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Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Funchal, Portugal

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Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Funchal, Portugal

Located on the stunning island of Madeira, Funchal is a vibrant port city known for its unique charm and stunning natural beauty. Whether you are looking to soak up the sun on its beautiful beaches, explore the city’s many attractions or just escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Funchal is the perfect place for a relaxing break. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting this enchanting city.

Getting There

Funchal can be easily reached from the UK with several daily flights leaving from London Heathrow, Gatwick and Edinburgh. There are also plenty of cheap flights from all around Europe and even from further afield. Once you arrive at Madeira Airport, it is just a 15-minute journey to the centre of Funchal, either by taxi or public transport.

Best Time to Visit

The weather in Funchal is warm and sunny all year round and there is no particular best time to visit. However, if you are looking for peak sunshine and temperatures between 20-25°C, then July and August are the best months to visit. The main season runs from June to September when temperatures are at their highest, but the city is still relatively quiet compared to other European cities.

Things to Do in Funchal

Funchal is packed full of interesting attractions to suit all tastes. For anyone looking for some culture, the Santa Clara Monastery is a must-see. This magnificent 16th-century monastery has been beautifully restored and boasts an impressive interior with intricate carvings and stunning gardens.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, then why not try parasailing over the crystal clear waters of Funchal bay. From here, you can get breathtaking views of the city and its shimmering coastline. For a more low-key activity, check out the iconic farmer’s market at the Mercado dos Lavradores or take a trip to the stunning botanical gardens in Monte Palace.

If you’re looking for nightlife, Funchal has plenty to offer. Many bars and restaurants line the waterfront offering live music and a wide selection of food and drinks. There are also lots of nightclubs for those looking for a late-night party.

Where to Stay

Funchal has lots of great hotels and accommodation options to suit all budgets. For those looking for some luxury, the Reid’s Palace Hotel is one of the city’s most iconic properties and offers stunning views of the harbour. For a more budget-friendly option, many of the city’s guesthouses offer affordable accommodation with all the modern conveniences.

Exploring Beyond Funchal

The beauty of Funchal doesn’t just stop inside the city limits; there are plenty of great day trips providing visitors with different opportunities to explore the island of Madeira. Take a boat trip along the coast to experience some of Madeira’s breathtaking beaches and coves. Alternatively, why not take a trip up to Monte where you can enjoy panoramic views across this stunning island or join one of the many guided walks available in Santiago de la Dama – a small village located in the hills above Funchal.

Final Thoughts

Funchal offers visitors an unforgettable experience with its beautiful coastline, stunning mountains and bustling city centre. With plenty to see and do, this enchanting port city is an ideal destination for anyone looking for a break on an idyllic Mediterranean island. The weather is always pleasant and accommodation is widely available, making Funchal an ideal destination for a memorable holiday.

For more information on visiting Funchal, visit Visit Portugal, your one-stop-shop for all things Madeira related.

The Insider’s Guide to Funchal, Portugal

Funchal is the capital of Madeira, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean that belongs to Portugal. With its mild weather, stunning views and historical charm, this city is a hidden gem for visitors. Here’s everything you need to know about Funchal before you go.


Funchal has a variety of attractions for tourists no matter your interest. From nature to culture, there is something for everyone. Here are some must-see attractions in Funchal:

– Monte Palace Tropical Garden – This exotic garden is located at the top of a hill and covers over 70,000 square meters. It has a museum, a tea house, and an impressive collection of exotic plants from all over the world.
– Se Cathedral – The dominant feature of Funchal’s skyline is this cathedral, built in the 15th century. The interior is stunning, with carved wooden ceilings and an ornate altar.
– Madeira Botanical Garden – Funchal has an abundance of botanical gardens, but this one is definitely not to be missed. It features an impressive collection of plant species from Madeira and around the world and also offers fantastic views over the city.
– Mercado dos Lavradores – This is the central market of Funchal and the perfect place to immerse oneself in the local culture. The market is a mix of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, as well as a fish market in the basement.


Funchal is famous for its food scene, and it’s easy to see why. The city has many restaurants serving up local specialties and international cuisine. Here are some of the best places to eat in Funchal:

– O Tasco – This is a family-run restaurant that serves the island’s traditional dishes. They serve a wide range of food including swordfish, grilled steak, and octopus stew.
– Armazém do Sal – This restaurant has stunning views of the harbor and offers a wide variety of seafood dishes. The atmosphere is elegant and relaxed, perfect for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.
– Taberna Ruel – This tiny tapas bar is a must-visit. The food is delicious and served in a cozy, friendly atmosphere. They provide excellent value for money and are popular among locals.

Cultural Experiences

There is no shortage of cultural experience in Funchal. From art to music to history, this city offers many ways to learn about the local culture. Here are a few options:

– Museu CR7 – This museum is dedicated to Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably the greatest Portuguese soccer player of all time. Visitors can see his personal trophies, jerseys, and items from his career.
– Quinta das Cruzes Museum – This former palace houses an extensive collection of historical artifacts related to Madeira and Portugal. It also features beautiful gardens with a variety of flowers and trees.
– Madeira Story Centre – This museum tells the story of Madeira’s history, from discovery to modern times. It is an excellent place to start to understand the culture of Madeira and Portugal.

Local History

Funchal has a rich history dating back to the 15th century when it was founded. There are many historical sites in the city that are worth visiting:

– Madeira Wine Museum – Madeira wine is one of the most famous products of the island, and this museum tells visitors the history of the drink. It also offers tastings.
– Igreja de Sao Pedro – This church is the oldest in the city, dating back to the 16th century, and is one of the few examples of Manueline architecture in the region.
– Forte do Pico – This fort was built in the 17th century to provide protection from pirates and the dangers from the sea.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Suggestions

For those looking to go off the beaten path, Funchal does not disappoint. Here are some lesser-known places to visit:

– Porto Moniz – This village is located on the northern coast of Madeira Island and is known for its natural pools. It is a beautiful area to spend a relaxing day in nature.
– Ribeiro Frio – This picturesque village features a stream that flows through the village, and it is famous for its trout hatcheries. It is a perfect location for hiking and outdoor enthusiasts.
– Porta da Cruz – This small village is located on the northeast coast of the island and offers some of the most scenic views. They have a charming little church, and it is a great place to take in the mountain and sea views.


Funchal is a stunning city with something to offer for everyone. From the beautiful parks to the historical sites, there is plenty to see and do. This guide should give you a good starting point for your visit to Funchal. Make sure to take in all the city has to offer and enjoy your visit to this beautiful city.

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Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Funchal, Portugal

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!