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Spanish classes

Madrid is jammed with language schools of all possible categories, as eager to teach foreigners Spanish as locals other languages. A good starting point is the Instituto Cervantes in c/ Alcala (www.cervantes.org), which produces a brochure listing the city's accredited language schools.

Non-EU citizens who want to study at a university or language school in Spain should, in theory, have a study visa. These visas can be obtained from your nearest Spanish embassy or consulate. You’ll normally require confirmation of your enrolment, payment of fees and proof of adequate funds to support yourself before a visa is issued. This type of visa is renewable within Spain but, again, only with confirmation of ongoing enrolment and proof that you’re able to support yourself.

Some language schools worth investigating include the following:

Academia Inhispania (91 521 22 31; www.inhispania.com; Calle de la Montera 10-12; Sol) Intensive four-week courses start at around €500, including registration fee.

Academia Madrid Plus (91 548 11 16; www.madridplus.es; 6th fl, Calle del Arenal 21; Ópera) Four-week (30-hour) courses begin at €310.

Acento Español (91 521 36 76; www.acentoespanol.com; Calle Mayor 4; Sol) Four-week courses start at €475.

Babylon Idiomas (91 532 44 80; www.babylon-idiomas.com; Plaza de Santa Ana 1; Sol, Sevilla or Antón Martín) Intensive 20-/30-hour per week courses cost €155/235 per week, with an additional registration fee of €70.

International House (91 319 72 24; www.ihmadrid.es; Calle de Zurbano 8; Alonso Martínez) Intensive courses start at around €385 for two weeks. Staff can organise accommodation with local families.

Mosaic International Institute (91 535 74 06; www.mosaicinternationalinstitute.org/EN/; Calle del Comandante Zorita 4; Cuatro Caminos or Nuevos Ministerios) A range of courses. Intensive classes (20 hours a week) cost €590 a month

Universidad Complutense (91 394 53 36; www.ucm.es/info/cextran/Index.htm; Secretaria de los Cursos para Extranjeros, Facultadole Filologia [Edificio A] Universidad Complutense, Cuidad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid; Cuidad Universitaria) You can try a range of language and cultural courses throughout the year. An intensive semester course of 150 contact hours costs €445.

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There are plenty of places where you can learn to dance sevillanas or strum the guitar like the greats.

El Flamenco Vive (91 547 39 17; www.elflamencovive.com; Calle del Conde de Lemos 7; 10.30am-2pm & 5-9pm Mon-Sat; Ópera) Guitar lessons for €25 per hour.

Espacio Flamenco (91 298 19 55; espacio.deflamenco.com/escuelai.html; Calle de Ribera de Curtidores 26; 11am-2pm & 5.30-8.30pm Mon-Fri, 11am-2.30pm Sat & Sun; Puerta de Toledo) Intensive or longer courses in guitar, dancing and singing for €50 to €100 per month.

Fundación Conservatorio Casa Patas (91 429 84 71; www.conservatorioflamenco.com, in Spanish; Calle de Cañizares 10; Antón Martín or Tirso de Molina) Every conceivable type of flamenco instruction (€40 to €136 per month, plus around €30 joining fee), including dance, guitar, singing and much more. It’s upstairs from the Casa Patas flamenco tablao.

Academia Amor de Dios (91 360 04 34; www.amordedios.com, in Spanish; 1st fl, Calle de Santa Isabel 5; Antón Martín) The best-known course for flamenco dancing (and probably the hardest to get into), although it’s more for budding professionals than casual visitors.

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Other courses

Cultural centres around Madrid offer courses in just about anything, while a handful of places teach music and dance.

Centro Cultural de Lavapiés (91 467 30 39; Calle del Olivar 46; 9am-2pm & 4-9pm Mon-Fri; Lavapiés) A range of (mostly Spanish-language) courses spanning ceramics, photography, t’ai chi, guitar, reflexology and more.

Escuela Popular de Musica y Danza (91 447 56 82; www.populardemusica.com, in Spanish; Calle de Trafalgar 22; Bilbao) Classes in music, dance and drama.

Kabokla Samba and capoeira classes in this fine Brazilian live music venue.

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