Well put together
Since its founding back in 1424, the capital city of Funchal has settled in nicely on Madeira’s south coast. It’s a real jigsaw of a place with its famously colourful gardens and a cobbled old town that comes with a 15th-century cathedral and traditional restaurants. And pieced between these are modern shopping malls, stylish clubs and a smart marina ringed with upscale places to eat.
Beaches and lidos
In Funchal, there’s a set of 4 beaches – collectively known as Praia Formosa – about 25 minutes’ walk from town. They’re black sand and pebble, and come with changing rooms as well as snack bars and restaurants. A long promenade from here stretches back to the centre, and en route there’s a mix of small pebble beaches, pool complexes and a lido.
A rising nightlife star
There’s a young, hip vibe to Funchal’s nightlife – especially at weekends when the locals are in party mood. Around the marina, cosmopolitan cocktail bars fill up, while the chic restaurants here showcase an inventive repertoire of haute cuisine and Portuguese classics. There’s a good club scene, too, where live bands and DJs keep everyone dancing ’til 6am.