Funchal: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View of Funchal


Coat of arms
Funchal is located in Madeira
Coordinates: 32°39′4″N 16°54′35″W / 32.65111°N 16.90972°W / 32.65111; -16.90972
Country Portugal
Region Madeira Autonomous Region
Founded 15th century, 16th century as city
 -  Presidente da Câmara Municipal do Funchal (President of the City Council of Funchal) Miguel Filipe Machado de Albuquerque (PSD)
 - Land 76.25 km2 (29.4 sq mi)
 - Metro 277.32 km2 (107.1 sq mi)
 - City 100,847
 - Density 1,323/km2 (3,426.6/sq mi)
 - Metro 186,929
 - Metro Density 674/km2 (1,745.7/sq mi)
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 - Summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
Postal code 9000
Area code(s) 351 (Portugal) + 291 (Madeira)
Website [1] and [2]

Funchal (Portuguese pronunciation: [fũˈʃaɫ]), population 100,526[1], is the chief city of Madeira Island and the capital and largest city of the Madeira Autonomous Region, Portugal.

With its neighbouring boroughs (municipalities) of Câmara de Lobos, Santa Cruz, Machico and Ribeira Brava the town has over 150,000 inhabitants. It is the most populous Portuguese city outside mainland Portugal. The Funchal conurbation includes the cities of Funchal, Câmara de Lobos, Caniço and Santa Cruz, all on the south side of Madeira.

Funchal lies in a natural "amphitheatre"-shaped geographic bowl, with gentle slopes beginning at the harbour and rising almost 1200 metres. This provides a natural shelter that attracted the first settlers. Funchal is a cosmopolitan and panoramic city, with parks, shops and hotels.

Funchal has been Madeira's capital for more than five centuries, and is said to have been named because of the abundance of fennel (funcho in Portuguese) growing there.[2]

The Funchal Municipality includes the Savage Islands (Ilhas Selvagens), a nature reserve 160 km (100 mi) south of Funchal.

A highway provides access to Câmara de Lobos and Ribeira Brava to the west, and Santa Cruz and Machico to the east.



Funchal was founded by João Gonçalves Zarco in 1421 and was elevated to city status by King Manuel I of Portugal in 1508. In the early 1400s, Álvaro Fernandes was the commander of Funchal. In the 16th century Funchal was important as a stopping place between the Indies and the New World.It was the port for Madeiran sugar and wine. As the Catholic Encyclopedia relates:[3]

Funchal was once to the Portuguese what Gibraltar, St. Helena, and Malta now are to the English. Therefore they garrisoned the city, though naturally defended by its rugged cliffs, and built there four impregnable fortresses.

Harbour of Funchal

The harbour of Funchal is the busiest in Madeira. Cruise ships, boats and yachts call there, as it has been for many years, being also the second busiest one in Portugal, after Lisbon.


Madeira Airport, often known as Funchal Airport/Madeira/Santa Catarina Airport (code: FNC), is located east of the city, in the municipality of Santa Cruz. The airport was one of the most dangerous airports in the world due to the limited flat space in close proximity to cliffs, but the extension of the runway on concrete pillars in the sea has improved safety.

Parishes (Freguesias)

The municipality (Município) and city (Cidade) of Funchal coexist as one. Its urban area sprawls from the harbour on the Atlantic to the mountain and hills above. There are ten parishes/paroquias:

The most populated is Santo António. is where the cathedral is located, in the old city center.


Roman Catholic Diocese of Funchal

The see of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Funchal includes all of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. The diocese is a suffragan see under the Archdiocese of Lisbon. The cathedral of the diocese is the Cathedral of Funchal, located in the freguesia of .


Weather data for Funchal
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.1
Average low °C (°F) 13.1
Precipitation cm (inches) 10.27
Avg. precipitation days 12 11 10 8 5 3 1 2 6 9 11 13 91
Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN)[4].


Today Funchal is a major tourist town, with hotels, port, and an international airport Funchal Airport (FNC), located in the nearby municipality of Santa Cruz.

Besides the city of Funchal, tourist destinations include: Ribeira Brava, Curral das Freiras, Porto Moniz, Santana, the Laurisilva forest, a UNESCO Natural Site, in the center of Madeira Island and the beaches in Porto Santo island. There is also a passenger gondola lift (Funchal Passenger Ropeway), that transports people from the lower section of the city to the suburb of Monte.

Famous Madeirans

Twin towns

Funchal is twinned with:


External links

North: Santana Northeast: Machico
West: Câmara de Lobos
Funchal East: Santa Cruz
South: Atlantic Ocean

Coordinates: 32°39′04″N 16°54′35″W / 32.65111°N 16.90972°W / 32.65111; -16.90972

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Iberia : Portugal : Madeira : Funchal
Funchal viewed from Madeira Botanical Garden
Funchal viewed from Madeira Botanical Garden

Funchal is the capital and main city, of the autonomous region of Madeira, on the island of Madeira, situated in the south between Santa Cruz and Camara de Lobos cities.

The city's name comes from the abundance of fennel (funcho) found on the island. It was an important shipping center during the 15th-17th centuries. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal.

