Travel Tips


ll fado, a symbol of Portuguese folk music

Getting closer to fado means getting to know a piece of Lisbon history and its most genuinely popular culture.

In fact, fado arose in Lisbon, in the slums near the port (such as the Alfama, Bica, Mouraria). Born in the nineteenth century, it is a musical genre still very much alive and practised in Lisbon and throughout Portugal.

Fado (the word fado comes from the Latin word fatum, or destiny) articulates his songs and his melodies around sad existential themes, which have to do with the indecipherable destiny, the bitterness and difficulties of everyday life, the nostalgia and the often frustrated desires of man. Attending an authentic show of this popular Portuguese song is one of the most intense experiences that a trip to Lisbon can give. What are you waiting for? Why not enjoy a holiday this summer while listening to the magnificent notes of fado musicians!

Where to hear the fado in Lisbon

In Lisbon, there are several clubs and fado bars: very pleasant places, with an intimate and cosy atmosphere, where you can also have dinner during the show. The best neighbourhood to listen to the fado is undoubtedly the Alfama: this genre was born here and the fado houses are more than in other neighbourhoods. 

People have managed to maintain their authenticity without falling into artificial tourism proposals and without quality.

For example, some good places to hear fado in  the Alfama district are the Parreirinha de Alfama  (address: beco Espanha 1 ), Sr. Fado near the Parreirinha, the  Clube de Fado-Mário Pacheco ( Rua São João Praça 92 / 4 ) and the Mesa de Frades  ( Rua dos Remédios 139 A ).

Not that the fado clubs other districts are all to be discarded, but they are certainly more touristic than those of the Alfama. In the Bairro Alto the best fado clubs are the Adega do Ribatejo and the  Tasca do Chico (both in Rua Diário de Notícias ) and the fado house A Severa ( Rua das Gáveas 51 ).

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