Fado, jazz, rock, pop and house – live music in Lisbon is as eclectic as the city itself
Music is in Lisbon’s blood. At nightfall, as family and friends come together for dinner, the haunting, beautiful sound of Fado music sweeps through the cobbled streets. With so much on offer, follow this guide to discover traditional Fado bands at Clube de Fado, jazz ensembles at Hot Club Portugal, superstar DJs at Lux Fragil, and much more.
Hot Club Portugal is the oldest jazz bar in the country. Since 1950, this pioneering music venue has hosted musicians and ensembles from around the world, as well as local Lisbon talent. The bar is one of the best places to see live music in Lisbon and presents a busy calendar of concerts throughout the year. Hot Club also plans festivals and events that have, in the past, welcomed world-leading jazz stars such as Sidney Bechet and Count Basie.
When in Lisbon, make sure to experience the sounds of traditional Fado music. Soulful, mournful and melodic, Fado is one of the oldest styles of urban folk music in the world. Those interested in seeing some Fado should visit Clube de Fado, an atmospheric restaurant and bar that’s celebrated for its live music. Fado singers and musicians, usually armed with guitars or mandolins, entertain customers every evening from around 9.30pm.
If DJ sets, stylish surroundings and dancing till the early hours is more your scene, then Lux Fragil is the place to go. One of the largest and most popular clubs in Lisbon, the trendy venue has plenty of space to accommodate partygoers, including two dance floors and a terrace overlooking the river. Every week, Lux Fragil fills its roster with international acts, predominantly from the house and techno scenes, supported by talented resident DJs.
Widely considered one of the best underground music venues in the city, MusicBox is popular with Lisbon locals. This unusual venue is accessed via a nondescript wooden door under a bridge in Cais do Sodré; step inside, and you’ll find a bar, lounge, club and concert space rolled into one, where stone archways form the backdrop for high-tech sound and lighting systems. With a rich programme of DJs, live bands and dedicated club nights, MusicBox offers great entertainment in quirky, cave-like surrounds.
MEO is a giant arena that has hosted many of Lisbon’s biggest international concerts. The venue has organised a wide variety of concerts for a range of international stars, from rock bands like The Cure and Muse to pop artists like Justin Bieber and Elton John, as well as classical stars like Andrea Bocelli. It also puts on large-scale music festivals and cultural events that appeal to locals and visitors alike.