The glittering Entertainment Complex at the Pestana Casino Park Hotel & Casino, Avenida do Infante, Funchal (tel. 29/120-91-00; www.pestana.com), is the most obvious entertainment venue for first-time visitors. The complex offers an array of options. Foremost is a casino, the only one on Madeira, which offers roulette, French banque, craps, blackjack, and slot machines. To be admitted, you must present a passport or other form of identification and pay a 5€ government tax. The casino is open daily from 4pm to 3am; there is no admission cost.
Nearby, on Avenida do Infante, is a dance club, Copacabana (tel. 29/123-31-11), that's at its liveliest after 11pm Thursday through Saturday; it charges a cover (including one drink) of 7€. On Sunday at 9pm, the hotel offers a Las Vegas-style cabaret show. For the show only, there's a minimum bar tab of 15€ per person; dinner, two drinks, and a view of the show costs 50€. In addition, the complex contains bars, kiosks, and boutiques. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Options outside the casino complex are limited, although some hotels present dinner shows. Funchal isn't the best place in Portugal to hear fado, but you can sample the music at Arsenios Restaurant, Rua de Santa Maria 169 (tel. 29/122-40-07), which serves dinners from 20€ to 30€. It's open daily from 8 to 10pm.
Teatro Municipal Baltazar Diaz, Avenida Arriaga (tel. 29/123-35-69), in the center of Funchal, presents plays (in Portuguese only) and occasional classical music concerts. The tourist office has information, and tickets can be purchased at the box office.
There's limited dance club action in town, notably at Vespas, Av. Sá Carneiro 7 (tel. 29/123-48-00), a warehouselike club near the docks. This postmodern place attracts a young crowd. It's open Thursday through Saturday from 10pm to either 2 or 3am (depending on business). If you're over 35, you might head for the spacious Taverna Bar, Largo António Nobre 9007 (tel. 29/123-95-00), in the Madeira Carlton Hotel. It features modern dance music and hits from the 1970s and 1980s. Hours are Thursday to Saturday 10:30pm to 2am. Neither club has a cover charge.
Prince Albert, Rua da Imperatriz Dona Amélia (tel. 29/123-57-93), is a Victorian pub complete with plush cut-velvet walls, tufted banquettes, and English pub memorabilia. Next to the Savoy, it serves English spirits and oversize mugs of beer at the curved bar and at tables under Edwardian fringed lamps. It's open daily 11am to midnight.
You also might try the restaurant/taverna A Seta, where you can sample the local wine until 11pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.