What to See in Funchal? 10 Unmissable Sights and Experiences for a Perfect Holiday

Looking for what to see in Funchal during your trip to Madeira Island? Funchal is a picturesque and wonderful city that offers attractions and experiences that you cannot miss to make the most of your vacation. From the best panoramic views and places with stunning stories, Funchal has a lot to offer.

In this article, we will share the top 10 must-see attractions and experiences in Funchal. Get ready to explore the best attractions that this charming city has to offer!

What to see in Funchal – Top 10 Attractions

The Farmers’ Market

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Photo by VisitMadeira

The Farmers’ Market is one of the most visited places by tourists in Funchal, as they can find a great variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and traditional crafts. This historic building was inaugurated in 1940 and has been a popular meeting point for locals and tourists. Additionally, the market offers an unparalleled shopping experience due to its beautiful tiles and Art Deco architecture. The Farmers’ Market is undoubtedly a must-visit stop during your trip!

The Botanical Garden

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Photo by VisitMadeira

If you love nature and want to relax in a peaceful environment, the Botanical Garden is the perfect place for you. Located in the heart of Funchal, this beautiful park is a true treasure for flora and fauna lovers. In addition, the Botanical Garden was founded in 1960 and houses a wide variety of exotic plants and trees from all over the world.

The Botanical Garden is open every day from 9am to 6pm. The park is located on Rua Dr. Freitas, near the city center, making it easily accessible. If you want to spend a quiet afternoon in a natural environment, be sure to visit the Botanical Garden of Funchal.

The Funchal Cathedral

what to see in funchal

Photo by VisitMadeira

The Funchal Cathedral is one of the most important and iconic churches in the city. Built in the 15th century, the cathedral is one of Funchal’s main tourist attractions. With its Gothic architecture, the cathedral is a true masterpiece, with an impressive façade and beautiful stained glass windows.

In addition, the Funchal Cathedral is open from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 12:30pm and from 3pm to 5:30pm, and on Saturdays from 9am to 12:30pm. The cathedral is located in the heart of Funchal, on Rua do Aljube. Be sure to visit this important historical landmark for Madeira Island and appreciate its architecture and sacred art.

Funchal Cable Car

Photo by VisitMadeira

Looking for a unique and spectacular experience in Funchal? The Funchal Cable Car offers a journey with a wonderful panoramic view. The cable car ride starts from the center of Funchal on the Avenida do Mar and goes towards Monte. Along the way, passengers can enjoy the view of the colorful houses and historic churches of Funchal. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a stunning panoramic view of Funchal with the Funchal Cable Car.

Fort of São Tiago

Photo by VisitMadeira

Located in the center of the city of Funchal, Fort São Tiago is one of the most important historical fortifications in the city. The fort was built in the 16th century with the intention of protecting the city against pirate attacks. Currently, visitors can explore its walls, towers, and casemates in this contemporary art museum while being dazzled by a magnificent view of Funchal. Additionally, Fort São Tiago is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 12:30 pm and from 2 pm to 5:30 pm.

The Funchal Promenade

Photo by VisitMadeira

Funchal Promenade is one of the liveliest and busiest areas of the city, located along the south coast of Madeira Island. The promenade is known for its restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as offering incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Along the promenade, visitors can find a variety of gastronomic options, from traditional Portuguese food to international cuisine. Additionally, there are several shops selling local products and handicrafts.

The promenade is especially popular at night, when the area comes to life with live music and entertainment. Tourists can enjoy a romantic dinner overlooking the ocean or simply stroll along the waterfront.

Cabo Girão

Cabo Girão Viewpoint is one of the highest points on the island of Madeira, situated about 580 meters above sea level. From this observation point, visitors can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding mountains.

Also, visitors can walk on a suspended glass platform that extends out from the cliff, providing a unique and thrilling experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Cabo Girão Viewpoint and enjoy breathtaking views of Madeira island. This is a unique and exciting experience that is sure to impress you.

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

what to see in funchal

Photo by VisitMadeira

Created by a Japanese businessman in the 1980s, the tropical garden of Palácio do Monte is the most impressive garden in Funchal. As such, it features a wide variety of exotic plants from around the world, including Japan, China and Africa.

In addition, Monte Palace is located on Estrada do Monte, in the center of Funchal. It can be reached by car or by cable car from Funchal, which offers panoramic views over the city and surrounding mountains.

Formosa Beach

what to see in funchal

Photo by VisitMadeira

Formosa is one of the main beaches in Funchal, located west of the city center. It consists of four separate beaches separated by small rock formations and has a total length of about 2 km. It is a volcanic black sand beach with clear and crystalline water. Praia Formosa is easily accessible by car or public transportation. It is a great option for a relaxing day at the beach, whether for sunbathing, water sports, or simply enjoying the natural landscape.

Doca do Cavacas

what to see in funchal

Photo by VisitMadeira

Doca do Cavacas is one of the most popular spots for locals and tourists in Funchal looking to enjoy the crystal clear sea and laid-back atmosphere. Access to the beach is through a small staircase carved into the rock, leading directly into the sea. Also, the beach is surrounded by a steep cliff, and the waters are calm and crystal clear, ideal for swimming and diving.

What to See in Funchal: Conclusion

In conclusion, Funchal is a city that offers a variety of attractions and experiences that should not be missed during a visit to Madeira. From the historic Farmers’ Market to the stunning panoramic views at Cabo Girão, there is something for everyone. The city’s natural beauty is showcased at the Botanical Garden and Monte Palace Tropical Garden, while the Funchal Promenade offers lively entertainment and gastronomic options. Funchal Cathedral and Fort São Tiago provide a glimpse into the city’s rich history, and the Funchal Cable Car offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

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