The Spanish capital can certainly entertain the masses and in spectacular surroundings too. If it’s ballet you want to see then head to the Teatro de Madrid, for the opera then the Royal Palace is the place to go or for something a little different then watch a zarzuela – a traditional Spanish mini-opera that is a visual and bawdy comedy.
You can book tickets directly from the theatre or from tourist offices and prices vary depending on what you want to see and where you want to sit. Evening performances start at 8pm leaving time for dinner and dancing afterwards.
Madrid Theatre Travel Guide
1. Teatro Real
Plaza de Isabel Telephone – 91 516 06 60
One of Europe’s grandest and most beautiful Opera houses. You can not only watch operatic performances but also ballet, musicals and jazz concerts. Ticket prices vary depending on where you want to seat and what you want to see but if you just want to have a general look around the interior then it is open on Mon, Wed, Thurs and Fri, 10.30 am – 1pm and Sat and Sun 11am – 1.30pm. Admission is €6.
2. Teatro de la Zarzuela
Calle Jovellanos, 4 Telephone – 91 524 5400
Madrid’s official opera house while the Teatro Real was being renovated, it now offers ballet and lesser known operatic works as well as the aforementioned traditional Spanish operattes.
3. Teatro de Madrid
Avenida de la Illustracion Telephone – 91 740 52 74
A relatively new addition to Madrid’s theatrical scene, you can see ballets, musicals and international dance shows here.
4. Centro Cultural de la Villa
Plaza de Colon Telephone – 91 480 03 00
Offering dance, ballet, opera, musicals and a cinema behind a cascading curtain of water, this theatre is certainly unusual. The amphitheatre has been designed so that every seat has a good view of the performance.
5. Teatro de la Comida
Calle Principe, 14 Telephone – 915 21 49 31
Now the headquarters of Spain’s National Classical Theatre Company and managed by the Ministry of Culture, its programme concentrates on classical drama produced by both Spanish and international playwrights.
6. Teatro Pradillo
Calle Pradillo, 12 Telephone – 91 416 90 11
For something more modern and less traditional then book tickets for one of the theatre’s improvisation and performance art evenings. This is also the best venue for world music in Spain which is well worth a listen.