Funchal travel guide

Photo of Monte Palace Tropican Garden. Funchal.
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Introduction to Funchal

Funchal, Portugal - When thinking about this municipality and city in Madeira Island, Portugal, images of the spectacular Monte Palace Madeira, CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo Museum, and Funchal Cathedral instantly come to mind. As you explore beyond these attractions and read through this Funchal travel guide, you'll find that this city in Portugal is more than what we see in books and social media. Funchal, and its community of more than 111.9 thousand people, is a culturally-rich and diverse travel destination offering plenty of unforgettable experiences.

Easily accessible from Cristiano Ronaldo International airport, Funchal is the perfect base for a memorable and unique vacation in Portugal any time of the year.

You'll learn more fascinating facts about Funchal as you explore this spectacular city.

Traveling to Funchal is especially rewarding for anyone eager to connect with locals and learn more about their unique culture and traditions.

Get ready to explore and learn more about the city of Funchal below!

History of Funchal

Funchal has a rich history that dates back to the early 15th century. It was founded by the Portuguese navigator João Gonçalves Zarco in 1421, who named it after the fennel ('funcho' in Portuguese) that was abundant in the area.

Funchal quickly grew into a significant trading port for sugar, wine, and later, Madeira embroidery. It was elevated to city status by King Manuel I in 1508, becoming the capital of Madeira island.

The city has seen various historical events, including being the refuge for British troops during the Napoleonic Wars and the place where Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer, resided for a while. Throughout the centuries, Funchal has maintained its charm and historical significance while evolving into a vibrant and cosmopolitan city.

Top services in Funchal

Here on this page, you'll find all the top travel services in Funchal, Portugal. Check out the cheapest and most popular flights offered by 359 airlines that fly to Portugal. Browse the 333 top-rated tours available to you in Funchal. Compare the rates and services of the 6 types of places to stay in Funchal and the 15 car rental companies offering CDW insurance coverage. We make it easy for you to find and book the top services in Funchal.

Enjoy the convenience of planning and booking every detail of your trip to Funchal, including flights, accommodations, activities, and more, in one place. Book with Guide to Europe to get an expertly-curated and fully-customizable itinerary and experience the best of Funchal on your vacation in Portugal.

Get answers to questions about the routes and services offered in Funchal from our free 24/7 customer support. Continue reading to learn how you can enjoy a stress-free and memorable vacation in the city of Funchal!

Best time to visit Funchal

The best time to explore Funchal, Portugal is typically between April and June, when the weather is pleasantly warm, with temperatures averaging between 20 and 25°C. During this period, the city is less crowded, allowing for a more relaxed and intimate experience. July and August, while warmer, often see an influx of tourists which can lead to crowded sites and higher prices. The month of December is also a great time to visit, as Funchal hosts the renowned Madeira Christmas and New Year’s Festivities, offering stunning decorations, festive food markets, and spectacular firework displays. The Flower Festival in April is another unique event that shouldn’t be missed. Funchal bursts into bloom with vibrant floral displays lining the streets, parades, and exhibitions. However, the city's subtropical climate ensures it's a year-round destination, with mild winters ideal for those looking to escape colder climates. Regardless of when you travel, Funchal's welcoming atmosphere and rich cultural offerings promise an unforgettable experience.

Weather in Funchal

Funchal, the capital city of Portugal's Madeira archipelago, is known for its mild subtropical climate. The city enjoys moderate temperatures all year round, with average highs ranging from 18°C in the coldest months (January and February) to 26°C in the hottest months (August and September). Rainfall is spread throughout the year but is most significant from October to April, with November being the wettest month.

Summers in Funchal are typically warm and dry, while winters are cooler and wetter, although still quite mild compared to many other European destinations. Despite the rainfall, Funchal boasts an average of 7-9 hours of sunshine daily throughout the year. The city's coastal location can bring occasional sea breezes, which can be refreshing during the warmer summer months.

