Flamenco in Barcelona. The origins.

flamenco show Barcelona tapas tour

Flamenco, along with bullfights, are two of the most known old Spanish traditions. Nowadays, bullfighting is not so well considered anymore, it´s seen as an old fashioned tradition, and young generations are not interested in it. Society is very aware of animal abuse. In Catalonia, bullfights are banned since 2012.

Flamenco is the most famous Spanish dance and music style. On 16 November 2010, Flamenco was designated World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

In Barcelona there are a few Tablaos, so the places where to attend a Flamenco show. The greatest Flamenco Shows in Barcelona are:

  1. Los Tarantos

  2. El Tablao de Carmen

  3. El Patio Andaluz

  4. El Palacio del Flamenco

Sometimes visitors or locals say that Barcelona is not the right place to see a Flamenco show, because “Flamenco is not from Catalunya, it comes from Andalucia”, they say. But that´s not correct. We could say that nowadays in Andalucia there are more places to see live Flamenco shows than in Catalonia, that´s true.

In this post and after some research with experts in Flamenco’s origins, we would like to briefly explain how, when, and where Flamenco was created.


Flamenco is significantly related to gypsies, a people from INDIA who entered Europe middle of the XIV century and scattered throughout Europe due to their nomadic condition.  Because of their skin color and ignorance of the society at that time, they were believed to be Egyptians. The word “gypsy” is an etymological evolution of “Egypt”. They entered Spain at the beginning of the XV century in search of climates warmer than those they had found on the continent.  Some arrived in the south of Spain (Andalucia) from the north of Africa. Others came from France to northern Spain (Catalonia) and settled.

Actually, Flamenco results from the MIX of morish, Jewish, Byzantine chants, medieval gregorian singing, and Spanish local folk music. Officially, the flamenco style was originated during the second half of the XIX century, both in the south and in the north of Spain.


In reality, the belief that flamenco is Andalusian is not correct, the gypsies reached both the south and the north of Spain. They also arrived in Catalonia, therefore flamenco is also Catalan.

  • At the end of the 19th century, there were more “tablaos” in Catalonia than in the rest of Spain.

  • Also, some great composers such as Enric Granados and Isaac Albeniz were Catalan.

  • The great dancer Carmen Amaya was Catalan, born in Barcelona.

A CURIOSITY about the “Tablaos”

The TABLAOS are like small theaters specialized in flamenco shows and with a very intimate atmosphere. Curiously the word tablao comes from tabla o tablón that means “wooden planks” in English. The stages are made out of tablas so planks perfect to enjoy the sound of the artists tapping.

If you like to know more about this art and enjoy a life Flamenco show with professional artists in the oldest and most prestigious “tablao” of Barcelona, you can´t miss our “TAPAS AND FLAMENCO SHOW”. You will spend a great, funny and authentic evening! You won´t regret it.