Funchal is Madeira’s capital city: the bustling, cultural centre of the island with narrow cobbled streets, mosaic pavements and an interesting mix of traditional and modern architecture.

With around 150,000 inhabitants, it’s Portugal’s largest city outside of the mainland and it’s name comes from the wild Fennel (in Portuguese ‘Funcho’) which the first settlers found growing in abundance. The city sits on the more temperate south coast of the island, within a natural amphitheatre whose slopes rise gently from the busy marina, up to the famous Monte Palace Gardens and beyond. It’s a great place to shop for local produce and souvenirs, and has an excellent selection of friendly restaurants and cafe bars.

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