Published On: Fri, Jun 14th, 2019

10 Attractions To Visit In Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

By Anne Sewell

Funchal is the capital of the island of Madeira in the Azores Islands of Portugal, lying in the North Atlantic. The quaint city is hugged by hills and is well known for its historic architecture, beautiful gardens, checkered squares and the famous Madeira wine cellars.

The following are some of the best attractions to visit in Madeira and particularly Funchal, giving a feeling of the culture and identity of the city and well as offering incredible views and lush gardens.

  1. São Tiago Fortress, Rua do Portão de São Tiago, Funchal

Image by Alfred Koop from Pixabay

Construction began on the fortress in 1614 and it was intended to defend the city from attacks by privateers and pirates. The colossal building was completed in the mid-17th century and went on to have additions in the mid-18th century. The building now houses the Contemporary Art Museum with exhibits of Portuguese works.

  1. Madeira Botanical Garden, Caminho do Meio, Bom Sucesso, Santa Maria Maior, Funchal

Madeira Botanical Garden is a large and beautiful garden which opened in 1960. The area covered by the botanical garden was originally part of the estate of William Reid, who founded the famous Reid’s Hotel in Funchal.

  1. Farmers’ Market, R. Latino Coelho 38, Funchal

Immerse yourself in the Mercado dos Lavradores, a market selling fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and fish in the city. Besides its wonderfully fresh produce, the facade of the market features panels of attractive tiles which depict scenes of the region, all the work of local artist, João Rodrigues.

  1. Monte Palace Tropical Garden, Caminho do Monte 174, Funchal

This spacious, multi-level garden features exotic tropical flowers and trees, nestling among a number of ponds with swans and ducks and with African sculptures standing guard. Mother Nature’s Secrets is a mineral museum in the park, displaying minerals from Argentina, Brazil, North America, Peru, Portugal, South Africa and Zambia including precious and semiprecious stones.

  1. Funchal Cable Car, Av. do Mar e das Comunidades Madeirenses 32, Funchal

With the city being built on a hill, the Funchal Cable Car is a handy gondola lift used to transport locals and visitors from lower Funchal up to the suburb of Monte. The panoramic views of the city, over the sea and of the surrounding area are simply stunning.

  1. Museu CR7, Praça do Mar, Av. Sá Carneiro, Funchal

This one is for football fans! The Museu CR7 (CR7 Museum) is dedicated to the trophies of professional football player Cristiano Ronaldo. Besides displaying Ronaldo’s many trophies, there is a hotel built above the museum owned by a partnership of Ronaldo himself and the Pestana Group.

  1. Blandy’s Wine Lodge, Av. Arriaga 28, Funchal

A visit to the Madeira archipelago would not be complete without a taste of the emblematic Madeira wines. Blandy’s Winelodge offers regular wine tastings and tours that explore 200 years of Madeira wine-making. A premium tour covers the making of Madeira wine from the island’s grapes, the making of the wooden barrels and a visit to the winery’s museum. Wines can also be purchased to take home.

  1. Miradouro Pico dos Barcelos, Urbanização Pico dos Barcelos 1, Funchal

With its mountainous setting, Funchal has many viewing platforms or observation decks around the city. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city and its surroundings from the Miradouro Pico dos Barcelos. This observation deck is beautifully decorated with flowering plants and is located in an urbanization of the same name.

  1. Madeira Story Centre, Rua D. Carlos I 27, Funchal, Portugal

This interactive history museum is ideal for the whole family, giving hands on exhibits of the island’s history in a unique and modern building. Madeira Story Centre also features a bistro with a terrace offering refreshments and beautiful views of a park and the surroundings.

  1. Museu Quinta das Cruzes, Calçada do Pico, nº1, Funchal

The Museu Quinta das Cruzes is a museum, exhibiting 500 years of decorative arts including jewelry, ceramics and antiques. The museum is housed in an attractive villa from the 18th century, surrounded by pretty and lush gardens.

This is just a taste of everything the city of Funchal on Madeira Island has to offer. Make a plan to explore the city and its surroundings this summer.

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