Madrid is a city where the performing arts are a big part of the culture. Since the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, drama found its splendor with the great premieres of the “Siglo de Oro” that summoned people from all social strata, from the humblest commoners to kings.
The capital of Spain has an immense amount of halls and theaters with a lot of artistic history, which brings together great exponents such as Calderón de la Barca and Lope de Vega, or more recent artists such as Lorca or Miguel Hernandez.
An essential part of the cultural offer of Madrid is in its theaters, which is something that attracts thousands of tourists who visit it every day. Those who travel to take a vacation or study Spanish at a spanish language school madrid know that the city has a wide cultural offer and that it is home to many historical and vital theaters that they cannot miss.
The theaters of Madrid have hosted excellent Spanish and international literary works, concerts, operas, ballets, zarzuela, and comedy, among many other scenic activities. To mention all the theaters and auditoriums of the city is an infinite task; therefore, we want to give you a list of the most important and beautiful theaters in Madrid so you can visit them.
If you are interested in taking a tour of the best theaters of the Madrid theater scene, we will mention which theaters are worth visiting. Whether you see the city for vacations or taking a spanish course madrid, you should take the time to tour the theaters mentioned below.
The Royal Theater
This is one of the most historic and emblematic theaters in the city, built and founded by kings in 1850. The theater went through wars, collapses, and rehabilitations. In 1997 it was finally rehabilitated, and since then, it has been presenting operas, classical plays, and plays by less-known composers.
The Royal Theater is a reference in performing arts in Spain and Europe; it was declared a Cultural Interest Asset. It is located in the Plaza de Oriente, next to the Royal Palace, and houses a gastronomic space commanded by the chef recognized with two Michelin stars, Ramón Freixa. Its architecture is impressive and unique, worthy of being seen. You can take guided tours to visit the theater inside.
Another jewel of the culture of Madrid. Originally called “Teatro del Principe”, it was built in the 16th century under the order of Felipe II. It has hosted very important works of Spanish theatre, such as La Celestina, and has premiered works by Federico García Lorca, Buero Vallejo, Miguel Mihura and Jacinto Benavente.
It is one of the oldest and most classic theaters in the city, located near Puerta del Sol, and it has one of the most beautiful facades among all the theaters. It has been destroyed several times by different fires, the last one occurred in 1975; however, it has a history of more than 400 years of uninterrupted programming.
In the mid-19th century, in 1849, the theater became the National Theater and was renamed the “Spanish Theater” as it is now known. In 1851 the City Council recovered it as property. Since then, several reforms and extensions have been carried out, the last and most important being in 1995, when a library, a rehearsal room, an exhibition hall, a cafeteria, offices, and warehouses were built inside the building.
The Spanish theater has been the stage where mythical works such as “Divinas Palabras”, “Añoranzas” or “Tres sombreros de Copa” were born. It also hosted the “New Comedy” by Lope de Vega, revolutionizing the theater. It is a scenic reference worldwide, offering the best national and international productions.
Inside the theater, there are two rooms: the Main Room with 735 seats, the King’s Box and the Mayor’s Box, and the Margarita Xirgu Room.
It is a theater that specializes in this Spanish lyrical genre created in the 17th century, which usually deals with popular themes in its works, combining music, comedy, and traditional dances.
It was inaugurated in 1856, on October 10 (the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II), and was created to have a space dedicated to zarzuelas. Today, the theater also includes dance and flamenco shows and concerts in its programming.
Located in the Justice district of Madrid, the Teatro de la Zarzuela has undergone several reforms and modifications throughout its history. And finally, in 1998, it was declared a National Heritage.
The Lope de Vega Theater
It is one of the most important theaters on Gran Vía, which would be like Madrid’s Broadway. So much so that the Lion King has been its main musical for several years with a record number of viewers and glorious praise from critics.
It is located in Madrid’s heart, and a very modern theater specialized in musical shows. Since 1997 it has stood out as one of Spain’s most important musical theaters. Not only has it hosted the “Lion King” musical, but other great hits such as “Les Miserables” and “Beauty and the Beast” have also played there.
The works that are presented in this theater usually require large-format productions, which imply an immense work carried out by a large body of professionals who display their arts on the versatile stage.
If you are not a fan of the classics of the old theatre, the Teatro Lara is an ideal place for you. This theater offers hundreds of new works and has hosted works of all kinds, comedies, musicals, dramas, and concerts.
It is a centennial jewel located in Malasaña, which has a capacity for 460 people. It is said to be one of the most beautiful theaters in the city.
This small and intimate theater was inaugurated in 1880; it was the quintessential bourgeois meeting point during the 20th century. Its facade inspired by Parisian architecture stands out above the rest, and its entrance hall is adorned with cast-iron columns.