Colonial Architecture Tour (Self Guided), 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.
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Colonial Architecture Tour Map

Guide Name: Colonial Architecture Tour
Guide Location: Portugal » Funchal (See other walking tours in Funchal)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: john
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Forte de São Tiago
  • Assembleia Regional da Madeira
  • Palácio do Governo Regional
  • Fortaleza e Palácio de São Lourenço
  • Forte de São João Baptista
  • Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Conceição
  • Forte de São José
Forte de São Tiago

1) 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.
Assembleia Regional da Madeira

2) Assembleia Regional da Madeira

The Assembleia Regional da Madeira (The Regional Legislative Assembly of Madeira) is located in an old building that once served as the Custom House of Funchal. The building itself has undergone many improvements over the centuries, but has preserved its look from the 15th century, which includes its Gothic style and Moorish ceilings.
Palácio do Governo Regional

3) Palácio do Governo Regional

The Palácio do Governo Regional is located on Avenida Zarco, one of the busiest streets in Funchal. The palace dates back to the late 17th century and its history relates to medicine, as it housed the Medical School of Funchal for some time. The facade of the building is done in a neo-classical style, characteristic of that period. Nowadays it serves as the headquarters of the Regional Government of Madeira.
Fortaleza e Palácio de São Lourenço

4) 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.
Forte de São João Baptista

5) Forte de São João Baptista

The Forte de São João Baptista (Fortaleza do Pico) is located in the neighborhood of São Pedro, 111 meters above the sea level. The fort was part of the city’s defense system against frequent attacks from corsairs and pirates. At present the Portuguese Navy operates the activity of the fort. From this fortress, visitors can admire one of the best views of Funchal, comparable to a ride on a helicopter above the capital.
Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Conceição

6) Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Conceição

The Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Conceição is located in the harbor of Funchal. Built in the 17th century, the fort served as a checkpoint for all ships coming to the island, due to the fact that the island’s economy was becoming more and more prosperous. The fort’s architecture very much resembles a military fortress, though it has never been used as such.
Forte de São José

7) Forte de São José

The Forte de São José dates back to the 15th century, to the discovery of the Island of Madeira by João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira. According to the history, the fort was where they took shelter when first arrived on the island. The fort’s architecture is of Portuguese influence, and most of it is built from the stone on which it stands. Among the important guests who have visited the fort are Christopher Columbus and Captain Cook.

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.
Monte Walking Tour

Monte Walking Tour

Monte is a spectacular green area of Funchal, and also the favored destination of the island’s first tourists, who stopped en route to and from Africa and the Americas. Getting to and from Monte is half the fun: up on the cable car and down on an exhilarating dry toboggan run. The attractive hilltop area of Monte is 550 meters above sea level and is a six kilometer climb northeast of Funchal....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Shopping Venues

Shopping Venues

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: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
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 or 1.3 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings

Historical Religious Buildings

Madeira’s capital boasts a large number of churches that truly represent the historical and architectural value of this 500 year old city. The Sé Cathedral is just one of the spiritual places in Funchal, among its numerous religious treasures. This walking tour will take you to the most important religious sites in Funchal.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Funchal Introduction Walking Tour

Funchal Introduction Walking Tour

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...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles