Lisbon fado music Alfama district Live fado music in a Fado Restaurant

Fado In Lisbon: The Music Genre & 6 Places To Enjoy It

Fado (Fate) is a traditional Portuguese musical genre that is said to have originated in the early 19th century in the city of Lisbon and Coimbra. This type of music often contains sad music and lyrics and so is often described as the Portuguese expression of the blues. It often contains themes centring around the life of the poor or longing for a loved one at sea.

The Portuguese word “saudade” which means a longing or feeling of loss is associated heavily with this type of music. The Lisbon style is more well-known and considered a part of general Portuguese culture while the Coimbra style is based around the university of the city and is exclusively sung by men.

Songs are usually played on a Portuguese guitar often accompanied by a string quartet containing a classical (Spanish) guitar, a Portuguese version of a bass guitar called a Viola baixo and a double bass. The Lisbon type of Fado originated in the districts of Alfama, Mouraria and Bairro Alto