Best places for Fado in Porto in 2023

Portuguese people DON’T listen to Fado regularly (I am sorry to break the myths!), and yet it is core to…

Sara Riobom
7 de September de 2023

Portuguese people DON’T listen to Fado regularly (I am sorry to break the myths!), and yet it is core to our national identity; so over the years, sooo many fado places opened up in Porto that I want to help you navigate the myriad of options available in the city. So, I made a list of the best places for fado in Porto. Enjoy it!

Types of Fado shows available in Porto

ideal clube fado porto

There are several different types of fado shows available in Porto. In a nutshell, these are your options:

  • Cheapest option: a fado show at a traditional Fado house. Average price: 19€.

    There are plenty of Fado houses in the city, but if you are looking for the most authentic Fado shows in Porto you should get a ticket to Ideal Clube de Fado. I personally know the owner, Ricardo, and I know how much he thrives for keeping the authenticty of Fado alive. If Ideal Clube de Fado is not available, then you can try Casa da Guitarra or Casa de Fado’s show, as they are both pretty decent.
  • Smartest option: Fado show + Visit and Wine tasting at a Port wine lodge. Average price: 25€.

    This is a very interesting option as you can combine two of the must-do activities in Porto: visit a Port wine lodge and watching a fado concert. Besides the fact that these fado shows take place at very charming wine houses, what makes them interesting is that the combo ticket is indeed much cheaper than buying a ticket for a fado concert and another ticket to visit one of the Port wine lodges. If you feel that this is the best option for you, I strongly recommend you to book your combo ticket for a Fado concert + wine tasting at Calém Port wine lodge.
  • Most convenient option: Fado show + dinner. Average price: 75€.

    Another great evening plan is to combine a Fado concert with a dinner at a traditional Portuguese restaurant, and it is something that we – the Portuguese – traditionally enjoy doing 🙂 In my personal experience, this is the best Fado concert with dinner included in Porto, because not only is the food great (and the portions HUGE!), but also because they pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. They also cater to vegetarians, which is great. It is the most expensive Fado experience in Porto, but it is worth it.

Now that I told you the different types of Fado shows in Porto (and the best ones in each category), let’s dig deeper into each one of them 🙂

Best traditional Fado houses in Porto

By far the most affordable option, watching a concert at a traditional Fado house is the most authentic experience you can have when it concerns this beautiful Portuguese music style.

Luckily, it is also the most affordable way to listen to Fado, as a Fado concert with no extras (dinner, transfers from hotels, etc) costs around 20€ / person.

These are the best Fado houses in Porto:

Ideal Clube de Fado

fado singer ideal clube fado porto
ideal clube fado porto venue

At Ideal Clube de Fado you are going to enjoy an intimate concert dedicated to preserving the pure Fado and honouring Fado’s historical figures. They have some of the most experienced and respected Fado musicians in the city, such as the a-ma-zing Portuguese guitar player Mário Henriques.

One thing that I particularly like about this Fado show in Porto is that they play real Fado and not marches, folklore and songs. Most Fado places in Porto mix all these different styles without informing its customers so they end up playing less Fado (and you, my dear tourist, are innocently unaware of this).
So when it comes to real Fado in Porto, this is as authentic as it gets! 🙂
Moreover, before the show starts the guests meet with the musicians; it is your chance to ask any question you might have regarding Fado.
You can get an online ticket to Ideal Clube de Fado for only 19€, which includes a glass of Port wine or a bottle of water, in case you don’t like Port (What? We need to take care of that once you get here!).

Ideal Clube de Fado hosts three concerts a day, which gives you plenty of flexibility to adjust your schedule at your will.

Schedule: three concerts at day, at 18h, 19h30 and 21h.

Price: Adults: 19€ | Youth (6 to 17 yo) and students: 14€ | Children < 6 yo: free.

How to book the tickets: get the online ticket to Ideal Clube de Fado to secure your place!


Calém Port wine cellar

fado show port wine cellar porto
A really creative – and affordable – way to listen to Fado in Porto is to get a combo ticket for a Fado show + wine tasting at Calém, that allows you to visit one of the best Port wine cellars in Porto but also to enjoy the tasting Part while listening to fado played in front of the wine barrels. How does that sound?! 🙂
This is a really good deal because a visit and wine tasting at a Port wine cellars costs around 18€, and if you go to a traditional Fado show (in a restaurant) you will never pay less than 30€. Therefore, by getting a combo ticket for a Fado show + wine tasting at Calém you are saving a lot of money, as it only costs 25€.
Don’t forget to book this activity in advance as it sells out fast – no need to print the voucher.

Schedule: only one concert at day, at 18h30.

Price: 25€, which includes a Fado show + guided tour & wine tasting at Calém.

How to book the tickets: get your combo ticket for a Fado show + wine tasting at Calém.


