Fado: ‘Vai Tu’ in Lisbon’s ‘most photographed funicular’ street near Bairro Alto & every Sunday traditional fado out of the tourist circle

Fado is Portugal’s most well known music. Traditionally, the fado houses in Portugal are popular and a meeting spot for families and friends. In general: stay away in Lisbon from practically all fado places in Bairro Alto. They are too touristy and the quality not always worth the high prices, a tourist trap!

Lisbon fado Vai Tu Bica 1

‘Vai Tu’ is a local community group. This neighborhood café is popular with locals who gather to sing along, located in Bica, close to the Bairro Alto area.

Lisbon fado Vai Tu traditional fado Bica 6

You won’t always find the best fadistas, but don’t let that scare you off. This is real traditional fado, out of the tourist circle, where the fado singers can enter spontaneously and improvise.

Lisbon fado Vai Tu traditional fado Bica 8

Every Sunday evening  fado singers and dinner from 20:00 – 24:00.

No professional waiters, it’s a volonteer job. The traditional Portuguese food is simple, cheap but good (ca. 5 euro pp), a bottle of wine cost 5 euro.  The atmosphere is very relaxed and it’s a mix of young and old.

Lisbon fado Vai Tu traditional fado Bica 4

This singer is over 80 years old…Vai Tu’ provides a unique window into classic fado popular culture. YouTube

Lisbon fado Vai Tu traditional fado Bica 7

On the wall the legendary painting of Maria Severa

Fadistas often wear a black shawl of mourning as the legendary fadista Maria Severa Onofriando did after her passionate liaison with a nobleman, Conde de Vimioso. The affair ended badly. She died at age of 26 in 1846, either from suicide or tuberculosis.

Grupo Excursionista ‘Vai Tu’ , Rua da Bica Duarte Belo 6-8 , a very picturesque small street with perhaps Lisbon’s most photographed funicular.

Fado traditional Vai Tu Bica street10

2 Responses to “Fado: ‘Vai Tu’ in Lisbon’s ‘most photographed funicular’ street near Bairro Alto & every Sunday traditional fado out of the tourist circle”

  1. 17-02-2013

    Two weeks ago – on a sunday evening- we want to go for a fado-evening in “Vai Tu” We opened the door and we only saw some men who were looking at the TV at a footballmatch.
    Nobody was eating and there was no fado at all
    We were looking forward to a special evening related to the pictures and the story on the bloque

    We wonder what happened here?

  2. As far as I understood from a friend there were not enough volunteers available to continue with the organisation of the Fado Vadio evenings

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