Cradle of Portuguese occupation, Funchal has become one of the most visited destinations in the Madeira Archipelago. It is in this charming town with more than 500 years of history that many tourists decide to start the tour on the most charming island of the Atlantic. Not to be missed: the attractions include award-winning restaurants, historical monuments and activities that appeal from those who seek intense emotions to those who just want to relax during the visit.
With more than 100 thousand inhabitants, Funchal is famous for the receptivity of the residents. To try it out, visit the famous Farmers Market, one of the city’s main shopping centers. In addition to fresh and excellent quality foods, such as fruits, vegetables and fish, you can buy the beautiful flowers of Madeira, so famous that they have their own festival.
To get to know the main historical sites in a fun and dynamic way, the panoramic bus is an excellent alternative. It is a two-storey vehicle – the second is in the open – which runs through the main monuments in a 90-minute ride. It is a true journey through the history of the island and the city.
Green spaces are many and boast beauty, so much so that some consider Funchal as a “Garden City”. There are many parks, farms and gardens to know the varied flora of Madeira. Among the options are the Pico Fortress Garden, the Municipal Garden and the famous Monte Palace Tropical Garden, a lush place to enjoy the surrounding nature. The Botanical Garden can not be left out of the tour either, with access by the cable car, which guarantees a breathtaking view of Ribeira de João Gomes valley.
And speaking of nature, the offerings of the Madeiran capital are incredible: dive centers to explore the depths of the Atlantic, sport fishing, windsurfing and other water activities make the adrenaline run wild.
A walking tour through the Old Town – the historic center of Funchal can not miss in its script. One of the biggest attractions is to see the design of the painted doors, an open-air art gallery. Also, it is from here the exit to get to know Monte, the upper part of the city in an impressive 20 minute ride aboard the cable car. To return to Livramento, use the basket car for an exciting descent down a two-kilometer course.
The historic center is also perfect for finding the restaurants that serve various typical dishes of Madeira Island. Fresh limpets sprinkled with a little butter and lemon are one of the most sought after snacks, but do not forget the desserts, including various types of puddings, liqueurs and ice creams made with fruit from the island. After dinner, enjoy the lively nightlife of this region of the city and still taste the poncha, typical Madeiran drink in one of the different bars.