenco fans. The best artists who perform in the main flamenco festivals such as the Jerez Festival, the Seville Biennial or the Cante de las Minas, may also work in tablaos! (Map of the location of Tablaos Flamencos in Madrid)
Another benefit of choosing a good flamenco tablao, with a good show, with good artists in the program, is the proximity of the public to the stage, and intimacy with the artists. Ambience, the uniqueness of the place, its history, its decoration, the arrangement of the tables, enhance the experience. Sharing dinner or a drink with your partner or friends watching a quality flamenco show can be the best way to enjoy flamenco.
Sometimes visitors from abroad think that taking a walk around the city is the easiest way to find a flamenco show. It seems logical to expect that in Spain, and especially in Madrid, that there would be a tablao on every corner! This is a futile endeavor. You have to know where to go. Your hotel may give you a recommendation or you may have booked a show with your travel package. If you are reading this article, you are obviously interested in seeing authentic flamenco. There are more than 15 tablaos in Madrid, and all of them compete to attract the ‘tourist’. And what most tourists are trying to do is flee from so-called “flamenco for tourists”. So we hope we can point you in the right direction.
When making a reservation, be sure you can see what show is planned and the name of the participating artists. Check that there is a defined program. Consult their website to see if they have published a defined and clear artistic program. If you come on an organized trip, and the excursion to see flamenco is ‘optional’, see if there are guarantees. Otherwise, try to escape and search on your own. These packages are the main culprits that promote ‘flamenco for tourists’ from which you wish to flee. If they recommend a show to you at your hotel, heed the advice, but check if it matches these criteria that we indicate.
Another important point when choosing is the price. It is always said that tablaos are expensive, but the price of musicals on Gran Vía is much higher and there is no better luxury than enjoying flamenco a few meters from you. The price must always be taken into account based on what is offered for what you pay. You already know that the most expensive thing is to pay for something bad, however cheap it may be. You will have lost a night and the opportunity to see really good flamenco.
When comparing prices, you have to take into account what is offered. It is not the same to be at the back of the tablao, than sitting at a well-arranged table near the stage. It is not the same to pay for a dinner with omelettes and Iberian ham fresh out of plastic than to pay for a quality menu. The price marked as a “from …” claim is usually for specific passes or in non-priority sites or with certain conditions that are difficult to fulfill.
There are more modest tablaos, with lower prices, that offer an honest and very dignified show. The number of artists on the stage may be less than expected. The number of artists on stage cannot be a determining factor, and neither can the price.
The usual formula is that passes last between 60 to 70 minutes, which include a drink in the price. These passes are usually between 28 to 50 euros per person, dinner separate.
The possibility of having dinner is another point to take into account. At some tablaos that possibility is not offered and they focus on the flamenco show. In these places, the seating is usually more “tight.” In most tablaos you can buy tickets only for the show with a drink, depending on the time, or by previously choosing one of the offered menus. In some, choosing dinner means having a better place in front of the stage. If you only have an entrance and drink pass, you sit at the back, which does not mean that it is worse. This depends on the layout of the venue.
Every day the tablaos present their gastronomic offerings, some in an outstanding way. In the case of dinner, you have to try to arrive on time, at least a ½ or ¾ hour before the show, leaving dessert for the beginning of the show. The established hours for dinners are usually scheduled one hour before showtime.
The best flamenco tablaos in Madrid
Of all the flamenco tablaos in Madrid, perhaps the most recognized are El Corral de la Moreria (reopening on May 13, 2021) and Casa Patas ( definitely closed!) for its programming and intense flamenco activity. Another excellent option is to go to Cardamomo (it maintains a daily schedule) in the nerve-center of Madrid on the historic Echegaray street. The Madrid Flamenco Theater (open on Saturdays and special days) with a good program and special cycles that bring flamenco closer to the local public.
Other tablaos that offer flamenco daily, of good quality and with a guarantee of success are Café de Chinitas (definitely closed!), Café Ziryab (open weekends), Las Tablas (open weekends), Tablao Villa Rosa (definitely closed!) and Essential Flamenco (free 20-minute micropasses and 1 daily 1-hour pass). They are listed on our special page about Tablaos Flamencos in Madrid. We have a complete list of tablaos, a location map, the programming of many of them, the average price of the passes and the services they offer.
Flamenco in concert halls
Flamenco is often performed in Concert Halls, although not on a regular schedule. Every week in Madrid, there are usually disc presentations, new shows, not only flamenco, but also mixed with jazz, pop or rock. Rooms like Café Berlin (partial reopening) offer flamenco on Wednesday nights and concerts by great flamenco artists on Saturdays. In November, on the weekends they do the Club Flamenco Festival with great flamenco names at Galileo Galilei or Clamores. They also usually host-specific flamenco concerts, which we usually include in our flamenco agenda in Madrid. Here flamenco is shown differently, outside of the typical tablao format, in a concert hall environment which is also in a close and intimate setting. It is common to find musical performances of all kinds, from traditional flamenco, flamenco singing and/or guitar, or flamenco rock, pop flamenco or jazz flamenco proposals that every day have a more prominent presence in the halls of Madrid.
Other types of more “intimate” shows in reduced formats tend to take place in the capital, especially in the Sala García Lorca (temporarily closed!) They offer classical flamenco recitals on weekends, without microphones or amplification. Without a doubt the best way to experience flamenco -from October to June-. In the field of flamenco clubs that give performances on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays that are aimed at members or regular fans, it is very difficult to get in. Although some are open to non-members, it is not easy to find out about their programming and therefore to go. We highlight the program of the Madrid Flamenco Circle with events and performances on alternate Thursdays at OFF Latina and other cultural activities. Other clubs which offer recitals in Madrid are the Peña Paco del Pozo, the Peña Duende…
If what you want is to go for drinks but with a flamenco atmosphere, near Plaza de Santa Ana on Calle Echegaray, there are bars with flamenco music and atmosphere. The most famous are El Burladero or El Callejón de Madrid. (CLOSED!)
Another famous nightspot is El Candela. Although it is not what it used to be, it is always a good option to stop by and see what is cooking! It is very close to Casa Patas. Around midnight, many of the flamenco artists who leave the theaters and tablaos end up in its restaurant, where a unique atmosphere is generated.
To dance “sevillanas” or watch them dance and have a drink in a “rociero” atmosphere or with the “air of a fair”, there are places like the Sala Almonte. The night can be festive and fun, you just have to be clear about what is offered, not confusing it with flamenco.