Funchal
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7 things to do 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!

Cathedral of Funchal

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.

Pico do Arieiro

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.

Jardim Botânico

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.

Teleférico do Funchal

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.

Convento de Santa Clara

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.

Old Town

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.

Monte Toboggan Run

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!

Planning Your Funchal Visit

How to be safe in Funchal

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.

Where to Eat in Funchal?

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.

How to Get Around Funchal

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.

Good to Know

  • Language
    Portuguese
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +351
  • 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

Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

Want to discover all there is to do in Funchal?  Click here for a full list.

What People Are Saying About Funchal

Good group leader, good scenery and good food

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.

Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk Reviewed by Neville, 11/24/2016

Really amazing tour and guide - cannot fault it!

Really friendly helpful guide - I would definitely recommend using this company if you want to see the sights in Madeira.

Funchal Old Town 1-Hour Tour by Tuk Tuk Reviewed by Michelle, 11/12/2016

Great and interesting tour in a small group! Absolutely recommend it!

We enjoyed the tour very much. It was a good way to get to know the city of Funchal, Madeira and the history.

Old Funchal Walking Tour Reviewed by Anna, 11/05/2016

A top-notch guide helped make the Nuns Valley experience enjoyable!

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.

Madeira: Nuns Valley Half-Day Tour Reviewed by Sylvia, 10/26/2016

Used the return transfer and was very pleased with the service.

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.


Funchal
4.8
Based on 159 reviews by GetYourGuide customers