Funchal Travel Guide

  • Madeira's rugged coastline.
    Madeira's rugged coastline.
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  • Funchal
    by Cruiseone2003
  • Funchal
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Funchal Things to Do

  • Ferreiros street

    One of the busiest streets in Funchal is also one of the oldest. With a few public buildings and some commerce, it is a nice street to walk along (and most tourists do, mixing with locals there).

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  • Corpo Santo square

    A delicious area in Funchal, in the old city, with houses remembering a small village, only with the touristy commerce calling us back to reality. There's a small old chapel with the same name, but only the facade is original

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  • St João Evangelista

    Built in the 17th century, this church evidences the transition from the European Mannerist style to Portuguese Baroque. It gives a strong sensation of wealth and richness, with dense gilded decoration, large paintings and tiles contrasting with the simple external look.It is located in the centre of the city.

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Funchal Hotels

See all 100 Hotels in Funchal

Funchal Restaurants

  • Nice bar

    We went there in our first night. a little bit tired (Fernanda didn't dare to leave the hotel), but we were caught by the lively ambiance. Good live music, funny and amused people in the small esplanade, and the usual drinks at the usual prices.We decided to return in one of the following nights, but... the rich program didn't allow it.

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  • Good dinner

    Generally I prefer not to eat in hotels - usually pricey and with international food. As an exception, my first meal this time in Funchal was in this restaurant, belonging to Bouganvilia Hotel. Meeting friends was the strong reason, but i didn't regret - I tasted a local dish, a very good fish at a reasonable price. As a matter of fact this...

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  • Indian

    I had to have a quick and early dinner - dancing in the night obliges to control digestion. Indian food was not exactly the most digestible we could choose, but it was there, it was empty, and looking good. It was! Good indian dinner, in a precious room, quick service and good price.

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Funchal Nightlife

  • Good live music

    Before living to Madeira I tried to identify the places where we could listen to live music and have a drink at night, and FX was one of the recommended places that I annotated.In our first night some of us went early to bed, and a few other decided to walk a little before going to bed.It was walking that we arrived to a small esplanade with live...

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  • Musicial Show - 10 Euros entrance

    Show starts at 9.00 and finishes about 10.30. It takes place in the Moonlight Bar in the Tivoli Ocean Park Hotel (downstairs from the main bar). The singers/dancers perform songs from musicals, etc. Entrance is Euro 10 per person. You can get tickets on the night at the Moonlight Bar. The show is on each Thursday. Comfortable/casual wear, not...

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  • Folklore Dancing, Hot Dancers, Magic...

    For anyone staying in Funchal, some of the hotels put on free shows for guests and some hotels are open to non-residents. The Monumental Lido Hotel (Estrada Monumental - in the centre of the hotel - tourist zone) has a nice bar area, comfortable seating. Most evenings there is a keyboard player, sometimes a singer (depending on the day of the week...

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Funchal Transportation

  • How Funchal Buses Work - I wrote some...

    cos I see tourists wasting money buying a RECHARGABLE ticket each time I wrote the simplest explanation for how Funchal bus tickets work** Funchal city bus tickets **RULE 1 : DON'T THROW AWAY THE TICKET CARD it's rechargeable and worth €0.50Rule 2 : don't use bus for short journeys, cos 1 short/long time on each bus costs 1 credit.from CITY CENTRE...

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  • Arriving by boat

    The island is accessible by plane from Lisbon or more commonly by cruise liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Since 2007 the port has dealt with large numbers of cruise ships. It is also only an overnight trip to the Canaries.

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  • If only all bus services ran like this.

    Make use of the excellent bus service.They are a cheap and reliable way of getting around.Using buses to get around the island will cost a few euros,whereas a taxi will set you back ten times as much.

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Funchal Shopping

See all 14 Shopping in Funchal
  • Shopping street

    If I had to choose a shopping area in Funchal it would be this one. At least, witha acentral location, it was the area where Fernanda felt more... comfortable, if you know what I mean.

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  • Saved from flooding

    Located close to the Farmer's market, this mall was severely hit by the recent dramatic flooding. It was nice to see that it is almost completely recovered and back to work, but I didn't enter. Of course, Fernanda did it, and left quickly. Bad signal - small place, or still many shops to reopen? I checked internet and it seems to be working...

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  • The market hall.

