Funchal Travel Guide
Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro - Located just 5km northeast of Funchal is this mansion in private hands. Though you can't enter the house, the gardens are open and are superb. A colourful cornacopia of flora that are at their best from December till April.
Eira do Serrado - The island is full of natural attractions and this 1,175 deep crater is part of an ancient volcano. as the ground is very fertile, there are farms in the crater. This is called the islands belly button. This might ring true and have had a hand in the islands birth. Situated about 16km northwest of Funchal.
Monte - These stunning gardens are beautifully situated high above the town, there is also a pretty church where they buried the last Austrian-Hungarian emperor, Karl. Try the bizarre basket ride down to the town, which is a combination of fear and stunning views.
Se Cathedral - Rua de Se, This has the honour of being the 1st cathedral in Portugal and was constructed in 1485. They did a fine job and it has shades of Rome while the Moors also have influence. Anyway a lovely building which shouldn't be missed.
House Jazz Restaurant A new fusion restaurant close to the theatre in Funchal. A brilliant chef, Alexander Dementyev, has a short menu on a la carte but it is food prepared with great skill and is wonderful. The staff, headed by Tatiana (the architect and manager of House Jazz) are all young, smart and polite. Truly a worthwhile eating experience in a small restaurant. There is live Jazz on Fridays. Best to book.
submitted by Charles Watson, 12/03/09
Madeira Shopping - You have to go out of town for this shopping experience. Just take the No 8 bus to Santa Quiteria and enjoy this modern mall with a cinema complex, a good mixture of shops and a food court.
Mercado dos Lavradores - Rua Dr. Fernao Ornelas. Translated to the Workers Market, this undercover market is based near the old town. The charming building has been here for over 60 years. For fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, Crafts and bric a brac. You should find a locally made present here, or just settle for a bottle of Madeira.
Souvenir Machim - Edificio Paz, Rua do Ribeirinho. If you can't find somehthing suitable at the market, then this is your best bet. Stocking traditional Madeiran made items including Linen, wickerwork, clothing and accesseries.
Bazar do Povo - Largo do Chafariz. This Department store is the oldest on the island and prides itself in good service, variety of stock and reasonable prices. The decor hasn't changed much in 120 years and a visit here is a shopping experience.
Funchal Restaurants and Bars
O Tapassol - Rua Dom Carlos 162. Fresh fish is this restaurant speciality, as at most island restaurants. The first floor of this old building is great for the views, food, service and the warm atmosphere. Easy to find in the city centre or just follow the crowds.
Reid's - In the luxurious Reid's Palace Hotel overlooking the bay. This is a Funchal institution and a visit to Madeira would not be complete without settling into one of the big wicker chair and enjoying high tea whilst munching on cucumber sandwiches (Without the crust), or just sip on Madeira at the cocktail bar.
O Almirante - Largo do Poco 1. Just relax on the terrace with the soothing sound of water coming from the fountain and watch the passing parade. Before they throw you out, you better order a cooling drink and maybe try some of their delicious snacks, which could easily double as a full meal.
The Vagrant - This is a floating restaurant on the seafront and was once owned by the Beatles. They try not to go over the top on that fact and serve tasty fresh sea food. Of course the twinkling lights in the background lend to a romantic alliance.
Funchal Bars & Clubs
Molhe da Pontinha - This is a great nightclub not only for it's spectacular view of the town, but it's housed in a 16th century fortress. Top DJs get the party hopping with funk, house and chart hits. The bar is lively and stocks a fair selection of beverages.
Vespas - Get your moped down to Avenida Sa Carneiro and experience one of the best and most popular club on the island. The best DJs guest here and the atmosphere is, Party< Party< Party. They open till the early hours and don't allow trainers to be worn. (Got no idea why)
Casino and Nightclub - Located in the Casino Park Hotel. The casino element boasts of the table games of Roulette, Blackjack and the usual table games. There are also some slot machines to keep you busy. The club element is cabaret at the unoriginally named. Copacabana, where you can enjoy lavish costumes and dancing. If that all gets too much then retire to the bar!
- Reids Palace Hotel 139 Estrada Monumental Funchal 164 Rooms
- Quinta Jardins do Lago Hotel 29 Rua Dr.João Lemos Gomes Funchal 40 Rooms
- Suite Hotel Eden Mar 2 Rua Do Gorgullo Funchal 146 Rooms
- Estalagem Casa Velha do Palheiro Hotel Palheiro Golf Goncalo Funchal 37 Rooms
- The Cliff Bay - Porto Bay Hotel Estrada Monumental, 147 Funchal 201 Rooms
- More Funchal Hotels
Know a thing or two about Funchal ?
Please share your experiences and tips with your fellow travellers.
Your personal details and email address won't be published.
Fields with an * are required. Errors will be indicated in red