Cheap flights to Madeira depart from Manchester Airport, and Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow airports near London. Flights to Madeira may also depart from other regional airports around the UK. EU and UK citizens do not require a visa to enter Portugal. International flights to Madeira will arrive at Madeira Airport. Metered taxis are available from the taxi stand outside the arrivals area of the airport. There are regular Airport Bus services between the airport and the city of Funchal. SAM also operates a reliable local bus service to Funchal. The bus stop is a short walk down the main road in front of the airport. Tickets can be purchased on board the bus.
A few companies provide bus services around Madeira. Horarios de Funchal is one of the main bus companies in Madeira, and operates services around Funchal and other parts of the island. Single tickets can be purchased on board the bus. GIRO smart cards are also available from Horarios de Funchal. These smart cards can be preloaded with credit for multiple journeys. GIRO cards can be purchased from various shops and post office around Funchal. Taxis can be flagged down in near popular tourist spots, and can also be booked in advance. They are easily recognised by their blue and yellow livery.
The capital city of Funchal is a classic holiday destination. Explore the Sao Vicente Caves via a walkway, and visit the Volcanism Centre to discover a volcano’s inner workings. Take in a cable car ride up to Monte to enjoy splendid views around the island. The Jardins do Palheiro complex consists of several gardens, including the Sunken Gardens, a French Garden and a Rose Garden. Learn about the island’s history at the Madeira History Centre. The centre has a permanent exhibition showcasing Madeira’s past as an important port, as well as temporary exhibitions of works by local artists.
The Mercado dos Lavradores in Funchal’s Old Town is packed with stalls selling colourful fresh produce and exotic fish. Forum Madeira is a large open-plan shopping mall with plenty of fashionable stores as well as a selection of restaurants and fast food chains. Head to Casa Madeirense for a taste of traditional Madeiran cuisine. Limpets are a regional delicacy, especially when fried with plenty of garlic. Il Gallo d’Oro is Madeira’s only Michelin-starred restaurant. It is famous for its elegant Madeiran menu. Try your luck at the Casino de Madeira, or visit the Copacabana nightclub in the basement. Vespa is Madeira’s most well-known nightclub, and very popular with locals and visitors.