With a collection that’s dedicated exclusively to flora and fauna from Madeira, the Funchal Natural History Museum showcases taxidermied mammals, plants and insects, geological samples and fossils, and more. But, even before you set foot inside, the landmark draws plenty of interest. The museum is housed in the grand Palace of São Pedro, which was home to the wealthy Counts of Carvalhal in the 19th century, and it’s a popular destination for history buffs and architecture lovers.
The city’s aquarium and the museum’s scientific library also are located on-site.
Things to know before you go
- The Funchal Natural History Museum offers discounted admission to kids ages 11–17 and to senior citizens; children under 10 are admitted free.
- 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 (Zona Velha) at Rua da Mouraria 31, just adjacent to the São Pedro Church. The museum is within steps of many other museums. The location is served by numerous local bus lines and also can 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
Bookend your visit to the Funchal Natural History Museum with visits to some 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 tour the Madeira Optics Museum. The Sacred Art Museum of Funchal and hilltop Fortaleza de São João Baptista do Pico castle are also just a quick trip away.
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