When packing for a visit to Funchal, it's advisable to prepare for a range of weather conditions, as temperatures can vary significantly between the city and the surrounding mountain areas. Lightweight clothing is suitable for summer, while a raincoat or umbrella could be useful in winter or during the wetter months.

Local tip for visiting Funchal

Funchal, the capital city of Madeira, Portugal, is best explored through its impressive network of levadas. These are narrow, man-made water channels that have been used for centuries to distribute water from the wet regions in the north to the drier, sunnier parts of the island. A local insider tip is to hire a guide and take a levada walk. These walks offer a unique perspective of the city, traversing through lush landscapes, vineyards, and offering breathtaking panoramic views. Although some popular levada walks are well-marked, many are not, and can be tricky to navigate. Hence, hiring a local guide not only ensures safety but also enriches the experience with historical anecdotes and insights into local flora and fauna. Remember, unlike other tourist attractions in Funchal, levada walks are less crowded and offer an authentic experience of the city's unique landscapes.

Learn more about Portugal

There are many reasons to visit the city of Funchal, but a trip to Portugal needs no explanation.

Exploring Portugal, which spans 92,212 square kilometers, is an adventure of a lifetime. Portugal offers an abundance of truly magical places to discover, including cultural, historic, and scenic sites of significant value to both locals and travelers.

As the home country of many world-famous attractions like the spectacular Monte Palace Madeira, CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo Museum, and the Funchal Cathedral, you’re all set for a unique and memorable travel experience in Portugal.

Click or tap the link below to discover more about Portugal.

What to see in Funchal

Photo of aerial drone view of Camara de Lobos village panorama ,Funchal.

Funchal has something for everyone. Regardless of age and interest, travelers have the best time exploring every corner of the city.

Read on to discover the best places to visit and find out what to expect from the city of Funchal.

Top attractions in Funchal

Home to plenty of top attractions, Funchal is more than just a wonderful city in Portugal. Funchal is a travel hotspot and a great place to experience a mix of the traditional and modern culture of Portugal.

One fascinating sight in Funchal is the unforgettable Monte Palace Madeira. Considered one of the most well-known attractions in the city, a visit to this spectacular travel destination is something you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Funchal. This remarkable attraction is located at Caminho das Babosas 4 e 4A, 9050-541 Funchal, Portugal and is open for visitors Monday - Sunday, between 09:30-18:00.

For more information about what you can expect during a vacation in Portugal, check out our list of top attractions in Funchal below. Discover the best places to visit in Funchal, including the fascinating Monte Palace Madeira, CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo Museum, Funchal Cathedral, Miradouro Pico dos Barcelos, and Jardim Municipal do Funchal.

Map of attractions

Use this map to find the location of all top attractions in Funchal.

Things to do in Funchal

Photo of traditional house in Madeira, Funchal ,Portugal.

Enrich your travel experience in Funchal by joining tours and activities. Funchal offers an exciting selection of top-rated tours and it's easy for every traveler to find something to their liking. Take the opportunity to catch the top attractions on a tour, stay active with an adventurous excursion, or learn something new about the local history or culture of the city.

Discover the most popular experiences in Funchal below.

Most popular experiences in Funchal

Traveling is all about gaining new experiences. You can have that and more in the city of Funchal.

Funchal offers numerous tours and activities for travelers to choose from. Ports of Call Tours, Bus Tours, and Guided Day Trips are only a few of the many experiences you can book for your holiday in Portugal.

Explore the most popular experiences you can join in Funchal by clicking on one of the top-rated tour categories below.

Top tours & tickets starting in Funchal

Travelers in Funchal can choose from 16 categories of top-rated tours and tickets. If you're curious about what the most frequently recommended experiences in the city are, Shore Excursions is the answer.

The most popular tour in Funchal is the fantastic Levada da Referta - Castelejo. By joining this highly recommended tour, travelers get to learn more about what makes Funchal one of the best travel destinations in Portugal.

