Malaga isn’t one of Andalusia’s cradles of flamenco – you need to go to Seville or Jerez for that – but the city does have a small (and lively) flamenco scene. Read our guide to where to see flamenco in Malaga.
The origins of flamenco in Malaga
In the 19th century, Malaga had plenty of café-theatre venues where flamenco was the main entertainment. One of the most famous was Café de Chinitas (in the lovely Paisaje de Chinitas off Plaza de la Constitución). Established in 1836, this was an authentic theatre-café that became one of the most important flamenco stages in Spain and a must-perform venue for the best artists. Illustrious visitors here included Lorca.
The start of the tourism boom in the 1960s led to the emergence of flamenco clubs (peñas or tablaos), although Malaga’s most famous – Peña Flamenca Juan Breva – was established in 1958 and is still going (see below).
Information about flamenco in Malaga
These websites have some useful information about flamenco in Malaga and list venues where you can see it.
Guía Flama a pretty good round-up of flamenco events in and around Malaga.
Visit Costa del Sol includes listings of where to see flamenco in the city.
Tourist office – they maintain an up-to-date list of places where you can see flamenco in Malaga. Ask for one at any of the tourist offices in Malaga.
Flamenco festivals in Malaga
Bienal de flamenco
The next bi-annual bienal de flamenco is in 2021, a year-round celebration of dance, song and music. Some of the best flamenco artists around visited Malaga in 2019 so look out for events if you’re on holiday in Malaga for the next one.
Here’s a video of one of the shows
Malaga holds an annual Flamenco Festival, usually at the end of June and beginning of July. Its main aim is to offer masterclasses in the 3 flamenco ‘arts’ (song, music and dance) to professionals, but it also includes some events for the general public. Free concerts are held on Calle Alcazabilla and there are usually fun events – in 2018, Malaga successfully broke the world record for the most people dancing flamenco in the street at the same time! Read more about Malaga Flamenco Festival.
Where to see flamenco in Malaga
The real thing
By the real thing, we mean nationally-famous artists who form part of Spain’s flamenco circuit. This doesn’t guarantee you’ll be watching something to your taste, but you can be sure that the person performing on stage is among the best around.
The Picasso Museum organises occasional flamenco concerts and shows held in the auditorium (behind El Pimpi bar). Check the museum’s events page to see what’s on. These events are reasonably priced (from €3) and the small auditorium gives the performance an intimate atmosphere.
Cervantes Theatre includes flamenco in its year-round calendar and every year, some of Spain’s best flamenco artists visit the theatre. See what’s on here.
Museo Flamenco Peña Juan Breva – the building itself is well worth a visit as well as the exhibits, a real treasure trove of flamenco memorabilia including 20 guitars. Flamenco recitals are held usually on Friday evenings at 10.30pm (free entry) and there are shows on Thursdays and Saturdays at 8.30pm. Book on 687 607 526. Calle Ramón Franquelo 4 (off Calle Beatas).
More for tourists, but still good
Many flamenco venues are set up purely for tourists and here, it’s difficult to see flamenco in its purest form. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t foot-tapping stuff and you won’t see something you enjoy. Here’s a pick of the flamenco venues in Malaga:
Vino Mio – this restaurant in the square in front of the Cervantes Theatre has a nightly flamenco show for diners eating inside the restaurant. It’s definitely tourist-orientated, but the performers are good and it adds a fun touch to your meal. Plaza de Jeronimo Cuervo.
MIMMA (Malaga Music Museum) – has a flamenco show called ‘Jaleo’, held several times a week in the museum’s auditórium. Check the website for details. Calle Beatas 15, tel: 952 210 440.
Kelipé Centro de Arte Flamenco – this is a flamenco school as well as show venue so you can also sign up for a workshop… Shows (€24 including 2 drinks) are held Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Calle Muro de Puerta Nueva 10 (behind Atarazanas market).
Cal y Canto – local flamenco artists perform Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and 10pm. Shows cost from €22 and include a drink and a tapa. Plaza de la Flores (between Calle Larios and Calle Nueva).
El Gallo Ronco – owned by flamenco artistes, this atmospheric bar has shows on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and 10pm. Plaza de las Flores (between Calle Larios and Calle Nueva).
Restaurante el Jardín – definitely more for tourists, but this is restaurant has lovely views of the Cathedral. Flamenco shows Fridays and Saturdays from 9.30pm till late. Calle Cister 4.
Velvet Club – a once weekly show on Wednesdays. Calle Comedias 15.
The video above was made on Flamenco El Soho’s opening night. This venue has unfortunately since closed, but we’ve kept the video in this piece to give you an idea of what to expect when you go to see flamenco in Malaga.
If you have any recommendations on where to see flamenco in Malaga, please let us know and we’ll add them to the list.
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(Photo credits: photos 1 and 2 are by José Hidalgo and photo 3 by Miguel Angel Toro, courtesy of Visitcostadelsol.com)