Get in

Funchal Airport (IATA: FNC) is in nearby Santa Cruz, sometimes known as Madeira international/Santa Catarina/Funchal. Once famous for its hair-raisingly short runway ending at a cliff over the Atlantic Ocean, the airport has been expanded to handle all sizes of aircraft. There are several daily flights from most major cities in Portugal (Lisbon,Porto). Flight time from Lisbon is 1 1/2 hours. Also, there are good connections from London (mostly Gatwick)(LGW), with TAP/ Air Portugal(TP) and British Airways(BA); its flying time is estimated at 3 1/2 hours.

Get around

The city centre is small enough to explore on foot. Orange city buses can take you around and up to Monte (lines 20, 21). Buy a giro card from the office for 2,20€, it is already preloaded with two journeys and can be topped up with additional journeys for 1,50€ a piece. Most city buses start from the waterfront area.

Sé Cathedral
Sé Cathedral
  • Madeira Botanical Gardens (Jardins Botânicos da Madeira), Caminho Meio Quinta do Bom Sucesso (about 3km from downtown). The more than 2000 plants of these hillside gardens make this one of the major attractions of the whole island.  edit
  • Monte Palace Hotel Gardens. The gardens of this defunct hotel include a Chinese garden, artwork, a small lake, and a variety of flora and fauna.  edit
  • Santa Clara Convent (Convento da Santa Clara), Calçada de Santa Clara 15. Dating from the end of the 15th century, this convent, now a national monument, was founded by João Gonçalves da Câmara. The azulejo tiles are especially notable.  edit
  • São Lourenço Palace (Palácio de São Lourenço), Avenida Zarco. Half fortress and half palace, this construction is a good example of mannerist architecture. Highlights include the Noble Salon (Salão Nobre), the Green Room (Sala Verde), the Audience Hall (Sala de Audiências), and the gardens.  edit
  • Sé Cathedral. The central point in Funchal, and its most-visited monument. Commissioned by the king Dom Manuel I through Portuguese explorer Gil Eanes, the cathedral was built between 1493 and 1517. The ceiling is made from local wood.  edit


Must go places to visit in Funchal Top places to visit in Funchal


Visit the fair/market; old port; jardim; casino. Enjoy Birdwatching.

  • Palheiro Golf Course, Rua do Balacal 29, (351) 291 790 120, [1].  edit


Flowers & fruit (check with the airline/ship if they can be brought abroad).

The island is world-famous for its wines. Several stores offer varying selections. Consult Wikipedia [2] and other sites for details.


Funchal has an abundance of good, if not necessarily cheap, eating places. Most places serve traditional Madeiran and Portuguese food, which is well-prepared and well-tasting, but not terribly exciting. One of the most typical dishes and served almost everywhere, is espada com banana, scabbard fish with banana. It is usually served with fresh salad and potatoes. A bit more expensive, bacalhau (dried, salted codfish) is served in many restaurants. One of the more common, and best, varieties is "bacalhau com natas", codfish in cream sauce.

  • Bar Beer Garden, Estrada Monumental, Arieiro. Recommended dish is Picado (beef steak served with chips). The normal size (10 euros) should be enough for 2 persons. The bigger size (13 euros) could serve 3 - 4 persons.
  • Golden Gate Grand Café, Avenida Arriaga 21. Very centrally located, straight across the street from Palácio de São Lourenço. Its coffee, pastries, food and service is excellent and the café, opened in 1814, has a nice atmosphere with a good mix of local customers and tourists.
  • O Castelo Dos Hamburguers, Rua da Carreira, 306, Tel: + 351 291 756616. This place sells only 3 types of prego-style hamburgers: normal, special and super. Also try their smoothies. [3]

Inquire at the hotel for English, Germanic, Scandinavian pubs/bars.

  • Doca do Cavacas, Estrada Monumental, Ponta de Cruz, Tel: + 351 291 762057. Fish restaurant.
  • Japanese Restaurant, 2nd floor, Monumental Lido Shopping, Lido. Buffet lunch for 10 euros.
  • Xôpana Restaurant, Choupana Hills Resort and Spa, Tel: (+351) 291 20 6020. Award winning restaurant at the Choupana Hills Resort, with a magnificent view over Funchal and world-class food and wine.
  • Les Faunes, Estrada Monumental 139, In Reid's Palace Hotel, Tel: 291/71-71-71. Top quality French restaurant.
  • Il Gallo D´Oro, Gourmet restaurant located at The Cliff Bay hotel (Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts) recently awarded with a Michelin star. Reservations tel: (+351) 291 707 700. Dress Code: Tie or jacket for gentleman.
Madeira Casino
Madeira Casino

Not the party capital of the world. Most of bars are very quiet. No decent Irish bars. Some think the best bar is Glorias Latino.

