Saudade – a cultural treasure hunt through Lisbon


Saudade – a cultural treasure hunt through Lisbon

Join a Lisboeta man of letters on the search for saudade, the uniquely Portuguese emotion that permeates Lisbon’s art and literary scenes.

An emotion that can’t quite be captured in a single English word, saudade is a form of nostalgic or melancholy longing. It’s been a preoccupation of Portuguese artists and writers for centuries, and actor, writer and playwright Francisco Gomes knows all about it. On this tour, you’ll trace the story of saudade through Mouraria and Alfama, discovering Portugal’s equivalent to Shakespeare, visiting the birthplace of equally mournful fado and hearing tales over wine and Portuguese snacks.

To Book

call smith24 1 800 464 2040

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From €215 for 2 people

Francisco Gomes

Your insider

Francisco Gomes

Man of letters

Francisco Gomes is what the Portuguese would call an Alfacinha, the term used to describe someone who is born and bred in Lisbon. After graduating in marketing and advertising, he spent 20 years working in those fields – but during that time, fell ever more under the spell of the theatre. Today, he’s a professional actor, acting teacher and published writer. Most of all, he’s a gifted storyteller who excels at bringing his home city’s rich history and culture to life.

Discover the influence of saudade as you visit cultural monuments, hidden tavernas and forlorn fado bars.

2 hours and 30 minutes
Start Time
Tours run between the hours of 14:30 and 17:00
Call our travel specialists 24/7 on 1 800 464 2040 or contact us to find availability
Where you'll go
You’ll meet Francisco at a 20th-century café with connections to Fernando Pessoa, one of Portugal’s all-time literary greats. After espressos and an introduction to saudade, you’ll make your way to Rossio Square and train station, built by the penultimate king of Portugal, Carlos I. You’ll then duck into a bar to nurse shots of ginjinha as you hear about ill-fated kings, stop by the Igreja de São Domingos, and visit the birthplace of fado. After a bite to eat in a tiny taverna, you’ll finish up at Portas do Sol, famous for its sweeping sea views.
What you'll learn
Hopping between cafés, historic squares and family-tun tavernas, Francisco will paint a picture of the saudade story, starting with the era of the great Portuguese discoveries, which serve as the backdrop for ‘The Lusiads’, an epic poem by Portugal’s very own Shakespeare, Luís de Camões. As you learn about the influence of saudade on art, literature, music and architecture, you’ll also try a shot of ginjinha, Portuguese wine and some bolinhos de bacalhau, a beloved national-dish cod cake.
Experience location
You’ll be meeting Francisco at a famous café in Chiado; we’ll send you the exact details in your booking confirmation.