    The old market hall in Funchal is still alive and kicking with an active fruit and vegetable market aswell as a flower market and a big fish market at the back of the hall.There are a few tourist shops aswell and tourists go there, but it is first of all a place where the locals go to get fresh produce from the farms and the fishermen and this is...

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Funchal Local Customs

  • Sliding Baskets

    The ascent to Monte is mandatory - great views, great gardens, and... the chance to descend in a sliding basket.All day long, a truck carries uphill the baskets that two men will control descending almost two kilometers in ten minutes, with two tourists bouncing between pleasure and fear.To go up there's a funicular, and the descent costs 25€.

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  • Christmas in Funchal.

    I have been to very few if any places in this world where christmas is celebrated in a more festive way than in Funchal.The town is coverd in christmas lights and christmas decorations and you have folk dancers, bands and christmas markets filling the streets all the days up to christmas.Tehre are also many christmas masses in the churches that are...

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  • Farmer´s market

    Though hardly promoted as a tourist attraction, this market still pulses as a vital hub for food supply. The touristy cares are revealed by the flower stalls at the entrance, with sellers in regional costume, but inside it's interesting to notice the main local productions.

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Funchal Warnings and Dangers

  • Some poverty

    I have been to Madeira four times and have always vowed to return. The people of Madeira are very warm and friendly. I have walked in some of the most out of the way areas and I have never had a problem. Bear in mind that some areas of Madeira are still poor and the people scrape a living. There is some begging, mainly by small children. Treat...

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  • Car Hire

    If you intent to dive in the mountains hire something more powerful than a 1.0 litre car, especially if there are more that two passengers. Some of the gradients are very steep and the smaller cars are just not up to it.

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  • Do drink enough!!!

    For years, we have all been told of the importance of water. The general guideline has been to drink 2 litre of water each day. For a person who is not living an active lifestyle this may be enough, but if you are physically active, you need more water than that. That is especially true if you are hiking in the city of Funchall due to the fact the...

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Funchal Tourist Traps

  • Restaurant touts and nasty market lady!

    I loved my holiday in Madeira and didn't notice any dangers, and I can say without any exaggeration that I have never felt safer anywhere in the world. Having said that, there were a couple of occasions that annoyed me slightly, probably because by the time they happened I was already adjusting to an exceedingly safe and courteous environment and...

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  • Mercado dos Lavradores

    I would expect that on the island where they grow fruit everywhere it should be cheap! Well, at the Mercado do Lavradores it's not! The spot you and offer you some fruit to try and then they sell you the worse fruits and you pay so much!It's interesting to walk around there but you shouldn't buy fruit! At least don't buy anything. There are...

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  • Se Cathedral - The city's daily rhythm.

    To be honest, it was quite funny to be the only people inside and have to constantly eyes watching over you of those two vullonteers. We walked around and a triumphal arch gave passage to the sanctuary and the entire back wall of the chapel was covered with an impessive panel consisting of several magnificent gold-framed paintings. On each sidewall...

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Funchal What to Pack

  • Tricky weather

    You should remember that even in such a sunny place as Madeira it rains sometimes:)few meters above sea level it is fine, but when you go hiking in the mountains the weather is more hursh. Rain coat must be on your list:) When it is shiny at one side of the island at the same time it rains and blows with a strong wind on the other. So favourite...

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  • Light clothes

    The weather is great all the year around. Maybe during winter a light jacket or a sweater can be useful at night.

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  • Travel light!

    * Map and guidebook. * Hiking boots;* Shorts with many pockets;* Sunglasses;* Fleece type jacket. * Lip balm;* Band-aids. * Camera and lots of films!* Filter;* Extra batteries;* Lens 210 mm. None ... :-)

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Funchal Off The Beaten Path

  • Carmo church

    Located in Phelps square, built in the 17Th century and successively changed in the 18th, this church shows some interesting tiles and gilded works, mainly in a Baroque altar.

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  • João Paulo II

    The pope visited Madeira, for the first (and last) time in May 12Th 1991. To celebrate the visit one statue was placed at the entrance of the cathedral.

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  • Charles Habsbourgh

    He was the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary, the last King of Bohemia and Croatia, the last King of Galicia and Lodomeria and the last monarch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. He was Charles I as Emperor of Austria and Charles IV as King of Hungary from 1916 until 1918.Failing to...

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Funchal Sports & Outdoors

  • Horseback Riding Madeira Island

    Madeira is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, so if you are looking for hidden gems and want to give nature a try I can advise you horse riding, even if you are a complete novice.Have you ever dreamed to gallop through the mountains in complete symbioses with the horse? Or maybe a quiet ride on the levada?There's an equestrian activities for...

