Tourist’s guide to Funchal: attractions in the capital of Madeira

Funchal is the main city of the Portuguese island of Madeira, located in its southern part. On three sides, the administrative center is protected by mountains and hills that create a pleasant, relaxing climate in the city – warm winter and summer with a refreshing breeze that blows from the ocean. In Portugal, Funchal in Madeira is rightfully on the list of the best places to stay at any time of the year. It is about this resort that will be discussed in our article.

Funchal Madeira

Advice! Going on a trip, be sure to bring a map of Funchal with attractions in Russian.

general information

Walk the streets of the city

The resort was founded at the beginning of the 15th century and quickly turned into the economic and cultural center of Madeira. Today Funchal is conditionally divided into two parts – historical and modern. Of course, tourists are most interested in the ancient part of the island’s capital, you can walk through the narrow streets for days on end and discover something new every day, mentally moving to different historical eras.

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Interesting fact! The name of the city in Madeira in Portugal comes from “funcho” – fennel, spice grows on the island in large numbers.

Funchal Cathedral, Madeira
Funchal Cathedral

In Funchal in Madeira there are many churches, museums, galleries, parks and botanical gardens are especially admired. Local markets are a special category of attractions; here you can feel the spirit of Madeira, purchase exotic fruits, fresh seafood. The popularity of the resort is also due to the large selection of tourist attractions – beaches, sea cruises, cable car.

Good to know! Be sure to try the local sweets – fennel sweets.

Funchal in Portugal is the administrative center and port on the island of Madeira with a population of approximately 115 thousand people. Also, the resort is the capital of the autonomous region of the island and the center of the homonymous region. The southern part of the city is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The cityscape is easily recognizable by white houses and bright red roofs surrounded by green parks and terraces.

Be sure to stroll along the main pedestrian street, try the local coffee, take the cable car to the top of the mountain and admire amazing views of the ocean and the city.

Descent on a wooden sleigh

Interesting fact! You can go down the mountain on special wooden sleighs. At the end of the 19th century, this was the main mode of transportation between the settlements of the island. Descent from the top takes about 20 minutes.


All the attractions of Funchal are concentrated in the historical part of the city. Here are government buildings, luxurious mansions, temples and churches, the famous Blandy’s wine house. In the botanical gardens located on the outskirts of the city, exotic plants from all continents are collected.

Monte Cable Car and Monte Palace Tropical Garden
The view from the cab

Given the hilly and mountainous terrain of the island, there are many observation platforms equipped where you can only be reached by funicular. A trip to the top of Monte Mountain is a great opportunity to enjoy Madeira from a bird’s eye view, take amazing photos and visit one of the most picturesque sights of Funchal – the Monte Palace Park. The funicular consists of 40 cabins and has been operating since 2000.

  • The cable car stretches from the ocean to the top of the mountain, the trip takes 10 minutes.
  • The cost of a one-way ticket is 10 euros, a round-trip ticket is 15 euros.
  • Opening hours: from 9-30 to 17-45.
Monte Palace, Madeira
Monte Palace

At the top of the mountain is the Monte Palace, whose main attraction is the park, where peacocks walk freely and plants from the most distant corners of the world are gathered. Different types of fish swim in reservoirs, statues are installed, fountains work.

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

The tropical garden was opened for visitors in 1991, previously the territory was owned by a local businessman. Thanks to his efforts, the neglected and abandoned area turned into a luxurious, well-groomed garden, in the center of which, in the palace, there are two exhibitions:

  • “African passion” – a collection of African sculptures;
  • Secrets of Mother Nature is a collection of miners from around the world.
Minerals at the Museum
“Secrets of Mother Nature”

The palace was built in the 18th century and in a short time turned into a magnificent estate. In the 19th century, the palace, reconstructed as a hotel, was a favorite vacation spot for lovers of peace and tranquility. However, in the middle of the 20th century, the owner of the palace dies, and the building with the adjoining territory declines. Only at the end of the 20th century, the castle and garden were restored and turned into an amazing landmark of Funchal in Madeira.

Good to know! At the top of the mountain a small temple was built, where thousands of believers make pilgrimages annually.

There are several ways to get to the natural attractions of Funchal:

On the funicular
  1. by funicular – the station is located on the waterfront (bus number 93 follows to the station);
  2. by bus number 20, 21, 22 or 48.

The cost of visiting the tropical park is 10 euros, children under 15 years old admission is free.

On the territory of the garden you can ride in a special trailer, rent will cost 4 EUR.

The entrance to the garden is open daily from 9-30 to 18-00, and the museum is open from 10-00 to 16-30.

Jesuit College and Church in Funchal

The Jesuit Temple or Church of São João Evangelista in Madeira in Portugal was built in the 17th century and is decorated in the mannerism style. The church housed a college, where for many centuries, representatives of the religious community taught all comers. The college was well known and revered outside of Portugal, Ignatians came here to study and relax. The complex consisted of many buildings, but today many of them have not been preserved. Monarch Carlos used the building as a barracks for infantry.

Jesuit Temple in Funchal

The white-brown facade of the building, decorated with columns, statues and the royal coat of arms, is quite remarkable, but the interior of the church delights and fascinates with wealth and luxury. Arched vaults are decorated with painting and decorative plaster. The walls are tiled with azulezos ceramic tiles and ancient paintings.

Temple interior

The interior of the temple is traditional for all Jesuit churches in Portugal – nave, transept and chapel. Particular attention is drawn to the high marble altar decorated with carvings. The interior of the temple will undoubtedly attract the attention of art lovers; here you can see unique paintings of the 17-18 centuries. The door is made of a special kind of wood.

