Fado, a traditional music style popularized in the streets and taverns of Lisbon during the 1800s, is Portugal’s version of the blues. Birthed amid the underclass of the city, fado gradually gained popularity, moving out of seedy taverns and into upscale dance halls and theaters before falling out of fashion in the late 1970s.
The Fado Museum occupies a former pumping station in Lisbon’s Alfama District, the neighborhood where fado was born, and traces the history of the musical style through a collection of recordings, posters, costumes, vintage memorabilia and interactive exhibits. An onsite museum school offers courses in fado lyrics and Portuguese guitar. The museum shop sells albums by iconic fado artists — a lightweight souvenir by which to remember time spent in Lisbon.
The Fado Museum is closed on Mondays.