Things to do & see in Funchal

Do the hop–on, hop–off, Sightseeing Bus around Funchal with its translated commentary and find all the interesting places to visit. The ticket costs €12 and it entitles you to free transport on any of the yellow buses for the rest of the day. So use the same ticket and go and visit the Botanical Garden, by catching the number 31 bus or even the Tropical Palace Garden by catching the number 20 or 21 bus.
Funchal Sightseeing Bus
The Botanical Garden is a 35 000 m² property surrounded by fantastic views of mountains in the north and the ocean in the south and is situated about 3 kilometers from the center of Funchal City. One of its main purposes was the conservation of indigenous Madeiran plants, some of which are very rare and extinct in the wild. The garden reveals to the visitor a mix of harmonious shapes and contrasting colors of 2500 exotic plants. The garden is divided into five sections exhibiting local as well as foreign plants. One of those parts is devoted to exotic birds. The "Parrot Park" has a collection of about 300 exotic birds including Dwarf Parrots and Macaws. The entrance fee is €4 per person.
Funchal Botanical Garden
Catch the Cable Car for a 15 minute ride up to the Monte. This is an exciting way to see the fantastic views over Funchal. The departure station is at the Parque Almirante Reis, located in the old part of the town. The Monte Station is situated next to the Palace Tropical Garden, and can receive up to 800 passengers per hour. Each cabin can fit up to 8 people and there is 41 of them. The cost for that is €10 one way or €15.00 return. You can also include the second cable car that goes down from the Monte to the Botanical Gardens. The price will be € 22.00 per person one way or € 30.25 return, including entrance to the Botanical Gardens.
Funchal Cable Car
Once at the Monte, visit the Tropical Palace Gardens, which is situated about 550 meters above Funchal. This will take up 2 to 3 hours of your time, enjoying the great views over Funchal, sculpture and artwork that is found in the museum within the gardens and ofcourse the big variety of tropical plants, from all over the world, that are found here. The entrance fee is € 10.
Tropical Palace Gardens in Funchal
After your visit at the gardens you may take the famous Toboggan Run down. This form of transport has been around since 1850 and was a fast means of transport down to Funchal for all the wealthy aristrocrats that lived in the Monte. Their sole purpose today is for the thousands of tourists it attracts every year. These two-seater wicker baskets glide on wooden runners, pushed and steered by two men traditionally dressed in white cotton clothes and a straw hat, using their rubber-soled boots as brakes. Cost for the toboggan ride is € 25 per basket, for a single user, € 30 per basket for two people and € 40 per basket for three people.
Madeira Toboggan Ride
Another must see is the Funchal Market. With an abundance of smell and colours, this market is divided into three parts. The flower section, the fruit and vegetable section and the fish section. Here you will find all kinds of tropical fruit and even some unusual ones that grow on the island. The stall holders will let you taste unsual fruits and are not terribly pushy to get you to buy.On the fish section you will see the well known black scabbard fish with its huge eyes, razor sharp teeth and long eel like body. Its a deap sea fish that dies as it is brought up to the surface. Its white flesh is surprisingly tasty and is served all over Madeira grilled with fried banana - a dish known as ESPADA. Its really tasty - although its best to try it before you see it in the market!

Funchal Market
Take a tour, for € 4.50, through the cellars and museum of The Old Blandy's Wine Lodge. The Wine Lodge is situated right in the heart of town and comprises of a beautiful old building, with various cellars. One of the cellars in the wine lodge comprises of all the vintage wines, some that are almost one hundred years old. Wine tasting is offered and you can even taste a wine from 1908, for a price, ofcource. After the wine tasting one can also purchase the wines. Choices are between dry and sweet Madeira wine. Prices are quiet inexpensive and a "normal" glass of wine will set you back € 5 versus a vintage 1958 at € 18.
Blandys Wine Lodge
Another popular pass time in Funchal, is to go out and do some Dolphin and Whale Watching by Catamaran. Watching dolphins swim right up to you while on this boat trip is a real pleasurable experience. The chances of you being able to see dolphins or whales are 95%. The trip takes about 3 hours and goes out twice a day, every day. It anchors in front of the highest sea cliff in Europe, Cabo Girão, for a swim and a chance do do some snorkeling. The Catamaran is quiet big, takes up to 70 people, has a covered area and has refreshments and toilets on board. The cost for this ride is
€ 30.
Madeira Boat Trip

More on what to you can see in Funchal

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