Bathed is sunshine almost all through the year, Funchal is an ideal base for the tourist.
There are a variety of local attractions, places to see and things to do. No matter what your tastes and preferences, you are bound to find something that will interest and entertain you.
Whatever you choose, you will feel secure and safe as Funchal has an almost non-existent crime rate.
Whilst those of a more adventurous nature can easily explore the rest of Madeira as Funchal is the hub of the island's transport network.
Funchal Official Tourist Information Office
|Tourist Information Office|
|Address||16 Avenida Arriaga|
|Opening times: Monday to Friday|
|9:00am to 7:00pm|
9:00am to 3:00pm
|Closed on:||1st January|
25th & 26th December
|Telephone||(351) 291 211902|
|(Details correct at March 2012)|
The official tourist information office in Funchal is located in the heart of the city. The Avenida Arriaga is the main road leading from the park and taxi rank on the eastern side of the city to the Sé Cathedral. It runs parallel to the sea front promenade.
If you have trouble finding it, ask for Blandy's Wine Lodge. The Official Tourist Information Office is just along from, and on the same side of the street as, Blandy's Wine Lodge.
Funchal Tourist Information - Beware!
You will soon discover that, in and around Funchal, there are many "Information Centres". Please be aware, that these are usually offices that promote timeshare properties and they are not connected with the Madeira Tourist Board whatsoever.
The trendy place to have a cup of coffee or other refreshments is at the restaurant alongside the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias, the Municipal Theatre, on the Avenida Arriaga just past the Rua do Conselheiro. Just perfect for a spot of people watching.
If you fancy a more low key refreshment break then you can do no better than to head for the Funchal seafront promenade. Dotted along the wide footpath, that stretches a mile or more, you will find plenty of restaurants and cafés where you get simply let the day pass you by as you sip your drink and gaze out across the blue Atlantic Ocean.
If you have children that need to burn off a bit of energy, or you want greener surrounds, then head for one of the two main parks.
The Jardim Municipal, Municipal Park, is to be found behind the main taxi rank on the Avenida Arriaga. The refreshment kiosk is toward the back of the gardens, next to the open stage that hosts events when Funchal is in festive mood.
Funchal's Santa Catarina Park is on the eastern edge of the city, just beyond the Rotunda do Infante fountain roundabout. The park has a delightful pond toward its top end and gives you a panoramic view across the harbour and marina.
Madeira has a reputation for being rather quiet when it comes to nightlife. Funchal, being the island's capital city, shares that reputation.
Nowadays that reputation is misguided.
Whilst there are still plenty of places where you can enjoy a quiet evening meal and a drink, Funchal now boasts a midnight to 7:00am night scene for those younger, more energetic visitors. In particular, the early hours of Friday, Saturday and Sunday's are well-celebrated by the locals.
In Funchal one of the best areas to party the night away is in and around the new harbour development. Vespas is one of the newer and best night spots here, giving you all the entertainment you could ask for - the fun usually starts at about 2:00am.
Café do Teatro on the Avenida Arriaga in Funchal is the venue where all the trendy, hip young locals go to impress and be impressed.
The Casino, just up from Santa Catarina Park, offers shows, drinks and, of course, the opportunity to chance your luck on the tables. Its Copacabana Club is where the partying really gets serious!
In addition, many hotels offer cocktail bars and an assortment of evening entertainment. Ask at your hotel reception for the best venues.
Visit Old Blandy's Wine Lodge for an excellent diversion for an hour or so culminating in a spot of Madeira wine tasting.
Santa Clara Convent has an interesting history and a visit will transport you back to the century of Madeira's discovery.
Funchal Football Stadium
The Estadio dos Barreiros is where Funchal's local football team, C.S. Maritimo, play their home games.
Being affiliated to the mainland football league, C.S. Maritimo host some of Portugal's top teams. And, on occasions, have welcomed other top European teams in the Europa League competition.
The stadium is also sometimes used for other local events.
The British Cemetery, Funchal
The British Cemetery can date its origin from 1770. Prior to that date, the laws of Madeira dictated that those deceased who were not Roman Catholic by faith were not to be buried on the island. Usually the corpses were consigned to the sea off the Garajau headland.
However, from 1772 onward, British interests secured a burial ground for those of the Protestant faith on the outskirts of Funchal.
The British Cemetery in Funchal still exists today, although its outer extent has shifted and supplemented over the years.
Many graves are crowded into the grounds. But, the headstones and memorial plaques do not reflect just those of British nationality. It has long been the custom to welcome the deceased of other national communities residing in Madeira.
The tranquillity and beauty of the grounds are a gentle reflection of Madeira's history.