Lisbon is a famous center of fado, traditional Portuguese folk music that is melancholic in nature. But the city is a great place to visit to experience any genre of music, from rock to jazz, and to discover new local artists. The central districts of Lisbon have become epicenters for buzzing nightlife and a diverse music scene. Take a look at the best places to see live music in the Portuguese capital.
Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$
Armazem F is an extremely accessible destination, even for visitors who don’t have a decent knowledge of Lisbon and its surroundings. A five-minute walk from the heart of the city, and located in the Barrio Alto district, Armazem F was transformed from an old warehouse into a hip music venue that holds up to 1,200 people. The list of bands who frequent this spot is incredible, featuring mostly self-established performers ranging from hip-hop to rock. World renowned DJs often sway crowds until the early hours, while stand-up comedy performers take the stage on quieter nights.
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Address: Armazem F, Rua da Cintura, 65, Lisbon, +351 213 220 160
Hot Clube de Portugal
Hot Clube de Portugal
There are a lot of things to love about Hot Clube de Portugal: the excellent drinks; the cozy open terrace with fantastic views of Lisbon’s skyline; and the newly-opened garden, where future relaxed performances will occur, but nothing beat’s the venues dedication to jazz. Hot Clube de Portugal was named one of the best jazz clubs in the world by American magazine DownBeat, and it definitely tops the list of best European jazz clubs. It happens to be one of the oldest jazz clubs in Portugal, its doors opening in 1948.
Gifted musicians from all corners of the world come to perform in Hot Clube de Portugal, giving the venue its unique, multicultural atmosphere, and highlighting how far the culture of jazz has come in Portugal since the patron, Luis Villas-Boas, spread the sounds of jazz on Lisbon’s radio in late 1940s. Dexter Gordon, Mark Turner, Aaron Goldberg, and John Abercrombie have all performed there. Despite the club’s busy schedule, tickets are regularly available at the door, and are very cheap.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Address: Hot Clube de Porugal, Praça da Alegria, 39, Lisbon, +351 21 346 03 05
The Music Box
The Music Box
The Music Box has long been associated with young culture in Lisbon, and has become an essential part of the classic nightlife circuit in Cais do Sodre. It’s a trendy venue with an underground attitude that pulls in many well-known Portuguese and international bands and DJs to perform. Presenting one of the city’s best contemporary nightlife atmospheres, Lisbon’s multicultural crowd cannot get enough of it.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
Address: The Music Box, Rua Nova do Carvalho, 24, Lisbon, Portugal, +351 21 347 3188
This former bakery was redesigned and now offers a classic fado house experience, with seven different fadistas performing nightly. The proud founder and owner, Maria Da Fé, is an internationally famous singer. Booking beforehand is highly recommended, as this place is popular with tourists and the restaurant fills up very quickly. While the food is fantastic, the real thrill is the authentic fado performance. Senhor Vinho has bravely withstood the test of time, welcoming guests for 40 years.
Hours: Daily 7:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Address: Senhor Vinho, Rua do Meio á Lapa, 18, Lisbon, +351 213 972 681
Coliseu dos Recreios
Also known as the “Lisbon Coliseum,” this venue provides a multi-purpose space for artists, hosting a range of events that include concerts, conferences, seminars, and exhibitions. Coliseu dos Recreios was previously used as a circus venue, but has been organizing classical music events and large-scale concerts for the last 30 years. One of Lisbon’s oldest entertainment venues, the Coliseum has developed a cult-like fan club thanks to its edgy architecture, with iron details and an incredible iron dome. It is worth visiting for its excellent example of late-19th century architecture alone.
Hours: Ticket office open Monday to Saturday 1:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Address: Coliseu dos Recreios, Rua das Portas de Santo Antao, 96, Baixa, Lisbon, +351 21 324 0580
Sabotage Rock Club
Located riverside on the Tagus in central Lisbon, Sabotage is the best choice for those who prefer rock music. Sabotage was created by Carlos Costa as an alternative meeting point, proving it to be as rebellious as its name suggests. If you’re a fan of classic rock music, and fancy discovering the hidden talents of the alternative Lisbon scene, this space will be the highlight of your stay.
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.
Address: Sabotage Club, Rua de São Paulo, 14 e 16, Cais do Sodré, Lisbon, +351 213 470 235