City Orientation Walk, Funchal

Funchal, the capital of Portuguese Madeira archipelago, is a lovely sea town, renowned for its picturesque harbor, gardens and Madeira wine cellars, but even more so for its rich colonial heritage – forts, cathedrals, and castles. The most notable of them are the centuries-old Funchal Cathedral, a blend of Gothic and Romanesque styles with a masterly carved wooden ceiling, and the 17th century São Tiago Fortress, rising over the harbor, home to the local Contemporary Art Museum. If you wish to explore Funchal's main attractions more closely, follow this orientation walk.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Portugal » Funchal (See other walking tours in Funchal)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Author: john
1
Cais da Cidade

1) Cais da Cidade

Cais da Cidade (City Harbor) is second after Lisbon as the busiest port in Portugal. Located near Forte de São Tiago, it is a popular city attraction. Close to the harbor you will find many good cafes and restaurants serving a variety of seafood dishes.
2
Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias

2) Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias

Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias, an impressive Neoclassical building inspired by the Milan Scala Theater, dates back to the 1880s. The largest theater in Funchal, all of the city’s major cultural events and art performances take place here.
3
Jardim Municipal

3) Jardim Municipal (must see)

Jardim Municipal, or the Municipal Garden, features 8,300 square meters of green space right in the heart of the city. This leisure area is a perfect spot for recreation, relaxation and long walks. It contains an impressive collection of flowers and trees from all over the world. It also occasionally serves as a venue for cultural events.
4
Núcleo Museológico da Madeira Vinhos

4) Núcleo Museológico da Madeira Vinhos

The Núcleo Museológico da Madeira Vinhos is a very popular museum in Funchal. The Wine Museum is dedicated to the history and traditions of Madeiran wine, the national trademark of Madeira Island. The museum is located on the premises of one of the most ancient cellars in Funchal and is listed in the cultural heritage of Madeira.
5
Fortaleza e Palácio de São Lourenço

5) Fortaleza e Palácio de São Lourenço (must see)

Fortaleza e Palácio de São Lourenço is an historical set of buildings comprising a fortress and a palace that once served as the focal point for the military and governors of Madeira. Nowadays the Prime Minister of the Autonomous Region of Madeira uses the palace as his residence, and the fortress hosts a permanent exhibition of military items.
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Convento de Santa Clara

6) Convento de Santa Clara (must see)

Convento de Santa Clara was founded some five hundred years ago as a convent for Franciscan nuns. The architectural elements of the church have changed over the centuries but some of them remain, such as the Gothic marble doorway, the walls covered with glazed tiles and the Gothic tomb situated at the entrance.
7
Cassia Museu Quinta das Cruzes

7) Cassia Museu Quinta das Cruzes (must see)

The Quinta das Cruzes is a museum in Funchal, known for its vast art collections. The museum features decorative art from the early 16th century to the late 19th century. It contains works by various Portuguese artists and works from abroad. Also on display are great collections of furniture, jewelery, paintings and sculptures. On the museum’s premises you will find a well-preserved archaeological garden as well.
8
Sé Catedral do Funchal

8) Sé Catedral do Funchal (must see)

Sé Catedral do Funchal is among the top tourist attractions in Funchal. The cathedral was built in 1514 and is an architectural masterpiece that combines Arab-Hispanic and Gothic-Roman styles. The exterior is marked by a contrast of basalt with the whitewashed walls and a Gothic style main door. The interior has more of a Flemish influence, with the characteristic choir stalls and bishop's chairs.
9
Praça do Colombo

9) Praça do Colombo

Praça do Colombo is a very famous square in Funchal. Set among colonial style houses, it played a vital role in shaping Madeira’s history. Near the square is the Sugar Museum, located in the former house of Joao Esmeraldo, a friend of Christopher Columbus. Around the square you will find some interesting shops, restaurants, bars and tea houses.
10
Rua Fernão Ornelas