  • Bar Amazónia, Rua de São Filipe 19, (351) 291 228 164. A pleasant little bar.  edit
  • Café do Teatro, Avenida Arriaga Ed. Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias, (351) 291 226 371.  edit
  • Chameleon Disco-Bar, Rua Imperatriz D. Amelia Nº119 (in front of the Carlton), (351) 291 228 038. Café and bar with a tropical atmosphere. Karaoke on Mondays and Tuesdays, live music on Thursdays, and ladies' night on Sunday.  edit
  • FX Bar, Largo das Fontes 39, (351) 965-077-875.  edit
  • Madeira Casino, (351) 291 209 180, [4]. The only casino on the island. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer.  edit
  • Vespas, Avenida Sá Carneiro 60. Dance club very popular with young people.  edit



During low season (winter) prices may drop significantly, e.g., from 50€ to 35€. Time around Christmas is high-season.

  • Apartamentos Sao Paulo and Apartamentos Alegria [5]. Owned by the Mendonza family. Has 2 apartment blocks. Located in the Old Town, close to the English Church & Rua da Carreira. Cheaper rates for weekly stays.
  • Residencial Melba (Melba Pension), Azinhaga da Casa Branca 8. Lies in Western Funchal. 12 rooms.
  • Pestana Hotels & Resorts - Funchal: Pestana Miramar, Pestana Village, Pestana Palms, Pestana Bay, Pestana Gardens [6]
  • Quinta Perestrello Heritage House, Rua Drº Pita nº 3, [7]. A small hotel, One adult 33€ per night and breakfast (special offer low season), 37 double rooms, located near Reid's Palace. 24 hour reception.
  • Hotel Monte Carlo, Calçada da Saude Nr. 10. Beautiful, old hotel with a great view over the city of Funchal. Directly near the Convent St. Clara. Reasonable priced and not directly in a desiganted tourist district. Lots of good and affordable restaurants nearby.
  • Porto Santa Maria ((Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts)), Avenida do Mar, nº 50, (+351) 291 206 700 (, fax: +351 291 206 720), [8]. Just in front of the sea and the city harbour, in Funchal´s Old Town, near Cable Car, Forte de São Tiago and Mercado Lavradores.  edit
  • Porto Mare ((Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts)), Rua Simplício dos Passos Gouveia, 21, (+351) 291 703 700 (, fax: +351 291 762 525), [9]. One of the three hotels in the resort Vila Porto Mare, near Lido´s promenade, tropical gardens with more than 400 specimes, five pools, four restaurants, sports and SPA...  edit
  • Suite Hotel Eden Mar ((Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts)), Rua do Gorgulho, 2, (+351) 291 700 700 (, fax: +351 291 761 966), [10]. One of the three hotels in the resort Vila Porto Mare, near Lido´s promenade, kitchenette, tropical gardens with more than 400 specimes, five pools, four restaurants, sports and SPA. Totally refurbished in 2009..  edit
  • Pestana Hotels & Resorts - Funchal: Pestana Carlton Madeira, Pestana Casino Park, Pestana Grand [11]
  • Choupana Hills Resort, Travessa do Largo da Choupana, (351) 291 20 60 20, [12]. One of the top hotels in Madeira just outside Funchal.
  • The Cliff Bay ((Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts)), Estrada Monumental, 147, (+351) 291 707 700 (, fax: +351 291 762 525), [13]. direct access to the sea, stunning views over the Atlantic and Funchal´s bay, one michelin star restaurant.  edit

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

FUNCHAL, the capital of the Portuguese archipelago of the Madeiras; on the south coast of Madeira, in 32° 37' N. and 16° 54' W. Pop. (1900) 20,850. Funchal is the see of a bishop, in the archiepiscopal province of Lisbon; it is also the administrative centre of the archipelago, and the residence of the governor and foreign consuls. The city has an attractive appearance from the sea. Its whitewashed houses, in their gardens full of tropical plants, are built along the curving shore of Funchal Bay, and on the lower slopes of an amphitheatre of mountains, which form a background 4000 ft. high. Numerous country houses (quintas), with terraced gardens, vineyards and sugar-cane plantations occupy the surrounding heights. Three mountain streams traverse the city through deep channels, which in summer are dry, owing to the diversion of the water for irrigation. A small fort, on an isolated rock off shore, guards the entrance to the bay, and a larger and more powerfully armed fort crowns an eminence inland. The chief buildings include the cathedral, Anglican and Presbyterian churches, hospitals, opera-house, museum and casino. There are small public gardens and a meteorological observatory. In the steep and narrow streets, which are lighted by electricity, wheeled traffic is impossible; sledges drawn by oxen, and other primitive conveyances are used instead (see Madeira). In winter the fine climate and scenery attract numerous invalids and other visitors, for whose accommodation there are good hotels; many foreigners engaged in the coal and wine trades also reside here permanently. The majority of these belong to the British community, which was first established here in the 18th century. Funchal is the headquarters of Madeiran industry and commerce (see Madeira). It has no docks and no facilities for landing passengers or goods; vessels are obliged to anchor in the roadstead, which, however, is sheltered from every wind except the south. Funchal is connected by cable with Carcavellos (for Lisbon), Porthcurnow (for Falmouth, England) and St Vincent in the Cape Verde Islands (for Pernambuco, Brazil).

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Simple English

Funchal is the capital city of Madeira, part of Portugal.


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