Coimbra fado is distinguished from the Lisbon variety by the fact that it uses a slightly different guitar and is sung exclusively by males, usually in the traditional dark cape of the university. Themes are often translations of famous poems, and in general it is slightly more upbeat than the Lisbon variation. It’s performed year-round in the city’s fado clubs, but you’ll find it far more atmospheric if you catch an open-air performance in the old town in summer. The student celebrations in May are a good bet for impromptu fado sessions, and this is also the best time for big-name gigs. Fado ao Centro at Rua Quebra Costas 7 is a good place to get a taster of the music.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Where to eat in Lisbon: an area-by-area guide

Where to eat in Lisbon: an area-by-area guide

Lisbon has rightly garnered a reputation as being one of Europe’s hippest cities – but Portuguese cuisine remains somewhat unknown. Rest assured, though, Li…

24 Aug 2017 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
The 10 best beaches in Portugal

The 10 best beaches in Portugal

For many travellers, Portugal is synonymous with images of golden sun-baked beaches. And with a generous 1700 kilometres of coastline, there’s enough sand for…

28 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Heading to the Portuguese capital this year? Lisbon’s accommodation scene has exploded in recent years, so there is no shortage of places to stay, from histor…

14 Mar 2017 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month