Shopping in Madeira
Madeira Island and especially its capital Funchal have transformed in recent years, not only with its more modern infrastructure and hotels but also with its diversities. Male tourists should be warned that Madeira now has all the modern chains of shops you would find in any high street and also many more of the classic boutique style shops it was once known for, so don’t think you will get away without a “trip around the shops” or a purchase or two!
Many large commercial centres have opened their doors within the past few years bringing with them not only the major clothing brands but also electronics and even fast food restaurants. You will also find that many of the large chains are cheaper here in Madeira than at home.
These commercial centres are all open late, normally 10.00 - 22.00 but most open until midnight at the weekend making shopping an easy activity day or night. Also with the advent of the modern shopping mall, Madeira now has a couple of cinemas showing all the latest movies in English.
Shopping Malls - Shopping Centres
This is Funchal’s newest addition to the shopping scene. It has an excellent central location in downtown Funchal, next to the Santa Caterina Park, just 2 minutes away from the Marina and behind the main road ‘avenida de arriaga’. It is a large, modern mall with around 70 shops as well as a tasty food court offering anything from Burger King to Sushi. There is also a Health Club and a large Pingo Doce Supermarket and all this is serviced by a spacious car park that has a capacity for 900 cars. On the streets that circle the centre you will find many small boutique shops and one off designer establishments. Above the shopping mall is The Vine Hotel, a stunning place that overlooks all of Funchal. Lunches and coffees are reasonably priced and combined with the view from the outside terrace and the beauty of the infinity pool you will find that it complements the food perfectly.
If its al fresco shopping and eateries you like then The “Forum Madeira” is the mall for you. It is situated within the tourist and hotel zone on the west of Funchal (Lido/Ajuda), With its modern and airy gallery-style architecture on several levels grouping around a central tower and open square, the Forum Madeira also boasts an attractive roof garden from where visitors can enjoy stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. With 86 shops, including 17 restaurants, cafés and snack bars, 6 cinemas and a hypermarket, the Forum Madeira provides everything for a modern and extremely pleasant shopping experience. There are around 800 underground parking places available.
One street up you will find a great selection of smaller shops including stylish boutiques like ‘Cravo e Canela’ and the exclusive shop that is attracting many tourists due to its famous connections ‘CR7’ owned by the sister of world class footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and adorned with photos and images of the local hero and superstar.
This is another large shopping centre away from the main belt of Funchal in Santa Quitéria. Built in an attractive modern style blending with typical Madeiran features, this spacious shopping centre offers 83 shops, 20 restaurants, coffee shops, snack bars and 7 cinemas (in Portugal films are shown in their original language with Portuguese subtitles). Again, it caters for all types of shoppers and offers some great views of Madeira. Try the ice cream parlour, always great on a hot summers day. In total, there are around 970 free parking spaces available both an open parking terrace and an underground garage.
Smaller shopping centres worth a mention include:
Situated on ‘Avenida Arriaga’ opposite the marina.
Then a few steps further along towards the Cathedral, you’ll find to the right the
‘Galerias de São Lourenço’
A small but attractive shopping mall.
‘Arcadas de São Francisco’
Connected to the Madeira Wine Company (or Blandy’s Wine Lodge), which you can visit at the same time. But be careful if you’re the driver...!
Found on ‘Rua Fernão Ornelas’ opposite the traditional Madeiran Market.
Also, the back streets of Funchal offer a myriad of different shops sporting new looks and individuality. It is a great area to browse and it’s amazing what ‘finds’ are to be had. ‘Rua do Sabão’ is a street worth mentioning because of its shoe shops, all of which have the latest trends at a fraction of ‘high street’ prices.
Near the Sé Cathedral in the heart of the city centre you’ll find two of the longer established, small shopping centres, ‘Tavira’ and ‘Sé’, with very diversified shops and interesting offers.
Continuing your way towards the market, before crossing the streets ‘Rua 31 de Janeiro’ and ‘Rua 5 de Outubro’, you’ll find the ‘Bazar do Povo’, the city’s only department store, which, with its wooden floors and spacious wooden stairs, is still maintaining its ‘good, old world charm’ from the time when it was opened.
‘Anadia Shopping’, which you will find to the left at the end of the street ‘Rua Fernão Ornelas’, opposite the local market in the old town is a smaller centre with a more local feel.
Still in the centre but a bit further east of Funchal in the street ‘Rua do Bom Jesus’, there is the small shopping centre ‘Europa’, which due to its location is mainly frequented by locals and therefore maintains a nice local touch.
Madeira Souvenir Shopping
Wicker products are offered everywhere in the city of Funchal – you will find one of the biggest shops in ‘Rua do Castanheiro’ – and all over the island, but the main centre for wicker products with the biggest choice is located in the village of Camacha.
Embroidery shops – often connected with a factory – are to be found everywhere in the city centre of Funchal.
There are several specialised Madeira Wine Lodges and Shops in Funchal and surrounding areas where Madeira Wine tasting is offered and where your purchases will be professionally packed for safe transport home (such as Diogos Wine Shop, Madeira Wine Company, Oliveiras).
Madeira flowers, such as orchids, birds of paradise, king proteas, flamingo flowers etc… are the favourite souvenir to take back home to make the holiday feeling last a little bit longer. These flowers can be purchased anywhere in Funchal; at the local market, the flower stands in the city centre or the flower shops. In all these selling points they will pack your flowers in special boxes for safe transport for you to enjoy them back home as long as they last.