Immersive Museum Dedicated to the Life of Amália Rodrigues Opening in Lisbon on May 1st

Written By Becky Gillespie

Ah Amália! When you hear this phrase, what do you think of? If you’re Portuguese, you will most likely first picture the fado legend Amália Rodrigues in your head. And that would be correct! Ah Amália is, in fact, a brand new museum dedicated to the one and only, the incomparable, Amália Rodrigues, the world’s most famous fado singer. If you’ve never heard of Amália before, get to meet one of Portugal’s greatest ever!

This new immersive, one-of-a-kind exhibit is opening on May 1st in the up and coming neighborhood of Marvila in Amália’s hometown of Lisbon—and tickets are already available!

Photo by Becky Gillespie

Who is Amália Rodrigues?

Amália Rodrigues had humble beginnings. Although she was born in Lisbon by chance on July 23, 1920 while her parents were visiting, they soon returned to Fundão, leaving Amália with her grandparents. She moved back to Lisbon at six and grew up in the district of Alcântara. Her education stopped after primary school as she needed to work to support her family, taking jobs as an apprentice seamstress and later selling fruit.

Amalia Rodrigues, 1969, No copyright

Amália’s passion for singing was evident early on. At 15, she was selected as a soloist for a local festival in Lisbon, and this became her first public performance. Her music career began in earnest when she was encouraged to audition at Retiro da Severa, leading to her professional debut in 1939. Despite her humble beginnings, her talent shone through, earning her significant roles at Lisbon’s top fado houses and establishing her as a leading figure in Portuguese music.

Throughout her career, Amália Rodrigues became a global ambassador for fado. She first traveled abroad in 1943, performing in Spain and then Brazil, where she also made her first recordings. Her international tours included performances in prestigious venues such as Paris’s Olympia and New York’s La Vie en Rose. Rodrigues’s impact was profound, influencing not only fado music but also integrating poetry into her performances, collaborating with renowned poets and musicians to enrich the fado genre. To this day, she continues to be the best-selling Portuguese artist in history.

What can you see at Ah Amália?

Ah Amália is the first immersive museum in the world dedicated to a Portuguese personality. It offers a unique and engaging way to connect with Amália Rodrigues, the renowned fado singer and biggest Portuguese icon of the 20th century.

Aimed at both local and international visitors, Ah Amália’s interactive displays are designed to draw everyone in, from die-hard Amália fans to those learning about Portugal’s legendary musician for the very first time. Visitors to the exhibition will find themselves immersed in an environment that stimulates all of the senses, an innovative and dynamic tribute to one of Portugal’s most inspiring cultural figures. By engaging with various installations that incorporate cutting-edge technology and interactive content, visitors can experience the essence of Amália through eight different rooms including the opportunity to watch Amália perform as a hologram! Through dynamic and interactive content, including cutting-edge technology and virtual reality, guests can truly step into Amália’s world and get to know her in an unforgettable way. Each visitor contributes to the collective memory of Amália Rodrigues’s enduring impact on music and culture.

Ah Amália is thoughtfully designed in a way that is accessible to everyone including those with reduced mobility. However, please note that the intense sensory experiences, including the detailed imagery and dynamic lighting, might be challenging for visitors with specific health conditions such as vertigo.

Photo by Becky Gillespie

How to Get to Ah Amália

The Ah, Amália exhibition is just a 7-minute walk from Braço de Prata Train Station. FYI, there is no metro station nearby. 

To reach Ah Amália by bus, you can take the 718 (ISEL – Roma Areeiro), 728 (Portela – Restelo), 755 (Poço Bispo – Sete Rios), and the 781 (Prior Velho – Cais do Sodré).

Parking is available on public roads near the museum for free. 

Times & Tickets

Ah Amália is open every day from 11:00 am-7:00pm. 

Tickets

General admission: 20 €

Groups of 5-10: 18.60 €

Students, Children 4-17, and those with reduced mobility: 17 €

Families: 15 € (2 Adults and one child up to 17 years old)

For groups larger than 10 people, please contact the museum at [email protected] 

Please note: You will be asked to buy a ticket for a certain time slot in order to optimize your experience. There is a 10-minute grace period for your tickets. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, you will need to change your ticket for a later time (subject to availability). 

Oh Amália’s gift shop, Photo by Becky Gillespie

Final Tip

Stop by 8 Marvila (Praça David Leandro da Silva 8) right next to the museum before or after your museum visit and grab a beer, admire the art galleries, or eat some ramen.

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