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Popular things to do in Funchal

Canyoning in Madeira - Beginners
Canyoning in Madeira - Beginners
Canyoning in Madeira - Beginners 3 hours
Canyoning is a fun and adventurous way to explore the beautiful landscapes and nature Madeira has to offer. Abseil, climb, jump and scram through the rugged surroundings... an experience you will surely remember for a long time.
Price from: €60.00
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Rent a campervan (caravan) in Madeira
Rent a campervan (caravan) in Madeira
Rent a campervan (caravan) in Madeira 1 day
Rent a campervan (caravan) and enjoy a completely independent and unique way to discover Madeira with family or friends. Price from EUR100 per day in medium and low season and EUR125 in high season, for up to 4 person in a campervan.
Price from: €100.00
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Fun Classic Jeep Safari tour - Madeira West (half day)
Fun Classic Jeep Safari tour - Madeira West (half day)
Fun Classic Jeep Safari tour - Madeira West (half day) 4 hours
One of a kind classic jeep safari excursion exploring beautiful west of Madeira by local guides who want you to fall in love with their island, just like the do. Highlights include: fishing village, vineyards, banana and cherries plantation as well as breathtaking views of the Nuns Valley.
Price from: €30.00
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Tour and activity categories in Funchal

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Jeep safari

Travel Inspirations - Funchal

Funchal, the capital of the island of Madeira is packed full of things to delight. From beautiful golden beaches to shady parks to fascinating museums and adventure activities to a whole galaxy of incredible restaurants. There is something to be found in in Funchal for everyone. Whilst the city has recently exploded onto the cultural map, great care and attention has been taken so as not to damage or change its quaint cobbled streets, its colonial architecture or its majestic chapels. The city has been recently classified as one of the safest, friendliest and cleanest cities in Europe, with all of its beaches carrying blue flags for the cleanliness of their waters. These factors combined mean that visitors get to experience the Funchal of old, but packed with the activities and amenities of the new.                        History Officially founded in the early 1420’s by João Gonçalves Zarco, Funchal was originally comprised of two small settlements. After the discovery of fertile soils on Porto Santo , the opposite island of  Madeira was quickly colonised, with the original settlements joining together to form the the urban core of Funchal. Owing to both its soils and its position on the coast, Funchal rapidly became a bustling port, which traded goods all over Europe, most notably with Lisbon. The city began to attract more settlers and farmers and was elevated to a municipality in the early 15th century. After this, many rich Portuguese landowners and heraldic families followed suit, making Funchal a powerhouse of agricultural industry. With so much trade being undertaken and goods exchanging hands, Funchal became a target for marauding bands of pirates who sailed the Atlantic. It was for this reason that the fort was built, and a substantial military presence established. These defences went through numerous changes, extensions and enlargements over the years, as did the many churches which were built around the city. Today, Funchal is still an active port and trade city, exporting wine and fruit all over the world, and even though its recent discovery as a tourist destination has prompted the establishment of many hotels and restaurants, it still retains a huge amount of its original infrastructure its atmosphere and its traditional way of life. Culture Churches and cathedrals are of supreme importance to both the topography of Funchal and to its history. Through the centuries, many branches of the Christian faith such as Episcopalian, Roman Catholic and Anglican have made their home on Funchal. Several monasteries dot the city, as do the seeds of other religions such as the Moors, whose influences can be seen in many of the religious buildings, like the beautiful Se Cathedral. The city suffered many problems over the years ranging from crop blight to pirate attacks to economic catastrophes and outbreaks of the plague. It is for this reason that a great many patrons have been established to protect the city and also explains the wide proliferation of churches and the division of Funchal into separate parishes. Funchal’s churches also housed some of Madeira ’s most profound and important religious relics over the years such as crosses, fountains, jewels and art works. These can now be seen in the many museums established for their display and safekeeping. Economy Much of Funchal’s economy is now almost entirely underpinned by the tourist industry. Funchal’s hotel zone, centre and marina are the largest economic areas of the city, with many hotels and foreign investors setting up businesses on the island to cater for a wealth of visitors - from families seeking a relaxing break by the beach to hardened adventure-tourists wanting the thrills of big game fish, diving and sailing. The hundreds of restaurants dotted on every street in Funchal also provide a steady income for their owners, as during the summer months the city becomes a hive of after-hours activity. A small amount of the city’s income does however still come from trade. Similarly to years gone by, wine is still a major export out of Madeira , and many famous wine houses such as Blandy’s are located in and around Funchal. Also, fishing still plays a large part, as the warm waters of the Atlantic are host to a wide variety of large fish such as blue and yellowfin tuna, and the legendary blue marlin, whose steaks and fillets fetch handsome prices on the European market.