Funchal also offers plenty of budget-friendly tours and activities that promise travelers a unique experience in the city. The affordable Madeira Airport Shuttle Transfer one way is the cheapest tour in the city, and is a popular Bus Service. This experience costs around 9 EUR and allows travelers a great time in Funchal. Around 13 travelers have given this activity an average rating of 4 stars out of 5.

Secure an unforgettable experience for your upcoming trip to Funchal and book a top-rated tour in the city. Discover the best tours, activities, and tickets in Funchal below.


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Search for things to do in Funchal

Discover the best things to do in Funchal. Choose from 333 fantastic tours and activities available in the city.

Select your dates and number of travelers in the search bar below to receive the best recommendations for your vacation in Funchal. Click the green button to view your options.

What to eat in Funchal

Funchal, the beautiful capital of Madeira, offers a rich culinary scene ranging from traditional street food to high-end restaurants. The Old Town is renowned for its local cuisine with the narrow, cobbled streets lined with family-owned taverns and cafes. Here, you must try ‘Espetada’, a traditional dish of beef skewers seasoned with garlic and salt, grilled over wood or charcoal. Another local favourite is ‘Bolo do caco’, a round bread served with garlic butter, often accompanied by ‘Picado’, a dish of diced beef or pork. For seafood lovers, the ‘Lapas grelhadas’, grilled limpets, are a must-try. If you want to explore fine dining, head to the Lido area where you will find an array of high-end restaurants serving exquisite Madeiran and Portuguese dishes. The best places to eat in Funchal often offer ‘Poncha’, a typical Madeiran drink made from sugar cane rum, honey, sugar, and lemon or orange juice. Remember, it's customary to tip 10% of your bill in Funchal, so keep this in mind to show appreciation for the wonderful culinary experiences the city offers.

Best shopping in Funchal

Funchal, the capital of Madeira, Portugal, is a shopping haven featuring a rich blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern fashion. Renowned for its bustling markets, boutique stores, and shopping centers, Funchal offers a unique shopping experience for every visitor. The central Santa Catarina Street, lined with international brands and local shops, is often considered the best place to go shopping in Funchal. Don't miss visiting the Farmers' Market (Mercado dos Lavradores) where you can buy fresh exotic fruits, vegetables, local crafts, and Madeira's famous embroidery and wickerwork. The Dolce Vita Funchal Shopping Centre and Forum Madeira Shopping Centre are perfect for those who prefer an extensive range of shops under one roof. For authentic souvenirs, the Old Town district is a must-visit. Here you can find Madeiran wine, hand-painted tiles, and traditional Portuguese pottery. When shopping, remember that most shops close for a siesta between 1pm-3pm. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's a good idea to carry cash for street markets. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and take home a piece of Funchal's unique charm!

Best free things to do in Funchal

Discover the best free things to do in Funchal, where the charm of Portugal shines without the need for a hefty budget. Begin your journey at the vibrant Mercado dos Lavradores, a bustling market filled with local produce, flowers, and culture. It's an excellent spot to immerse yourself in the local way of life. From there, meander through the scenic Santa Catarina Park, offering panoramic views of the city and the sea. A visit to Funchal would be incomplete without exploring its historic Old Town, a maze of narrow streets lined with painted doors and traditional eateries. For art enthusiasts, the Arte Portas Abertas project is a must-see. This public art initiative turned the streets into a stunning open-air gallery. Venture toward the majestic Funchal Cathedral, an impressive 15th-century gothic structure that stands as a testament to the city's rich history. Lastly, don't miss the chance to stroll along the Funchal Marina, a vibrant hub of activity where you can soak in the atmosphere and watch the sunset over the Atlantic.

Vacation packages in Funchal

Photo of botanical garden in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.

The best and easiest way to visit Funchal is by booking a vacation package. A vacation package includes everything you need for a worry-free and perfectly planned holiday in Portugal.

