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Things to do in Funchal

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
“Located in the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, the museum houses two permanent collections, one of minerals and another of contemporary sculpture from Zimbabwe. In the eighteenth century, the English Consul Charles Murray bought a property south of Monte Church and turned it into a beautiful estate, called "Quinta do Prazer". The property was acquired in 1897 by Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues and, inspired by the palaces he had seen on the banks of the River Rhine, he built a house with the characteristics of a palace. This was later converted into a hotel called the Monte Palace Hotel. This hotel was visited by important national and foreign citizens who appreciated and enjoyed this lovely resort with its breath taking views of Funchal and the natural landscape that surrounded it. In 1943, Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues passed away. Unfortunately, his family did not pursue his project, which led to the closure of the hotel and its passing into the hands of the financial institution "Caixa Económica do Funchal". In 1987, the financial institution sold the property to the businessman José Manuel Rodrigues Berardo, who in return, donated it to the foundation which is named after him. Thus was born the Monte Palace Tropical Garden. Since then, the Tropical Garden has been enriched with native exotic plants from various countries (Cycads and Proteas from South Africa, azaleas from Belgium, heather from Scotland, etc.), as well as native plants from the Madeira Laurisilva forest (ferns, cedars, laurels, etc.). The ponds were also enriched with the introduction of Koi fish, presenting visitors with a splendid variety of colours Tours of the garden are enriched with ostentatious stone ornamentation, windows, niches, pagodas, Buddhas, lanterns and sculptures from different parts of the world, cultures and eras. There is also a collection of tiles (15th to 20th centuries), a panel composed of 166 glazed terracotta tiles, entitled "The Adventure of the Portuguese in Japan" and a group of 40 panels depicting the History of Portugal, including the most important events in the Kingdoms and Republics.”
  • 30 locals recommend
Farmers Market
“Farmers' Market open daily (closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday all day). Great place to buy fresh fruit (including tropical local fruits like papaya or anona), vegetables and fish. If you decide to buy something, always ask for the price in advance.”
  • 29 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“Lots of shops to choose from. Not far from the centre of town. Nice restaurants there too.”
  • 28 locals recommend
“With more than 345,000 visitors per year, the nationally acclaimed botanical gardens host some of the worlds most luxurious plants. The garden is divided into six areas, Madeiran indigenous and endemic species, arboretum, succulent plants, agro-industrial plants, medicinal and aromatic plants as well as palm trees and cycads. The garden opened to the public in 1960, after being previously part of an estate owned to the family of William Reid. ”
  • 27 locals recommend
“ "The place where everything happens", that is their slogan. And it's pretty much true. You can have a drink, dance, eat or play on the slot machines. Whatever is your taste, you can have a fun night out at this place.”
  • 23 locals recommend
Mobile Phone Shop
“You can walk to the nearest shopping center. It will just take you 7min to get there.”
  • 26 locals recommend
Place to eat
“See how Funchal used to be in the Old Funchal Quarter, Great restaurants, bars, narrow streets and the famous painted doors”
  • 24 locals recommend
Night Club
“Having several discotheques in the same location is perfect for young people. Vespas has been the hottest ticket in town since 1980.”
  • 12 locals recommend
“The first and most prominent theater in the island. It'll take you about 10min to get there by foot”
  • 15 locals recommend
“If you don’t go for the museum go for the garden. A very nice and cosy retreat inside the city center. A well taken care garden and you can also enjoy a coffee or a drink in a peaceful place with amazing views of Funchal. ”
  • 16 locals recommend
“A nice place to eat fresh fish and seafood, not cheap but with very good food!”
  • 20 locals recommend
“One of the oldest (16th. century) and most well preserved museums in Funchal. It houses collections of paintings, sculptures, jewellery and garments.”
  • 14 locals recommend
“Great coffee spot with a fantastic ocean view. Perfect to watch sunset. Serves also as a bar at night. Trendy place in Old Town. Great light meals.”
  • 16 locals recommend
“Enjoy a summer concert in the park, watch the fire works on a saturday evening in June. Watch the cruise ships coming in to port or just relax on the grass and breathe in the fresh air.”
  • 9 locals recommend
Botanical Garden
“O Jardim Botânico da Madeira é um bonito jardim composto por lindas flores e bem cuidadas e por enumeras árvores.”
  • 7 locals recommend
“Vale a pena visitar a linda catedral do Funchal. --- It is worth visiting the beautiful cathedral of Funchal.”
  • 8 locals recommend

Top restaurants

“A nice place to eat fresh fish and seafood, not cheap but with very good food!”
  • 20 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
“One of Funchal's best seafood restaurants is Doca do Cavacas, which juts out of the volcanic rock like an ocean-going liner. The semicircular glazed dining room provides 180-degree Atlantic vistas”
  • 12 locals recommend
“Based in a 200 year old building that once served as a salt warehouse, it was repurposed as a restaurant, presenting itself as a new gastronomic option with contemporary cuisine inspired in the traditional Portuguese gastronomy, where the regional influence is naturally present. Rated 9,1/10 on TheFork (TripAdvisor).”
  • 13 locals recommend
Portuguese Restaurant
“Traditional português food, plentiful portions of great food at great prices.”
  • 10 locals recommend
Portuguese Restaurant
“Open until late €€€ Old town area good for a after dinner drink in the area”
  • 8 locals recommend
“Over 100 years old, it's one of the oldest cafés in downtown Funchal. Best known for its homemade Italian Gelato (available in 32 delicious flavours, with no preservatives or additives). Rated 9,0/10 on TheFork (TripAdvisor).”
  • 6 locals recommend
“AMAZING food! It doesn't look like much on the out side but if you're looking to eat where all the locals eat this is the place to go!”
  • 5 locals recommend
“Um restaurante à la carte, próprio para uma refeição servida com alta qualidade e requinte, onde se oferece comida Madeirense e Internacional. Quarta Feira - Jantar Romântico à luz das velas Sexta Feira - Jantar Noite Madeirense ”
  • 1 local recommends

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