San Pedro area in Funchal The Parish of San Pedro is a hive of cultural activity. One of the second largest populated areas of Funchal, San Pedro was built in the 16 th century, and although it now houses many modern cafes, bars, restaurants and shops, its streets still ooze tradition and local colour. If you want to experience local life simply head to any of the areas streets such as Rua da Mouraria, Rua das Pretas Rua do Surdo or Rua dos Netos. Here, between bustling squares and shady sidestreets you can unwind and watch life go by from one of the multitude of cafes, or shop in any number of local independent retailers. Much of the original architecture is still prevalent throughout these historic streets. Also, there are many other attractions to sample. The aquarium located on Rua da Mouraria is definitely worth a look, as is the Dr. Frederico de Freitas museum and the covenant of Calçada de Santa Clara. The atmospheric and traditional Rua da Carreira has also been home to many famous artists and writers over the centuries and the bohemian feel of the street has been maintained through its traditional restaurants, colonial houses and bars. São Pedro Church Designed in 1590 and finally completed in the 18th century, the church of San Pedro is comprised of one large church with three smaller chapels situated around it. It’s interior is covered in glazed tiles, paintings, carvings and furniture from the 17th to the 20th century and is a must for anybody interested in history, local cultural or for visitors simply wanting to escape the glare of the midday sun and wander through the cool interior of the church. Walk a little further up the hill and you can really see the church in all its glory. São Pedro Palace This beautiful 18 th century structure housed some of Madeira ’s most important dignitaries through the centuries such as the Counts of Carvalhal and Lombada. Today it houses Funchal’s Natural History museum and aquarium as well as its regional archive of historical documents. São João do Pico Fortress This fortress offers stunning views over Funchal. Built in the first half of the 17 th century it sits at the extremely steep Rua do Castelo, just off the Calçada do Pico. A beautiful place for anyone interested in history, or simply those who want to take a walk with their camera and find one of the best places in the area to photograph Funchal. Santa Maria area in Funchal Santa Maria is located to the East of the centre of Funchal and was one of the first established settlements in the area around 1430.  Originally the area of Santa Maria was a worker’s settlement, where men who worked on the sugar cane plantations lived. Visitors to Santa Maria can see a striking similarity and unison in the architectural style of the workers houses that make up the area, which are a quaint and curious factor given the extremely large and varied demographic of its inhabitants.  It was due to the relative economic stability of the area’s population that no major re-building or reconstruction ever took place in the area, making it perfect for visitors wanting to experience a more traditional way of life. Santa Maria Maior Mother Church/Santiago Menor Church This impressive baroque church was built (similarly to many others in Funchal) in the 18th century. Many catastrophes hit Funchal during the 15th century such as the 1538 earthquake and a subsequent outbreak of pestilence due to poor drainage systems. To protect the town, its heavily religious occupants gathered in the Sé Cathedral and decided to adopt a new patron saint and build a giant church in his honour. Saint Tiago Maior was chosen as the city’s protectorate and work on the church began quickly. The church was built using wood and stone from  Madeira and the exquisitely carved doors represent one of the best examples of craftsmanship seen anywhere on the island. The chapel was re-modelled greatly over the centuries but much of the original stone remains. Santiago Fortress The Santiago fortress is not just an amazing example of military architecture that was used to defend Funchal from pirate attacks throughout the centuries. Built in 164 and used by Madeira s military right up until 1992, the impressive structure now houses Funchal’s Contemporary Art Museum where a huge variety of cultural events take place through the year. Boa Viagem Chapel This chapel is worth a visit for visitors to Funchal who are interested in art, as it used as an exhibition centre for works of art by 19th century Henrique and Francisco Franco and contains a small but very impressive collection of oil paintings. Sé Catedral The Sé Cathedral was the first church built in Funchal. After a heavy series of setbacks, re-building and enlargement, the church was finally finished in 1517. The architecture of the cathedral is simply beautiful. It’s a mix of many influences including Gothic, Moorish, Flemish and  Madeira and is extremely foreboding, with a long line of Gothic arches underpinning the structure, and rose tinted windows that seem to trap the sunlight inside the vast, ancient structure. This figurehead structure for the city also housed many of Funchal’s most important sacred relics, which has now been transferred to museums around the city, such as The Museum Of Sacred Art. The cathedral is the perfect place to escape the sun and wander through the vast chambers, listening to your footsteps as they echo across the ceilings. Câmara Municipal (Funchal Town Hall) Also near to Sé Catedral is the old town hall, purchased from a rich family of landowners in 1883. This incredible structure located on Rua dos Ferreiros is a perfect example of Madeira colonial architecture, with its giant carved doorways, its multitude of balconies and winding interior staircase that leads out into the forecourt. There is also a giant statue here, depicting Leda and the Swan, the Greek myth that inspired W.B Yeats’ poem of the same name. A few streets further on you can also see the Sacred Art museum, located at Largo do Município, where many religious relics are displayed. Rua da Alfândega and Rua dos Tanoeiros These streets have been the centre for independent commerce and small business owners since the 16th century. And nothing much has changed. Once the home of Funchal’s fish market and slaughterhouse, these antique cobbled streets now bustle with wine shops, grocers, cafés and locals. The sunny streets and colonial architecture are a goldmine for photographers and anyone looking to escape the reach of chain hotels, adventure activities and family entertainment. João Gonçalves Zarco Monument Madeira  and Porto Santo ’s founding father and honorary “captain” by royal decree is celebrated in a giant bronze statue at the cross-section of Avenida Arriaga and Avenida Zarco. Palácio de São Lourenço After a long string of attacks by pirates looking for easy vessels to pillage along the coastline Funchal’s first fortress was built. What started out as a bare and somewhat primitive structure underwent several huge changes during the 16th and 17th century. Later it included the Palace of São Lourenço, which housed military personnel and was declared a national monument in 1993. Today part of it houses important museum pieces and artefacts relating to Funchal’s military command. The other half is reserved as a palace of residence for the Prime Minister, and can even be visited if prior appointments are made. The Lido & Coastal Promenade Recently opened, the palm-lined promenade area has opened up Funchal’s already extensive Lido area into a beautiful scenic path along Funchal’s coast. Stretching the length of Funchal, with the botanic gardens at the Eastern edge, and Praia Formosa beach at the west, this relaxing stroll offers beautiful sea views, shady benches, a multitude of restaurants and bars, and the chance to swim in one of the many swimming pools in the area. The Lido swimming pool is the largest of these and is filled with natural sea water. There is also the Clube Naval, and the brand new Ponta Gorda swimming pool which has many facilities such as sports activities, separate children’s pools, sea access and snack bars. Quintas and Gardens in Funchal Monte Palace Tropical Garden This impressive tropical garden is well worth a visit. Opened in 1991 it contains a wildly diverse selection of flora and fauna from all over the globe. Interestingly, it also houses one of the most important tile collections in the world. The tiles collected from palaces, churches, chapels and Portugal’s colonial mansions represent the many ages of the Portuguese empire and colonies. The tiles themselves are exhibited unobtrusively and are blended into the palace’s tropical plants, flower beds and wandering peacocks. Monte’s tiles and are often beautifully illustrated with Portuguese murals detailing the social, cultural, historical and religious history of the colonies. The palace also has a beautiful koi pond where visitors can relax from the bustle of Funchal and watch the koi carp as they break the surface and disappear again. Quinta Magnólia Equally impressive (and somewhat larger) are the gardens at Quinta Magnólia. Packed full of a dizzying array of tropical plants, this beautiful area and country club also has many leisure facilities such as an open-air swimming pool, a tennis court. It also has a children’s play park complete with its own swimming pool. The pool is also located next to a café, which provides the perfect place to sit and unwind as your children splash about! Quinta das Cruzes The old manor house and gardens of Quinta das Cruzes house important archaeological discoveries found in Funchal and several impressive sculptures including two beautiful basalt carvings. It also houses a vast orchid collection, camphor trees and Australian eucalyptus. This place is a must for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the perfumes of wild flowers as they drift through the summer air. Quinta Vigia The beautiful villa of Quinta Vigia has housed some of the areas most important dignitaries through the ages, such as the Russian royal family, the Duke of Leuchtenberg, the Empress Dona Amélia and her daughter, Princess Dona Maria Amélia and Nicolau Tulière. In 1984 it became the residence of the regional president of Funchal. It’s huge tree filled gardens where exotic birds dart through the branches and the sweeping views out over the harbour make this a beautiful place to visit. Municipal Garden These 8300 square metre gardens house exotic specimens from all over the world and are centrally located within the city of Funchal. The grounds once belonged to a Franciscan and also have a beautiful pond where visitors can see black swans gliding through the water, or stroll to the amphitheatre where theatrical events often take place. Santa Luzia Public Gardens The gardens at Santa Luzia have recently been opened to the public and are part of the Funchal government’s new initiative to create green spaces. Created on the grounds of an old sugar factory, they are located on Rua 31 de Janeiro, in the Eastern part of Funchal and also contain several different themed gardens (Amphitheatre, tropical, water, terraced) and an impressive waterfall. Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro This house and gardens has some of the island’s most valuable exotic flora. It is a very special place for botany lovers, photographers or visitors just wanting to unwind. It also has a beautiful and extensive Camellia garden, which is in full flower between November and April. It also contains a beautiful baroque church and breathtaking views over central Funchal. Quinta do Bom Sucesso This absolutely enormous botanical garden is located 3km from Central Funchal at Quinta do Bom Sucesso. It is owned by the science and cultural trust of Funchal and contains more than 2000 specimens of flora. There are several sections of the park. The first is indigenous flora, where visitors can see plants which are common to the Portuguese colonies. The next is a tree garden, housing beautiful specimens from all over the world. The next section is for succulents and cacti originating from South America. After that visitors can wander through an area which displays medicinal and cultivated specimens of importance to  Madeira such as avocado, papaya, coffee and sugar cane. The final section is dedicated to parrots. The botanical gardens is a moderate walk from the Centre of Funchal and the hotel zone, but due to its size and the incredible diversity of its specimens, should be given an entire day to explore. Jardim Orquídea (Orchid Garden) Everyone coming to Funchal should visit this amazing place. With an amazing collection of orchids it is more than just another garden! Wander through tropical hothouses and see an amazing array of orchids which has been cultivated and preserved with the help of many generations – from tiny purple blooms, to sprawling walls of leopard orchids, this place is simply beautiful. Museums: The city of Funchal is definitely not short of museums. Whether it’s modern art, ancient history, wine, sugar or anything else that has played a part in the development of Madeira , chances are there’s a museum for it. Some are hidden away on cobbled streets, some proudly straddle across the centre of town, but there is something here for everyone, culturos and laid-back visitors alike. Many of them are also free, which provides yet another fantastic reason to shelter from the sun and wander through the annals history. Funchal’s municipality is keen to promote and record the evolution of the city, and many museums feature cutting-edge interactive exhibits, as well as cavernous ancient rooms filled with documents and artefacts. Quinta das Cruzes Museum   The baroque-style “Manor Estate of the Crosses” museum houses Madeira ’s finest collection of silver, filigree and antiquities. It began as the private collection of César Gomes, and in recent years has been added to by many other wealthy  Madeira patrons. The Quinta das Cruzes has now come everything from pottery to objects sculpted from the islands cultivated woods to marble to porcelain to fashion. It has become a lot more than simply a museum, as it houses almost the entire social, historical and cultural inventory of objects common to  Madeira from its early years as a rough and ragged Portuguese outpost to a centre of commerce and trade. It is absolutely essential for anybody interested in the rapid growth and colourful history of both Funchal and the whole of Madeira . Address: Calçada do Pico, 1, Funchal, 9000-206, Portugal Opening hours: 10:00 – 12.30 & 14:00 – 17.30 Closed Mondays and public holidays Price: Free Telephone: +351 291 740 670 Website: www.museuquintadascruzes.com Madeira Story Centre Located in the old town, this new and extremely popular museum is a fully interactive trip through Madeira ’s history. Here, you can immerse yourself in the island’s volcanic origins, its trading post turmoil and its successes. Also the centre exhibits work from new artists who complement and contribute to Funchal’s changing identity. It also has a beautiful terraced roof with unparalleled views out over Funchal and the islands. The museum is also located next to the cable car station which travels up to Monte and brings those stunning panoramas one step closer. Address: Rua D. Carlos I, n.º 27-29, 9060-051 Funchal,  Madeira island Opening hours: 10:00 - 18:00, closed on Christmas Price: Adult: €9.60, Senior Citizens (+65 years old): €8.60, Children (4-14 years old): €4.8, Children under 4: free Telephone: +351 291 000 770 Website: http://www.storycentre.com/ The Casa da Luz Electricity Museum   Also located in the Zona Velha (the old town) of Funchal, this fascinating and beautifully set out museum has been a contender for European Museum of the year award. Initially established to celebrate the centenary anniversary of the introduction of electricity to Madeira , the museum’s range of exhibits is extremely impressive. It offers a vast number of interactive science and technology exhibits so visitors can experiment and interact with the different ways in which energy is harnessed, how it is transferred and how it is stored. Address: Rua Casa da Luz, no 2, 9050-029 Funchal, Madeira island Opening hours: 10.00 - 12.30 & 14.00 - 18.00 closed Mondays Price: Free Tel: +351 291 211 480 Website: http://www.museucasadaluz.com/ Casa Museu Photografia Vicentes Originally the first photographic studio in all of Portugal, the building now houses a huge photographic exhibition and archive of the island of Madeira . Here visitors can wander through one hundreds years of portraits, landscapes and photojournalism which documents the social changes, struggles, upheavals, successes and industrial change which occurred in Madeira and its capital Funchal from 1848 to the present day. There are some absolutely stunning images here that will delight photography enthusiasts and anyone interested in life through the lens. With an archive of over 3800 images there is an awful lot to see. Some of the shots are posed studio portraits, some candid street scenes that show off the exotic fashions of yester-year and many of the  Madeira military. Address: Rua da Carreira, 43-1º, 9001-904 Funchal,  Madeira island Opening hours: 10:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 18:00. Closed Saturday, Sunday and holidays Price: Adult €3.00, Senior (>65 yrs) €1.50, Junior (14-18 yrs) €1.50, Children under 14 yrs €free, group discount (>6 persons) €2.50 each. Telephone: +351 291 225 050 Website: http://www.photographiamuseuvicentes.com.pt/ Sacred Art Museum of Funchal Located in the Old Episcopal Court building, the Sacred Art Museum was first opened in 1955. Most of the artwork in the collection is dated from the 16th to the 17th century and is mostly Portuguese, Flemish and Madeira n work. Curiously, the museum also houses a huge collection of painted Flemish wooden boards, acquired through the immense wealth that was created by the sugar cane industry on Madeira . The money amassed by landowners and private factory owners meant that they often patronised the collections in the sacred art museum as a testament to the rapid accumulation of Madeira ’s newfound economy, growing diversity of culture and newly found industrial power. Address: Rua do Bispo, 21, 9000-073 Funchal, Madeira Island Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays 10:00 – 12:30 & 14.30 – 18.00; Sundays 10:00 - 13:00. Closed Mondays, Sunday afternoons and holidays Telephone: +351 291 228 900 Price: €3.00, Senior Citizens and Adolescents: €1,50 Children under 12: Free, Group ticket (>8 people), Students with valid identification: Free €2.50 Website: http://www.museuartesacrafunchal.org Madeira Wine Museum This wine lodge cum museum contains a great many artefacts that related to the  Madeira wine industry such as an early wine-press, measuring tools and old oak wine barrels that to this day fill the air with their heady aromas. It is also home to a collection of interesting artefacts which is centred around the  Madeira wine industry. An absolute must for anyone interested in history, culture or the culinary arts, or even for those wanting to to experience first hand  Madeira Wine in the making. Various tours are available with possibility of wine tasting and purchase at the end. Address: Avenida Arriaga, 28, 9000-064 Funchal,  Madeira island Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 - 18:30, Saturday 10:00 - 13:00. Closed Sundays and public holidays. Telephone: +351 291 740 100 Price: Free Tour price: Premium Tour (45mins) € 5.50, Vintage Tour (1h) €13.00, Lodge Tour (30mins) € 3.30 Website: www.theoldblandywinelodge.com Natural History Museum Located in the Jardim Botânico (botanical gardens) on the West side of Funchal, the museum is a testament to the wild diversity of flora and fauna on the island of Madeira . Opened in 1982 the museum’s collection of insects, fish and other crustaceans offer many examples of wildlife that are neither recorded nor have been discovered in any other parts of the world. There are also many prehistoric specimens on show here, such as petrified Madeira n wood. The live creepy crawly exhibit is also well worth a visit for those visitors who aren’t squeamish! Address: Caminho do Meio, Bom Sucesso, 9064-512 Santa Maria Maior, Funchal,  Madeira island. Opening hours: 09:00 - 17:30 Telephone: +351 291 211 208/ 206 Price: Adults – €5.00, Children and youth (6-18 years) - €1.60, Children under 6 years - free Prices includes entry to the the museum, botanical garden, Lauro Bird Park and temporary exhibitions. Website: http://www.sra.pt/jarbot/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=77&Itemid=157&lang=en City Sugar Museum With sugar and the sugar cane industry being the primary resource which propelled Madeira   onto the world trade arena and single-handedly provided the pivotal trade resource for the island, it is only right that it be recorded in this fascinating museum. The museum is chronologically organised so as to provide the visitor with the complete historical timeline of Madeira ’s sugar industry. On display you will find a huge selection of items such as ancient documents, trade maps, tools and paintings. Also the earliest example of Funchal’s coat of arms is on display here, with the shield bearing four giant sugar canes so as to show the importance of the industry to the city. Christopher Columbus (a onetime resident of Madeira ) was also personally involved in the sugar trade before departing for The Americas, so it’s a must for anyone interested in the footprints of both local and global history. The museum offers access for people with reduced mobility and disabled. Address: Praça Colombo, 5, 9000-643 Funchal,  Madeira island Opening hours: Mon - Fri 09:30 - 17:30, closed - Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Telephone: + 351 291 236 910 Price: Adults – €3,86, Children (11-17 years) and Seniors- €1,86, Educational Services: Free For more info please visit their social media site:  https://www.facebook.com/Museu-A-Cidade-do-A%C3%A7%C3%BAcar-265758260456891/?fref=ts&__mref=message_bubble Museum of Comtemporary Art Located in the Fortaleza São Tiago in the Zona Velha of Funchal, the museum of modern art is considered one of the best in Portugal. The collection is entirely unique and local artists themselves have donated many of the pieces. Many of the artworks were acquired from the 1960’s upwards and are on constant rotation through the gallery. This is an amazing venue to see both Madeira ’s up-and-coming young artists, or those of regional fame throughout both Portugal and Madeira . Address: Fortaleza de São Tiago, Rua do Portão de São Tiago, 9060-250 Funchal,  Madeira island Opening hours: 10:00 – 12:30 & 14:00 – 17:30 Closed Sundays and public holidays Telephone: (+351) 291 213 340 Price: Adults – €2.50, Senior over 65 and youth with identity card - €1.00, group >7 people €2 each The Toy Museum With collection of toys on display from all over the world, this recently opened museum features toy cars, aeroplanes, dolls and toy soldiers. It has a cafe and a restaurant. Address: Rua da Levada dos Barreiros, 48, 9000-161 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: (+351) 919 922 722 Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday  10:00 – 20:00 & Sun 11:00 – 14.00 Closed Mondays and public holidays Price: Regular tickets €3, children (6-12 years) €1.50 Frederico de Freitas House Museum If you are interested in artifacts from the 15th and onwards, then this house museum is for you. A personal collection from owner of the house - Frederico da Cunha e Reitas, everything you see inside the museum was his personal favourites and worth a fortune. From glazed tiles and religious sculptures to neoclassical art pieces and furnitures, these items worth a fortune! Address: Calçada de Santa Clara, 9000-036 Funchal, Madeira island Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 to 17:30 Closed: Sundays, Mondays and public holidays.
