Travel guide in Funchal
Best neighborhoods to stay in Funchal
Funchal is the capital of the Madeira archipelago and is home to some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Portugal. From the historic city center to the modern and trendy Lido area, there is a neighborhood for everyone.
Old Town - Zona Velha
Funchal's charming Old Town is a must-visit neighborhood. The narrow cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and colorful houses make for a picturesque setting. Zona Velha is home to some of the best restaurants, cafes, and bars, and is a great place to enjoy Madeira's nightlife. Stay in a traditional guesthouse or a modern hotel, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this neighborhood.
Lido is a modern and trendy neighborhood, located on the west side of Funchal. It's known for its luxurious hotels, sandy beaches, and trendy restaurants. Lido is a great place to stay if you're looking for a more upscale experience. Enjoy the sun and the sea, and explore the many attractions nearby, including the Madeira Casino and the Promenade.
São Martinho is a residential neighborhood located on the outskirts of Funchal. It's a quiet and peaceful area, with large villas and apartment buildings. São Martinho is a great place to stay if you're looking for a more relaxed experience, away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. The neighborhood is also home to the largest shopping mall in Madeira, the Forum Madeira.
Santa Maria Maior
Santa Maria Maior is a historic neighborhood located in the heart of Funchal. It's home to some of the city's most important landmarks, including the Cathedral of Funchal and the Municipal Garden. Santa Maria Maior is a great place to stay if you're interested in history and culture. The neighborhood is also home to some of the best restaurants and cafes in Funchal.
São Pedro is a charming neighborhood located just outside of Funchal's city center. It's a quiet and peaceful area, with narrow streets, traditional houses, and small gardens. São Pedro is a great place to stay if you're looking for a more local experience. Explore the neighborhood's many small shops and cafes, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this charming neighborhood.
Fun facts about Funchal
Funchal is the capital of Portugal's Madeira Island, and it's a beautiful city with plenty of history and culture. Here are some fun facts about Funchal that you might not know.
Named After Fennel
The name Funchal is believed to have come from the Portuguese word for fennel, which was abundant on the island when it was first discovered. The city was founded in 1424 and has been an important port ever since.
Home to the Largest Fireworks Display in the World
Every New Year's Eve, Funchal hosts the largest fireworks display in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The show lasts for around 10 minutes and involves more than 100,000 fireworks.
Birthplace of Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best footballers in the world, was born in Funchal in 1985. He started his footballing career playing for the local team, Nacional, before moving to Sporting Lisbon and eventually Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Famous for its Embroidery
Funchal is known for its beautiful embroidery, which has been a tradition on the island for centuries. The embroidery is done by hand and is often used to decorate clothing and household items.
Home to the World's Steepest Street
Funchal is home to Rua do Monte, which is considered the world's steepest street. It has a gradient of 21%, making it a challenging climb for even the fittest of people. However, there is a traditional way to descend the street, which involves sitting in a wicker basket and being pushed down by two men.
Discovering the hidden gems of Funchal
Funchal is a city that is filled with hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. From the stunning natural beauty of the coastline to the charming narrow streets of the old town, there is something for everyone in this city. Here are some of the hidden gems of Funchal that you should not miss.
Explore the Mercado dos Lavradores
This market is a feast for all of your senses. The vibrant colors of the flowers and fruits, the smells of fresh seafood and spices, and the sounds of the vendors shouting to attract the attention of the visitors. It's a great spot to buy souvenirs and try some local delicacies.
Take a Walk in the Rua de Santa Maria
This narrow street is one of the most charming in the city. It's filled with street art, colorful doors, and quirky shops and restaurants. It's the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll and some Instagram-worthy photos.
Visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden
This garden is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by visitors. It's a lush green oasis with exotic plants, waterfalls, and stunning views of the city and the ocean. It's a great spot to relax and unwind after a busy day of sightseeing.
Have a Drink at the Barreirinha Bar Café
This café is a local favorite and it's easy to see why. It's located on a cliff overlooking the ocean and it offers stunning views of the sunset. It's the perfect spot to have a drink and watch the world go by.
Take a Dip in the Lido Swimming Pools
These swimming pools are a hidden gem that is favored by the locals. They are located right on the ocean and offer stunning views of the coastline. It's a great spot to take a dip and enjoy the sunshine.
Family-friendly activities in Funchal
Funchal is a vibrant and beautiful city known for its warm weather, stunning coastline, and a variety of family-friendly activities. Whether you're looking for adventure, relaxation, or something in between, there's plenty to do for the whole family.
Visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden
This beautiful garden is located on the outskirts of Funchal and features a wide variety of plants and flowers from all over the world. It’s a great place to spend a day with family, exploring the gardens, and enjoying the stunning views of the city and the sea.
Explore the Old Town
The Old Town of Funchal is a charming and historic area with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and plenty of shops and restaurants. Take a stroll through the streets, stop for a coffee or an ice cream, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this authentic part of the city.
Swim with dolphins
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, swimming with dolphins is an unforgettable experience for the whole family. You'll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these intelligent creatures, learn about their behavior and habitat, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Visit the Madeira Story Centre
The Madeira Story Centre is an interactive museum that tells the story of Madeira's history and culture. It's a great place to learn about the island's past, from its discovery to modern times, and there are plenty of activities for kids, including a treasure hunt and a 3D cinema.
Take a cable car ride
The cable car ride in Funchal is a must-do activity for families. You'll get to see the city from a different perspective, enjoy the stunning views of the coastline and the sea, and have a chance to visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden at the top of the ride. It's a fun and exciting experience that everyone will enjoy.