Funchal is the main city of Madeira, it is a beautiful city and there are many places to visit and you can find many places that you can visit and many outdoors activities to practice, and in this article you’ll discover what to do in funchal.
Have a look at our 10 choices on what to do in funchal.
1.Visit the churches
The most famous church of Funchal is Igreja da Sé and it’s located in the center of the city. It was built in the 16th century, which was during the peak of the Portuguese sea expansion era so the cathedral is a symbol of power and prosperity. There is also another church called Igreja do Carmo which is a very beautiful church. You can go to any of them for free and you can check the opening time here.
2.Explore the old part of the city(zona velha)
The old part of the city (zona velha) is a nice lively place. Most of the city’s local shops and local restaurants are located in this area. It is one of the busiest places in the city, especially if there are any cruise chips because most tourists go there. It is definitely worth it to go there and try out the food or check some local shops. If you want to see the Old Town of Funchal you should get a local guide, consider checking this high rated tour.
3.Look at the street art of Rua da Santa Maria
Also near the old part of the city you can see a lot of doors and walls with paintings, and if you see it it’s probably because you’re in Rua da Santa Maria where every painting in the walls is street art. Some of the art there is more than 200 years old, so you shouldn’t miss it.
4.Visit Mercado dos Lavradores
Mercado dos Lavradores is a local market where they sell flowers, fruits, vegetables, and fish in Funchal. You need to visit it so you see the colorful interior of the market and it’s sweet aura inside.The market is every day with the exception of Sunday or some holidays. It’s busiest day is Friday when you’ll likely see traditionally dressed ‘flower ladies’ selling the most beautiful exotic flowers. One last thing you should be aware of is that the prices at the market are quite high, especially for fruit since it’s all organic and it is a local business. Even if it is pricey, you will find fruit you’ve probably never seen before.
5.Have a ride on the Wicker Toboggan Sled
Riding on this Toboggan is a must do if you are coming to Madeira because it is a tradicional ride dating back to the 19th century, when wickerwork was a very important industry in Madeira. You go down the steep streets of Monte, it is probably the most unique tourist attraction in Funchal. Toboggans are pushed by two runners wearing traditional white costumes and straw hats, you can seat two people there(three if one of them is a child). The Toboggan ride in the traditional wicker basket is an old Madeira tradition. You should know that the ride starts in Monte so you will need to take a ride be it by car, bus or even cable car. The ride itself is 2km long, the descent takes about 10 minutes and brings you to Livramento, so not all the way back to Funchal.
6.Visit Madeira Story Center
Madeira Story Center is a museum showing the complete history of Madeira. From the volcanic origins to the history of Portuguese explorers and pirates and it even tells the most recent events on the story of the island. This museum is located near the bottom station of the Monte cable car. Open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM.
7.Visit the CR7 museum
Everyone knows CR7(Cristiano Ronaldo) and so this museum is to tell the story of the best football player in the world. As some may not know Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Madeira so his childhood was all in here. I wouldn’t say that this museum is a must see in Funchal, but if you are a massive fan of football and Cristiano Ronaldo and have half an hour to spare, you should go take a look inside. The museum is not focused on Ronaldo as a person, rather focussed on his achievements. It’s full of memorable things, some trophies and medals & life-size statues of Madeira’s all-time best football player. CR7 museum is located at the waterfront where the Cruise Ships land. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM.
8.Visit Madeira Botanical Garden
The Madeira Botanical Garden is one of the best gardens of the island so you should totally check it out. This is one of the biggest gardens with the most varied collection of plants from all over the world. The Botanical Garden is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM and can easily be reached. You can even use their cable car to go to Monte, you can go by car but it will be difficult for you to find a place to park.
9.Visit the Madeira Film Experience
The Madeira Film Experience is like what the name suggests. It’s a film that covers the entirety of the 600 years of the history and culture of the island. The film is a bit short since it is just 30 minutes but it’s available in several languages. You can find more information regarding the film on their website.
10.Use one of our tourist bus rides
Our tourist buses are a great way to see the main attractions just outside Funchal city center. You can book a 24h ticket , but if you have more time to go to Funchal , consider the 2 day option which costs a few euros more and makes it possible to easily visit the village of Câmara de Lobos and the cliffs of Cabo Girão.
Conclusion of the article
I hope that with this article you now know what to do in funchal. While you can get to these things by bus it is essential to rent a car, so why don’t you rent one of our cars at 7MRentACar. Also you should see this article so you know which levadas to walk or you can see some places you can stay overnight in Madeira island.