Photo of Funchal

About Funchal

Madeira’s capital, Funchal is frequently referred to as one of Portugal’s most beautiful cities. It was an important port between the 15th and 17th centuries and its harbour is still one of its most fascinating features. That alongside the beautiful beaches, spectacular cliffs and mountains, and year-round warm sunny weather. These features mean Funchal appeals to many different kinds of travellers, and that’s reflected in the broad range of choice you’ll find when searching for the best places to stay in Funchal.

Things not to miss:

  • Small enough to explore on foot, Funchal’s exquisite botanical gardens give this city a green elegance, and quite a northern European feel - despite all the sunshine.
  • To get the best view of this pretty city you’ll want to head up to Monte - the cable car offers the most spectacular sights.
  • As far as cultural attractions go, Funchal’s Qunita das Cruzes museum, which was once the home of the captain who discovered Madeira, is aristocratic and fantastic.
  • There’s also a great art museum and the incredible Mercado dos Lavradores, a market bursting with smells and flavours.
  • The Sé Cathedral is Funchal’s focal point, apart from the harbour, and is one of the city’s most popular monuments.
  • Stroll down the Rua de Santa Maria in the Old Town. Since 2010 an art project has been in progress to revitalise the area, and this can be seen in the fabulous original artworks on display on almost every doorway.

Madeira is frequently referred to as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’, but it can be quite busy in actual spring and summer, so it’s a good idea to book into the best places to stay in Funchal as far in advance as you can.

The best places to stay in Funchal

To Relax

  • The Casa Velha do Palheiro is a beautiful country house hotel with 37 rooms and a great position, right next to a golf course. The decor is elegant, the restaurant gourmet, the spa fantastic and the gardens exquisite.
  • Quinta das Vistas is a beautiful, 71 room five-star hotel with stunning sea views and great access to all the sights and tastes of Funchal. There’s a terrace restaurant and a top of the range spa.

Beach Break

  • The Penha da Franca is a large, seaside hotel just ten minutes from the centre of Funchal, with 109 simple, comfortable rooms overlooking the sea or the hotel’s lovely gardens. As well as two large pools - one heated one not - and plenty of watersports facilities, there’s also a lively games room.
  • Pestana CR7 has wonderful sea views and quirky, colourful boutique decor. There’s an infinity pool on the roof and a jacuzzi.

For Families

  • Reid's Palace is Madeira's Grande Dame, but it's still ideal for an easy family holiday. There's plenty to do on the grounds, including multiple pools - one just for kids - an indoor play area and outdoor playground, supervised activities, including tennis lessons, and they'll help you organise activities for the whole family to do together. There's also have a wide choice of rooms and suites.
  • Five stars and family friendly don't always go together, but Quinta de Bela Vista offers it. This grand, hilltop mansion also has amazing views and plenty of space.

Spa Break

  • In addition to the pleasures of the island itself, Qunita da Casa Branca offers a wide range of spa and massage treatments, a sauna, yoga, a gym and a big, wonderfully calm garden.
  • Qunitinha de são João is a wonderful Goan-Portuguese villa in central Funchal with 42 beautiful rooms and an extensive spa. As well as lovely interiors the hotel has excellent Goan cuisine and serene gardens.

Inexpensive Chic

  • For inexpensive chic in Funchal try The Vine: it's big, super modern, and has excellent spa facilities. And all for as little a €120 per night.

For a self-catering Apartment or private Villa

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner

Travel Information

  • Just east of Funchal at Santa Cruz, Madeira Airport is the island’s only one. There are direct flights from London and other major European capitals, but if you can’t find a suitable option you might want to fly to Lisbon and change for the 90 minute TAP flight, which is quite inexpensive and runs twice a day. If you’re going to Funchal from the airport you can catch a bus, everywhere else you’re better off with a hotel transfer, taxi or hire car.
  • If you want to hire a car - which we highly recommend if you want to see the island - click here for the best rates.
  • Madeira has hot dry summers and mild, damp winters, with most of the rain between October and March. Madeira’s temperatures are highly dependent on the winds coming across the island, with warm winds coming from North Africa bringing average summer temperatures of around 30°C, and cooler winds from Europe keeping things in the mid-20s. Summer is the most popular time to visit, but autumn and late spring are lovely too.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Funchal

  • Penha da Franca Funchal (Madeira) 109 rooms from £53

    A large seaside hotel with simple and comfortable bedrooms overlooking the garden or out to sea. Two large swimming pools and a lively games room provide entertainment for all on site. Local restaurants nearby and water sports on offer at the beach.

