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Page Updated January 29, 2009

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GranadaMan LOVES Flamenco Shows in Granada!

There's almost nothing more "Spanish" than watching Flamenco in Granada. Whether the flamenco takes place in one of the caves of Sacromonte, the Albaicin/Albayzin, or in a flamenco tablao in downtown Granada, flamenco is a MUST-DO during any visit. Why? And HOW does one choose one Flamenco Tablao over another? How much does a Granada flamenco show cost? What's included in the price of a Flamenco show? How do you know you'lll be getting a high-quality performance? Do you need to make a reservation? How can one find NON-touristic, "authentic flamenco" in Granada"? These are all very good questions. We'll answer these questions below.

WHY should you see a flamenco show in Granada?
First, because it's so darn entertaining!!! Can you even see anything more Spanish than a flamenco show? Flamenco is associated with the southern region of Andalucia - most typically Seville or Granada. Some of the best flamenco dancers come from Andalusia. In other words, the visitor is seeing flamenco in its native region.

HOW does one choose one Flamenco Tablao over another?
It's a challenge. There are only a handful of flamenco tablaos in Granada and fewer yet have websites. Below, we'll detail only those tablaos in Granada which have a website simply because most travelers prefer to SEE something of what they're getting before paying. One criteria for choosing a flamenco show could be the price (see next discussion item). But money should not be the ONLY criteria. Other criteria could be the location of the flamenco tablao. Some are in the old downtown, in Sacromonte, in the Albaicin, and some further out - requiring public transportation. Due to some of the more "remote" locations in the Sacromonte, many of the tablaos there will arrange for a bus/van to pickup guests at their hotels. And finally, the most important criteria, the quality of the flamenco musicians and flamenco dancers. It's likely that a visit to Spain could the ONLY opportunity in some travelers' lives to see LIVE flamenco and so they are seeking the best flamenco show in best possible. Who can blame them?

HOW MUCH does a Granada flamenco show cost? And WHAT'S INCLUDED?
Flamenco shows in Granada can be expensive. While accepting that expensive is a relative term, we'll assign some guidelines. Generally speaking, the typical price for a flamenco show is about 30 Euros per person. I've seen flamenco shows for as little as 20 Euros but also for as much as 40 Euros. This cost is ONLY the admission price. Most flamenco tablaos in Granada have kitchen or dinner services available but ordering a MEAL PLUS SHOW can raise the total flamenco experience price to 70 Euros - per person - and flamenco tablaos are not known for their high quality food. That's not to say the food is bad, no, but the "flamenco food" served is usually just of average quality and prices tend to be inflated. I generally recommend that people have their dinner before or after the flamenco shows to save some money and to vary their evening experience. Most Granada Tablaos will offer a free first drink with your entry and it often accompanies a free tapa like a plate of olives, crackers, or even potato chips. (and odd tapa for a flamenco tablao but common). Subsequent drinks ordered can be expensive.

Do you need to make a RESERVATION FOR FLAMENCO in Granada
ABSOLUTELY! Be sure to make a reservation 1 day in advance if possible, calling after 8pm. You won't be able to make a reservation by casually encountering a tablao on the street - because they won't be open until 8pm at the earliest - but you will be able to write down their phone number to call later. It's best to find a flamenco tablao in the general area of your hotel or at least within a short distance using public transportation. Be forewarned that it's not likely that the person answering the phone will speak English when making your reservation so, if at all possible, make your reservation via email - if they have it - or make the reservation through a tour company.

HOW do you know you'll be getting a HIGH-QUALITY PERFORMANCE?
The short answer is, you won't know. Most people in the world don't know anything about flamenco dancing or flamenco music so the client is generally happy with whatever they're "served" as a performance. The better known flamenco tablaos in Granada usually have very good performers, oftentimes they're from Granada themselves. The larger, more popular tablaos tend to be more expensive so they can hire more talented flamenco dancers - paying them more.

How can one find NON-touristic, "AUTHENTIC FLAMENCO" in Granada"?
All the flamenco you'll find in Granada is "Authentic Flamenco". The dancers have studied for years. But finding flamenco tablaos without tourists is a bit of an impossibility. People often write me asking where they can see REAL FLAMENCO without the tourists. The answer is simple. In the houses of Granada gypsies! But no non-gypsy would ever be allowed to enter that society. The gypsy society is a CLOSED society so Gypsy Family Flamenco is only for gypsies and NOT for outsiders. On rare occasions in some bars you'll find "spontaneous flamenco" performed but this only happens when A) flamenco-trained persons are in the bar and B) when the mood strikes these people. So in short, it's truly a hit-or-miss situation where it's more likely you will not see spontaneous flamenco being danced than otherwise. I've only heard stories from a few people when they saw flamenco being danced at a bar they were visiting one night but the next night they went and there was nothing. Plus, bars in Granada are very small and usually full of people so DANCING of any kind, particularly the swirling FLAMENCO style of dancing, is nearly an impossibility. Finally, only a tiny percentage of non-gypsy women study flamenco anymore (it used to be much more common) and authentic gipsy women generally DO NOT frequent bars.

