AnythingButWork Cities Food & Drink Gardening Health History Learning Science Society Travel Updates

A Guide to Funchal

Funchal, Madeira

The charming town of Funchal is the capital of Madeira and has long been a popular holiday destination. The area boasts a number of stunning natural attractions such as high volcanic peaks and picturesque parks and gardens for visitors to unwind in while soaking up Funchal's unique atmosphere.

Taking a walk around the town is the best way to get a feel for the history and culture of Funchal and the town features plenty of beautiful architecture to admire as well as decorative paving. The 15th century Convento de Santa is one of the town's most striking landmarks, while the 16th century Igreja do Colégio church can be found in the main square. Sé Cathedral is another attraction that should not be missed and features a stunning ceiling made from local wood that has gained the cathedral international fame.

Funchal features several well managed museums, which provide information on a variety of subjects ranging from religious art to local handcrafts. São Lourenço Palace provides a good example of mannerist architecture and includes a number of impressive highlights such as the Green Room, the Noble Salon, the Audience Hall and the surrounding gardens.

People who have a little extra time to spare while exploring Funchal can also take a trip to Eira do Serrado, which looks out over the deep crater of Grande Curral. The small village of Santana on the north coast of this enchanting island is also a good place to the traditional triangular shaped houses of the villagers.

Funchal is the perfect place to sample traditional Portuguese cuisine and there are plenty of excellent restaurants to be found scattered throughout the town, while the restaurants that line the port offer diners stunning views. Lovers of freshly caught seafood will be in their element here and one local dish that is just waiting to be tried is bacalhau, which is a type of salt-cured codfish.

Of course, paella featuring plenty of seafood as well as fresh vegetables can also be found on the menus of most local restaurants, while the traditional dish known as espada com banana is made with a mouth-watering combination of scabbard fish and bananas and comes served with potatoes with fresh salad on the side.

This part of the world is also famous for its delicious fortified Madeira wine, which makes the perfect accompaniment to most meals. People who want to learn how Madeira wine is made should pay a visit the Adegas de São Franciso.

This article was written for us by Sunvil. If you want to find out more about their specialist holidays to Funchal please take a look at Sunvil's Madeira holidays at


DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: Madeira

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: Madeira

by Christopher Catling
  Whether you're looking for the things not to miss at the Top 10 sights, or want to find the best nightspots; this guide is the perfect pocket-sized companion. Rely on dozens of Top 10 lists - from the Top 10 museums to the Top 10 events and festivals - there's even a list of the Top 10 things to avoid. The guide is divided by area with restaurant reviews for each, as well as recommendations for hotels, bars and places to shop. You'll find the insider knowledge every visitor needs and explore every corner effortlessly with DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: Madeira and its FREE pull-out map.
  More information and prices from: - US dollars - Canadian dollars - British pounds - Euros - Euros makes minimal use of cookies, including some placed to facilitate features such as Google Search. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to the use of cookies. Learn more here

Linked sites
Privacy Policy
Visit Europe
Garden Guide
British Isles
City Visit Guide
Job Skills
Copyright © 2006-2020 Alan Price and contributors. All rights reserved.