If people say that there is not much nightlife in Madeira, we have to admit that this is partly true during the week as – and that is the good thing about Madeira – daily life on the island hasn’t submitted yet to the rhythm of a tourist life. The ratio of tourists to locals – who live and work here all year round – is very low, so it is quite understandable that the working and studying population lives their climax of a ‘normal’ week on the weekends and then there are lots of things to do on an enjoyable night out until dawn!
To make your evening a success, here are a few suggestions where to go in Funchal… depending on your mood, preferences or special occasions you might want to celebrate on your holidays in Madeira.
Café-Bars & Pubs
Café Fora d’oras, White House Pub (both in Rua da Casa Branca – Lido area), Number 2 (opposite the Madeira Carlton), Moynihans ( Madeira’s only Traditional Irish Bar), Prince Albert Pub and Joe’s Bar (all in Rua da Imperatriz Dona Amélia – street passing behind Hotel Savoy), Café Teatro (next to Municipal Theatre), Bar do Museu (city centre – at the Municipal Square)
Bars and Night Clubs
If you enjoy live music, dancing and a drink ‘al fresco’ on a nice esplanade, you can try Moynihans (in street behind the Savoy), FX bar (behind Municipal Theatre – harbour side)
There are several discotheques for all age groups located in the centre of Funchal and within or nearby long established 5 star hotels. Opposite the Number 2 pub night owls will find Kool (open all week until late into the morning). The ‘Chameleon’ (open everyday from 19.00 to 04.00 h) is located a bit further down from the Madeira Carlton on the left side of the street leading to the harbour. On the basement of the Casino you will find the ‘Copacabana’, a club that normally has a themed evening where very often fashion and aerobic shows take place and bands perform live until 01.00 h before the club night’ starts (open Wednesdays to Saturdays and on nights before public holidays from 23.00 to 04.00 h).
Further downtown, within the harbour and next to the ferry terminal you will see an the remains of an old fort with a building on top, this is ‘O Molhe’ (The Pier) an al fresco club with 2 or 3 rooms playing different sounds. (Fridays & Saturdays from 24.00 to 06.00 h) This club is at its busiest between 1am and 3am then people start heading down to the row of clubs opposite the freight harbour, here you’ll find ‘Marginal’ and ‘Jam’ (both open from Wednesday to Sunday and on nights before public holidays from 24.00 to 06.00 h),
‘Marginal’ is a small bar playing thumping music and new beats while ‘Jam’ is well known for its “eighties” inspired music and tends to have a slighly older croud. Next door to these two clubs is ‘Vespas’ (open from Wednesday to Sunday and on nights before public holidays from 24.00 to 06.00 h) Madeira’s biggest and best known club. On weekends this place is very popular with the locals, but it also serves as last ‘pit stop’ for all those who just don’t want to go home yet!
Dinner Shows & Themed Entertainment Evenings
Many hotels offer weekly programs with various themed evenings open to the public. Madeira Folklore evenings – combined with a typical dinner – usually take place every day in ‘A Parreira’ and ‘A Seta’. ‘Fado’ can be heard at ‘Arsénio’s’ and ‘Marcelino’ in the Old Town.
Madeira also has a Casino for all those who want to try their luck with gambling! Opening times for the slot machines are from Sunday to Thursday from 15.00 to 03.00 h – Fridays & Saturdays from 16.00 to 04.00 h. The Games Rooms (with 7 French Roulette and 4 Black Jack tables) are open from Sunday to Thursday from 20.00 to 03.00 h – Fridays & Saturdays from 20.00 to 04.00 h. Free entrance; identification document needed (sports clothes not permitted).