Live Music Hotspots in Lisbon

October 24, 2022

It may seem hard to believe now, but Lisbon wasn't always the vibrant and exciting place to visit it currently is. When visiting the Portuguese capital, it's easy to forget that Portugal was ruled by an authoritarian regime until the 1970s. 

But modern Lisbon is a vibrant and exciting place that is increasingly attracting visitors from around the world, and not just as tourists. Portugal is now recognized as one of the best places in Europe for startup tech companies, and Lisbon attracts workers from around the world to enjoy its great weather, fascinating culture, and relatively low cost of living.

All of this combines to give Lisbon some exceptional nightlife. And if live music is your thing, you'll find plenty of places to enjoy it throughout the city. Whether you're looking for a traditional Portuguese fado bar or a state-of-the-art arena that hosts the latest touring musical acts, you'll find it here. Drop off your bags at a Lisbon luggage storage and get ready to dance the night away.

A Tasca do Chico

If you want to enjoy something traditionally Portuguese, look for fado. This is a musical tradition that is known throughout Portugal but is thought to have originated right here in Lisbon during the 19th century. 

Fado is an often mournful and generally moving type of music with a highly regimented structure designed to conjure a feeling of loss and longing, or as the Portuguese call it, saudade. And while this may not sound like fun, talented fado artists find ways to bring something new to this historic art form in fado bars around the city.

In Lisbon, you never have to search hard to find a fado bar. But A Tasca do Chico is one of the best-known and most well-regarded in the city. 

The walls of this traditional bar are completely covered in photographs and posters of fado artists from the past, and you're guaranteed an amazing atmosphere whenever you visit. Mondays and Wednesdays are amateur nights, whereas the rest of the week, you'll find professionals plying their trade. Either way, this is probably the best place to begin your journey into Portuguese fado.

Clube FerroviƔrio

This railway-themed venue is divided into three different spaces that all offer a different atmosphere. The Terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a warm Lisbon evening and relax under hanging lamps. The Railway Room and the TGV Room offer a livelier vibe where you can hear both local and touring acts that cover the full range of musical styles.

This is one of the most popular clubs in the city, so it's best to arrive early if you want to get a good spot. The club also has a restaurant where you can enjoy some traditional Portuguese food before the show. Perhaps best of all, the club is located in a converted train, so if you've ever wanted to say that you've partied in a railway carriage, now's your chance.

TMN Ao Vivo

Once an abandoned warehouse, this venue has been converted into one of Lisbon's top live music hotspots. With a capacity of a thousand people, this club is big enough to host some major events, including dance festivals, raves, the Lisbon Blues Festival, and a constantly rotating list of national and international performing artists.

This eclectic venue also hosts comedy shows and theater performances in between musical acts, so it's always worth checking the schedule to see who's in town during your visit.

Plus, unusually for live music venues, Ao Vivo is also worth visiting during the day. The sun-soaked terrace gives magnificent views of the river and the city beyond, and the on-site restaurant is a surprisingly good place to try local food and enjoy a leisurely lunch.

Santiago Alquimista

Another former industrial building transformed into an art space, Santiago Alquimista is divided into the main floor and an upstairs balcony to give you a better view of whatever show happens to be on. The live shows here are legendary, and it is known throughout Lisbon as one of the best venues for alternative music acts.

The building has a unique history. It was originally built in 1883 as a tobacco factory before being abandoned and left to ruin for many years. In 2007, it reopened as an art gallery and performance space, and it has been packing them in ever since.

Coliseu dos Recreios

Go big or go home. The Coliseu is Lisbon's biggest music venue, and it's here you'll see major international touring acts like Echo and The Bunnymen, Madonna, My Chemical Romance, and any other superstars that happen to be in town. This venue also hosts operas and classical music performances, so it's the place to go in Lisbon if you enjoy a spectacle.

This grand old building was built in the 19th century and has played host to a wide variety of events over the years, including circuses, bullfights, and even political rallies. But nowadays, it is firmly established as one of Lisbon's top music venues, and if you're looking for a truly unforgettable concert experience, this is the place to be.

Paradise Garage

If you're looking to get your metal fix in Lisbon, track down Paradise Garage for the best venue in Lisbon. This club has hosted bands like Sepultura, Fear Factory, and Amon Amarth in the past, and it remains the epicenter of Lisbon's metal scene. Whether they're hosting local outfits or more internationally renowned bands, you'll have a great time at this lively club headbanging with local metal fans, so don't miss Paradise Garage if you like your music on the darker side.

Live Music in Lisbon

Music has always been a part of Lisbon's culture, and that's as true today as it was centuries ago. But nowadays, the range of music available to both locals and visitors to the city is much greater than it used to be. You'll find everything in the city, from fado bars to jazz clubs to nightclubs, so whatever your musical tastes, you can find something you like in the Portuguese capital.

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