Casa da Guitarra

casa guitarra fado show porto

One thing I love about the Fado concert at Casa da Guitarra is that it takes place at a chordophones store, which is quite unique (If you are unfamiliar with the word, chordophones are basically string instruments 😉

Moreover, it is a great option for the budget conscious travellers as it is the cheapest way of listening to Fado in Porto. As it does not include dinner, you can get an online ticket to watch a Fado show at Casa da Guitarra for 18€, which includes a glass of Port wine. Teenagers (13 – 18 years old) pay 16€, and children (3 – 12 years old) pay 15€.

This show lasts for one hour during which the melody of the Portuguese guitars will certainly take you on a journey into the Portuguese culture.

I recommend you to get the online ticket to Casa da Guitarra as it is a very popular show and it gets sold out very easily. You do not need to print it, just show it on your mobile phone at the entrance.

Schedule: two concerts at day, at 18h and at 19h30.

Price: Adults: 18€ | Youth (13 to 18 yo): 16€ | Children (3 to 12 yo): 15€.

How to book the tickets: get the online ticket to Casa da Guitarra to secure your place!


Casa do Fado

casa fado ribeira porto

Casa de Fado’s show takes place in three different concert halls, one in Ribeira neighborhood, another one in São João Novo area and the other in Sé (near the cathedral of Porto). Personally, I love the Ribeira room because it feels like I’m entering a cave full of local secrets 🙂 It’s an old cellar with a beautiful arched ceiling , all lined with granite walls and with great acoustics, where you’ll hear the musicians play and sing fado while having a drink at tables made from old wine barrels. It’s a really cool place!

(If you are claustrophobic, you might prefer to book a fado show at one of the other two venues).

Schedule: only one concert at day, at 19h.

Price: Adults: 19€ | Children (up to 12 yo): free.

How to book the tickets: get the online ticket to Casa do Fado to secure your place!


Fado na Baixa

fado singer porto
The Fado concert at Fado in Baixa is quite unique as it is divided into 5 moments (Traditional Fado, Portuguese Guitar, Coimbra Fado, Amália Rodrigues and Contemporary Fado). Each moment is preceded by a documentary about Fado and testimonies of famous musicians and singers.
Some people like the format because it is more informative, others get annoyed with the documentary interruptions to the music. It is up to you to decide if it suits you or not, but I personally like to have some introduction when I experience a cultural activity in a different country.

It is advisable to book the online ticket to Fado in Baixa, as it is one of the most popular fado options in Porto. Usually this Fado show in Porto costs 19€ / person, but sometimes they have discounts.

Schedule: two concerts at day, at 18h and at 19h30.

Price: Adults: 19€ | Youth (13 to 18 yo): 16€ | Children (3 to 12 yo): 12€.

How to book the tickets: as they only makes one show per day they sell out super fast, so make sure to get your online ticket to Fado in Baixa.


Restaurants to listen to Fado in Porto

As I wrote before, you can also watch Fado in restaurants. Some restaurants have a fixed price & menu, some let you choose à la carte. These are the best options:

Dinner + Fado show + transfer from your hotel

dinner and fado with transfers from hotel

There are several restaurants with Fado shows in Porto, but this is the only experience in the city that includes not only dinner at a traditional Portuguese restaurant, served during a Fado concert, but also pick up and drop off from your hotel. It is an expensive option (there’s no point in denying it!), but I do think it of value to elder visitors, and to lazy travellers that don’t want to be bothered with logistics 😛 Moreover, before dinner your driver will take you to the best spots to take stunning photos of Porto at night.

I am not going to reveal the name of the restaurant (it’s a surprise!), what I can say is that it is a great place for you to try traditional Portuguese food 🙂 And yes, they do provide vegetarian and vegan options – just let them know in advance!

Schedule: every day except for Sundays, at 20h.

Price: Adults: 75€ | Children [4 – 12] yo: 37,50€.

How to book the tickets: you can get your combo ticket for Dinner + Fado show + transfer from your hotel.

Dinner + Fado concert at a Port wine lodge

dinner at port wine lodge

Ever since I had a dinner at Fonseca’s Port wine lodge while watching a Fado concert I can only think: “What a superb idea. How come nobody thought about this before?!”

Just picture this in your mind: an old granite cellar, where some of the best Port wines are kept… traditional Portuguese food, a singer, and two guitars. It’s intimate (because there are very few seats available!), and truly a unique experience that you cannot have anywhere else in the city.

The only “flaw” of the Dinner + Fado concert at Fonseca’s Port wine lodge is that it only takes place on Fridays and Saturdays, so try to organize your trip so that you can enjoy this experience 🙂

Schedule: Fridays and Saturdays at 19h.

Price: Adults: 65€ | Children (4 – 12) yo: 32,50€.

How to book the tickets: you can buy your online combo ticket for Dinner + Fado concert at Fonseca’s Port wine lodge.

