Madeira — Shopping and Leisure
Unsurprisingly, Funchal has the best shopping on the island. There are malls and centers in the new town, as well as daily markets and traditional stores in the old town. Madeira churns out several items of interest, including wickerwork, Madeira wine, embroidery, and arts and crafts.
The best-known shopping center is the Madeira Shopping Mall in Santo Antonio at the Caminho de Santa Quitéria. It is full of dozens of stores, a number of restaurants (local tastes to fast food), cinemas and entertainment for kids.
Funchal is also noted for its markets; Mercado dos Lavradores (Workers’ Market) is the most popular. These busy stalls in the old town feature vendors dressed in traditional garb selling tropical flowers and wickerwork baskets. City Market, farther west, near the marina, is good for traditional crafts (especially Camacha basketry) and Madeira wines. You’ll see many bazaars like this in the center of town and at other spots around the island.
Always be prepared to haggle at the markets, and try to have a general sense of the value beforehand as everything is marked up significantly. Be aware that crafts, especially embroidered items, are often quite expensive due to the intense labor put in. Genuine Madeiran merchandise has a lead seal so be sure to check for the Patricio & Gouveia embroidery factory on the main Rua do Visconde de Anadia (number 33) to ensure authenticity.
Madeira Wickerwork and Wine
Wickerwork is the Madeira signature export and there is a wonderful array of items to choose from. Baskets are the staple, but there are also sturdy brushes, mats, Madeira wine bottle holders, and all types of furniture. You will find items in bazaars and shops all over Madeira, but if you want to see it made, head to Camacha, northeast of Funchal.
There are many varieties of Madeira wine, available everywhere from speciality shops to supermarkets. You can taste it at a wine lodge, restaurant or bar before you buy. The Madeira Wine Company (Avenue Arriaga 28) has the best selection once you’ve decided what you like.