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
The group leader picked up on time, the bus was equipped with voice amplification which was good for the people in the rear of the bus. We were given an interesting commentary as we toured around this scenic historical area, well done Kate? We had the lunch which was good, home made and pleasant change to Hotel grub.
Really friendly helpful guide - I would definitely recommend using this company if you want to see the sights in Madeira.
We enjoyed the tour very much. It was a good way to get to know the city of Funchal, Madeira and the history.
A congenial guide with extensive knowledge of local flora and history turned the tour into a first-rate experience. He even played a small accordian at stops, to the delight of locals and tourists alike. His network of friends came into play by the warm way we were received at a small cafe in a remote mountain village (surely not on every tour). We were entertained and came away feeling that this guide was really sharing his deeply rooted love for his native island. The changeable weather did not detract from the tour at all.
Driver was waiting for the four of us at the airport with our names on a placard. Within minutes we were in the van and on our way to the hotel. A week later driver arrived at the hotel nice and early and transferred us to the airport with absolutely no problems. Very comfortable vans used for both trips.