Discover traditional Fado in Lisbon


Traditional Fado music is mournful and stirring. This unique expression of Lisbon’s soul can still be heard in the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, a nostalgic song for what once was or could have been that speaks of saudades ‒ melancholy and longing for a time lost. The popular, street form is known as fado vadio, and is spontaneous, informal and slightly more upbeat. Usually sung in bars and taverns, it involves some improvisation and is bound by less social norms. At the same time, it is rarely found in the most touristic venues and differs from the more elite fado music that seeks the romanticism of the meaningful silence that reigns when the first chord is played on the viola or Portuguese guitar.
In this post, we will introduce you to the best Lisbon Fado music in a selection of three venues. To make the evening a truly traditional experience, head to these “Fado houses” for dinner and order a quintessentially Portuguese dish such as “Caldo Verde”, cod, or “Cabidela rice”.

Mesa de Frades

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 20:30 – 02:00.
Address: Rua dos Remédios, 139, 1100-081


Tasca do Jaime (Alfama)
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 19:00 – 23:00.
Address: Rua de São Pedro, 40, 1100 603
Tasca do Jaime (Graça)
Opening hours: Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from 16:00 – 20:00.
Address: Rua da Graça, 91, 1170-050


Parreirinha de Alfama

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 20:00 – 01:00. Closed on Mondays.
Address: Beco do Espírito Santo 1, 1100-222


In case you still need any convincing, here is some more inspiration in a video of renowned Fado artist Cuca Roseta singing in Tasca do Chico, which is also well worth a visit.

Interview with photojournalist Monique Jaques

Last April, photojournalist Monique Jaques’ exhibition “Gaza Girls: growing up in the Gaza strip”, dressed up Lisbon’s streets with pictures. The photographer gave us some time before leaving the hotel to answer several questions posed by GatRooms’ team.

Monique Jaques is a Brazilian American photojournalist based in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work focuses on the representation of women through documentary-photography and video, while framing women’s stories differently. That is to say, portraying daily lifes of women in Gaza who sing, surf and who are figuring out how they want to grow up.


What did you aim to achieve with this work you are showing in Lisbon, “Gaza girls growing up in the Gaza strip”?

I first went to Gaza in 2012, just to cover the war and to see what was going on. And there were two things I realized with the images I was seeing as someone who was outside: they were all of violence and of men.

But, when I was there, I was also seeing different people living, like girls, and I felt this was not represented. So, I started this project to show that more things are happening in this place other than violence. For instance, girls are figuring out how they want to grow up and who they want to be.

What called your attention the most in Gaza?

This was something I saw that was not shown anywhere. And I did a lot of research! I just couldn’t find this sort of stories. So, I started talking to a lot of other girls and, at first, they didn’t understand what I was doing, they were saying they were not special nor unique.

First of all, everyone is special and everyone’s story deserves to be told and to be heard. These are daily lives and are very important. They finally got the sense when they saw the work, and they really responded to it and appreciated that I had been there for so long.

What is it in your images that breaks up more stereotypes about women in the Middle East?

I think, the fact of showing images of women in the Middle East that aren’t completely covered and sitting at home, is really important to everyone. When people think about the Middle East they often think at this one thing, and I am trying to show that it is not true: they surf, they sing, they have friends and they live lives that are very much like yours and mine, they just have a different religion.

There are many goals with the work I have been doing, but one of them is to create a greater understanding of what the Middle East is. I am trying to say that it is a very complicated place, where things are very different to our reality, but there are girls breaking up the boundaries, and surfing and doing all sort of things.

At what point did you decide to focus your work on representation of women?

I felt women are very underrepresented in the media, unfortunately a lot of storytellers are men and often they tell stories about men.

And you wanted to change the pattern.

Generally, I did a lot of stories about women that do things a little bit different. A lot of my work is about stories that aren’t heard in the news and things that aren’t been consumed all the time. It is about portraying things that are happening all the time and no one pays attention to it.

5 Activities To Do With Kids In Lisbon

Are you planning a family trip but can’t decide where to go? Lisbon is the ideal destination for a city break with kids!

With its mild climate, large parks and green spaces, fascinating variety of neighbourhoods and superb selection of bars and restaurants, it also offers a number of cultural activities that are great fun for the whole family. Take a look at our recommendations for child-friendly options in the city of the seven hills and see for yourself why family holidays in Lisbon are unforgettable!


Oceanário de Lisboa

The Lisbon Oceanarium is considered the largest in Europe. Its gigantic main tank houses a breathtaking variety of marine creatures, including sharks, rays, penguins and jellyfish and there are four huge viewing windows for the kids to watch them as they swim by.