Good to know! An organ is installed in the church, concerts are regularly held.

The temple is located in the central part of the city on Madeira, on Municipal Square. Visitors have several options for excursions:

  • quick tour – conducted daily from 10-00 to 18-00, inspection of the church is free;
  • excursion tour – held for groups of up to 15 people daily, except weekends, at 11-30, the tour involves visiting a church and college.
Jesuit College

Also at the entrance you can purchase a brochure with a detailed description of the most interesting places in the temple and college.

Santa Catarina Park

The park is undoubtedly included in the list of the most beautiful sights of Funchal in Madeira in Portugal. Getting here, you are immersed in an atmosphere of peace and harmony with nature. This is a man-made attraction where everything blooms and fragrances.

Santa Catarina Park
Ducks and swans

There is a park on a hill where you can admire the port and the ocean, in the center there is a pond where tame ducks and swans live. The landscape is complemented by fountains and statues. A playground with attractions is equipped for children. In Santa Catarina, you can visit the oldest building in Funchal – the church of St. Catherine, dating from 1425. Most often the park is quiet and calm, but sometimes noisy events are held here.

  • The attraction takes guests daily until 21-00.
  • There is a park area between two avenues – do Infante and Sa Carneiro.
Santa Maria street

This street is considered the cradle of Funchal in Madeira, as it is the oldest in the capital. It is located in the old part of the city, closed to vehicles. There are many coffee houses, restaurants and cafes, there are souvenir shops.

Facade of a house on Santa Maria street

The first mention of Santa Maria dates back to 1430, today today the charm of antiquity and the creative manifestation of modernity are intertwined here. Many building facades have been restored, but the sidewalks remain paved. The doors of the houses are painted by local artists.

Fort Santiago Funchal
Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago was built in the center of the street. Today it has a museum of modern art and a restaurant with ocean views. You can also visit the temple of St. Mary, the chapel of the Holy Relics and the local market.

Blandy’s Winery
Blandy's Winery Tour

The wine factory has been operating for more than two hundred years and is located in the very center of Funchal. The wines of the company are known far beyond Portugal and are highly appreciated by specialists and experts in Europe.

Today, the winery is run by Michael and Chris Blendy, father and son, representing the sixth and seventh generations. On the territory of the plant, fascinating sightseeing tours are held, within which you can learn all about the wine preparation process. Guests are also invited to visit the cellars and enjoy drinks. The collection of the winery has drinks of 1940. Branded wines with original labeling can be purchased at a store located in the museum.

Wines of the last century

Practical information:

  • tour duration – 45 minutes;
  • the cost of a regular excursion is 4.5 euros, having paid about 30 euros, you can purchase Madeira 10-year exposure and try two types of drinks;
  • Using a ticket, you can buy wine in a store with a 10% discount.

Accommodation and meals

Three star hotel Hotel Madeira
Hotel madeira

If you are interested in luxury hotels – four and five star, pay attention to the western part of Funchal. A double room in an inexpensive three-star hotel in Funchal will cost from 53 EUR per day. The cost of living in apartments and guest houses from 18 EUR.

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Cafes and restaurants in Funchal are for every taste and budget.

Where to eat in Funchal in Madeira cheap and tasty

Title Address Schedule The cost of a check per person Features
Gigi sumos Rua Dom Carlos, No. 20, Santa Maria Maior Weekdays – from 8-00 to 20-00, weekends – from 9-00 to 18-00 5,5 EUR Vegetarian options are provided, especially delicious juices and smoothies.
Wellcom coffee bar Rua Das Murcas, 16, 18 Weekdays – from 9-00 to 23-00, weekends – from 11-30 to 22-00 6 EUR The atmosphere, decor and menu are not typical of Madeira. Delicious coffee, great hamburgers. Good selection of craft beer.
Jasmin tea house Caminho Preto, 40, Sao Goncalo Daily from 10-00 to 17-00 From 2 to 12 EUR A wonderful place located in a cozy garden can be reached from Funchal by bus No. 47. The tea house is distinguished by cats that hospitably welcome visitors.
Le bistrot jacaranda 28F Avenida do Infante, En face du casino Daily from 10-00 to 23-00 From 15 to 20 EUR Located next to the Park Hotel Casino, they serve delicious pasta and cook amazing sangria. The chef is French.

How to get there. Transport on the island

The most convenient way to get to Funchal from Lisbon is by plane. Daily to the resort from the capital of Portugal flies up to 16 flights. Flights carry out:

EasyJet Airplane
  • EasyJet – British low-cost airline offers flights daily;
  • Tap Portugal – The Portuguese airline also operates flights every day.

Tickets can be purchased on the official websites of air carriers.

A British low-cost airline ticket costs from 27.5 euros, baggage is paid separately.

Good to know! Paying for luggage online can save up to 20 euros.

The minimum price for a ticket for a Portuguese airline is 62 euros. Baggage is paid separately.

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Airport on Madeira Island
Funchal Airport

Earlier, ferries operated on the Lisbon-Funchal route, but the ferry company ceased operations in 2012.

Airplanes takes Funchal Airport, located in the town of Santa Cruz in Madeira. You can get to the resort by taxi, renting a car or by bus. In Funchal, given its modest size, you can move around on foot. For travel by public transport, it is better to purchase a card that entitles you to several trips – from 2 to 9. Paying for each trip separately will cost more.

It’s important to know! Local buses are orange.

Funchal on Medeira in Portugal is not only the capital of the island, but also a beautiful city with many attractions – historical, architectural and natural. Enjoy your holiday in Madeira, feel the spirit of Portugal and you will surely want to come back here again.

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