Discover the theaters of Madrid

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Discover the theaters of Madrid

Madrid is the Spanish city of art with the most theaters and one of the reference centers in the entertainment industry. In this article, we together discover the best theaters in Madrid to visit while staying in Spain.

Teatro Real

The Real Theater is one of the most significant in Spain and Europe today. As one of the city’s most symbolic structures, the theater is situated on Plaza de Oriente Square in front of the Royal Palace, a 6-minute walk from the Aspasios Calle Mayor Apartments.

Due to numerous political events in the country since the Real Theater’s founding in 1850, it has also served as a venue for parliamentary proceedings and barracks. The opera house was only reopened on October 11, 1997.

Teatro Real received the International Opera Prize 2021 in the category of “Best Opera Theater“, which has helped it gain recognition abroad and be regarded as one of the best opera stages in the world.

Now on the stage of The Real Theater, recognized as a monument of history and architecture of national significance, there are performances of opera, ballet, musical concerts of almost all genres of music, flamenco, and performances for children.

Teatro Real

The National Drama Center: Teatro María Guerrero and Teatro Valle-Inclán

Teatro María Guerrero was opened in 1885 as the Teatro de la Princesa. Its premiere was attended by Queen María Cristina and the dethroned Isabel II until in 1908 it was acquired by the actress María Guerrero and her husband. After various changes, in 1978 it became the headquarters of the National Drama Center and its direction was entrusted to Adolfo Marsillach. Now the theater has a second space, Sala de la Princesa, for small-format shows.

The National Drama Center has offered since its creation more than 300 shows by outstanding Spanish playwrights such as Valle-Inclán, García Lorca, and Buero Vallejo, etc.

Teatro Valle-Inclán is the second department of the National Drama Center mainly includes classical performances of the XX century. It is located in the old building of the Olympia Theater, which was opened here in 1926 and was almost immediately converted into a cinema hall. In 1974, theatrical performances began to be held here again, and thirty years later the theater was taken over by the National Drama Center. In 2006, after a large-scale reconstruction, the theater was reopened and it received a new name in honor of the Spanish playwright Valle-Inclan.

Teatro de la Zarzuela

The Zarzuela Theater, which received the status of an object of public interest and a monument in 1994, is the first and only theater dedicated to traditional Spanish lyrical operetta. It is located in the heart of Madrid, behind the Cortes building, a 12-minute walk from the Aspasios Calle Mayor and Atocha Apartments. The ancient musical genre of Zarzuela has always been cherished here.

In 1909, a large-scale fire completely destroyed the building, and the theater reopened only in 1923.

If you are a person of art and enjoy cultural activities do not forget to add to your visiting list Prado Museum. It is an 8-minute walk from The Zarzuela theater. Click here to check out other famous sights in Madrid.

Teatro de la Zarzuela

Teatros del Canal

Teatros del Canal – the modern complex with an area of 35,200 square meters is dedicated to the performing arts. The complex of buildings in the Chambery quarter, awarded the National Prize in Architecture, was built according to the project of architect Juan Navarro Baldeweg. It was equipped with the latest technology and opened in 2009.

The theater’s program is compiled using high technical and artistic standards. It covers a wide variety of styles and content: from classical texts and modern plays to concerts, dance performances, flamenco, zarzuela, opera, circus, and cabaret.

Teatros del Canal also hosts annual festivals organized by the Regional Government of Madrid, such as the Autumn Festival, Madrid en Danza, Teatralia, Suma Flamenca, and Sacred Art Festival. 

Teatro Español

The Spanish Theater – an ancient witness to the history of Madrid. Initially, it was a theater of the “corral” type. It is a square building with galleries of balconies around a courtyard with a stage where small plays were performed. To this day the Spanish Theater is still in the same place in the Writers’ Quarter, where performances took place back in the XVI century, a 10-minute walk from the Aspasios Calle Mayor and Atocha Apartments.

In 1802, a significant fire left only the facade of his building. It was decided to rebuild the theater, which was entrusted to Juan de Villanueva. In total, the theater suffered from 14 fires and the last renovation of the Spanish Theater took place in 1995.

Premieres of famous works by Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Calderón, Ángel de Saavedra, Federico García Lorca, and many other outstanding playwrights took place on the stage of the Main Hall.

Teatro Español


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