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.
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- 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
Our guide/driver, Diego, was first class, very knowledgeable and made this a pleasurable experience. Unfortunately we had a little rain meaning the top cover had to be brought into use but this did not really spoil the day. An optional lunch was provided which included drinks and was good value at €15 per person. The route included an off-road section which was good fun. Good value for money.
Both student and senior guide were quite passionate on telling the history and the special aspects regarding the city of Funchal. They were well prepared and they guided the tour in a very friendly spirit. I collected a valuable amount of information and now I am able to use this knowledge to appreciate and understand the city while walking around by myself. I really enjoyed the tour!
Had a really enjoyable day with Spencer from Green Devil tours. He was very knowledgeable about the plants and history of the island and just a lovely guy. On this tour you get to see many different terrains of the island and loved swimming in the volcanic rock pools. If you are only going to do one tour of the island this is the one to do.
Execellent walk, unfortunately the weather wasn’t too kind but our guide Sara was very friendly and knowledgeable and we all had a great time! Hopefully will return to complete it when the sun is out!
The staff at the kiosk and on board were great - it looked like we weren't going to find any whales but after an extensive effort, the team managed to find some. I'd definitely recommend.