Visit typical fado neighbourhoods and discover unforgettable places.
As you make your way up the narrow and interlaced streets of Madragoa, you come to the top of Calçada Castelo Picão. As this neighbourhood doesn’t have any viewing points because its urban layout is too dense, this is the best place to enjoy a panoramic view of the area.
Maria da Mouraria, the only fado house in the neighbourhood of the same name, is housed in the building where Severa, the first ever fado singer according to legend, once lived. Totally refurbished but very cosy, you can snack and dine here and from 9.30 pm there’s live fado and the magic of earlier times returns.
Largo das Portas do Sol opens to the south in the viewing spot by the same name, from where you can see everything that inspires fado. Recommended for tourists, poets, dilettantes, photographers, lovers, landscape engineers, bohemians, artists, fado singers and all other pilgrims.
Glued to the balcony that surrounds it is a pavement café with a kiosk serving iced sangria and chicken and tuna wraps amongst other snacks at reasonable prices.
This funicular travels up from Rua de S. Paulo and Largo da Calhariz through Bica, one of Lisbon’s most traditional quarters. From the window you glimpse the old houses, with their lines full of colourful clothes and flower-filled balconies, and the people going about their daily lives, amid the simple eateries and the toiling locals.
When you reach the verandas of this viewing point, with their walls lined with tiles and a trellis covered with bougainvilleas, you realise the magic of the place. The view of the river and Alfama, where the facade of the church of Santo Estêvão, the towers of the church of São Miguel and the dome of the church of Santa Engrácia (actually outside the bounds of the neighbourhood) particularly stand out, make it the perfect place to lightly sing a romantic fado in your lover’s ear.