Taberna Real do Fado

traditional portuguese restaurant fado porto
Taberna do Fado cozy yet elegant place, located at the heart of downtown Porto, where you can have a Fado concert every night together with lunch. The price of the experience is always the same and so are the dishes – but don’t worry, because you can choose 1 starter + 1 main dish + 1 dessert from an array of options. The menu also has a vegetarian dish, so if you are in a group of friends with different diets, Taberna do Fado is a good.
Beware that the Fado concert always takes place at the same time at Taberna do Fado, which might be a nuisance for disorganised travellers.

Schedule: from Mondays to Saturdays, from 20h to 23h30 (you can leave earlier, of course!). Taberna Real do Fado takes reservations between 20h and 20h15, no later than that, because the fado show starts at 21h.

Price: dinner + fado show for 40€ / person (drinks not included).

How to make a reservation: call +351927755914.
How to get there: the subway station São Bento is a 10 minutes walking distance.

Casa da Mariquinhas

fado singer porto
© Casa da Mariquinhas

If you are looking for a way to experience Fado in Porto on a budget, this is not the place because bookings are subject to a minimum consumption à la carte of 45€ / person. So, unlike Taberna do Fado, Casa da Mariquinhas does not have a fixed menu BUT you need to spend a minimum of 45€ / person.

Nonetheless, it is really worth trying this restaurant! Upon entering you will feel like you are in someone’s living room due to its intimate atmosphere, which makes it a perfect place to feel the true “saudade” of Fado. For most of the locals, Casa da Mariquinhas is the number one place in town to watch fado, and no wonder: Casa da Mariquinhas opened its doors to the public in 1968, and since then it has been charming the city with its fado concerts, that take place in regular intervals throughout the night.

Schedule: from Mondays to Saturdays, from 20h to midnight. You can book to whatever time you want because the Fado show takes place throughout the night. The first session begins at 20h30, and the other sessions follow until closing time, with intervals of 30 minutes.

Price: no fixed value, but you need to spend a minimum of 45€ / person. 

How to make a reservation: call +351915613877 or fill in this form.
How to get there: the subway station São Bento is a 5 minutes walking distance.

Mal Cozinhado

© Mal Cozinhado

One thing that sets Mal Cozinhado, one of the best restaurants to listen to Fado in Porto, is its amazing view over the Douro river. It is located in the historical Ribeira neighborhood, by the riverside, and its building has more than 600 years of existence!
Some of the most renowned Portuguese artists have been here before, including the amazing Amália Rodrigues. Nowadays, we can delight ourselves with the mournful tunes of Valdemar Vigário, Rosinda Maria, Sandra Cristina e João Moutinho.
The menu doesn’t have many options but if you are craving for a traditional Portuguese dish, this is the place to try the well-known codfish dish: “Bacalhau à Brás” for 20€.

Schedule: from Mondays to Saturdays, from 20h30 to midnight. The fado show starts at 20h30.

Price: no fixed value, but you need to spend a minimum of 45€ / person. 

How to make a reservation: call +351961358960 or send an email to reservas@malcozinhado.pt.
How to get there: the subway station São Bento is a 10 minutes walking distance.

A little background information on Fado…

What is Fado

When we think of Fado, the image that instantly comes to mind is a shawl, a Portuguese guitar and facial expressions reflecting heartfelt emotions.
The word “fado” comes from the Latin word fatum, which means fate. Fado sings about love, pain, loss and injustice of the society. Fado can be summed up in a single Portuguese word, “saudade”, which translates into a feeling of longing, melancholy or nostalgia.
The result is a mournful melody that perfectly matches the personality of Portuguese people, very deep and romantic.

fado singer portuguese guitar

Roots and traditions

There are different theories about the origin of Fado. Some say that Fado evolved from the black slaves singing inside the boats that transported them from Africa to Brazil and that it was introduced in Portugal during the reign of D. João VI, when he returned from Brazil, in 1831.
Whatever its origins, Fado started to be noticed on the streets of Lisbon, particularly in the neighbourhoods of Alfama, Mouraria and Bairro Alto, in the early 19th century. It soon emerged in Coimbra and Porto.In Coimbra, Fado is related to the academic tradition. It is sung by students in the streets of the city.

students coimbra play fado
© Orquestra Sinfónica do Centro

You certainly recognise some of these names. Amália Rodrigues, the most famous female Portuguese fado singer from the 20th century, was responsible for giving Fado to the world, and making it a Portuguese symbol when it was recognised by UNESCO as Heritage of Humanity.
Nowadays Mariza, Carlos do Carmo and Ana Moura work in keeping Fado’s immortality.

mariza fado singer

Some would say that the real tradition of Fado remains in Lisbon, but in the last three decades we could assist at a strengthening of Fado in Porto, with the opening of houses where you will find a perfect combination of traditional dishes with the favourite music of the Portuguese people.
Singers like Beatriz da Conceição, Fernando Maurício, Gisela João, Joana Amendoeira, José Fontes Rocha, Lenita Gentil, Maria da Fé, Tony de Matos and the poet Pedro Homem de Mello show that Fado can also be born in Porto.

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