Is Madeira expensive? A breakdown of EVERYTHING I spent

Is Madeira expensive to visit?

If you’re visiting this Portuguese island and are wondering about the costs of travel in Madeira, here’s everything you need to know.

I recently travelled to Madeira for five nights/ four full days, and I’m going to break down everything I spent in this post.

Is Madeira expensive to visit?

Madeira’s not expensive, but it’s also not the cheapest destination in Europe. 

Certain things in Madeira were excellent value – I thought that our accommodation was a steal and our day trips were a great price too!

Food wasn’t really cheap, but it was more affordable than a lot of other Western Europe locations. 

Madeira travel costs

Here’s a table with everything I spent in five nights (four full days) in Madeira.

Most of these values were divided into two, as I put everything for myself and my mum on my card. I’ve noted the values which are just for one person.

ItemValue (for two people unless noted otherwise)
Bolt taxi from airport17.34
Grocery shop6.82
Entry to Madeira Story Centre10
Cable car to Monte16.2
Grocery shop13.42
Dinner at Casa Mexico50.7
Cash at ATM30
Lunch at Conchinha Bar in Porto Moniz17.6
Souvenirs22 (one person)
Grocery shop14.24
Coffee at Casa de Abrigo3.3 (one person)
Lunch at 100 Montaditos9.5
Funchal Botanic Garden Entrance15
Blandy’s Wine Lodge Madeiran wine tasting14.55
Cocktais at Reids32
Bolt taxi6.08
Dinner at Madcuba26.1
Coffee at Ribiero Frio5
Souvenirs in Ribiero Frio21 (one person)
Lunch at A Espiga10.5
Grocery Shop4.34
Cash at ATM10
Dinner at Terra Food84
Bolt to airport 18
Madiera Duty-Free (bottle of port)24.5 (one person)
Get Your Guide tour of Madeira’s West38.05 (one person)
Get Your Guide tour of Madeira’s East36.03 (one person)
Transfer to Pico do Arieiro for sunrise hike33.03 (one person)

In total, I spent €719 (EUR) or £617 (GBP) on myself.

This averages out to be €144 (EUR) or £123 (GBP) per person per night.

Cost of flights to Madeira 

I spent £132.94 or €155 on my flight from London Gatwick to Funchal. 

This was for a return EasyJet flight, during the day (flight times were quite nice both ways!) with no baggage or overhead bags (I just crammed all I needed into an under-seat bag!). 

Cost of accommodation in Madeira

Our accommodation in Madeira was an Airbnb right in Funchal city centre. 

For this 2-bedroom flat, I paid €215.74 after I split it with my mum. 

The Airbnb boasted a spacious lounge, perfect for relaxing, and a huge terrace! 

It was an ideal place for morning coffees or relaxing in the evening. 

The apartment had two toilets and even a bath!

And there was also a full kitchen, which meant we could save some money on breakfasts and a home-cooked dinner. 

However, the apartment that we stayed at doesn’t seem to be hosting any more!

There are a few other apartment options in Madeira, here are some similar properties:

If you’re a backpacker, Santa Maria Hostel comes highly recommended.

Cost of food in Madeira

We mainly ate out in Madeira, although did eat breakfasts in and made one dinner at the flat – so there was a bit of grocery shopping too!

These are the costs for one person.

For grocery shopping, which included food for the meals and snacks, I spent a total of €19.41 in the five days. 

On the first night, we dined at Casa Mexico, where I gorged on authentic tacos and guacamole (with a wine) for €25.35. 

We visited Conchinha Bar in Porto Moniz on the second day, which served some really tasty sandwiches (in traditional Bolo de Caco bread) and a cappuccino with soy milk for just €8.80.

I grabbed a coffee during the Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo hike for €3.30. 

For a quick lunch, 100 Montaditos is a fantastic budget-friendly choice – I bought a variety of options plus a Coke Zero for only €4.75! They serve lots of small tapas-style plates for around €1 each. 

We went to Madeiran wine tasting at Blandy’s Wine Lodge, where I tried Madeiran wines for €7.28 – they were very sweet, not to my taste, but they were good to have! 

In the swanky setting of Reid’s Hotel which boasts views over Funchal Bay, I enjoyed a sophisticated cocktail for €16.

One night, we dined at Madcuba, a Cuban restaurant where I had a veggie plate and a glass of wine for €13.05. 

For a lighter meal, I stopped at A Espiga for a lunch of soup and bolo de caco. This was a local speciality and it cost just €5.25.

On the last night, we went to Terra Restaurant, and I enjoyed a two-course meal with wine for €42; I had Thai-style soup and a Sri Lankan vegetable plate. 

Cost of transport in Madeira

We took a couple of bus rides in Madeira; they were a budget-friendly way to explore the island and cost a total of €5.85 per person (€1.95 per ride). 

We also used Bolt to and from the airport and once in Funchal itself. 

The Bolt fares (when divided by two) were €8.67 and €9. 

The Bolt fare in Funchal (again, divided by two) came to €3.04. 

