Funchal Shopping – Shops, Stores, Best Buys & Inside Tips
Funchal is the largest city in Portugal, which makes it a hot spot for tourists. Vendors from all over the country bring their best items to Funchal looking to sell in traditional stores and open markets.
Funchal Shopping – Shops & Stores
There are essentially two kinds of shopping experiences in Funchal. There is the traditional shopping mall with lots of different shops and name-brand items. Then, there are open markets that bring together the best local vendors selling unique products.
If you want to experience a traditional shopping experience first, you should visit La Vie Shopping Center in Funchal. This is a sizable place with a huge range of shops, plus eating and drinking establishments. You can find just about anything that you need. Plus, it is spotlessly clean and looks very modern.
For grocery items, you should visit Continente Supermarket. It is a sizeable store and has everything that you require on your trip. The best part is the prices are reasonable. The supermarket stocks the usual name brands that you are familiar with, plus their own brand products that are equally good.
Funchal Shopping – Best Buys
The prices at the shopping mall and supermarket are fixed prices. But, if you want to find the best buys in Funchal, you will head to the open market, specifically Mercado Dos Lavradores (the Farmer’s Market), which is located in the center of Funchal.
These local vendors are willing to negotiate prices in order to sell their products. You can find wine, fresh meat, candies, leather bags, milk products, and more items. Plus, in the back of the building is a fish market, where fish arrive and are cleaned on the spot. This colorful place is great for finding local items at reasonable prices – if you know how to negotiate.
Inside Tips on Shopping in Funchal
The key to a successful shopping experience in Funchal is knowing how to negotiate. If you act like a tourist, you’re going to end up paying the asking price at the farmer’s market. But, if you act like you belong and know how to negotiate, you can buy some amazing items at reasonable prices.
The fresh food available in Funchal is exceptional. So, take advantage of the stand owners engaging in direct and personalized sales of their day-to-day products. The vendors do not want to go home with products, so make sure you understand how to relieve them of their items at a reasonable price.
Madeira Island Shopping – Shops, Stores, Best Buys & Inside Tips
Madeira Island Shopping
Madeira Island is a memorable vacation destination, and has been recently transformed into a modern shopping must-visit. With classic boutiques, mega-malls, flower markets, and designer stores, Madeira Island has something special for everyone.
Madeira Shopping Center
Ten minutes from the city center in Santa Quitéria is one of the most splendid shopping centers on the island. Built in a modern, appealing style with interesting Madeiran features, this spacious shopping mall contains 83 shops, 20 restaurants, coffee shops, snack bars, and seven movie theaters. In Portugal, movies are shown in their original language, but with Portuguese subtitles. Like ice cream? Try the great ice cream parlor. It caters to all, and as a bonus has marvelous views of Madeira. An underground garage has 970 free parking spaces.
Mercado dos Lavradores
Located in the old town Funchal, Mercado dos Lavradores Farmer’s Market is alive with local sound, color, smells, and wonderful tradition. Built in 1940, the market aimed to provide the island’s inhabitants with a central location to buy and sell local products, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, and textiles. The main entranceway is decorated with hand-painted azulejos (tiles) that display regional artistic themes. Women dressed in traditional Madeira costume sell flowers. Fresh, exotic fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs are treats to treasure.
Must-Try: Bolo de Mel, Madeira Honey Cake
For a special treat, try the Bolo de Mel, authentic Madeiran Honey Cake. It’s traditionally made with molasses instead of honey, which gives it a dark color and spongy, sticky texture. Plus, it can be stored for 5 years. The custom is not to cut the cake, but to tear pieces off using your hands. Delicious!