Photo: @pedroapina


Museu de Marinha

Lisbon’s world-famous Maritime Museum is located in the bustling neighbourhood of Belém and takes the whole family back in time. It’s a great place for the kids to learn more about Portugal’s seafaring history and the exploration and discoveries that changed western civilisation forever.

Photo: @jennyh_33


Pastéis de Belém

Another unmissable stop on your adventures around the city, especially if you’re travelling with kids, is the Belém neighbourhood and the emblematic Pastéis de Belém bakery. The recipe for its world-famous custard tarts was devised at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Heironymite Monastery). When it closed, the bakery began producing these delicacies that have gradually become known and loved everywhere.

Photo: @pasteisbelem


Tram 28

Lisbon’s iconic Tram 28 travels up some of Lisbon’s steepest cobblestoned streets towards the Barrio de Graça.  The kids will love riding on this yellow gem from bygone days as it clatters through the old town.

Photo: @dlanciones


Parque Eduardo VII and Parque Florestal de Monsanto

Eduardo VII Park is a fantastic place to have a rest during an intense day of sightseeing in the city. This oasis was named after King Edward VII of England, who visited Lisbon in 1903. Another highly recommended place to recharge the family’s batteries is the Parque Florestal de Monsanto, a large protected forest where visitors go to enjoy outdoor sports such as riding bicycles, hiking or even climbing.

Photo: @loretarocha


The cover image is from Wikimedia Commons.

Miradouros: 5 Breathtaking Views That Will Make You Fall In Love With Lisbon

Did you know that Lisbon was founded on seven hills? That is why when we think about this popular destination we always picture the spectacular views from its more than 20 lookout points. The singular contour of the land on which the city has flourished has given rise to the steep streets where these miradouros have been built and become meeting points frequented by visitors and locals on a daily basis. Here is some information about our favourite lookout points – the ones we think are the most attractive and offer the most postcard-worthy panoramas.

Get ready to fall in love with Lisbon and these views that will have you on cloud nine!


Santa Luzía

Located in the bustling Alfama district, this charming lookout terrace is possibly one of the most beautiful observation points in the city. With sweeping panoramic views over the River Tagus and the dome of Santa Engracia Church in the distance, its timeworn decorative tiles that mark the passage of the years against white walls, and beautiful vines and bougainvillea make this a uniquely romantic place! Photo by @lulu_bepi


Castelo de São Jorge

Castelo de São Jorge (Saint George’s Castle) sits atop the highest hill in Lisbon and offers the most panoramic view of the city. Originally built more than eight hundred years ago, this emblematic citadel rises up above the cobbled streets to offer not only spectacular views over most of the city’s neighbourhoods, but also gorgeous framed vistas like the one you can see in the image above. Photo by @designgipsy


Portas do Sol

These lookout terraces can be found near Castelo de São Jorge and offer a sweeping view over the rooftops of the old quarter of Alfama, the seafront and the River Tagus. There is also a trendy café with a terrace and a lounge bar where you can enjoy a drink or a snack as you take in the breathtaking scenery. Photo by @flaviamag


Senhora do Monte

This Lisbon belvedere (Our Lady of the Hill in English) is considered one of the best for watching the sun go down over the “The City of the Seven Hills”. It offers an almost 360º panoramic view over the city, including a great perspective of the Castelo de São Jorge, the Igreja da Graça church and the old quarter. It is very popular with both tourists and locals.  Photo by @americo.leitao



This loookout point’s official name is “Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen”, in honour of the renowned Portuguese poet, but locals refer to it as the Miradouro da Graça. You get a great view of the Castelo de São Jorge, the Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa lift) and the Convento do Carmo (Carmo Convent) from up here, along with several more of the city’s key monuments. Photo by @cinna_min


Lisbon possesses a magical quality that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. As you have seen, its many miradouros are part of this enchantment, so make sure you visit them on your next trip to Lisbon and let yourself fall in love with this beautiful, ancient city!


Did you miss TallerGat Spain?

From 12th to 13th March 2016, we celebrated in Gat Rossio our special event called TallerGat Spain, hosted by the well-known photographer and architect Nicanor García.

Nicanor Garcia proposed a workshop based on the city and what it can offer to a photographic eye, paying special attention to the architecture that conforms the city and people who give it life. This allowed us to establish narratives across the two issues and explore its links.  Continue reading “Did you miss TallerGat Spain?”

Where is… Monumento aos Descobrimentos?

Lisbon is a city with a rich history, as can be seen in the monuments located throughout the capital. One of the most striking is the Monumento aos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries), which can be found near the Bélem Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery.

Continue reading “Where is… Monumento aos Descobrimentos?”