10) Rua Fernão Ornelas

The Rua Fernão Ornelas has been a shopping street since colonial times in Funchal. The locals have managed to keep it alive over the centuries by offering costumers various kinds of shops to suit all needs. Recently the houses on this street have been repainted in lively hues, making shopping here a more colorful experience.
11
Mercado dos Lavradores

11) Mercado dos Lavradores (must see)

The Mercado dos Lavradores (The Workers Market) is one of the best known open markets in Funchal. The market has been serving tourists and locals for more than 60 years. You should visit this three-story building if you are up for some fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, crafts and fish. Try the scabbard fish, a local delicacy, or buy a locally made present.
12
Igreja de São Tiago

12) Igreja de São Tiago

Igreja de São Tiago is another example of Barque style architecture from San Jose. More surprisingly is that this church is also known as Igreja do Socorro or Igreja de Santa Maria Maior. The explanation is that over the centuries it has been reconstructed and each time given a new name. The present name was given to glorify Funchal’s city protector, São Tiago.
13
Forte de São Tiago

13) Forte de São Tiago

Forte de São Tiago, built in the 1600s in order prevent pirate attacks on the city, is an important historic site in Funchal. From a strategic point of view, the fort is perfectly located and is a good defensive structure. From above, the building has a star-shaped construction. Since 1992 the fort has housed Museu de Arte Contemporânea, exhibiting the works of Peter Casqueiro, Filipe Rocha, I Castrate Lurdes and more.

Walking Tours in Funchal, Portugal

Create Your Own Walk in Funchal

Create Your Own Walk in Funchal

Creating your own self-guided walk in Funchal is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Colonial Architecture Tour in Funchal

Colonial Architecture Tour in Funchal

Funchal is a city with great traditions and beautiful architecture. The colonial architecture dates back to 1400 through 1800, the majority of which can be easily spotted in the old part of the city and other parts of the island of Madeira. The designs associated with this period include the fortresses, palaces, churches and some government buildings. Take this tour to discover the most popular and prominent colonial architecture in Funchal.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km
Shopping Venues Tour in Funchal

Shopping Venues Tour in Funchal

Shopping in Funchal is an unforgettable experience as there are plenty of shopping venues that are sure to please anyone. The capital of Madeira has some good shopping malls, but the unique shopping adventure starts on the streets of Funchal, where you will find the finest local wine, beautiful embroidery and the best wicker products. Take this tour to explore the best shopping venues in Funchal.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
Madeiran Wine Tour in Funchal

Madeiran Wine Tour in Funchal

Madeiran wine is a trademark of Portugal, and its value is almost equal to gold. The wine has a long history, dating back to the discovery of the New World. Winemaking in Madeira is still the main occupation of most of the locals, and has developed into an honorable tradition. This tour will help you discover the Madeiran wine tradition in Funchal.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
Landmarks Tour in Funchal

Landmarks Tour in Funchal

Every city in the world has some remarkable landmarks and Funchal is no exception. Most of the landmarks, such as the Sé Cathedral, are important historical and cultural places. The others, such as the statue of Joao Zarco or the monument of Christopher Columbus, contributed in shaping the island’s history. Take this walking tour to enjoy some of the best landmarks in Funchal.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Nightlife Walking Tour in Funchal

Nightlife Walking Tour in Funchal

Funchal has plenty of nighttime interests to suit all tastes. This magnificent city provides loads of entertainment spots that will surely make your night unforgettable. Most of the venues are concentrated downtown, near the harbor. If you are looking for good vibes and quality time, be sure to take this tour.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
Museum Tour in Funchal

Museum Tour in Funchal

Funchal is considered the second most important cultural city in Portugal, after Lisbon. Funchal, the capital of the Madeira archipelago, has been home to a valuable cultural history for over 500 years. The city boasts a great number of historical and cultural museums, revealing some interesting facts about Madeiran wine, crafts, art and much more. Take this tour to become better acquainted with the museums of Funchal.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Funchal for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Funchal has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Funchal, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.