                         Funchal is an excellent base for all kind of activities on the Madeira island. Head up to Monte for a exhilarating traditional Tobbogan ride, join a jeep safari tour to explore the amazing landscapes and inland, or simply be one with the nature on a canyoning or horse riding trip. Sea and ocean lovers can explore the beautiful coastline of Madeira on a boat or catamaran excursion, or join a diving excursion to explore the wonderful underwater world and its marine creatures. For wine lovers, there are some excellent wine lodges open for tasting sessions of fine Madeiran wines.    
                                 There are several beaches on offer in and around the island of Funchal to suite everyone – from sunseekers to the sandy coast ramblers and photographers. Most are located to the East of Funchal and are just a stroll from the bustling city centre. There are also several freshwater swimming pools, as well as the famous seawater Lido. Praia Formosa beach in Funchal Praia Formosa is the largest public beach in Funchal. It is located in West Funchal and is made up of four extremely sandy beaches which stretch for about 2km. Extremely well known in the area by both tourists and the island’s population, expect large crowds if you’re coming here for the weekend. The water has been awarded a blue flag for its water-quality and the area boasts facilities which are second to none. There are changing rooms, toilets, showers, a snack bar and even a skateboard ramp. Praia de Barreirinha in Funchal This beach is located in East Funchal near to the Zona Velha. With old buildings stretching down to the coast, a pebble bay and several seawater pools this is the perfect place to unwind after a stroll through the historic old town. The area is also sheltered which means the swimming conditions are perfect as there is relatively little wind. Barreirinha also has several facilities such as lifeguards, public toilets and several snack bars and restaurants in close proximity. Praia de Sao Tiago beach in Funchal Located next to the Forte Sao Tiago in the Zona Velhe this beautiful beach is less frequented by the public and offers the opportunity for visitors to relax. There are also shower facilities located nearby. The stunning backdrop of the old yellow fort provides the perfect vista that makes this little beach worth visiting. Funchal Lido swimming pools As well as its beautiful beaches, Funchal also has a series of purpose-built seawater lidos and swimming pools. The biggest of these is the Funchal Lido, which is located next to Praia Formosa. Here there is a huge array of activities from which to choose including a separate  children’s pool here and a selection of restaurants Ponta Gorda swimming pools Smaller that the Lido but equally as popular, the pool complex at Punta Gorda has two purpose-built seawater swimming pools as well as direct access to the sea. It also has a children’s pool and play area which is perfect for anyone wanting to unwind on a café chair and take in the horizon as the children splash about. Praia do Gorgulho beach in Funchal Praia do Gorgulho is a small pebble beach with is less frequented by the public. Although it has limited facilities, the beach offers a real chance to take in the vista of the Atlantic horizon away from the thronging crowds.
