FADO is very traditional to Portugal. It is a song expressing sadness, longing, love and passion and life. It can be melancholy or lively. The fado singer, a fadista, is accompanied by a Portuguese guitarra and it is sung by both men and women. The fado singer is often dressed in black and you are expected to be quiet when the fado is sung in fado houses or restaurants. These usually begin at 10pm.

The origins of fado are not entirely clear but they can be traced as far back to the music of Africa, which was taken to Brazil by slaves. It was brought back to Portugal by sailors and travellers from Brazil and were originally played and sung in the backstreets of Lisbon and other ports. The word “fado” is derived from the Latin word ‘fatum’, which signifies “fate” or “destiny” and this is normally conveyed in the songs. It is a song of the soul, a kind of cry.

The House of Fado depicts the history. Located at Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, 1, Lisbon. Tel: +351-21-8823470. The late Amália Rodrigues was one of the best loved fado singers.

  • ADEGA MACHADO: Rua do Norte, 91, Lisbon Tel: +351-21-3224640 Open: 7.30pm-2am. Closed Monday.
  • ADEGA MESQUITA: Rua Diário de Notícias, 107, Lisbon Tel:+351-21-3219280 Open: 8pm-3am.
  • PARREIRINHA DE ALFAMA: Beco do Espírito Santo, 1, Lisbon Tel:+351-21-8868209 Open: 7.30pm-1am. Closed Monday.
  • TAVERNA D’EL REI: Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, 14/15 – Alfama, Lisbon Tel:+351-21-8876754 Open: 6pm-2am.
  • SR VINHO: Rua Meio à Lapa, 18, Lisbon Tel: +351-21-3972681 Open: 8pm-2am. Closed Sunday.
  • CAFE LUSO: Tv. Queimada, 10, Lisbon Tel: +351-21-3422281 Open: 7.30pm-2am. Closed Sunday.
  • LISBOA À NOITE: Rua das Gáveas, 69/71, Lisbon Tel: +351-21-3468557 Open: 6.30pm-midnight. Closed Sunday.
  • O FAIA: Rua da Barroca, 54-56, Lisbon Tel: +351-21-3426742 Open: 7.30pm-1am. Closed Sunday.
  • CLUBE DE FADO: Rua São João da Praça, 92-94, Lisbon. Tel: +351-21-8852704. Open: 8.30pm-2am.