Need hotel?
  • Room #1
    Adults
    Children
    Child's age
Place of stay
Check in
Check out
Guests and rooms
Number of rooms
  • Room #1
    Adults
    Children
    Child's age
Recommended hotels
Belmond Reid's Palace
Belmond Reid's Palace
TripAdvisor rating Based on 1465 reviews
View more
Quinta Jardins do Lago
Quinta Jardins do Lago
TripAdvisor rating Based on 1278 reviews
View more
Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca
Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca
TripAdvisor rating Based on 901 reviews
View more
The Vine
The Vine
TripAdvisor rating Based on 2179 reviews
View more
PortoBay Serra Golf
PortoBay Serra Golf
TripAdvisor rating Based on 370 reviews
View more
More hotels
About city What to see Gallery Where to stay

Funchal is the largest city of Madeira and the capital of this autonomous region of Portugal. The city’s colourful history is reflected in its abundance of historical heritage: the Cathedral of Funchal, the splendid 18th-century estates and the streets of black basalt and white marble. The capital also offers the widest variety of retail outlets, from authentic goods stores to fresh fruit and fish markets.

Funchal is home to over 110,000 people. As befits an island capital, the city is a historically significant harbour and an important stop for Atlantic cruise ships. It is also known as a modern, cosmopolitan city that prides itself on its excellent restaurants and the best hotels on the whole island. Madeira’s unique climate delights with spectacular parterres and gardens all around the city. Even if you’re staying in resorts in the west or east of the island, coming to Funchal for a day, or at least an afternoon, is definitely worth it.

Madeira, Funchal
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Madeira, Funchal

Since the capital of Madeira climbs up a slope from the coastline, photography enthusiasts will have plenty of opportunities to test their skills by taking pictures of the spectacular panoramas, perennial nature and the Atlantic Ocean. On top of the foothills of the civil parish of Monte you’ll find an important church with strikingly high steps and a botanical garden with many different species of plants and exotic parrots. Ascending to the top is made easy by the funicular that connects the coastline with the foothills. As for going down, we recommend you take Funchal’s unique “taxi” – the special sled known as taboggan. Straw hat-wearing locals have been hauling people across Madeira’s steep streets for over 200 years.

Selection of fresh fish on ice
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Selection of fresh fish on ice

Every kind of food that grows in Madeira and the depths of the Atlantic can be found in the capital’s market, called Mercado dos Lavradores. You simply must come here, even if just to take a look at it. The market consists of three parts: one with flowers, one with fruits and vegetables, and another with fish. The latter is arguably the most impressive, although it’s active for just 2-3 hours in the morning. Here you can see large tuna fish and the local swordfish, caught from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. The dish made from it, called Espada, can be ordered in most cafés and restaurants. The fish tastes great and is served with bananas.

Performers with colorful and elaborate costumes taking part in the Parade of Flower Festival
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Performers with colorful and elaborate costumes taking part in the Parade of Flower Festival

The most annoying thing (although not too much so) in the market are the fruit and vegetable vendors: they will offer you to try their goods for free, but if you do so, you’ll be obligated to buy them. It’s worth remembering that since the final price here can be totally made up and unfavourable for the tourist, one should learn how much exactly an item costs before putting it in the bag. In this market you’ll find many interesting vegetables and fruits that are only grown in Madeira. The stalls here are stocked with all sorts of differently-sized peppers. Here you are also likely to see flowers you’ve never seen before. The market is open all throughout the week: 8 a.m. To 7 p.m. on workdays and 8 a.m. To 2 p.m. on weekends.

Where to stay

loading...