Things to do in Funchal

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Avator By Jonathan Owen
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Published 7th December 2022
Last modified 4th July 2023
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Things to do in Funchal, Portugal

Funchal is the capital of Madeira, a Portuguese island located in the Atlantic Ocean. It is renowned for its pleasant climate, gorgeous natural surroundings, and rich cultural history. There are many things to do and see in Funchal, making it a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world. Some of the top attractions in Funchal include the Old Town, with its charming cobblestone streets and traditional houses, the Santa Clara Monastery, a beautiful 17th-century convent, and the Madeira Story Centre, a museum that shares the island’s history.

In addition to its cultural attractions, Funchal is home to several beautiful parks and gardens, including the Jardim Botanico, which boasts a diverse selection of exotic plants and flowers, and the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, which is located in the hills above the city and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

When it comes to dining, Funchal has a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars that serve both local and international cuisine. The city is also known for its local wine and sweet pastries, and there are many shops and markets where visitors can sample these delicious specialties.

Take a walk around this wonderful with our travel insurance team’s top things to do whilst visiting this Portuguese City.

Hope on Funchal Cable Car

The Funchal Cable Car, also known as the Teleférico do Funchal, is a popular tourist attraction in Funchal, the capital of the island of Madeira. The cable car provides breathtaking views of the city and surrounding region and is a fantastic way to explore this gorgeous part of Portugal.

The Funchal Cable Car consists of two gondolas that run between the lower station in the city center and the upper station on the mountain slopes above Funchal. The ride takes about 15 minutes and offers panoramic views of the city and the ocean.

At the upper station, visitors can visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, a beautiful park with exotic plants and flowers from all over the world, as well as interesting sculptures and artworks. The garden also offers breathtaking views of the city and the ocean below.

In addition to the cable car and the garden, the upper station also has a café and a souvenir shop where visitors can rest and enjoy the views.

The Funchal Cable Car is a must-see attraction for visitors to the city. It is a fun and exciting way to see Funchal from above and offers a unique and memorable experience.


Visit the famous Funchal Cathedral – Se

The Funchal Cathedral, also known as the Se Cathedral, is a popular tourist attraction in the city of Funchal on the island of Madeira in Portugal. The cathedral is a beautiful example of Portuguese architecture and has a rich history dating back to the 16th century.

Some reasons to visit the Funchal Cathedral include:

  • Its architectural beauty: The cathedral is a stunning example of Portuguese Gothic architecture, with a distinctive façade, large arched windows, and intricate stone carvings.
  • Its rich history: The cathedral has a long history, having been built in the 16th century on the site of a former mosque. Visitors can learn about the cathedral’s history and the role it has played in the city’s cultural and religious life.
  • Its cultural significance: The Funchal Cathedral is an important cultural and religious landmark in the city and a symbol of the island’s history and traditions.
  • Its interior: The interior of the cathedral is equally impressive, with ornate altars, beautiful stained glass windows, and a large organ.

Overall, the Funchal Cathedral is a must-see attraction for visitors to the city, offering a unique blend of architectural beauty and cultural significance.

Visit Forte de São Tiago

The Forte de São Tiago, or Saint James’s Fortress, is a seventeenth-century fortress located in the city of Funchal on the island of Madeira. This brightly-colored fortress was originally built to protect the city from pirates and has served various purposes over the years. Today, it is open to visitors and contains small exhibitions as well as a restaurant. The fortress is a unique and interesting place to visit, offering a glimpse into the city’s history and cultural heritage.

Eat Pastéis de Nata

Pastéis de nata, also known as Portuguese custard tarts, are a traditional dessert that originated in Lisbon, Portugal. These sweet treats are made of puff pastry filled with a rich, creamy custard and are often dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Pastéis de nata are very popular in Portugal and can be found in many bakeries and cafes throughout the country. If you’re in Portugal, be sure to try one of these delicious tarts!

Admire the painted doors of Rua de Santa Maria

The Painted Doors of Rua de Santa Maria are a distinctive and colorful feature of Lisbon, Portugal. Located in the historic Alfama district, these doors are adorned with a range of intricate and vibrant designs, making them a popular attraction for tourists visiting the city. A walk through the Rua de Santa Maria allows visitors to admire the stunning and unique doors, each of which is a work of art in its own right. If you’re in Lisbon, be sure to check out these colorful and beautiful doors.


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