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Fado in Lisbon: where to enjoy traditional Portuguese musicVou na Janela

On my last visit to Portugal, I was with two Brazilian friends who really wanted to enjoy authentic Fado in Lisbon, something that I highly recommend for anyone going to Portugal, but take a box of tissues as the suffering is great.

If you do an internet search for Fado houses in Lisbon, you will come up with a huge list of places to enjoy Fado. Some I already knew, like Clube de Fado, the most famous of all, Tasca do Chico, which is tiny and on hot nights it’s cool to stay outside.

Alfama at night: no, it is not dangerous

But all these places are very touristy, of course you will have a nice experience, but it still won’t be that feeling of being in a place where only the locals go.

Of course, nowadays this is quite complicated and difficult in tourist cities like Lisbon. But wanting to enjoy Fado, there is no better place than the Alfama district.

Alfama is the oldest neighborhood and one of the most typical in Lisbon, its name comes from Arabic al-hamma which means something like baths or fountains, and comes from the time when the Moors dominated the Iberian peninsula. And of course, Fado, which is now an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, emerged with the influence of Moorish songs.

Fado in Lisbon

Fado in Lisbon

Alfama is at the foot of São Jorge Castle, it is taken by narrow streets, small alleys and alleys where you can only walk through. It is very reminiscent of the paths of a medina (of course, there is no shortage of Arab influences in Lisbon) and it is in these alleys that dozens and maybe a hundred small bars, restaurants with good and traditional Portuguese fado are located.

Remember I was with two friends? We wanted to visit the Clube de Fado, but we ended up getting lost in the alleys of Alfama and it was the best thing that happened. Because at every turn, at every little alley, we discovered nicer places with excellent music.

We stopped at Largo de São Rafael, where there was a small restaurant and a singer putting all the emotion in the music, it was the place. We stayed there eating good Portuguese food and drinking excellent wine. Think of a perfect night? Got it!


Sing for me, aunt =)


Blame it on the good (wonderful) wine


Dona Henriqueta Baptista

Later, walking through the alleys, we passed a place called A Baiuca where there was more fado and the best quality. We left there and had a bottle of wine at another fado house in the same region.

Therefore, the tip for anyone who wants to go to a Fado show is: forget the guides, go to Alfama, get lost in the alleys and discover the many fado houses that the neighborhood has to offer.

Check out our super detailed post explaining the best areas to stay in Lisbon and also places to avoid, click here.

I think the best area to stay in Lisbon is close to Avenida Liberdade. In this region I stayed at the Hotel Dom Carlos Park and the Ever City Center. Both are great and good breakfast. They are close to the center and with easy access to the subway and train.

Not far from there I also stayed at the Ibis Saldanha, because Ibis doesn’t have much to go wrong, right? Speaking of this chain, I also stayed twice at the Ibis Jose Malhoa. There is a subway at the door and easy access to the airport.

And finally, I’ve also stayed at the Hotel Miraparque, in front of Parque Eduardo VII, I highly recommend it.

See also my list of 10 hostels in Lisbon.

What is it like to go through immigration in Lisbon
How to use Lisbon public transport
How to use Lisbon trams
Portugal tips for your first trip
How much does it cost to travel to Portugal

What to do in Lisbon
What to do in Lisbon on a connection
Belém: how to get there and what to do
1 day return trip to Sintra
Itinerary in Portugal: from Porto to Lisbon

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