Looking for the best flamenco show in Barcelona? There are tons of great bars and stages that put on nightly flamenco shows in Barcelona – some better than others. Here are a few of my personal favourites that are sure to get your heart racing!
Essential tip: I think it’s really important to keep in mind that flamenco has its roots in Andalusian culture, in cities father south, like Seville and Granada. Flamenco has little place in Catalan culture. That’s not to say you won’t find great flamenco shows in Barcelona, it is a melting pot of cultures after all, but it is a little bit like seeking out Scottish haggis in London – somehow it’s never quite going to be 100% authentic.
Essential tip 2: Another top tip is to be sure to explore rumba Catalana, a more local and upbeat take on traditional Spanish flamenco that originated right here in Barcelona (plenty more on this to follow).
So here you have it, amigos, my recommendations on the best flamenco and Catalan rumba shows in Barcelona!
23 Robadors ~ The Most Real/Raw Flamenco Bar in Barcelona
Head to the gritty Raval barrio to get up close and personal with the city’s wildest flamenco musicians at this clandestine bar-cum-music cave.
I’ll be honest with you, this is not a bar for the faint hearted. It does not exist for tourists and is more commonly filled with creatures of the night – don’t be surprised to find people tending to more than their unmentionables in the bathroom.
I can’t remember ever passing by without seeing a police van with its blues and twos going outside.
But all of this raw energy equates to one of the most authentic flamenco experiences in Barcelona, with real, gut-wrenchingly beautiful music performed tormented souls who’d rather perform to small groups of locals who understand their craft than sangria-sipping tourists.
Address: Carrer d’En Robador, 23, 08001
Nearest Metro: Liceu
Taberna Tio Carlos ~ Discover Barcelona’s Rumba Catalana
Although you will find plenty of great flamenco shows in Barcelona, it’s definitely worth exploring the local version known as rumba Catalana.
Fusing flamenco with pop, folk and rock & roll, Catalan rumba tends to be more upbeat than flamenco (just think of the Gypsy Kings’ ‘Bamboleo’).
The origins of Catalan rumba can be traced back to the 1950s when Barcelona’s Romani communities fused traditional flamenco with Cuban clave and rock & roll. The result is an altogether lighter and more celebrative sound that is less about the beauty of suffering and more about letting the good times roll.
Tucked away on a backstreet in Raval, the colourful Taberna Tio Carlos has live rumba shows almost every night of the week and is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Barcelona’s local music community.
Watch the show with a bottle of Catalan wine and a few taps – they do some mean bravas and the bombas ain’t bad either.
Tip: Entry is free so get there early to secure a table. Also, if you’re keen on exploring more Catalan rumba, be sure to visit Cala Rumba for updates on local concerts and events.
Address: Passatge de Gutenberg, 7, 08001
Nearest Metro: Liceu
Palau Dalmases ~ Fiery Performances in a Baroque Palace
Lit by a thousand candles, this 17th century Baroque palace bursts to life every night with the entrancing sights and sounds of traditional flamenco.
Built for the Catalan aristocrat Pau Ignasi de Dalmases i Ros, the space itself is worthy of a visit, with its beautiful internal courtyard and spiralling staircase adorned with sculptures of mythological beings.
The intimate performance area is set under a series of vaulted stone ceilings, where ancient oil paintings hang from stone walls. It feels very much like you are in the home of nobility.
The dancers perform to the live sounds of flamenco guitar and percussive cajón, providing many moving moments that are sure to have the hairs on your neck standing on end.
Enjoy your free glass of wine or beer and try to get a seat near the stage (if you don’t mind getting splashed with a little sweat from the performers).
Tip: There are three shows per night (6pm, 7.30pm, 9.30pm). Try to make it to the 7.30pm show, when the performers are nicely warmed up but not fatigued.
Address: Carrer de Montcada, 20, 08003
Nearest Metro:Jaume I
Gran Bodega Saltó ~ Vermouth Apperitivos and Live Music
This psychedelic live music venue is festooned with colourful toy animals and trippy circus props, a fun space to enjoy lunch and a few drinks while watching local musicians.
Bodega Saltó is the headquarters of the ‘Cultmusic’ cultural association, a nonprofit that promotes the artistic expression of the residents that live in this dynamic nook of the city. Whether it’s poetry readings and stand-up comedy or acoustic sets and DJs, there’s always something going on.
You won’t find much flamenco here, but it is however known for being one of Barcelona’s best places to hear live Catalan Rumba, the region’s more upbeat take on traditional Spanish flamenco.
Go for lunch and enjoy ‘vermut de la casa’ (house vermouth), gourmet olives, slivers of spicy chorizo and ‘bocaditos’ (little sandwiches) stuffed with fillings like Spanish ham, cheese, anchovies and sardines.
Tip: Their Sunday ‘Vermut Musical’ (a sort of pre-lunch musical aperitivo) is the stuff of legend. Starts at noon-ish.
Address: Carrer de Blesa 36, 08004
Nearest Metro: Poble Sec
Los Tarantos ~ Flamenco in Barcelona’s Royal Party Square
Hidden in the Gothic Quarter’s hedonistic Plaça Reial is Barcelona’s oldest flamenco venue.
It’s not exactly a local secret or anything of the like, but it has become a firm favourite among flamenco lovers from all over the world – with a formula that seems to deliver on a constant basis.
Tip: Explore the many neighbouring bars and clubs of Plaça Reial after the show to get your fandango on.
Address: Plaça Reial, 17, 08002
Nearest Metro: Liceu
Tablao Flamenco Cordobes ~ Flamenco on Las Ramblas
Amble your way down Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas boulevard and indulge in a Mediterranean feast while watching some of the hottest flamenco in town.
This is possibly the most touristy flamenco bar in Barcelona, but it’s still a great show in an incredibly convenient location.
Address: Las Ramblas, 35, 08002
Nearest Metro: Liceu
Palau de la Música Catalana ~ A Modernist Palace of Music
Glam it up for a night of vino and flamenco at the ‘Palace of Catalan Music’.
Not only is this one of Barcelona’s most majestic concert halls, but it’s also one of the most intricately (not to mention extravagantly) decorated Modernista buildings in Barcelona.
To be honest, I’d recommend spending an evening here regardless of what’s being shown. I saw an opera here once, the memories of which are still among the happiest I have.
Address: Carrer Palau de la Música, 4-6, 08003
Nearest Metro: Urquinaona
What about you? Have you discovered any other great flamenco or Catalan rumba shows in Barcelona? What’s your favourite live music venue in Barcelona?