Museum of Natural History (Municipal Museum of Funchal)
One of Funchal’s most characterful museums, the Funchal Natural History Museum (Museu de História Natural do Funchal is also the oldest in Madeira. Founded in 1929 and open since 1933, the small but charming museum is housed in a historic manor. Its collection includes thousands of plant and animal species native to the archipelago.
Even before you set foot inside the Funchal Natural History Museum, the landmark has plenty to draw you in. Housed in the grand Palace of São Pedro, which was home to the wealthy Counts of Carvalhal in the 19th century, the museum is a popular destination for history buffs and architecture lovers as well as visiting families. With a collection that’s dedicated exclusively to flora and fauna from Madeira, it showcases taxidermied mammals, plants and insects, geological samples and fossils, and more. The city’s aquarium and the museum’s scientific library are also located on-site.
The Funchal Natural History Museum is located in the city’s Old Town (Zona Velha), within steps of many other museums. Thanks to its accessible size, it’s easy to explore independently as part of a cultural day out in Funchal.
Things to know before you go
- Children under 10 receive free admission to the Funchal Natural History Museum, and kids 11–17 and senior citizens enjoy discounted admission.
- Select temporary exhibitions are held at the museum, most of which are accessible with regular admission.
- Accessing top-floor exhibits requires climbing two flights of wooden stairs.
How to get there
The Funchal Natural History Museum is centrally located in the city’s Old Town at Rua da Mouraria 31, just adjacent to the São Pedro Church. The museum is served by numerous local bus lines, and can also be reached by foot, by taxi, or by bike.
When to get there
The Funchal Natural History Museum is open daily, except on Mondays. The museum is closed every year on January 1, Shrove Tuesday, Easter Sunday, May 1, August 21, and December 25 and 26.
Other Must-See Madeira Museums
The Funchal Natural History Museum is conveniently located right by many of Funchal’s other leading cultural institutions. Head to the Museu Quinta das Cruzes, the Universo de Memórias João Carlos Abreu, or the Casa-Museu Frederico de Freitas to view their various decorative arts collections, or venture to the Madeira Optics Museum to explore one of the city’s newest museums. The Sacred Art Museum of Funchal and the hilltop Fortaleza de São João Baptista do Pico castle are also just a quick trip away.
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