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Updated May 2024

Listening to Fado in Lisbon is a special treat. Once again, as I did in Barcelona with flamenco, I left the Fado show for my last day in Lisbon. I did know a few things about Fado, I heard a few songs but was surprised how frequent it was in the city.

Fado in Lisbon

Almost every café or restaurant hosted a sort of “Fado-night special”. And the atmosphere of such an evening will stick with you for a long time. Listening to a local lady singing over a glass of wine is like getting hypnotized by the enchanting melody. I didn’t understand a word, but that didn’t matter since I felt it intensively.

Fado in Lisbon

An old car that was selling Fado music

While strolling the city, I stumbled across an old type of car turned into a stand with the inscription Lisboa – Ciudad del Fado. It was selling audio CDs. (Yes, it was years ago!) The gentleman behind the counter recommended Amalia Rodrigues’ albums as a classic example of Lisbon’s Fado. (I haven’t parted from them ever since.)

 

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So, I bought the CD that I was going to bring home and went to have dinner along with that “Fado-special”, but I also wanted to see the (real) show at the theater, to listen to the music in different surroundings which echoes and specializes in such performances. That was my last evening in Lisbon. And what an evening it was!

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FADO IN LISBON: The performance in the Chiado district

Where to Hear Fado in Lisbon

A band and a few singers were performing one song after another. With every high note the lady sang, I got another hit of those overwhelming goosebumps, even though I wasn’t feeling blue or sad before that. It made me wonder about life, my loved ones, my destiny, and my path. It makes you morn over things and people you knew, and so on, and so on… And still, I didn’t understand a word!

Lisbon Fado

FADO IN LISBON: Charming blue tiles (Pixabay)

Ever since my first trip to Lisbon, I try to attend most Fado evenings or concerts (which are scarce but do happen in Belgrade from time to time) and I always keep in mind not to go alone, since I can easily burst into tears when overwhelmed by the music, without any given reason and even though I am not “that kind of a person” who cries easily. There is such magic to Fado music that I can’t really explain my reaction.

The End

The full series about my BARCELONA – LISBON JOURNEY

 

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Comments:

  • 07/04/2017

    Fado… Charming music… I tried to visit the Museum of Fado in Alfama three times, but never had a chance to do so 🙂 🙁

    reply...
      • 11/04/2017

        I love world music, too. Years ago I started to take Spanish lessons just because I had started learning Flamenco dancing and wanted to sing songs while dancing 🙂
        I’d met a young man who is a fado singer at a restaurant in Alfama. When he learned I was from Turkey, he said “oh I love Turkish music, it is similar to fado” and started to imitate a Turkish singer, pretended to sing a song (doesn’t know any Turkish of course). He was hilarious. A very nice guy. I do love Turkish classical music. However, to my mind they do not sound alike mainly because Turkish music makes me drink rakı whereas I listen to fado even when I work on the computer 😀
        I know Yedi Karanfil, but I don’t like them. I used to send CDs to friends all over the world. Now that we have the Internet, it is easier to share, so I may send some music from my country to yours whenever you want. Have a great day that is full of glimpses!

        reply...

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