Funchal
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7 things to do in Funchal

Historically an important port city in Portugal, Funchal is one of the largest cities in the country. Visitors will delight in the fact that Christopher Columbus himself, was one of the early settlers in Funchal. Take a tip from the explorers of years past, and discover Funchal today!

Cathedral of Funchal

Cathedral of Funchal

Inside the Gothic cathedral of Funchal you'll find a statue of Pope John Paul II. The cathedral, built in the fifteenth century, is a remarkable piece of Funchal history. Metalwork of Portugal is renowned and the silver processional cross in the cathedral is a premier example.

Pico do Arieiro

Pico do Arieiro

For the best views of Funchal take a day trip to Pico do Arieiro. The drive up is tree-lined and picturesque, even on cloudy days. We recommend going early in the day to beat the tourist traffic.

Jardim Botânico

Jardim Botânico

A sampling of local flora and fauna like you won't see anywhere else. Experience the region's cactus, grasses, and flowers at the Jardim Botanico. The perfect post lunch afternoon activity, the garden is great for families and children as well.

Teleférico do Funchal

Teleférico do Funchal

The botanical garden runs a cable car system, Teleférico do Funchal, that let's you enjoy panoramic views of the vast landscape beneath your toes.

Convento de Santa Clara

The beautiful Convento de Santa Clara is a church full of soothing charm. Visitors are requested to speak quietly as they admire the three chapels: one for the nuns, one for the novices and one for the people.

Old Town

Old Town

The Old Town of Funchal is a fun neighborhood to hang out in. You'll find nightlife and crowds bustling at night, just along the cable car lines. It is a vibrant quarter that is fun to stroll around no matter the time of day.

Monte Toboggan Run

Don't worry, you won't be on your stomach as you toboggan down to Funchal from Monte; instead you'll find yourself in a wicker chair that glides smoothly. The entire ride is just ten minutes long and you reach speeds up to 48 kilometers/hour!

Planning Your Funchal Visit

How to be safe in Funchal

Funchal is known to be a relatively safe city. However, in some areas near the cable car lines, Old Town, and especially in crowded evening spots it's important to take precautions against pickpockets.

Where to Eat in Funchal?

Don't miss the local fare in Funchal. Sample Portuguese and Madeiran cuisine while you visit Funchal. Top hits include espada com banana, a typical dish served at most restaurants, stars scabbard fish with banana, accessorized often by potatoes and salad. A less adventurous local dish we recommend is bacalhaus com natas, which is cod in cream sauce.

How to Get Around Funchal

You'll be pleased to learn that the city center of Funchal is quite walkable. If you want to venture further, we advise hopping on a local bus. Fares are quite reasonable and a round trip ticket is under five euros.

Good to know

  • Language
    Portuguese
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +351
  • Best time to visit
    Funchal is a good choice for a vacation any time of the year as it never gets too cool. However, the summer months are the warmest and most humid. March through December is considered to be most pleasant.

Things to Do in Funchal

Top Attractions in Funchal

Cities in Portugal

Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

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What people are saying about Funchal

Unforgettable tour - probably the best we have ever had!

As the title suggests this was probably the best tour my wife and I have ever had, and we have travelled a lot! This was the case for so many reasons. If you're reading this and in two minds of whether to book this trip, just go ahead and do it, and read the rest later. Our tour guide for the day, Greg, was absolutely brilliant. You are never sure how 8 hours in a 4x4 with only 3 other people you have never met is going to work out, but throughout the day he was full of energy, so passionate about his job and so much fun to spend the day with. And as a former 4x4 rally driver we also knew we were in safe hands! Madeira has one of the most incredible natural landscapes I have ever seen. Greg showed us some amazing places, some amazing views, and loads of hidden spots and areas tourists don't normally go to. The off road driving was a particular memorable highlight. We stopped in at a great local restaurant for lunch and a bar for poncha at the end. Just fantastic from start to finish.

Exciting way to see this stunning island

6 of us took off in the jeep with our driver, Greg. He was amazing, I have never seen driving skills like it, higher and higher up the mountains climbing unmade roads of ridiculous inclines. The very bumpy drive to the top was worth it for the incredible views. We saw 3,000 year old trees, beautiful Lavadas, incredible volcanic swimming pools and waterfalls. We learnt about the flora and fauna and the whole time Greg was entertaining and extremely personable. We would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone, providing you don't have back issues as it is at times, very bumpy and do take layers of clothing for the changes in temperature and good walking shoes. Just wonderful!

Great trip around the north-western part of the island

Very multifaceted trip around the north-western parts of the island. Our guide Jose was friendly and attentive. He diverted the schedule due to heavy rain in the morning. We still experienced all planed locations just in a different order. He was generous to extend the duration with a few hours so we got to have our relaxing swim at the seawater pools, have a good lunch and even the platau in the mountains. Got lots of interesting info about the island’s vegetation and culture. Highly recommend the Green Devil tours.

Be aware that this is the second of two cable cars you can use

Cable car was great, but it is half way u8pmthe mountains outside Funchal. You either have to take a bus or taxi to the start of this cable car or take another cable car fron Funchal itself .This starts close to the market and takes you up half wat to the Monte gardens. A 10 minute walk takes you to the start of the second cable car to the Botanical Gardens. Trip and gardens are great just remember the journey to get their!

Botanical Garden Cable Car Ticket Reviewed by Ian, 27/06/2019

Amazing tour and guide, Making my mum do it as she is here next week

Beautiful views, they took us to all the best places, even the cheapest places to buy souvenirs. Our guide was so friendly, accommodated everyone perfectly and he knew so much about everything on the island, obviously loves Madeira. We will be back and we will be booking with true spirits again. Thank you so much!