Top choice in Funchal

Funchal's 16th-century cathedral once oversaw the world's largest diocese – all of Portugal’s overseas territories from Madeira to Brazil to Angola – and its importance is reflected by the Manueline architectural style and artworks inside. Once your eyes have adjusted to the dim interior, look up at the ornate ceiling made of Madeiran cedar inlaid with shell, rope and white clay. The main altar dates from 1517 and features 12 Gothic panels depicting the Life of the Virgin and the Passion of Christ.

The Sé's clock tower dominates Funchal's skyline as it has for five centuries. Unfortunately the authorities have yet to come up with a way to make it safely climbable.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Funchal attractions

1. Museu de Arte Sacra

0.09 MILES

Housed in the former 16th-century bishop's palace dominating the south side of Praça do Município, Madeira's most fascinating art collection is a major…

2. Igreja do Colégio

0.12 MILES

Funchal's Jesuit Church dominates the city's prettiest square, Praça do Município. No surface is left unadorned in the baroque interior with its azulejos,…

3. Museu Photographia Vicentes

0.12 MILES

Set up by Vicente Gomes da Silva in 1865, this exquisitely preserved photographic studio, above a shady cobbled courtyard, was in use until 1982. The…

4. Blandy's

0.14 MILES

Housed in the Adegas de São Francisco, the former Franciscan monastery, Blandy's brings together the British-Madeiran wine companies that were given…

5. Pereira D'Oliveira

0.16 MILES

Run by the fifth generation of the D'Oliveira family, this is Funchal's most easily accessible wine experience. Anyone can enter the strongly aromatic…

6. Jardim Municipal

0.18 MILES

Verdant old park in the city centre, created on the site of the Convent of San Francisco, with tens of exotic labelled trees, twittering birds, basalt…

7. Madeira Film Experience

0.23 MILES

This undervisited attraction ambitiously promises 'the island's history in 30 minutes' and, it must be said, doesn't disappoint. With a soundtrack in…

8. Museu de História Natural

0.24 MILES

This old-fashioned museum, housed (in classic Funchal fashion) in a surplus palace, has an ageing aquarium on the ground floor, and stuffed local fauna,…