Booking a vacation package to Funchal means spending less time planning and more time enjoying your vacation. A vacation package includes everything from flight tickets, accomodation, and a rental car, to 24/7 personal travel support and a carefully planned travel itinerary. You can also take your vacation in Funchal to the next level by adding tours, tickets, and activities to each day of your trip.

Apart from providing you with everything you need to travel comfortably, your vacation package to Funchal is also fully customizable. In other words, you can add or remove services at your own convenience, to create the perfect vacation for you and your travel companions.

On our website, you will find unique vacation packages to Funchal, including flight tickets, hotel reservations, and recommendations for the best sightseeing spots, restaurants, bars, and activities.

Continue to the next section to learn more about what types of vacations you can book in the city of Funchal.

Popular types of vacations in Funchal

The most popular way to experience Funchal is by visiting the city as part of a road trip across multiple destinations in Portugal. However, it is also common for travelers to go to Funchal on both shorter and longer getaways, to get a break from everyday life, relax, and experience something new.

With Guide to Europe you can find road trips, city breaks, and weekend getaways in Portugal, ranging from budget to luxury. Whether you’re planning a multi-day road trip across Portugal, or you just want to enjoy a few days exploring Funchal, there is a vacation package for you.

Discover the most popular vacation packages in Funchal below.

Top vacation packages in Funchal

Travelers have a great selection of vacation packages to choose from in Portugal.

Get more Funchal vacation ideas on this site and discover the greatest selection of vacation packages in Europe. Scroll down to find the best vacation packages in Portugal that match your needs and budget.


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Find vacation packages in Funchal

Discover and compare vacation packages that take you to the wonderful city of Funchal.

The best flights, hotels, and activities in Funchal get fully booked quickly. Use the search tool below to find the best vacation packages in Portugal. Your customized holiday package to Funchal is only a few clicks away!

How to get to Funchal

To get to the city of Funchal the fastest way possible, travelers from outside Portugal can travel by plane. International travelers can fly to Funchal by booking flights with any of the 34 airlines that offer direct flights to Cristiano Ronaldo International airport. Some airlines that operate flights to Cristiano Ronaldo International airport are Delta Air Lines, Ryanair, United Airlines, Air China, and JetBlue Airways. Go to this page to compare all flights to Funchal.

To reach the city of Funchal, travelers can choose from various airport transfer options available at Cristiano Ronaldo International airport.

If you're looking for the best flight ticket deals to Funchal, knowing the cheapest travel time and which airlines offer the most affordable flights is helpful. Luckily, we have this information for you. Discover more about the cheapest and most popular flights to Cristiano Ronaldo International airport and Funchal below.

Find cheap flights to Funchal

Photo of panoramic view over Funchal, Madeira island, Portugal.

Over the years, more airlines have started offering flexible and direct flights to Funchal, making it one of the most accessible travel destinations in Portugal. However, it is usually cheaper to fly to Funchal, Portugal, in May.

The cheapest one-way flight to Funchal costs around 23 EUR and is offered by the airline Ryanair.

The cheapest round-trip flights to Funchal cost approximately 31 EUR in total. The departure flight leaves on November 16 and the return flight is scheduled on November 12. The flight time is around 2 hours per way.

The return flight is operated by Lisbon Portela.

Use the search tool below to find the cheapest flights to Portugal and the city of Funchal from your city of departure.

Popular flights to Funchal

Travelers visiting Funchal in Portugal can fly to Cristiano Ronaldo International airport directly from 1818 destinations worldwide.

The three most popular routes to Cristiano Ronaldo International airport and the city of Funchal in Portugal depart from Cristiano Ronaldo International airport in Funchal, Portugal, Albany airport in Albany, Australia, and Greenville–Spartanburg International airport in Greenville, the United States.

Travelers can fly to Portugal by choosing from from 2 weekly flight(s) from Funchal; from 1 weekly flight(s) from Albany; and from 2 weekly flight(s) from Greenville.

