Where to see Fado in Lisbon?

Image by J. Baikovicius CC BY-SA 2.0

What is Fado?

The Portuguese is a people that has been through many hardships. But if there is one thing that has united the people in challenging times it is without a doubt Fado. Considered as Portuguese national music, Fado is a style that usually consists of two guitars and a singer. When performed, several singers can accompany each other in duets. The popular belief is that Fado was historically performed in the street by the wives and moms missing their husbands and sons at sea or by people singing away their misery.

See below for an example of a Fado performance.

Where to see Fado in Lisbon?

Interior of Clube de Fado in Lisbon

Clube de Fado

The first location I would recommend to check would be the Clube de Fado. The restaurant can be found in the neighborhood of Alfama behind the cathedral. The restaurant serves ok food but the performers are usually the best in the city. Expect to pay more for the food than a usual place in Lisbon. I highly recommend reserving a table in advance on their website! 

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R. de São João da Praça 94, 1100-521 Lisboa, Portugal

O Faia – Casa de Fado

Another famous restaurant in Lisbon known for its good Fado, O Faia is located in Bairro Alto. While the neighboring bars can be rowdy and a meeting place for partygoers, O Faia is a more refined place. Like the other places in this list, make sure to reserve a table in advance on their website to ensure a Fado-filled evening.

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R. da Barroca 54 56, 1200-050 Lisboa, Portugal
Interior of O Faia - Casa de Fado
Interior of Mesa de Frades

Mesa de Frades

A favorite Fado location for local Portuguese is the Mesa de Frades in Alfama. The historical value behind the building is hinted at in the walls covered in Azulejos: this makes this venue unique on this list. The latest time I checked, prices were 60€ per person.

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R. dos Remédios 139, 1100-453 Lisboa, Portugal

More budget-friendly Fado in Lisbon?

As seen in the earlier items on this list, Fado can be quite expensive should you book it in the more famous and prestigious places. However, if you are more keen on having a beer while listening to Fado and save money here are a few of my recommendations. Bear in mind that the following places may not always have Fado, but usually occurs a few times of week. Check in advance!

Facade of Cervejaria Santo André

Cervejaria Santo André

As the name suggests, this is more of a tavern serving food to accompany the occasional Fado. The food is excellent value. I highly recommend should you have planned to pass through Alfama and are open for a spontaneous Fado during your stay in Lisbon.

Costa do Castelo 91, 1100-495 Lisboa, Portugal

Sentido Proibido 3

The infamous bars that share the Sentido Proibido name are 3 different bars located in Bairro Alto. While I am unsure if nr.1 and 2 have Fado (they do have live music) the nr.3 located on the street name written below has Fado. This is a very intimate and humble venue with cheap and generous drinks. There is also finger food for the hungry. The Fado is free of charge but make sure to sponsor the artists by tipping them or consuming drinks/food.

Tv. da Espera 54A, 1200-050 Lisboa, Portugal
Interior of Sentido Proibido 3

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