Four Nights of Fado Music in Lisbon, Portugal

Travel advisor Jane Henzerling with long blonde hair wearing a blue denim button-up
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Jane Henzerling

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The doors of the Fado Museum in Lisbon, Portugal.
Curator’s statement

Lisbon is a magical city filled with winding cobblestone streets, sweeping vistas, outstanding seafood and unbelievable wine. One of the most traditional and unique experiences in the city is dining at a restaurant with a fado music performance. *Fado is the traditional music of the city characterized by mournful strains of guitar and vocals that evoke longing and nostalgia. Fado restaurants range from fine dining to mom-and-pop holes in the wall. In many places, you'll find a lovely mix of locals and tourists. Wherever you find fado, the custom is to maintain silence during the performance. It's a truly transportive experience!

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Where to stay in Lisbon, Portugal

AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado

Head-turning boutique hotel on one of Lisbon’s most beautiful squares.

Fora Perks
  • Special welcome amenities.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.

Bairro Alto Hotel

This luxury boutique Lisbon stay combines refined, modern decor with a reverence for Lisbon's colorful heritage.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Memmo Príncipe Real

Polished hillside property in the heart of Lisbon with chic rooms and suites.

Fora Perks
  • Special amenity or experience ($50 / $100 value).

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

The center of Lisbon featuring a monument with tourists in the square.

Exploring Lisbon on foot offers the best chance for adventure and stumbling upon unexpected gems. The streets are narrow and typically cobblestone, so comfortable walking shoes are a must (no stilettos here!).

There are miradourous (viewpoints) dotted on hills across the city. Buy a glass of vinho verde (literally "green wine") from a kiosk and soak in the views.

The Carmo Convent Archeological Museum provides an excellent introduction to key moments in Lisbon's history, particularly the 1755 earthquake, fire and tsunami that demolished - and ultimately reshaped - the city.

Walk through Baixa and Chiado for energetic streetlife and shopping.

Bask in the grandeur of the Praca do Comercio, stroll along the harbor, and maybe take a quick ferry ride across the Tagus River to the little town of Cacilhas.

Day trips

It's easy and affordable to access stunning beachside towns like Cascais and castle-filled Sintra by train. If you want to experience another side of Portugal, take a train or bus a bit further afield to Evora in the Alentejo region. In this ancient walled city you'll find Roman ruins, a captivating bone church, hearty food, and friendly locals.

Places to eat & drink in Lisbon, Portugal

Outdoor rooftop cafe with chairs overlooking the rooftops of Lisbon.

Breakfast

Quase Cafe - Healthy, fresh fare with almost too many options to choose from. Everyone will be happy and energized after starting the day here.

Augusto Lisboa - The people of Lisbon love eating a leisurely brunch, and this is one of the best spots in the city to enjoy fantastic dishes and people watch.

Pastelaria Santo Antonio - Famous spot near the Cathedral to try Lisbon's most famous pastry, the pastel de nata.

Lunch and dinner

Cervejaria Trindade - Enjoy the mosaics, frescoes and tile patterns in this former monastery turned culinary destination. Near the Carmo Convent, this historical landmark features fresh seafood and steaks. Don't be shy about asking someone to tell you all about the creatures in the huge case of fresh seafood.

Fado Restaurants (Dinner)

O Prego -Traditional Portuguese fare with fantastic fado performances several nights a week in the cozy upstairs dining room. Rub shoulders with Lisbon locals and enjoy some of the best musicianship in the city.

Povo - A higher-end option for a fado night out. Inventive seafood dishes and polished performers. Reservations recommended!

A Baiuca - Make a reservation if you want a table at this tiny, simple spot in the Alfama where your servers will wow you with their singing. Don't expect the most attentive service, just be patient. The music is worth it!

Estaca Zero: A family-run gem in the Alfama neighborhood. You won't find friendlier people or tastier food than at this quaint restaurant where the lovely people who run the place perform fado music. Even if you don't know Portuguese, you might even find yourself singing along!

Travel advisor Jane Henzerling with long blonde hair wearing a blue denim button-up

Travel Advisor

Jane Henzerling

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Portugal.