The most significant transport expense was the flights to and from Madeira (from London Gatwick), which came to €154.68 per person. 

Cost of activities in Madeira 

There are so many fun things to do in Madeira!

Foremost, I went for a couple of runs in Funchal, which was a lovely way to see the city. 

Then, we headed out to explore Funchal. 

First, we went to the Madeira Story Centre, a museum showcasing the rich history of the island – from its volcanic origins to modern times – which cost €5.

Next, the Teleferico, or cable car ride, boasted views of Funchal and its surroundings for €8.10 and served as transport to Monte.

We also went to the Funchal Botanic Garden, which cost €7.50 and affords epic views of the city and Funchal coastline. 

I also joined two day trips organized by Get Your Guide. 

Lastly, I took a transfer to Pico do Arieiro and then hiked to Pico Ruivo.

This transfer service (including drop off and pick up, directions and maps but not including the services of a hiking guide) cost €33.03. 

Click here to check out the hike!

Other costs in Madeira

I spent a bit on other costs in Madeira. 

From the ATM, I withdrew €28.3, which was used for small but essential expenses such as toilet access and purchasing a couple of coffees. 

I also bought some Christmas presents!

  • For my partner, I bought a Portugal football t-shirt, costing €22 – he collects football shirts. 
  • For my partner’s mum, I chose a unique cork bag, priced at €21. 
  • Lastly, I purchased Port wine for my partner’s dad for €24.50. 

Money-saving tips for Madeira

Exploring the enchanting island of Madeira doesn’t have to break the bank!

Here are some top tips for visiting Madeira on a budget. 

Stay in an Apartment and Cook Some Meals

One of the most effective ways to save money in Madeira is by opting to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel. 

In our Airbnb, not only did we have the comfort of a home but also access to a kitchen!

If you do the same, you can take advantage of this by cooking some of your meals. 

Visit local supermarkets or smaller grocery stores to purchase fresh, regional produce and ingredients – I went to Pingo Doce a few times. 

Preparing your breakfast or dinner can significantly reduce your food expenses, allowing you to indulge in restaurant meals selectively rather than because you have to!

Weigh Up Car Rental vs. Going on Tours

Transport can be a considerable expense, so do weigh your options between renting a car and joining organised tours. 

If you’re comfortable driving and plan to explore extensively, renting a car might be more cost-effective. It offers flexibility and can be economical, especially when travelling in a group. 

However, if you’re focusing on specific attractions or prefer not to navigate the roads yourself, you could do guided tours!

They often include entrance fees and insightful commentary. 

Don’t Shop at the Funchal Farmer’s Market!

While the Funchal Farmer’s Market is a vibrant and colourful place to visit, I wouldn’t recommend buying anything here. 

Prices at the market are inflated due to its popularity with tourists. It’s pretty much the only scam on the island!

Instead, explore local shops and markets outside the main tourist areas for more authentic and reasonably priced items. 

FAQs about Madeira’s expenses

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about visiting the island of Madeira.

Is Madeira Expensive for Food and Drink?

Food and drink prices in Madeira can vary widely depending on where you dine and what you order. 

You’ll find a range of options from affordable local eateries to more upscale restaurants. 

Grocery shopping is a cost-effective alternative for those looking to save on meals. 

Expect to pay around €25 for a mid-range restaurant meal for two and less for casual dining or street food.

Is Madeira Expensive to Holiday?

The cost of holidaying in Madeira depends on your travel style and choices. 

Accommodation, dining out, and activities can add up, but there are ways to manage expenses, such as staying in apartments, cooking some meals, and choosing budget-friendly activities. 

Madeira offers a range of options to suit various budgets.

Is Madeira a Cheap Place to Visit?

Madeira is not necessarily a cheap destination, but it offers value for money considering its natural beauty, cultural experiences, and range of activities.

With careful planning and budget-friendly choices, you can enjoy a relatively economical visit.

How Much is a Pint of Beer in Madeira?

The price of a pint of beer in Madeira varies, typically ranging from €1.50 to €3 in local bars and restaurants. Prices may be higher in tourist-heavy areas and upscale establishments.

How Much is an Average Meal in Madeira?

An average meal in a mid-range restaurant in Madeira can cost between €10 and €15 per person.

Casual dining spots and local eateries offer meals at lower prices, while fine dining restaurants will be more expensive.

What is the Cheapest Month for Madeira?

The cheapest months to visit Madeira are typically during the off-peak season, which includes late fall, winter, and early spring (November to March).

During these months, you can find lower prices on flights and accommodations due to reduced tourist traffic.

What is the Most Expensive Part of Madeira?

Funchal, the capital city, is generally considered the most expensive part of Madeira.

It’s a popular tourist destination with a concentration of hotels, restaurants, and attractions, which can drive up prices.

However, exploring areas outside Funchal can offer more budget-friendly options.

So, is Madeira cheap or expensive?

Madeira’s not cheap, but also not that expensive!

Take a look at my trip in detail on my YouTube channel.