Restaurants: Cataloguing Funchal’s hundreds of restaurants is not an easy task! The city is packed full of them and offers everything from local eateries to five star gourmet fusion restaurants. Here, every single type of food is on offer from regional specialities to fresh fish and Italian to Chinese. A walk down any of the city’s streets will open up a whole host of possibilities for dining. From the old town to the Zona Velha, to the centre to the Marina it is impossible to leave your hotel without stumbling across at least ten different mouth-watering options for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Below are a few of the best-rated restaurants which cater for a wide variety of dining desires! With many restaurants located in the Old Town, the Marina and the city centre it is impossible to go out in Funchal without finding something that catches your eye. Most are reasonably priced and display their menus outside. There are also ample opportunities to eat everything from Chinese and Indian to Pizzas and hamburgers, and any of these establishments locate themselves close to tourist centres, guesthouses and big hotels.                                     Also, for those wanting to dine with the locals, you can check out any of the restaurants on Rua da Carreira, Rua das Murças, Rua do Bispo, Rua Queimada de Cima or Rua Queimada de Baixo for an extremely reasonably prices and entertaining evening. Fish and seafood restaurants in Funchal Doca do Cavacos Address: Rua Ponta da Cruz Piornais, 9000-103 Funchal, Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 762 057 Marisqueira o Barqueiro Address: Rua Ponta Cruz C Com Centromar  21, 9004-516 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 761 229 Bar Amarelo Address: Rua da carreira 187, 9000-042 Funchal, Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 961 798 Funchal Regional Specialities Restaurants Restaurante Mozart Address: Rua De Carlos No 50, 9060-051 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 215 580 O Tapassol Address: 62 Rua Dom Carlos, 9050-041 Funchal, Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 225 023 Dos Combatentes Address: Rua Ivens 1, 9000-046 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 221 388 O Portao Address: Rua Portao De Sao Tiago, 9060-250 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 221 125 Five Star Restaurants in Funchal Quinta Palmeira Address: Avenida do Infante, 17-19, 9000-012, Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 221 814 Fora d’Água Address: Ed. Océano Estrada Monumental Lido Park 9, 9000 Funchal, Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 766 992 Golden Gate Grand Café Address: 21 Avenida Arriaga, 9000- 065 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 234 383 Casa Madeirense Address: Estrada Monumental, 153, 9000-098 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 766 700 Nightlife: As tourism has steadily increased in Funchal, so too have the options available for what to do when the sun goes down. Usually, nightlife is a lot quieter during the weekdays, but Funchal certainly comes alive on a Friday and Saturday. With bars playing live music, late-night cafes and bars, and a selection of nightclubs, things can get more than a little lively. Be careful though, clubs don’t usually get going until around 1am so it’s advisable to pace yourself if you plan to start drinking early. Below are a few popular bars, but a walk down any street in Funchal, from the East to the West to the city centre will reveal many more! Café and Bars in Funchal Café Fora d’oras A nice mix of local’s and tourists in this watering hole, located in the lido area. They also serve lunch, dinner and host the occasional live band. Address: Rua da Casa Branca, 9000-001 Funchal,  Madeira island White House Pub Also located near to the Lido is the White House Pub. With a nice restaurant serving traditional cuisine and a large bar, it is the perfect place to unwind and watch the people strolling along in promenade. Address: Rua Casa Branca 65, 9000-001 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 761 450 Moynihan’s Madeira ’s only Irish bar is often frequented by British and Irish tourists. Expect a rowdy (and friendly!) crowd, reasonably priced drinks, live television sports and music late into the evening, Address: Rua Imperatriz D. Amelia n: 101, 9000-020 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 098 093 Bar do Museu Located in the city centre, inside Funchal’s wine museum, the Bar Do Museu is predominantly a wine bar, serving everything from local to international wines. There is something here for everyone, as prices range from affordable to expensive. You can also see wine in its various stages of fermentation set out around the bar. Address: Avenida Arriaga, 28 , 9000-064 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 204 600 FX Bar The FX Bar is a renowned live music venue in Funchal. It is a little on the expensive side, but has a very funky interior, a games room upstairs and plays excellent live music. There is also a club attached to the Bar and it can get pretty crowded at peak times. It also serves great food and everything from beer to cocktails, making it a great place to go for a great night out! Address: Largo do Fontes 1 a 4, Avenida do Mar, 9000 Funchal,  Madeira island Telephone: +351 291 226 225 Nightclubs and discos in Funchal Kool Klub Kafe With its extremely stylish decor, its extensive cocktail list and its laid back dance and electro sounds, Kool Klub Kafe is one of Funchal’s premier lounge clubs, often attracting big crowds at the weekends it plays a diverse selection of music from Dance, electro and RnB. Address: R. do Favilla 5, 9000 Funchal,  Madeira island Opening hours: 19:00 – 04:00 Chameleon Disco-Bar Chameleon is well known in Funchal for its diverse sounds. A very large clubs with floors arranged over two levels and a beautiful chill-out terrace, the chameleon also has a very good cocktails list and serves snacks throughout the night. Music here can range from house to techno to eighties and electronica, as it a big hit with the trendy young locals. Address: Rua Imperatriz Dona Amelia 119, Funchal, 9000-018,  Madeira island Opening Hours: 19:00 – 04:00 Copacobana Located inside the casino, Copacobana is the island’s premier Latin-inspired club venue. With DJ’s mixing salsa and modern beats. There is also an impressive aerobics show that takes place