If you are visiting Seville in Spain and are looking for the best authentic flamenco shows or a flamenco tour that allows you to experience some of the best local food as well, then look no further. This article should answer all your questions and help you find the best authentic experience!
When preparing for your trip, you may have noticed people talk about the “soul of Seville”. It’s difficult to describe in a few words what it is exactly or what makes this unique city so special. But there are two main ingredients that you just have to experience, and that’s flamenco and tapas!
We recently visited Seville and before our trip, we did a lot of research about the best flamenco shows in the city. In the end, we decided to opt for a guided tour that – in addition to a traditional flamenco show also included an amazing local food and tapas experience. It didn’t disappoint!
In this guide, you can read about the best flamenco shows in Seville, the tour we chose, and our tips for anyone looking for a truly authentic experience in Seville. Find out!
Where to See the Best Flamenco in Seville?
While flamenco has become an iconic symbol of Spanish culture, it originated in the Andalusia region in the south of the country. Seville considers itself the birthplace of this unique dance. So there is no better place to see a flamenco show than in Seville!
But where exactly to go and where to find the best flamenco shows in Seville?
Indeed, the choice is overwhelming with so many nice options. The good news is that you can’t go wrong with most of them. Flamenco is taken very seriously in Seville and most theaters work with the best dancers and musicians who are absolutely passionate about this dance.
TIP: While you can see flamenco dancers on the streets and some venues also combine flamenco and dinner, for the most authentic experience, you have to see a flamenco performance at a small local theater, aka tablao! Further below, we listed some of the best flamenco tablaos in Seville.
Interesting to know: The best authentic flamenco shows are the ones where artists improvise on the spot. The music, the dance, the singing, the clapping – none of it is practiced in advance. A truly good flamenco performance is led by feelings, expressions, and emotions. Therefore, no two flamenco shows will ever be the same.
Also, since flamenco was originally danced by gypsies, the costumes often reflect that as well. Contrary to popular belief, most flamenco dancers aren’t dressed in red. In fact, at the best flamenco shows you will often see female dancers wearing rather simple traditional dresses with polka dots, sometimes combined with a Spanish Manila shawl. The dancer that we saw changed her dress at least 4 times during the show and not one of them was red…
Best Flamenco Shows in Seville
If you simply want to see a flamenco show and don’t care about learning more about the origins of this unique dance or the background information about what you’ll see, then you can simply get tickets for one of the best flamenco theaters and go on your own.
In that case, just decide based on the location of the theater or the starting times of the show, to make sure that it suits your itinerary. You really can’t go wrong with any of the options below.
Here are some of the best flamenco shows in Seville, ranked by popularity:
- At Casa de la Memoria.
- At Teatro Flamenco Sevilla.
- At the Flamenco Museum. You can choose to just see the show or to visit the museum as well.
- At Teatro Flamenco Triana.
Good to know: All the experiences are very similar and the top theaters featured above are located in the old town. The last one is located in the Triana neighborhood on the other side of the river. This is the area where flamenco dance is said to have originated and it’s also a bit off the main tourist paths. However, the shows in the center are just as good and often much easier to fit into your sightseeing itinerary.
If, however, you prefer to go with a local guide, as we did, read on to learn more about the tour we took and recommend.
Why Opt for a Flamenco Tour with a Guide?
If you want to learn a bit more about flamenco and understand what’s happening on the stage, it’s always nice to go with a local guide. In addition, Flamenco tours usually include something extra – like a walk through the city, local insights and tips, or traditional food, which was the case with the tour we chose.
Since we wanted to learn more about flamenco and get some local insights on Seville overall, we decided to look for a tour with a local guide. We stumbled upon this highly-rated flamenco & tapas guided tour and were immediately sold.
First, it’s organized by a company that we have used for some of the most unique experiences all over Europe and their tours are always top-notch (including a before-hours tour of the Alcazar in Seville which was amazing too!). And second – we absolutely love food tours, so this 2-in-1 tour was the perfect way to make the most of our time and get to know the city a bit deeper.
Good to know: Just to make things clear – we do not recommend seeing a flamenco show while you eat. It’s such a special and intimate performance so you should concentrate on it 100%. The tour we took was perfect as it brought us to a few different tapas places – one before and one after the flamenco show. While we were enjoying all kinds of local specialties, our guide told us more about flamenco, its origins, and explained what to expect during the performance.
This tour made our trip to Seville so much more memorable! We did it with the whole family, including three teenagers, and everyone really enjoyed it. My husband even chose this as the best experience in Seville! So I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a truly authentic experience.
