Top attractions 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
- CurrencyEuro (€)
- Time ZoneUTC (+01:00)
- Country Code+351
- Best time to visitFunchal 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
First class trip from pick up to drop off. Excellent driving skills, taking us up to the most breathtaking views from the mountains. Loved tasting the Poncha drink, which is lush and made with passion! Excellent day out and great value for money. Renato our driver and guide was amazing! Thank you
Really nice trip near to Funchal coast. I was skeptical and I was not waiting to see dolphins, but we really did, plenty of them. The crew was friendly and funny. Gave us a lot of information about dolphins and whales as well as some sightseeing tips for Funchal and surroundings.
A lovely trip up into the hills stopping at small pretty villages. Plenty of time to visit the local farmers market to see how the locals shop for produce. Then onto the wicker shop where we had time for a coffee. Very enjoyable but dont rely on this trip as a shopping opportunity.
This tour was certainly the ‘icing on the cake’ for our port of call in Funchal. We were met promptly by our driver Ismael at the dockside. We requested our itinerary for the tour but we were lucky enough to see even more sites in glorious sunshine. The first stop at the fishing village of Camara De Lobos was picturereque but the views from our next two stops at Cabo Girao and Faja Dos Padres were breathtaking. We had time for a very short Levada walk as well as a walk along the beach front. We throughly enjoyed the stunning views from the ‘Forte do Pico’ before proceeding through the City sites on our way to the magnificent Botanical Gardens. Ismael was very informative with his fluent English throughout the tour as well as allowing numerous photo stops. Overall it was a magical day and we would recommend this tour to other visitors to Madeira.
It was a lovely little town with amazing scenery. The restaurant we ate at had a beautiful decor with terrific service and authentic food from the island.