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Funchal

City Guide

Meet Funchal

Funchal is the gem in Madeira island’s crown, a shopper’s paradise and home to some of the island’s most exciting attractions and museums.

Capital of the autonomous region of Madeira, Funchal is a top Portuguese destination surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and full of charm. It isn’t the biggest of capital cities, but this only lends itself to the smaller town feel, which is inviting and makes a difference from some of the more touristy destinations like Lisbon and the Algarve region of Portugal. The city acquired its name after the wild fennel that grew all over the island, as the Portuguese word for fennel is ‘funcho.’The location of the capital is unique, as it is nestled in a valley, sheltered by tall hills and mountains which made it a great strategic location for defending when raids from the sea were a very real possibility. The climate is subtropical Mediterranean, which means for most of the year, you’ll be able to enjoy mild temperatures and warm weather.

Where to live in Funchal

There are several great districts in Funchal, each offering something unique. One of the best parts about living in Funchal is the sea views, which should play a big role in your decision-making process if views of the Atlantic Ocean are high up on your priority list. As a smaller city, you won’t come across ugly skyscrapers or unsightly apartment blocks ruining perfectly good views of the water either, and there are many charming villa-style properties in the city.

Best Neighborhoods in Funchal

The best neighborhoods to live in are the Zona Velha or old center, Lido, Monte, and Sao Martinho. The Zona Velha of Funchal is the heart of the city, and it’s here you’ll find most of what the city has to offer in the way of attractions and the best spots to eat and drink. Lido is most noteworthy for its huge Bathing Complex, which offers up great facilities right next to the ocean. Monte and Sao Martinho are both popular neighborhoods too. One is in the hills above the city and the other right on the coast.

Quick Facts About Funchal

Funchal seems like it has it all, with its sheltered location, pleasant Mediterranean climate, and Portuguese culture. But even so, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Here are some quick facts about the city to help you get to know it better:
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Work in Funchal

Funchal isn’t a huge hub of industry or business, so jobs can be hard to come by unless you’re interested in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) or working in the tourism sector. However, with that being said, there are some large companies that have branches in Funchal or job opportunities there. These include the huge retailer H&M, electronics manufacturer ams, and accounting firm Deloitte.

How good is Funchal for Digital Nomads or Remote Work

Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Funchal. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Funchal for both of these growing movements?

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Food and Drink in Funchal

Funchal is home to some top-notch restaurants and bars, some of which overlook the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Funchal. In terms of drink, you’ll want to get acquainted with Madeira wine, as it’s produced locally on the island. Restaurante Goya is a restaurant for those who appreciate the finer things in life, with gourmet dishes and grand decor. The food is exquisite and the surroundings sublime, so for an unforgettable dining experience, it’s a no-brainer. Ilhakaffe is a meat-lover’s dream, with an array of mouthwatering meat and fish dishes, though there are some excellent vegetarian options too. For those who love nothing more than a craft beer and an outdoor terrace, head to FugaCidade. For your glass of Madeira and excellent ocean views, Barreirinha Bar Cafe (also a coffee shop) is the place to go. If you’re looking for something a little stronger, though, it might be worth checking out the Madeira Rum House. This is the bar the locals go to for their fix of poncha, which is a popular alcoholic drink on the island made with Madeira. Finally, if it’s music you’re seeking, try out Revolucion Rock Bar for some live performances and top cocktails.

Restaurants

Bars

Top 6 Things To Do in Funchal

One of the first things you should do when you get to Funchal is pay a visit to the Se Cathedral, which is a real Gothic work of art and one of the city’s main landmarks. While you’re in the center, explore the Zona Velha taking time to stop off at one of the many bars for a Madeira wine or two, so you can soak up the surroundings and ocean views. It’s also worth seeking out the painted street art on Rua da Santa Maria, which provides a welcome splash of color to the historic center. Aside from the town itself, you have surrounding hills and mountains for hiking, the port for boat trips, and nearby islands such as the ‘mini Galapagos’ to go and explore.

Sacred Art Museum of Funchal

R. do Bpo. 21, Funchal

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OceanSee Whale Watching

Marina do Funchal, Funchal

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Casino da Madeira

Av. do Infante, Funchal

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Rota dos Cetáceos

Av. Arriaga 75, Funchal

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Praça do Povo

Av. Do Mar 4, Funchal

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Museu de Historia Natural do Funchal

R. da Mouraria 31, Funchal

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