Once upon a time, you had to look hard for nightlife in Funchal. However, over recent years, the city has seen a number of clubs and bars opening up, giving plenty of options to those who want to kick their heels up once the sun goes down. You won't tend to see many locals until the weekend; unlike many resorts, Funchal is a working city and its inhabitants don't tend to let their hair down until the week is done. However, for those of us lucky enough to be enjoying this superb city as part of a well-earned break, the Funchal nightlife scene is very much alive and kicking!
Get Your Dancing Shoes On!If it's dancing you want from the nightlife in Funchal, then make for the centre of town. This is where the larger clubs are located, either as part of or next to the major hotels. Most of the clubs open in the early evening and keep the party going until around four in the morning. It's worth getting into one before midnight, as that's when the queues start to form, and you could find yourself waiting in line for some time! The Kool Klub Kafe is where visitors and locals go to be seen on the scene. An upmarket lounge club, you'll find it has an astonishing array of cocktails on offer and plays the latest in dance and RnB music.
Live MusicLive music is a popular fixture of Funchal nightlife and the FX Bar is one of the most popular venues. Drinks-wise, you can get everything from a beer to exotic cocktails and fiery spirits. While the bar is set up for live music, there's also a nightclub attached to it, so you can choose to listen to local talent or shake your stuff to club classics. Alternatively, head to the Copacabana Club. Playing predominantly Latin-inspired music, the club offers a memorable night out, with an extensive drinks' list and an aerobics display, which is held on the dancefloor, before the club kicks into Entertainment Mode.
Where to DrinkHowever, nightlife in Funchal isn't just about dancing; there are some great places in which to enjoy a warm-up drink before the night's shenanigans really get started. Check out Bar do Museu, which is the city's most comprehensive wine bar. You'll find everything from budget-friendly gluggables to exquisite fine wines which are worth savouring. If you'd rather grab a bite and a drink and watch the world go by, make for the White House Pub. Along with an extensive selection of drinks, it serves traditional cuisine and has a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Something Completely DifferentFor something completely different, look out for the A Pereira restaurant, halfway between Funchal and Monte. This is the home of Typical Folklore; an evening devoted to the food, music and dancing of Madeira. Enjoy traditional dishes such as espetada, grilled tuna and bolo de caco, while listening to Madeiran musicians and joining in with age-old dances.