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
Why are you even looking at other alternatives? Stop! Simply book any tours from Lucy and Tony! Be aware: I'm a person who usually hates tour guides, and I did not know them before, but I have fallen in love with both Tony and Lucy (who would not fall in love with them??). What is unique about them is their authenticity, their unique routes, the tailoring of the trips to your wishes and needs, the fun and joy, the time for yourself, the professionality... in sum : their uniqueness is the secret of Madeira, and that just happens to be their business name : Secret Madeira!
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!
Best trip in Madeira. Dolphin and whale watching, swimming in the ocean and tasting of excellent Madeiran wine. On the ship was a great guide Vitor, who has an overview and useful tips about the whole Madeira. Perfectos and fantastico! Thanks for the experience - I highly recommend. Mysir and Kacirajda
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!