on the dancefloor before the club night begins! Definitely check this one out for a night to remember! Address: Casino Da Madeira , Avenida Do Infante, 9004-513 Funchal , \ Madeira island Opening Hours: 23:00 – 04:00 O Molhe The name of this club means “the Pier” in Portuguese. This is one of the busiest nightclubs in Funchal, located inside the old fort in the harbour. A heady mix of locals and tourists mean that this club is rammed at the weekends. It’s really the place to be in Funchal and worth a visit for serious clubbers wanting a serious night out. Address: Estrada da Pontinha 2, 9000-17 Funchal, Madeira island Opening Hours: 24:00 – 06:00 Telephone: (+351) 925 492 962 Vespa’s Vespa’s is another huge club in Funchal. This place has been drawing in the crowds for decades and plays host to big-named DJ’s at the weekends as well as local new talent. It also hosts live music acts and organises themed events throughout the summer months. Again, Vespa’s is another venue for serious clubbers as the music doesn’t stop till the sun comes up. Address: Avenida Sá Carneiro 7, Funchal, 9000-017  Madeira island Opening Hours: 24:00 – 06:00 Website: http://www.discotecavespas.com/eng/    
Festivals: Funchal certainly has its fair share of fiestas. Here, as opposed to other areas of  Madeira the city not only celebrates the importance of traditional patrons and saints, but also has many contemporary international festivals. Funchal has festivals for jazz, wine and even a festival celebrating the city itself. It is also home to the mighty Carnival, which is close to second only to the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro in its magnitude. A trip to the Funchal Carnival is a chance to really immerse yourself in local sound, colour and spectacle, as garish dancers run through the streets and huge float parades pass through the town. Whether it’s a religious festival or simply on that celebrates a more artistic aspect of modern life, expect the same ground rules – eating, drinking, partying and dancing till dawn! Whenever you choose to visit Funchal, there’s usually always something being celebrated by both tourists and locals throughout the year. Carnival in Funchal The  Madeira Carnival is the biggest of its kind in Europe. It’s really not to be missed, and if you’re staying in Funchal during Carnival, there is no way it can be avoided either! The opening parade takes on the Saturday and is a feast of colour, sound and movement. It’s a truly amazing chance for photographers to capture the happy madness that is Carnival. The second parade takes place on a Tuesday and floods the streets with an equal cacophony of sound and colour. Both parades have a route through the city centre, ending up at the Municipal Square. Do not miss this! When: usually between last week of February to early March Funchal Flower Festival This fiesta takes place ever two years and is a celebration and exposition of the flowers of Madeira . Filling the centre of Funchal with floats displaying the flora both cultivated and imported to the island. Here, giant floats are filled with garlands, and fresh cut flowers line the streets of the city. Also there are a great many performances from local folk musicians. The fiesta ends with everyone in Funchal gathering in the Praça do Município square and building a giant wall of flowers for hope and protection in Funchal through the coming year. When: around the 3rd week of April Festas da Sé & Festa dos Santos Populares This predominantly religious group of festivals which takes place in the parish of Sé last for the best part of June. Predominantly local festivals, they celebrate Santo Antonio (St. Antony), São João (St. John) and São Pedro (St Peter). Here, expect a great deal of dancing, local music, fireworks and religious procession carrying the images of the saints through the streets. These religious festivals are often a fantastic chance to observe the local culture away from the tourists and given their subjects are often no less crazy than other more contemporary festivals. Food (the local delicacy of the black-scabbard fish has to be tried!) and wine are served throughout on market stalls, but beware, these locals party pretty hard, so don’t expect to sleep before the sun comes up. When: normally between 12 th – 19 th June Atlantic Fireworks Festival This amazing fireworks festival that sees competing Madeira n cities pitch themselves in a pyrotechnic battle to outdo each other. Head down to the Funchal harbour and grab a seat at one of the many bars for a chance to see some truly mind-blowing fireworks displays. Also, the festival plays host to many Madeira n musicians which play at cafes and squares all through Funchal. The fireworks displays take place every Saturday and are accompanied by regional music played by a live orchestra. When: June Feast of Our lady of Monte This island wide festival for the patron saint of Monte is another big event in Funchal’s calendar. Here, expect see the crowds trailing through the streets in a citywide procession complete with fireworks, music, dancing and drinking. A great opportunity to sample a little local culture, a little local food and more than a little local music! When: 14th – 15th August Madeira Wine Festival The island’s wine industry is celebrated throughout the city of Funchal with grape treading, food stalls, wine-tasting and local music. Expect some fierce competition from the locals, as regional vineyards and producers head to the city in a bid to outdo each other. When: usually only the first week of September                      The Christmas Lights and New Year’s Eve Fireworks From late November until January, the streets of Funchal are draped in a multitude of twinkling lights. This beautiful spectacle draws in crowds from all over the island. Bars, cafes and restaurants glow red, blue and green and the city’s squares and hung with colourful motifs regaling the island’s history. They really go all-out in Funchal. The celebrations encompass Christmas and New Year’s Eve and go right up to epiphany on January 6th . Musicians play on open-air stages and food vendors serve wine and local delicacies to the thronging crowds. The celebrations reach a climax on New Year’s Eve when a chain of fireworks are set off all at once from fifty locations across the city. This event is so huge that the 2006’s fireworks display entered the Guinness World Records. When: 25the November – 6th January