Where to listen Fado in Lisbon ?

What is Fado music in Lisbon ?

Origins of Fado in Lisbon

Fado is a typical music that is part of Lisbon’s culture but also part of the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Its name comes from the Latin fatum, which means fate, destiny. In Portuguese, it is called saudade. Fado appeared at the beginning of the 19th century and is now extremely widespread in the country. A beautiful representation of what Fado was at that time is the painting by José Malhoa (our watercolour on the cover of the page). It can be seen today in the Fado Museum.

There are two main types : Lisbon Fado and Coimbra Fado. That of the wanderer and that of the scholars. There is a gap between them, as well as the Portuguese guitars that accompany them. The Lisbon one has a snail’s head, its sister has a tear-shaped head.

Curious ? Look here for more information on the history of this musical phenomenon.

Portuguese guitar famous for its sharp sound and always accompanies a real Fado song

"Fado in Lisbon tonight" : tips for our travellers.

ABOVE ALL, don’t go into the first restaurant that comes along !

A tourist trap Fado place can be heard from a distance… If there is noise (cooking, cutlery, talking…), the Fado is not respected.

GET OUT quick ! Fado is to be listened to in total silence. This is the main rule, by the way.

My recommendation would be to go to the small and friendly places. Not necessarily less expensive than the big houses (€20-30 minimum per person, €40 to 60 for the big houses), I find them perfect for novices because the atmosphere is relaxed, the Fado is accessible and simple, just like the cuisine.

However, there are those who prefer excellence. Those who want to experience the real thrill have no choice but to choose a real institution. In this case, « Casa de Linhares » in Alfama is my favourite.

You choose the top.

You will have 4-5 professional fadists, a hearty menu and a table reserved for the entire show. Quality at a price I wouldn’t call expensive !

Prestigious fadist in a fado restaurant in Alfama for the best fado night in Lisbon

A question then arises :

Where are the Fado places in Lisbon, where to go without dinner ?

I am pleased to share with you the places I like to go to listen to fado in Lisbon !

N.B : €-€€-€€ are price indications per person (€20-40-60).

€€€ Casa de Linhares (Fado in Lisbon with dinner)

The best and biggest Fado institution beyond the famous Fado houses in Lisbon.

Everything is perfect, the price is justified. In a grandiose 18th century setting, you can enjoy fine food that has not escaped the attentive palates of the Michelin guide inspectors.

At Casa de Linhares, the fado is excellent as several professionals exchange and offer a performance tinged with their daily moods. The unique fado experience is lived in this street-side establishment. Some of the fadists I really like sing there: Vania Duarte, Fabia Rebordao, André Batista, Silvana Peres… The guitarist Jorge Fernando is not to be outdone, as he has composed 800 fados, played with Amalia Rodrigues at a young age and has contributed greatly to the current reputations of Ana Moura and Fabia Rebordao

The greatest fadists have been here, and the new generation is here for your enjoyment. Often visiting this exceptional place, I knew Zavié the manager, who is very friendly and will be happy to welcome you.

His number: 00351 910 188 118 (he also has a whatsapp). They will also place you at an advantage to make the most of this evening.

Did you know that? Fado is best enjoyed with an excellent Port wine !

Beautiful fadist in a fado restaurant in Alfama for the best fado night in Lisbon
Fadists of Fado in Chiado, the best place to discover and listen to Fado in Lisbon

€ Fado in Chiado

For a first discovery

No fuss. If I want Fado, only Fado, this is the address. 2 fadists, a woman and a man, a theatre and a sober but accurate staging. A rich programme (normally only 3-4 songs are performed, here about fifteen). It gives a superb overview of what this music is all about from Monday to Saturday, always at 7pm. It's easy to remember.

Book your Fado show in Chiado
Bela is one of the best fado places in Lisbon

€€ Bela vinhos e petiscos

Fado music in Alfama

Bela is a friendly bistro with a soul for those who like a change of scenery. The decor is in keeping with the tone of the show. I'm sure some will appreciate it. The prices are very correct but have increased at the beginning of the year... success perhaps.

the best addresses for fado and traditional fado restaurants in Lisbon

€€ Museu do fado

For those who want to go into details.

The Fado Museum is a beautiful place where styles can vary. During happy hour, an open-air concert is offered... The service is professional, and its museum interesting. The entire history of Fado is recorded up to the present day. The terrace is very inviting to blush with emotion but also because of the southern exposure. I recommend it.

Portuguese Fado guitar famous for its sharp sound and always accompanies a real Fado song

€ Boteco da Fà

Sundays in Alfama

Conviviality and simplicity are the words that define Boteco da Fà. I put it on, even though it's not my favourite. Why ? Because on Sundays, the fado is of high quality. Angelo sings just right and plays the Portuguese guitar beautifully. The prices are correct, less than €15-20 per person (petiscos/menu/drinks) and the food is good ! There is no entrance fee. It's ideal if you want to discover Fado. This is a place to choose if you want to "check the box" for fado.

Why am I talking about Fado ?

Because I love and appreciate quality and its intimacy. I have tested in Lisbon the different fado places I suggest in this post and I can also recommend others.

Are you looking for an exceptional fado performance ? Then, discover the exclusive Fado experience.

Today, Fado is exported and fills the concert halls where it is produced. If you want to organise an event in Lisbon or abroad, contact me.

To give you a taste, I suggest you watch a video of Ana Moura, considered today as the greatest fadist of her generation.

Did you like these tips ? Then, visit Lisbon with me ! Read here what the people I’ve walked with have thought. You won’t hesitate for long.

Elliot, your guide in Lisbon

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