Best Places in Funchal

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By Salah Uddin Mahdi

Funchal, the capital city of the stunning island of Madeira. Nestled along the sun-kissed southern coast of Portugal, this enchanting city offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and a vibrant atmosphere. From its picturesque landscapes to its historical sites and lively streets, Funchal is a destination that will captivate your heart and leave you longing for more. In this blog, we will take you on a virtual journey to discover the best travel places in Funchal, ensuring an unforgettable experience for every traveler.

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Monte Palace Tropical Garden:

Our first stop is the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, a true paradise for nature enthusiasts. Situated atop a hill, this botanical garden boasts an impressive collection of exotic plants, serene ponds, and cascading waterfalls. Take a leisurely stroll through the garden’s well-manicured pathways, breathe in the fragrant scents, and marvel at the vibrant colors that surround you. Don’t miss the incredible tile panels depicting scenes from Madeira’s history, adding an artistic touch to this natural oasis.

Old Town (Zona Velha):

Step back in time as you wander through the charming streets of Funchal’s Old Town, also known as Zona Velha. Here, you’ll find narrow cobblestone lanes lined with colorful traditional houses, quaint shops, and inviting cafés. Be sure to explore the Mercado dos Lavradores, the city’s bustling market, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture, sample fresh fruits, vegetables, and regional delicacies. The Old Town is also home to historical landmarks such as the 15th-century Sao Tiago Fortress and the beautiful Church of Saint John the Evangelist.

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Funchal Cathedral (Sé Cathedral):

No visit to Funchal is complete without a visit to the magnificent Funchal Cathedral, also known as Sé Cathedral. Built in the 15th century, this architectural masterpiece showcases a fascinating blend of Gothic and Moorish influences. Step inside to discover intricate wooden ceilings, beautiful stained glass windows, and a tranquil atmosphere. Take a moment to admire the sacred art and artifacts displayed in the cathedral’s treasury, which provide insight into Madeira’s religious heritage.

Teleférico da Madeira (Madeira Cable Car):

For breathtaking panoramic views of Funchal and its surroundings, embark on an exhilarating journey aboard the Teleférico da Madeira, the Madeira Cable Car. This cable car system takes you from the city center to the enchanting village of Monte, providing stunning vistas of Funchal’s coastline, the lush mountains, and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. Once in Monte, you can explore the Monte Palace Tropical Garden or visit the iconic Nossa Senhora do Monte Church, known for its picturesque setting and panoramic views.

Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden):

Nature lovers will find solace in the serene beauty of the Jardim Botânico, Funchal’s Botanical Garden. Located on the outskirts of the city, this sprawling garden is a true horticultural wonderland. Discover an impressive collection of plants from around the world, including rare species, vibrant flowers, and towering trees. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, relax in tranquil gazebos, and relish the panoramic views of Funchal’s harbor and the vast Atlantic Ocean.

Rua de Santa Maria:

Prepare to be charmed by the vibrant street art that adorns the Rua de Santa Maria. Located in the heart of Funchal’s Old Town, this pedestrian street is a true open-air gallery. 

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