Funchal is the largest city in Madeira. Although it is not as popular as the rest of the island, it is worth a visit. I tell you in this blog, what are the things to do in Funchal!
Things to do in Funchal
Visit Mercado dos Lavradores
Wherever I go, I like to visit markets as it is a good way to discover the culture of a country. The Mercado dos Lavradores market is open from Monday to Saturday. Do not miss: women in traditional clothes selling flowers in front of the market as well as the part of the market where fish are sold. On the photo below, you can see the black saber which is a fish widely consumed in Madeira. A good way to see what is in the Atlantic Ocean;) In addition, with its spring climate throughout the year, there are all kinds of fruits. The banana for example is a benchmark fruit of the island of Madeira because it grows everywhere !!
Santa Maria Street
As you walk through the city center, you will likely cross the busy streets of Santa Maria. You will notice that many doors are decorated with street art. This is a project started in 2010: artE pORtas abErtas. In the evening, the street gets busy and you will find many bars and restaurants to go out!
Take the cable car to Monte and return by toboggan to Funchal
What you should not miss in Funchal is to go up to Monte. To go up, you can go by car or cable car. We were walking in the city, so we decided to go by cable car to Monte. To return, you can walk ( but it’s a very long way), take the cable car again or descend by toboggan. The toboggan is one of the things to do in Madeira! Believe it or not, it was public transportation in the 19th century! So cool! We cried with laughter!
Have a walk the Funchal Botanical Garden
You will certainly be very much in nature in Madeira, between hikes and other outdoor activities but if you have time, stop at the Funchal botanical garden. It is truly magnificent and brings together plant species unique in the world! Do not miss either next door: the Church of Our Lady of Monte!
Afternoon tea at the Belmond
J’ai déjà écrit un article sur le Belmond à Madère où nous avons séjourné. Si vous ne dormez pas la-bas et que vous ne savez que faire à Funchal, ne soyez pas timide et allez-y pour prendre un afternoon tea. Il est très célèbre à Madère. S’il fait beau, asseyez-vous sur la terrasse et profitez de la vue sur Funchal tout en savourant les pâtisseries locales!
Visit CR7 museum of Cristiano Ronaldo
Did you know that the famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is from Madeira? The island is very proud of it and even the airport bears its name. Also makes sense that there is a Cristiano Ronaldo museum in Funchal. The CR7 Museum is a must visit for all football fans! The museum tells the story of Cristiano Ronaldo and exhibits all his trophies. Above the museum, there is also the Cristiano Ronaldo hotel!
Eat in a museum at the Nini Andrade Silva design center
On our last evening, Chloé and I went to dine at the Nini Andrade Silva design center. Nini Andrade Silva is one of the most prestigious interior designers in the world and was born in Madeira. In the Nini Andrade Silva design center, she created a space with a permanent exhibition showing her work but also telling the history and culture of Madeira Island and its close link with the sea. The design center also has a shop, a cafeteria-lounge and a restaurant with the signature of chef Julio Pereira who has had the passion for many years of creating modern interpretations of regional and classic cuisine from the Atlantic Ocean.
Madeira Atlantic Fireworks Festival
If you visit Madeira in June, do not miss the Atlantic Festival, it is a set of initiatives spread throughout the month of June, with an emphasis on pyromusical shows. For example, you can watch the fireworks directly from the port or from the Belmond bar (sipping Madeira wine :))
As you can see, there are quite a few things to do in Funchal. A visit of one or two days is enough to see everything because it is not very large. Perfect between two visits to the island!