» Various Important Notes:
» flamenco shows typically start at 10pm and midnight
» many have shows every night of the week
» tips are not necessary but some coins could be left for good service
» waiters may or may not speak English
» some tablaos have smoking or non-smoking sections
» the SMOKING SECTIONS are often the better located sections
» some flamenco tablaos do not allow flash photos taken
» prices are not generally listed on flamenco websites

The below Granada Flamenco Tablaos are those which have websites. One can read travelers' reviews of flamenco tablaos in the "Food, Drink & Entertainment" forum category of our ALL SPAIN Message Board. And feel free to post your Flamenco Reviews there too.

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name: CUEVAS LOS TARANTOS
website: www.cuevaslostarantos.com
address: Camino del Sacromonte, 9 - CLICK HERE and HERE for maps
prices: 26 Euros minimum
meals available: Yes
Website in: English, Spanish, French
Phones: (95) 822 4525, (95) 822 2492, (mobile) 627 921 532, 658 837 423
GranadaMan visits: 1

COMMENTS: Flamenco show is located in one of the caves of Sacromonte-Granada. For the first show, Los Tarantos offers hotel pickup and transportation to the show, the show itself, and then a bus trip back as far as the Albayzin. (??) For the second show, Los Tarantos offers hotel pickup and transport to the show, the show itself, and then transportation BACK to your hotel. A flamenco dinner-show is also available offering hotel pickup and transportation to the location, dinner at nearby cave Venta El Gallo restaurant, flamenco show at the same cave Venta El Gallo, and then..... you're on your own to get back to your hotel.

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name: VENTA EL GALLO
website: www.ventaelgallo.com
address: Camino del Sacromonte, 9 - CLICK for map
prices: 25€ (Autobús y copa/Bus and drink), 55€ (Autobús y cena/Bus and dinner)
meals available: Yes
Website in: Spanish
Phones: (95) 822 8476, (mobile) 658 837 423
GranadaMan visits: 1

COMMENTS: Flamenco show is located in one of the caves of Sacromonte-Granada. Venta El Gallo has a 450 person capacity space offering not only "Zambra Gitana" flamenco shows comprised of 14 flamenco artists, dancers, and singers. Venta El Gallo also offers dinner and dinner-flamenco shows. Also "passes" offer hotel pickup and transport to the show, the show itself, a visit to the Albayzín (Barrio Árabe) or a panoramic tour of the Sacromonte with a guide, and then transportation BACK to your hotel. A flamenco dinner-show option is also available.

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name: LAS CUEVAS DE LA CANASTERA
website: granadainfo.com/canastera/...
address: Camino del Sacromonte, 89 - CLICK HERE and HERE for maps
prices: 25€ (Autobús y copa/Bus and drink)
meals available: Yes
Website in: English, Spanish
Phones: (95) 812 1183, (mobile) 666 647 895
GranadaMan visits: 1

COMMENTS: Located in the Sacromonte hill next to the Albayzin, Las Cuevas de la Canastera offers live flamenco shows featuring typical dances of the "Zambra del Sacromonte". It's also probably the most highly publicized flamenco tablao in Granada City. Every hotel carries their fliers to pass on to guests.

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name: TABLAO FLAMENCO ALBAYZIN
website: www.flamencoalbayzin.com
address: Ctra. Murcia, s/n, Mirador de San Cristóbal
prices: 28€ (Autobús y copa/Bus and drink)
meals available: No
Website in: Many languages
Phones: (95) 880 4646
GranadaMan visits: 0

COMMENTS: Located at the top of the Albayzin/Albaicin and next to the Mirador de San Cristobal, Tablao Flamenco Albayzín also offers a free tour of the Albayzin - Sacramonte, which lasts about 45 minutes. On returning once again to the Tablao Flamenco Albayzin, we will give you a brief overview of the development of this art form and we will finish the tour giving you some explanations which will help you understand the performances. Then you will have the privilege to behold the enthusiastic and professional performance of our flamenco artists.

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