Top Tours & Activities 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
Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal
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What People Are Saying About Funchal
A well organised trip. Staff very friendly. Commentary great and seyeing dolphins chasing fish was just wonderful. Thank you
really good way to spend a morning. Sophie is a great storyteller and showed us places we would otherwise have missed. Good pace and some great food and wine to sample.
Highly recommend, the tour guide was very informative, and even waited for us 10 min .seeing that we were running late dew to unforseen circumstances.
I've seen many things on Madeira during this holiday, and definitely Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour was the best of them all. Weather was a little breezy and coldish, but it didn't matter, when the boat staff pointed to a group of bottlenose dolphins playing with waves. In a few moments we had a chance to see some whales hunting for fish. Two guys been sitting on mast doing great job finding the animals in the sea. Staff gave me a blanket, as I wasn't prepared for the temperature that dropped much during the cruise. People on the front sits got soaked by the water (still warm in the January) and they immediately been given towels and a poor girl who was having sea sickness also got help at once. Pilot of the boat was very happy to share interesting stories about Madeira and give us some tips and tricks useful later on the rest of holiday stay. Playful group of short-beaked common dolphins on the way back was a nice surprise for everybody and perfect finish for the trip.
The driver was pleasant and courteous, the vehicle was nice, the driver took a quick and efficient route to the airport so I felt quite confident that I would arrive as planned.