The airline that operates most flights to Portugal is Cambodia Airways. Cambodia Airways offers 2 scheduled flight routes to Portugal.

Discover the most popular flights to Funchal below. Click to view flights to Funchal, Portugal from destinations all across the globe.

Where to stay in Funchal

Photo of Monte Palace Tropical Garden with Waterfalls, Lakes and traditional buildings above the city of Funchal.

An essential factor to consider when traveling to a new place or country is accommodation. While visiting a city as fantastic as Funchal is always exciting, any avid traveler knows that accommodations often make or break the vacation experience.

The best place to stay in Funchal usually depends on travelers' needs and preferences. However, booking accommodation in downtown Funchal offers a ton of benefits.

Staying at the heart of the city allows you to easily walk to many of the top sights and dining areas in Funchal and cut down on your travel expenses. Centrally-located accommodations are also an excellent choice for travelers in Funchal planning to go on a quick tour or drive to the neighboring regions.

In Funchal, you'll find 6 different types of places to stay catering to every taste, budget, and reason for travel. For example, honeymooners or travelers on a romantic getaway in Portugal can experience the ultimate relaxation at one of the 5-star or 4-star hotels in Funchal. Travelers whose purpose is sightseeing can also find plenty of mid-range hotels to budget-friendly accommodations in the city, allowing access to many of the top attractions in Funchal.

Learn more about the most popular places to stay and the top-rated hotels in Funchal in the next sections.

Popular types of accommodation in Funchal

A trip to the fascinating Funchal, Portugal, means opportunities to relax at any of the 6 different types of places to stay in the city. Overall, travelers can choose from the following: 503 vacation rental apartments, 429 hotels, 130 cottages, 2 resorts, 0 guesthouses and 0 hostels. While each type offers varying amenities and rates, there is no denying that Funchal provides a great selection of lodging options ready to cater to every kind of guest.

Among all these choices available in the city, Pestana Casino Park, Hotel & Casino is one of the top picks of travelers in Funchal.

The resort is located at Rua Imperatriz Dona Amélia 55 and boasts many great utilities, including Air conditioning, Airport shuttle, and Gym.

Budget accommodations are also incredibly popular among travelers in Funchal. Cheaper alternatives allow travelers to save on accommodation costs and have more to spend on other experiences.

In Funchal, travelers looking for an economical yet top-rated place to stay usually choose Residencial Monaco. For approximately 29 EUR, guests can book a comfortable Double Room at this popular hotel.

Below is a list of all 6 different types of places to stay in Funchal. Select the type you prefer to compare options under each category and find the best accommodation.

Top hotels in Funchal

Hotels are travelers' go-to accommodations in Funchal for the unique experience they provide. So if you're the kind of traveler who prefers staying at hotels, you'll be glad to know that the city is home to around 1,064 hotels.

Besides offering basic amenities, many hotels in Funchal provide meals and extras, such as shuttle services, spa facilities, tour desks, and other services. But because not all hotels in Funchal are created equal, finding the best in the city often requires careful research. For your convenience, we've done all the research to make it easier for you to check out all the top hotels in Funchal.

Pestana Casino Park, Hotel & Casino offers the most luxurious rooms and is perfect for travelers looking for the ultimate 5-star hotel experience in Funchal. If comfort, convenience, and affordability are your non-negotiables, check out Hotel Porto Mare, the top 4-star hotel in the city. When all you need is a pleasant place to rest and sleep in between your activities in Funchal, the highest-rated 3-star hotel, Vila Lusitania, is for you.

Below is our hand-picked list of the best hotels in the Funchal. Travelers are encouraged to book early as these hotels quickly reach capacity.

Click the arrows or swipe the list to see each hotel's ratings, reviews, locations, rates, and more. You can read detailed descriptions of each hotel by clicking the cards.


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Search for accommodation in Funchal

Use the Accommodation Search tool below to find available stays in the city of Funchal on specific dates. This handy feature also allows you to compare prices and amenities.

