Gran Gala Flamenco Barcelona

Is Gran Gala Flamenco Worth it?

The Gran Gala Flamenco show has been running uninterrupted for 18 years, making it one of the most viewed flamenco shows in Barcelona. It takes place in two locations. The first is the rather ordinary Teatre Poliorama. But the Gran Gala is most widely known for being shown in the immaculate modernist Palau de la Música Catalanaone of the most beautiful theaters in the entire world.

But how is the show? Should you book a ticket? Understand that Gran Gala is NOT a typical flamenco show. Some will love it for what it is (flamenco fusion) but others might not.

So how does this unconventional flamenco experience compare to other shows in the city? Continue reading to find out.

Patricia Palacios, co-founder of España Guide
About
PATRICIA PALACIOS
España Guide Co-Founder
Patricia is an engineer turned content creator who for over a decade has been helping travelers navigate her native Spain. In addition to her own website, her tips and recommendations have been featured on BBC Travel, CNN, El País & Lonely Planet, just to name a few.

This article might include affiliate links, allowing us to earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Check our disclosure page for more info.

Patricia Palacios, co-founder of España Guide
About
PATRICIA PALACIOS
España Guide Co-Founder
Patricia is an engineer turned content creator who for over a decade has been helping travelers navigate her native Spain. In addition to her own website, her tips and recommendations have been featured on BBC Travel, CNN, El País & Lonely Planet, just to name a few.

This article might include affiliate links, allowing us to earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Check our disclosure page for more info.

Female dancer during the Gran Gala Flamenco show
Female dancer during the Gran Gala Flamenco show

Our thoughts on the Gran Gala Flamenco Show

Bailaora with abanico (fan) during the Gran Gala Flamenco show in Barcelona
Bailaora with abanico (fan) during the Gran Gala Flamenco show

We attended the Gran Gala Flamenco show at the impressive Palau de la Música Catalana. Even though the venue itself is undoubtedly the crème de la crème, our experience wasn’t all smooth sailing.

Getting into the show and finding our seats was hectic and a little stressful. Perhaps this was because our show was immediately following another show. In any case, the show started 20 minutes late.

The first thing you notice once you get to your seats is the absolute beauty of the Palau de la Música Catalana. It was built in the early 1900’s and styled after the modernist movement by Antoni Gaudí’s mentor and teacher, Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Seeing any show in such a venue is a real treat.

The gorgeous Palau de la Música Catalana, stage for the Gran Gala Flamenco show
The gorgeous Palau de la Música Catalana
© ESPAÑA GUIDE

As a venue, the Palau de la Música gave a grandiose feeling to the show. We simply can’t say that enough. Top-notch sound and lighting combined with exquisite dresses and costumes made the whole production a feast for the eyes.

During the show, a large variety of flamenco elements were used. From castanets (“castañuelas”) to fans (“abanicos”) and even canes (“bastones”). It was also mesmerizing to see the female dancer maneuvering a gorgeous long tailed gown (“bata de cola”), shawl (“mantón”) and fan at the same time. In that sense, the show does a good job of presenting off some of the most typical flamenco elements.

With that said, it’s anything but a typical flamenco show – both for the good and perhaps, based on your tastes, for the bad. Understand that the Gran Gala show is nothing like the kind of flamenco you would find at a traditional tablao such as Barcelona’s historic Tablao Flamenco Cordobés. The Gran Gala is a staged theatrical performance. You won’t witness much or perhaps any improvisation which is typical in traditional flamenco.

Live Gran Gala Flamenco show

That’s not to say that the choreographies weren’t spectacular and beautiful, because they were. But in our opinion, they definitely lacked the passion and intensity that we are used to.

Another different aspect of the Gran Gala show is its heavy dependence on violin played in a classical manner with no resemblance to flamenco whatsoever. To put it bluntly, we didn’t care for it. This along with other aspects of the show create much more of what we would characterize as flamenco fusion. This is understandable when considering the venue, but we find that it definitely challenges what one might expect from a flamenco show.

The show ended with a lengthy round of applauses. However, personally it wasn’t one of our favorites. It was honestly, the first and only time that a flamenco show felt long. We weren’t the only ones with that opinion. We saw multiple people leaving the theater well before the show ended. That was also a first for us.

But judging by the long standing ovation from the audience, most people really enjoyed the show.

It seems safe to say that some people will absolutely love this show while others will much prefer a traditional flamenco venue.

Support España Guide Icon
 
HELP SUPPORT
España Guide
By buying through our affiliate links, we receive a small commission, while you pay the same – it's a win-win!
Learn more about how you can help support España Guide

Gran Gala Flamenco – The Final Verdict

Two female dancers at the Gran Gala stage in Barcelona
Two dancers at the Gran Gala stage

So should you book a ticket for the Gran Gala Flamenco show? Well, that really depends on what you are looking for. Like we already mentioned, some will love it and others simply won’t.

Keep in mind that the Gran Gala show is very different from seeing an authentic flamenco show in a traditional tablao. It takes place in a venue with 1900 seats. Compare that to a traditional tablao that usually has under 100.

If you think you might prefer a more intimate and authentic flamenco experience then you should head to Tablao Flamenco Cordobés or Palau Dalmases instead. Or even better, visit both and see for yourself which one you like better. They are really that different!

Two bailaoras with gorgeous long-tail gowns and shawls – Gran Gala Flamenco show, Barcelona
Two bailaoras with gorgeous long-tail gowns and shawls

When we saw the Gran Gala Flamenco show at the Palau, we had Category A tickets. Nonetheless, we were surprised by how far we were seated from the stage. Perhaps, it is because we are used to seeing flamenco in smaller venues, but we definitely missed being able to see the performers in detail.

For that reason, I would definitely avoid Category B tickets at this venue all together. Either get at least Category A (and most preferably VIP) or visit a more budget-friendly flamenco show instead (such as Los Tarantos or City Hall Theater).

Also note that the Gran Gala Flamenco show times are quite irregular. There isn’t a show everyday, so it may or may not fit your schedule.

Overall, if you have the chance, seeing flamenco in the Palau de la Música Catalana is a pretty cool experience. However, if you want to forgo the incredible atmosphere of the Palau and are more concerned with having better views of the stage, then the much smaller Teatre Poliorama may be a better choice.

Food options at Gran Gala Flamenco

There are neither drinks nor food options at the Gran Gala Flamenco show. If you are looking for a real sit down dinner and flamenco show, then we would recommend to check out the Tablao de Carmen.

See a live flamenco show in Spain
Don't miss it

MORE FLAMENCO SHOWS IN SPAIN

Don't miss the chance to experience this passionate artform firsthand! Get tips & recommendations from our reviews of the best flamenco venues across the country.
BARCELONA MADRID SEVILLE GRANADA MALAGA CORDOBA
arrow to scroll to top
Wait, don't close me!

Has España Guide helped plan your trip?

If so, please consider booking your hotel through the links to booking.com found on our website or use the following link:
https://www.booking.com/?aid=1802409

That way, you get the best rates on your hotels and at the same time, it helps us to continue contributing to this site. Everyone wins!