    Swimming Pool  -  Two outdoor salt water pools - one is heated
    Sights nearby  -  10 mins walk from the centre of Funcha;
    Fishing  -  Can be organised through the hotel
    Diving  -  Diving Centre nearby
    Check prices
  • The Vine Funchal 79 rooms from £105

    This is a super modern spa hotel with slick minimalist interiors, lengthy wine list, and panoramic views of Funchal. A sophisticated spa break for those who want to be pampered to the max in a city environment.

    Spa breaks
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel
    Check prices
  • Quinta da Bela Vista Funchal (Madeira) 83 rooms from £114

    A stunning five star hotel set in beautiful gardens overlooking the sea. Restaurants, bars, billiards, a swimming pool, and seamless rooms with private balconies. Unrivalled views that match the splendour of its interiors: a hilltop countryside mansion for those wanting lofty luxury.

    Garden  -  A stunning garden with magnificent views.
    Views  -  Overlooking the gardens and the bay.
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Quintinha de São João Funchal 42 rooms from £116

    A wonderful Goan-Portugese villa in central Funchal with an extensive spa. Delightful old world charm throughout the interiors, excellent cuisine with Goan roots, serene gardens. A relaxed spot close to the beach. Great for families.

    Sights nearby  -  Central Funchal location. Everything is easily accessible on foot.
    Spa  -  Three treatment rooms and a wet area
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pools
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Pestana CR7 Funchal 49 rooms from £118

    Located in the heart of Funchal on Madeira's coast, Pestana CR7 was born out of partnership between Cristiano Ronaldo and Pestana Hotels. Quirky and colourful boutique rooms boasting splendid sea views. Be sure to visit the rooftop infinity pool or relax in the jacuzzi! A great coastal spot.

    Beach Life  -  Spend your days lounging by the sea or sipping on cocktails as you watch the cruise ships roll in
    Local exploring  -  Madeira's top sights are just a short distance from Pestana CR7
    Great walks  -  Wander around Madeira Botanical Garden or Monte Palace Tropical Garden
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
    Check prices
  • Quinta das Vistas Funchal 71 rooms from £139

    Beautiful Five Star hotel with stunning views out to sea. Stylish bedrooms and suites with private balconies, creamy furnishings, and all the mod cons. Excellent restaurant and terrace, top of the range spa, and swimming pools. Perfect for a lazy summer holiday in the sun.

    Walking distance restaurants
    Spa breaks
    Romantic Break
    Beach Life
    Check prices
  • Quinta da Casa Branca Funchal 41 rooms from £158

    This hotel is definitely a place in which to relax and unwind in its tranquil surroundings. Architecturally it combines contemporary elegance and modern authenticity. Flora and fauna gardens in which to stroll and a Health Club for pampering.

    Total relaxation
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Small Luxury Hotels, Michelin Travel
    Check prices
  • Casa Velha do Palheiro Funchal 37 rooms from £175

    A beautiful country house hotel and spa in Funchal next to the golf course. Understated, elegant rooms and suites in pastels with soft fabrics. Excellent gourmet restaurant, exquisite gardens, fantastic spa. A sophisticated hotel for avid golfers and those who like all things nice.

    Sights nearby  -  The hotel borders the world-renowned Palheiro Gardens
    Golf  -  Golf on its doorstep.
    Spa breaks
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pools
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
    Check prices
  • Reid's Palace Funchal 128 rooms from £224

    Reid's palace is ideal for family holidays or a spa break. It has a range of sporting activities, such as tennis, as well as extensive spa treatments, and magnificent swimming pools.

    Spa breaks
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel
    Check prices