If you are interested, below you can read a bit more about what to expect on this particular tour. We also share some pictures – that way, you can get a better idea if it’s something for you.
Our Flamenco & Tapas Tour in Seville
The tour we chose included a tapas ‘crawl’ and a flamenco show at a small and very intimate flamenco theater in the old town of Seville.
It’s a rather long tour – 4 hours in total – but it’s also very relaxing, a bit like an evening spent with friends. The group sizes are kept very small – if I’m not wrong, a maximum of 12 people. There is also very little walking or standing involved, there are bathroom facilities at all the venues, and the guide orders food on the spot so if there’s something you absolutely cannot eat or drink, they are quite flexible to adjust.
While you can do it with children from about 6 years, you have to realize that the kids have to be able to sit still and quiet during the entire flamenco performance. Our teenagers handled it very well and found it quite interesting, but it helped that there was lots of delicious food involved before and after the show as well.
The tour consists of three parts: tapas at a traditional place, flamenco, and tapas with a modern twist. See below for more info.
(1) Tapas & Vermouth at a Traditional Abacería
We started with a short walk through the old town and a visit to a traditional tapas place. This was an authentic small abacería with just a couple of tables. This is a combination of a tiny grocery store and a restaurant focusing on the best quality local specialties.
Here, we got a crash course in the basics of tapas culture in Seville and learned how to recognize the best-quality cured meats. We tried all kinds of charcuterie and other regional tapas. But the absolute highlight was their sweet vermouth wine! Of course, there were non-alcoholic options for the kids as well.
While we were enjoying the food and the drinks, our guide also told us more about the fascinating art of flamenco, how it started, what it means, and what to expect during the performance.
After a visit here, we also stopped for a quick look at one other traditional food stand where we tried some candied pistachios and could buy some traditional sweet delicacies from Seville.
(2) Santa Cruz Quarter & Flamenco Show at a Traditional Tablao
Next, we headed to a flamenco show. On the way, we passed several charming streets in the old town and the guide stopped a few times to share some interesting facts about various places, including the Seville Cathedral and the famous Giralda Tower. This wasn’t the focus of the tour, but a nice extra.
Our tour included a performance at a small flamenco tablao (performance venue), which is housed in a lovely 15th-century building in the heart of the charming Santa Cruz neighborhood.
From what I understood, this is one of the few remaining truly authentic flamenco performance venues, with a very intimate atmosphere and a very limited number of spectators. You sit so close to the performers that you can see every facial expression and truly experience what flamenco is all about. It’s a very powerful experience.
The dance is so captivating and contagious that you’ll likely want to try some moves and shout ‘Olé’ on the way to the restaurant after the show…
Good to know: The Flamenco show itself takes about 1 hour. In order not to disturb the performance, you are not allowed to take pictures or videos. However – the place we visited – allowed photos/videos during the last part of the show.
(3) Tapas & Wine at a Contemporary Restaurant
The last part of our tour took us further through the old Jewish quarter and to a more contemporary tapas restaurant/wine bar in Seville center. While totally different from the traditional tapas experience, this was an absolute treat as well.
We had several different tapas, each unique and absolutely delicious. We could also try regional wines or other drinks, and the guide gave us tips and suggestions to help make the choice.
I can’t remember how many different tapas we tried, but it was more than enough for a full dinner. We had difficulties finishing it all in the end, but it was too good to leave behind…
Flamenco in Seville – Conclusion
So, this was our experience with Flamenco in Seville. While we could have just opted to see a flamenco performance at one of the theaters without a guide (it’s not just cheaper, but also requires less time), all in all, we were really glad that we opted for this guided tour.
It gave us a better understanding of the art of flamenco and helped us to better appreciate the performance. Let’s just say that we’ll never see a flamenco with the same eyes again. So it was worth it just for that!
In addition, we tried some delicious tapas and got to know so many special foods and drinks that we would have never been able to find on our own. Taking into account everything that was included, the tour was excellent value too.
TIP: If you opt for a tour like this, do it on your first evening in Seville! The tips you’ll get from the guide will help you make the rest of your stay in the city so much more special. For example, our guide pointed us to some hidden gems in the city and suggested some unique experiences that we never even knew about (such as where to get traditional Seville sweets made by nuns, etc.).
Where to book a flamenco & tapas tour? There are many options when it comes to tapas and flamenco in Seville. You can find an overview of some of the best tours here. We opted for this experience and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. If it’s not available for your travel dates, this highly-rated tour offers a very similar experience and usually runs daily as well.
More tips for your trip to Spain:
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