The Best Museums and Art Galleries in Funchal, Madeira

Whether you are a football fan or not, you will find some fascinating facts about soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo at the CR7 Museum of Portugal in the city Funchal on the Island Madeira
Whether you are a football fan or not, you will find some fascinating facts about soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo at the CR7 Museum of Portugal in the city Funchal on the Island Madeira | © amnat / Alamy
Matt Charlton

If you tire of trekking up hills to take in views of the Madeira capital Funchal and the Atlantic Ocean, you might want to catch your breath at a museum. Whether you’re into the history of Madeira, orchids and terraced gardens, children’s toys or footballer Cristiano Ronaldo’s trophies (yes, really), there’s a museum or gallery in Funchal for you.

1. Museu do Brinquedo

Museum

This private collection by José Manuel Borges Pereira comprises more than 20,000 toys, some dating back to the 19th century. There are rooms dedicated to toy cars, lorries and other vehicles, military toys, Star Wars toys, micro machines and dolls.

2. CR7 Museum

Museum

Funchal, Madeira. 23rd July, 2016. Cristiano Ronaldo opens up a luxury hotel and adjoining football museum in Funchal, his birthplace. © Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News
© Action Plus Sports Images / Alamy

You might think there isn’t a building big enough to house Cristiano Ronaldo’s ego, but this museum certainly puts in a valiant effort. The CR7 Museum tells the story of the superstar Portuguese footballer, who was born in Funchal, and houses his club trophies, Ballon d’Ors and golden boots – a total of 126 trophies (at the time of writing). On your visit, you can see photographs, videos and a wax replica of the man himself.

3. Madeira Story Centre

Museum

pavement cafe, restaurant, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, Europe. Image shot 07/2019. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy

Situated in the heart of Funchal Old Town, this museum will teach you about the history of Madeira in an immersive way. From its volcanic origins, discovery and hydroplanes to pirate attacks, the displays are informative and fun. Thematic gardens containing flowers and plants typically found on Madeira overlook Funchal´s historic city centre and provide magnificent views.

5. Museu Quinta das Cruzes

Museum, Botanical Garden

Museu da Quinta das Cruzes, Calcado de Pico, Oberstadt, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
© Schoening / Alamy

This museum, located on Funchal Bay, holds countless objects of art, Portuguese and foreign furniture collections (mainly of English origin) plus several pieces of jewellery, ceramics and sculpture. It opened to the public in 1953, placing on display a collection of decorative arts pulled together by Madeiran César Filipe Gomes. The exquisite garden includes an orchidarium and an archaeological park, which has been assembled with architectural elements retained from the demolition of several of the original buildings.

6. Press Museum

Museum

The museum - storage of expensive vintage wine Madeira. An ancient press for a grapes extraction
© Wieslaw Jarek / Alamy

This is one of the newest museums in the region – hot off the press, if you will – and brings together the interesting historical, typographic, lithographic and cinematographic heritage of communication and the press on this archipelago. The mission of the museum is to display, make an inventory of and recover the heritage of the Madeira media and this is all housed in a beautiful art deco-inspired building, scenically perched on a cliff.

7. Sacred Art Museum of Funchal

Museum

Altar frontal 1500-1520 ( Convent of Sao Francisco in Funchal ) 16th-century Portugal, Portuguese,
© Peter Horree / Alamy

Portugal has more than its fair share of sacred art and religious artefacts, and this former Bishop’s Palace of Funchal contains paintings, sculptures, gold and silver objects and vestments dating from the end of the 15th century to the 19th century. Most noteworthy are its Flemish panels, distinguished not only by their high quality but also by their large dimensions, which are uncommon in the museums of mainland Europe.

8. Adegas de São Francisco

Winery, Museum, Memorial

Bottles of Madeira wine of varying vintages on display at the Adegas de Sao Francisco in Funchal. Image shot 2005. Exact date unknown.
© Paul Bernhardt / Alamy

After visiting all those museums, you’ll need a drink. How fortunate then that you find yourself in one of the oldest wine cellars in Funchal, primed to learn about the English firms that started the Madeira Wine Company via books, tools, a press from the 17th century and machines from that time too. Most importantly, there’s a wine tasting room, where you can sample the cellar’s renowned stocks of sercial, verdelho, bual and malvasia wines.

Looking for more? Why not make a weekend of it with a stay at one of the best hotels in Funchal for every traveller – book here on Culture Trip. After a long day, enjoy a delicious meal at one of these top restaurants.

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