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Funchal
Travel Guide

The capital of the Portuguese island of Madeira is a beautiful city on the southern coast offering beaches, historic buildings and marine wildlife adventures. 

With houses built on the side of a hill, an attractive bay and a mountainous backdrop, Funchal has one of Portugal’s most beautiful settings. The coastal city is the capital of the island of Madeira and combines a modern beach resort with hundreds of years of history. Surf, tour ancient buildings and sail the ocean to see whales and dolphins.

The town is named for the bright yellow fennel (funcho in Portuguese) that grew here when the Portuguese settled the area in the early 15th century.

Funchal’s natural beauty isn’t confined to the coast and surrounding mountains. Spend a few hours in the sunken, rose and French gardens of Jardins de Palheiro. Stroll through Jardim Orquidea’s miniature jungle filled with varied orchid species. Enjoy thousands of blooms at the Madeira Botanical Gardens.

Explore the historic buildings of the old town area. Admire the stained-glass windows, baroque altars and gothic arches of the 16th-century Sé Cathedral. Amble along cobblestone streets lined by old buildings, some dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Visit the Museo Municipal for its natural history exhibits. Gaze at the collection of Turkish and North African decorative tiles at the Frederico de Freitas Museum.

Ride the cable car up to Monte, a small village 1,804 feet (550 meters) above sea level. When you want to come back down to Funchal, ride a toboggan. These resemble large wicker baskets and are pushed down the steep roads by drivers.

Walk along the promenade from the city center to the Praia Formosa, a collection of beaches. Venture farther out to sea on a dolphin- and whale-watching trip or take a boat cruise along the coast.

As Madeira’s capital city, Funchal has good transportation links. Madeira Airport is 13 miles (21 kilometers) away. With Funchal’s mild subtropical climate, its beaches, gardens and historic sites can be enjoyed year-round.

Where to stay in Funchal

Top Hotels in Funchal

The Cliff Bay
The Cliff Bay
5 out of 5
Estrada Monumental 147, Funchal
The price is $227 per night from Mar 3 to Mar 4

This family-friendly Funchal hotel is located on the waterfront, within 1 mi (2 km) of Barreiros Stadium, Complexo Balnear do Lido, and CR7 Museum. Funchal Marina ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (653 reviews)
Acceptable luxury stay

"Staff were mostly great although at check in was instructed to sit and wait due to the queue, and was promptly forgotten. Rooms were nice especially ones with direct sea views. Pool area was a bit tired but you could use the one at the Suites. There were some ants in the room and housekeeping wasn't ..."…"

Reviewed on Nov 27, 2020

The Cliff Bay
Savoy Palace – The Leading Hotels of the World
Savoy Palace – The Leading Hotels of the World
5 out of 5
Avenida do Infante, 25, Funchal
The price is $264 per night from Mar 13 to Mar 14

Located in Se, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Madeira Casino and CR7 Museum. Funchal Marina and Complexo Balnear do Lido are also within 2 mi ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (47 reviews)

"Amazing Pool. Great location. Breakfast was superb. Choice of restaurants on the property. You never have to leave the property if you don't want to. Staff are friendly, but sometimes need to reconfirm bookings (ie, afternoon tea) if you actually want it to take place."…"

Reviewed on Oct 10, 2020

Savoy Palace – The Leading Hotels of the World
Hotel Orca Praia
Hotel Orca Praia
3 out of 5
Estrada Monumental 355, Funchal
The price is $143 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5

Nestled on the beach, this São Martinho hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Formosa Beach and Complexo Balnear do Lido. Madeira Congress Center and Town Square are ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (34 reviews)

"the location of the hotel is perfect for relaxing holidays, the view from the balcony is breathtaking. the hotel is very clean and safe. all staff is very friendly and helpful."…"

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2020

Hotel Orca Praia
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Funchal

Pestana Ocean Bay Resort
Pestana Ocean Bay Resort
4 out of 5
Praia Formosa, Funchal

Nestled on the beach, this São Martinho aparthotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Formosa Beach, Complexo Balnear do Lido, and CR7 Museum. Funchal Municipal Garden ...

4.2/5Very Good! (201 reviews)

"I didn’t like that was no air conditioner and that was unacceptable, dinnind area everybody was swetting and on the walking area, and I had to change room upon arrival because I was assuming every room had air conditioner but I paid xtra for that. Also entertainment was poor beeing the the hotel ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2019

Pestana Ocean Bay Resort
Palheiro Village - Golf, Gardens & Spa
Palheiro Village - Golf, Gardens & Spa
4 out of 5
Estrada do Aeroporto, No. 65, Palheiro Ferreiro, Funchal, Madeira

This family-friendly Funchal aparthotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Palheiro Golf Club and Pinnacle Viewpoint. Madeira Botanical Garden ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (236 reviews)

"I like the scenery and the village and the sun and finally the poncha"…"

Reviewed on Mar 9, 2020

Palheiro Village - Golf, Gardens & Spa
Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel
Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel
4 out of 5
Rua do Gorgulho, 17, Funchal

This family-friendly Funchal aparthotel is located by the sea, within 1 mi (2 km) of Barreiros Stadium and Complexo Balnear do Lido. CR7 Museum and Funchal Marina ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (205 reviews)

"We liked the hotel’s location by the sea very much."…"

Reviewed on Mar 10, 2020

Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Funchal

Top things to do in Funchal

Reviews of Funchal

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
72
5 - Excellent 76.59574468085107%
4 - Good
21
4 - Good 22.340425531914892%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 1.0638297872340425%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 2, 2020

Beautiful city and island. We will be back!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 8, 2020

Funchal is a nice city with several activity. People are nice, the weather was great.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 6, 2020

Great city, very hospitable, nice, safe. Really enjoyed!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 9, 2019

Fabulous, will definitely visit again

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 8, 2019

Beautiful definitley visit again, definitely stay at the orca praia again highly recommended, right on the beach, very well priced and a lovely swimming pool, great staff and great food

5/5 - Excellent

Becki

Nov 25, 2019

Enjoyed the tram ride to the top of the mountain. Beautiful views of Funchal and the ocean.

Cities near Funchal