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Fado Lisbon

Exploring Fado in Lisbon

As you wander through the streets of Lisbon, you’ll often hear the sound of fado, especially in the neighborhoods of Alfama and Mouraria. More than a traditional song style, listening to fado is part of an emotional experience.

To truly grasp it, you’ll need to see it in person through the vibrant performances of fadistas (fado singers). The songs usually cover the feeling of saudade, a state of nostalgia and yearning for something or someone, which is why many lyrics are about broken hearts or sailors lost at sea.

If you want to experience a fado night in the city, this guide features some of the best fado houses in Lisbon. Whether you’re looking for something casual at a tasca or a traditional restaurant with a show, you’ll find it here.

Fado Singers on the walls of Mouraria

Fado singers portraits on the walls of the Mouraria neighborhood in Lisbon

Casual Fado Venues in Lisbon

Tasca do Chico
If you’re looking to see a traditional fado show but don’t want to spend too much, this no-frills tasca is the place for you. There are two venues, but we recommend checking the original one in Bairro Alto. Open since 1993, it attracts a mix of locals and out-of-towners. The show starts around 8:30 pm. Make sure to show up early or call (+ 351 961 339 696) a little before 7 pm to book a table.
Note: There is usually a minimum spend of €10 per person. Bring cash as they don’t accept cards.

Povo

Set on the lively stretch of Pink Street in Cais do Sodré, this small restaurant aims to promote new fado talents. It organizes musical residencies for young fado singers throughout the year and helps them grow their careers. You can attend a show every week from Tuesday to Sunday between 8:30 pm and 11 pm.
Note: An artist fee may be added to your bill, but other than that, you only pay for what you order. Make sure to book in advance to guarantee a spot.

Fado Street Art in Lisbon

Fado themed street art in Lisbon

Fado Venues with Dinner in Lisbon

Fado ao Carmo

Located near the Carmo Convent, Fado ao Carmo was closed during the pandemic, but it has recently reopened with new owners. Guitarist Luís Guerreiro and fado singer Rodrigo Costa Félix are the ones running the show. When they’re not taking the stage themselves, they will often invite their fellow artist friends to perform. The menu changes with the season, but you can always count on a selection of Portuguese delicacies.

Note: You can easily make reservations online on their website and select the menu deal of €39, which includes starters, a main, and dessert. It’s also possible to order à la carte after 10 pm.


O Faia

This well-established fado house was originally founded by the late fado singer Lucília do Carmo. In 1980, it got acquired by António Ramos, and his family is still running the place today. Through the years, O Faia has seen many famous fadistas including Carlos do Carmo and Camané. The daily show usually includes three performers who alternate songs.

Note: Open from Monday to Saturday between 8 pm and 2 pm. For €60 per person, you can access the show and sample a set menu of regional specialties. Make sure to book ahead.


Parreirinha de Alfama

Parreirinha de Alfama is one of the most emblematic fado houses in Lisbon. Since its opening in 1939, it has welcomed the likes of Lucília do Carmo and the late fado icon Amália Rodrigues. As the name suggests, this place is located in Alfama near the Fado Museum. Here, you’ll hear a mix of performers of different generations.

Note: The set menu costs around €50 per person. Reservations are highly recommended. 

 

Fado Museum

The Museu do Fado is the best place to learn about the history of fado. During your visit will hear about Maria Severa, the first fado singer to rise to fame in 19th century Lisbon, and listen to the vibrant performances of Amália and fellow fadistas that have made this music genre UNESCO-heritage protected. The museum also hosts regular concerts and fado workshops.

Fado Museum

Lisbon's Fado Museum

Alternative Fado Venues in Lisbon

If you’re looking for an alternative to the restaurant experience, we recommend checking out Real Fado. This local initiative hosts weekly fado performances in alternative venues around the Príncipe Real neighborhood.

Each place has a different character, and so does the show, which picks up traditional and modern influences. It usually starts at 7 pm, and you can buy tickets in advance online.

We hope you enjoy our selection of fado houses in Lisbon. One final note from us: be quiet during the performance, especially in more traditional places, or you might get shushed by the crowd!

You can read our post on top things to do in Lisbon to discover other unique experiences this city has to offer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joana Taborda

Hi! My name is Joana, I am a travel writer from Portugal, based between Lisbon and Madeira Island. I love hopping on a train to little-known towns and drinking the local craft beer wherever I get off!

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