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  • Hiking - "Zona Velha", the Old Area.

    Take time to meander - losing yourself in the maze of alleys, streets and lanes is one of the "Zona Velha", the Old Area's principal pleasures. Throughout the Zona Velha we saw the curious mixture of architectural styles left by the previous inhabitants of the islands - Venetians, British and French. The streets wind and wander with no discerrible...

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  • Hiking - Our game plan strategy.

    Most people try to rush Funchal on a budget so they end up missing some of the highlights in a whirlwind. The key to seeing Funchal properly is a game plan, you must know what you want to see before setting out. Before we visited Funchal we saw on a city map that the small town of Funchal is divided into three district areas - the historical...

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Funchal Favorites

  • If you need medical assistance in...

    If you are in need of medical assistance in Funchal then there is a good little clinic right by the cathedral called "clinica da se" where you can go and get examined pretty much right away.I have been there a couple of times with clients when working as a tour leader in Funchal and there was never any long lines we had to wait in.And they speak...

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  • Zarco

    Madeira was discovered by a navigator called João Fernandes Zarco. So, it's without any surprise that we see his statues in evidence, in the historical centre of the city. Two styles, two tastes, the same respect!

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  • The nest

    Madeira (and Funchal) are so dedicated to tourism, that many places seem... too artificial, too well composed to achieve a good look, too... touristy.The central area of town, its original quarter, gives an idea of authenticity, that helps to forget the general sensation. Don't miss!

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Comments (1)

  • stewgreen's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2014 at 3:53 AM

    How Funchal Buses Work - I wrote some simple notes, cos I see tourists wasting money buying a ticket each time.
    RULE 1 : DON'T THROW AWAY THE TICKET CARD it's rechargeable and worth €0.50
    RULE 2 : Don't use the bus for short journeys, cos each long/short journey costs 1 credit.

    * from CITY CENTRE : DO NOT BUY A TICKET ON THE BUS, as there are generally no GIRO ticket machines in the suburbs. Ticket machines are mostly along city centre sea front (plus Anadia Shopping & Post Offices).
    - So buy a ticket from the GIRO machine/office and put at least 2 credits on your ticket, so you can get back to city centre.

    * from SUBURB : The first time if you don't have a ticket you can buy a magnetic ticket from the driver for €1.95, including a 50c charge for the card. When you reach the centre, recharge your ticket at a machine.

    RECHARGE OPTIONS : €1.35 per journey (2014 price)
    or €1.25 if you add more than 10 credits.
    - A separate €4.60 daycard is available, or 3 days €11.80, or 5, 7 days.

    * 1 ticket for each person

    CHECK YOUR BUS TIME : horariosdofunchal.pt/mobile/...

    SHARE AFTER - Before you leave Madeira give your card to someone else to add credit to.

    * ask office or driver for Funchal busmap - it's very useful : online horariosdofunchal.pt/index-e...
    - On the reverse it shows the ticket machine locations etc.
    * also get a Whole Island bus map from the tourist office : online : madeirarural.com/blog/tag/bu...

    OUTSIDE CITY - On journeys out of Funchal on the same Yellow company they charge you 2 or 3 credits. But most regional bus are operated by companies who charge you on board.

    YELLOW bus website has all info http://www.horariosdofunchal.pt

    • stewgreen's Profile Photo
      Jan 14, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      Today on the library pc there is a link right side bottom "create your own Funchal page"

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Jan 14, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      But when you are logged-in to VT you can just go to 'My Home' at the top of every page and click 'Travelpages'. That's the way most of us make pages and tips. Send me a VT message if you need more info..click my username then the 'send a message' link under the smaller photo to the right of my page. :-)

 
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Municipal Square
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City Hall
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Barcelos peek
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Mar avenue
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Autonomy
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Alfândega
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Sightseeing
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Flowers
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Curral das Freiras
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Farmer's market
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Monte, Muncipal Garden
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Funchal Cathedral
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The Doors of Rua de Santa Maria.
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Flooding
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Botanical Gardens
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Cable car
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Virgin chapel
Off The Beaten Path
Peace square
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Corpo Santo
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Pico do Areeiro
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Regional court
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Cathedral
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Santa Maria
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St Lourenço Fort
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Pillory
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Monte Palace
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Monte - Fountain square
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Map of Funchal

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