Top things to do in Madeira

Top Choice Carnival in Funchal

Carnaval

The calendar's biggest party hits Funchal in late winter when the island is busiest. One of the world's best carnivals, the main attraction is the 9pm two-hour-long procession along Funchal's seafront, a spectacle y…
Top Choice Madeiran in Funchal

Regional Flavours

Take a superb location on pedestrianised Rua da Carreira, a team plucked from top Madeiran restaurants and an inspired owner, and the result is one of the most authentic dining experiences in the archipelago. João C…
Top Choice Beach in Funchal

Praia Formosa/do Arieiro

Anyone who says Madeira has no beaches should hop on bus 1 or 43 to the boulders and browny-black sand of this wild strand in Funchal's western suburbs. Cafe-bars, a car park and other facilities are all here and th…
Top Choice Madeiran in Funchal

Venda da Donna Maria

This great shabby-chic Zona Velha restaurant uses local recipes that every Funchal avozinha (granny) would instantly recognise. Take a seat at the tightly packed jumble of tables to enjoy espada (scabbardfish) with …
Top Choice Arts & Crafts in Funchal

Saudade Madeira

Local producers of handicrafts and speciality foodstuffs pay for shelf space at this arty shop-cafe bang in the centre of Funchal. Everything from Madeira-themed paintings to locally made azulejos (hand-painted tile…
Top Choice Winery in Funchal

Pereira D'Oliveira

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 barrel room in central Funchal and try almost as much wine as th…
Top Choice Seafood in Funchal

Gavião Novo

Madeira's top seafood restaurant is an intimate affair at the heart of the Zona Velha, attracting tourists, locals and Portuguese rich and famous, who come for one of the most authentic dining experiences on the isl…
Top Choice Teahouse in Funchal

Reid's Tea Terrace

The quintessential British–Madeiran experience is afternoon tea at Reid's. Some 24 types of tea, as well as cucumber sandwiches, delicate cakes and Champagne, are served on the terrace looking out over the bay of Fu…
Top Choice New Year in Funchal

Fim do Ano

The second biggest bash of the year (after Carnaval) with a gargantuan fireworks display that uses the entire city as a pyrotechnical amphitheatre. It's one of the most popular times to be on the island and accommod…
Top Choice Parade in Funchal

Festa da Flor

Carnaval 'take two' is an incredibly colourful celebration of Madeira's diverse plant life, with floats weighed down in blossoms and a parade passing through Funchal's city centre to a samba beat.