Funchal is the largest city, the municipal seat and the capital of Portugal‘s Autonomous Region of Madeira, and has been the capital of Madeira for more than five centuries.
Funchal‘s name comes from the abundance of fennel (funcho) found on the island. It was an important shipping centre during the 15th-17th centuries. Often referred to as the ‘garden island’ due to its lush vegetation and numerous botanical gardens.
The city centre is small enough to explore on foot. Orange city buses can take you around and up to Monte for some great views, or take the Funchal Cable Car (Teleforico do Funchal) with views of the city from above in a gondola. The upper station is at Monte, where you can visit the Monte Palace gardens and the church at Monte.