The old lanes, wide 20th-century boulevards and pretty squares of central West Funchal are where you’ll find some of Madeira’s top experiences, its best shopping and most interesting museums. It’s also the busiest part of the island with yellow buses, street cafes and shoppers from outside Funchal packing the streets from morning until sundown.
East Funchal is all about the Zona Velha, an old fishers’ neighbourhood that until recently was a rundown and almost lifeless area. Today it’s been transformed into a hip quarter packed with bars, galleries, shops and restaurants and is the place to head in Funchal come nightfall. The stellar attraction on the edge of the Zona Velha is the Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal’s vibrant market.