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Things to do in Funchal

Madeira’s capital, Funchal, is a modern city bursting with life. Filled with top-class restaurants, fascinating attractions and beautiful green spaces, you’ll find plenty to do here, day or night. Let’s take a look at some of the best places to visit and activities to try during your next holiday to Madeira.

Ride the cable car

There’s no better way to start your visit to Funchal than with a ride on the cable car, as it offers fantastic views of the city. At the highest point, you’ll be 560 metres above Funchal and will be able to see the stunning bay, traditional buildings and gorgeous gardens, plus a whole lot more. You’re bound to spot places and areas of the city you might want to visit.

The journey takes around 15 minutes each way, with the option for a round trip if you prefer.

Visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden

Spanning 70,000 square metres and located on the side of a mountain, Monte Palace Tropical Garden is home to an expansive collection of exotic plants from around the world. There’s more here than just plants, though, you can also see peacocks, chickens and swans walking around freely. Don’t miss the Japanese-style garden, complete with traditional torii gate and colourful koi carp.

In the centre of the Garden lies a museum, which has an impressive collection of minerals inside. There are more than 700 in total and again, they come from all corners of the globe. The museum also boasts an exhibit dedicated to gems; there are more than 300 to see, but diamonds (both rough and cut) are the main focus of the exhibit.

Due to the steep climbs, Monte Palace isn’t for the faint-hearted – you need to be fairly fit in order to get the most out of this attraction. When you need a rest, we highly recommend stopping at the coffee shop, which offers wonderful views of the Garden. You can also sample the attraction’s very own Madeira wine for free here.

Walk along the levadas

Levada (canal) walks are a popular past time in Madeira, as they are both plentiful and beautiful. If you love exploring on two feet, they really are a wonderful way to explore the city and the wider island. The huge number of levadas means there’s lots of choice when it comes to walks. Naturally, some and are longer and more difficult than others, so it’s worth doing your research before picking one.

We highly recommend this walk, which takes you from Funchal along the Levada dos Tornos. It’s a delightful woodland trek that’s mostly flat. Many walkers stop at the charming Jasmin Tea House for a quick bite to eat – you may want to do the same! Once you come to the end of the route, you can get a bus back to Funchal.

We’ve only just scratched the surface of what Funchal has to offer – there really is so much more to see and do while you’re here. Our resort is just eight miles from the city, making it a fantastic place to stay. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch. We’re more than happy to answer all of your questions.