This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Funchal. To help you make friends with Funchal before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Funchal is the capital of the beautiful island Madeira in Portugal, with a Mediterranean climate that is very inviting for tourism all year. Funchal is well known for its good food, Madeira wine, nature, and an amazing nightlife. During the day you can enjoy the sun and beaches, and at night you can have a lot of fun in bars and discos located in the city center. Funchal is a very touristic and cosmopolitan/modern city, full of good restaurants, shops, cafes, bars, and discos, but you'll also find some evidence of the past and history of the city -- you will find interesting museums, monuments and gardens to visit.
Funchal is also very known and appreciated for New Years Eve -- the main attraction is the big fireworks at midnight that becomes even more amazing because of the landscape surrounding, and the fun after in bars and discos that sometimes lasts until noon the next day. The atmosphere in Funchal allows you to relax during the day in a beach or in a esplanade, eat some "lapas" (typical sea food in Madeira), and party with your friends all night drinking the typical drink "poncha" (a spirit drink in lime or passionfruit flavor).
If you have more than a few days of vacation, it's worth renting a car and visiting the surroundings. The island has a lot to offer depending what you are looking for -- if you like walking/trekking, there are a lot of walks that you can do (easy to moderate), with beautiful waterfalls, mountains, and astonishing landscapes; if you prefer more relaxing activities, there are a lot of beautiful beaches and small villages that deserve a visit like Porto Moniz (with beautiful, natural swimming pools), Machico, Pico do Areeiro, and Ribeira Brava.
There are a lot of offers for accommodation, but not so many hostels in Funchal; be sure that you book in advance. Funchal hostels are usually really small places and locally owned.
Written by local enthusiast for Funchal hostelsGrace