Fado: A guide to Lisbon’s very own musical genre

From neighbourhoods to venues, PDV takes you on a tour of the Portuguese capital’s main fado hallmarks and recommends some essential fado resources to help you discover the voice of the Portuguese soul.

Culture Tours What's New — 07 December 2011 by Pedro Carreira Garcia
Fado: A guide to Lisbon’s very own musical genre
Tasca do Chico

It was in the ‘tascas’ – an unassuming cross between a tavern and a restaurant typical of the Portuguese capital – that fado was born. The genre then moved on to the street and soon became synonymous with bohemian life. Located at the heart of Bairro Alto, Tasca do Chico is known for its fado vadio performed on Mondays and Wednesdays. Fado lovers beware of the rest of the week when Tasca do Chico turns into a favourite haunt for beer-guzzling students.

Rua Diário de Noticias, 39
Telephone: 965 059 670


Senhor Vinho

Owned by fadista Maria da Fé, Senhor Vinho is one of the most exclusive fado venues in town. If your purse is elastic and can handle the hefty food bill, this is where you can enjoy the singing of well-known fadistas Aldina Duarte and António Zambujo.

Rua do Meio à Lapa, 18
Telephone: 213 972 681


Café Luso

This restaurant at the very heart of Bairro Alto is one of the most famous ‘casas de fado’ and is also among the most expensive in the city. Founded in the late 1920s, café Luso enjoys a cult following among Lisbon’s fado lovers.

Travessa da Queimada, 10
Telephone: 21 342 22 81


Clube do Fado

Right in the middle of Alfama, Clube do Fado was founded by Portuguese guitar player Mário Pacheco and is regarded as one of the most iconic fado venues in the city, as confirmed by the many photographs of celebrities – from Woody Allen to Richard Branson – that adorn the walls.

Rua de São João da Praça, 92
Telephone: 218 852 704


Museu do Fado

A must for every fado enthusiast, the Museu do Fado pays a comprehensive tribute to fado by showcasing the history and conservation of this “unique performing art”.

Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, 1
Telephone: 218 823 470


Mouraria, Alfama, Madragoa and Bairro Alto

The four Lisbon neighbourhoods that make up the old part of the city are where fado is at home in a bohemian and underground atmosphere. While Bairro Alto – the most famous of all four neighbourhoods – features a wide array of small and unassuming tascas alongside exclusive ‘casas de fado’, Mouraria and Alfama just down the hill from São Jorge Castle are essentially linked to fado’s history.


Com Que Voz, Amália

Recorded in 1962 and regarded as one of the seminal albums in the history of fado according to fadista João Braga, “Com Que Voz” marked the beginning of the collaborations between fado diva Amália Rodrigues and French composer Alain Oulman.



O Fado Ilustrado

Inspired by José Malhoa’s iconic painting “O Fado’, illustrator and comic book writer Jorge Miguel tells the tale of late 19th century fado through comic strips.



Fado Mimado

This double book and CD set designed to introduce the little ones to fado was put together on the occasion of the candidacy of fado to UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage and is available as a bilingual English-Portuguese edition.




Recently opened, this modern-day tasca in Lisbon’s revamped area of Cais do Sodré, mixes traditional fado with current Portuguese musical trends. Fado evenings feature DJ sets during the interval, and ‘petiscos’ (Portugal’s own take on tapas) on offer range from the usual bread, butter and olives combo to the more delicate octopus salad, pataniscas de bacalhau, baked chouriço and morcela.

Rua Nova do Carvalho, nº 32-36
21 347 34 03


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