Enter the preferred check-in and check-out dates. Then, select the number of guests and rooms. Click the Search button to find all the available hotels and places to stay in the city of Funchal that match the information provided.

Car rental in Funchal

Photo of seafront of Funchal.

Experience the freedom and convenience of a self-drive vacation by renting a car for your adventures in Funchal. Funchal has 15 car rental companies ready to provide you with the perfect vehicle for your travels.

Automatic cars for rent in Funchal start from 45.87 EUR per day or 321.08 EUR per week. The cheapest automatic rental car is a Citroen C1.

If you prefer driving a manual car, you’ll find multiple options for rent in Funchal, starting from 33.14 EUR per day or 231.99 EUR per week. The cheapest manual rental car is a Volkswagen Up.

Learn more about the different types of cars you can rent in Funchal, Portugal, below.

Popular types of car rental in Funchal

Discover and choose from our broad range of popular car rental options in the city of Funchal to find the best car for your travel plans. Travelers in Funchal can choose from small cars, medium cars, large cars, estate cars, mini vans, SUVs, convertibles, premium cars, camper vans, mini campers, vans, cars. All car rentals come with CDW insurance for added protection throughout your trip.

Renting a car is a popular choice among travelers who want to explore Portugal at their own pace. The most popular type of car rental among small groups of travelers in Funchal is a TopLevel.

Another very popular type of car to rent in Funchal is a TopLevel. This car is particularly popular among couples and solo travelers touring the city of Funchal.

Check out all options available in Funchal and book the car rental for your upcoming adventures in Portugal below.

Search for car rental in Funchal

Get ready to hit the road and explore the beautiful city of Funchal. Find the best deals on a variety of popular car rentals in Funchal, Portugal, or any other destination in Europe by using the search tool below.

Enter your pick-up and drop-off location, driver's age, and dates. Click the green button to view your options.

Popular destinations to visit after Funchal

Photo of Trekking from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo. Funchal.

The city of Funchal is just one of the many unique and scenic destinations you can visit in Portugal. So if you're itching for another cultural adventure, a relaxing road trip, an action-filled city break, or a memorable weekend getaway, know that Portugal has it all.

Portugal is calling, and the country is asking you to experience its culture and diversity to the fullest! Take the opportunity to visit other captivating places in Portugal that are as magical as the city of Funchal. The most popular travel destinations in Portugal are listed below. Click on the name of the place you want to explore next to learn more about it.

All the best destinations in Portugal

When unsure of where to go next, use the map below. This map shows the locations of all the best destinations in Portugal. Use the map to plan your trip and find the best routes.

Domestic flights from Funchal

Photo of tropical park in Funchal town with cruise ship on sea.

A taste of Portugal through a visit to Funchal can often reignite a traveler's passion for adventure. When this happens, the best way to satisfy this wanderlust is to book a domestic flight from Funchal to another remarkable destination in Portugal.

To begin your search for the best or cheapest flights from the city of Funchal to other spectacular locations in Portugal, jump to the last section of this travel guide.

Popular domestic flights from Funchal

Travelers in Portugal can catch flights to domestic airports in Faro, Vila Baleira, Porto, Lisbon, and Ponta Delgada. Domestic flights in Portugal are operated by 7 airlines: TAP Portugal, Ryanair, easyJet, Jet2, and Eurowings. There are around 10 scheduled flight routes operating to Funchal on a weekly basis.

From Funchal, travelers can book scheduled flights to 5 domestic destinations. The most popular flights from Funchal depart to many top-rated destinations in Portugal and are offered by TAP Portugal, Ryanair, and easyJet.

Search domestic flights from Funchal

Traveling to another city or region in Portugal? Use the flight search tool below to quickly find the cheapest one-way or round-trip flights from Funchal to different local destinations.

Enter all the necessary information and click or tap on the Search button to see a list of the available domestic flights in Portugal on the selected dates.

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