Madeira has something for everyone's budget. Prices at most places, excluding beverages, run between 10 and 20 euros per dish per person. Aside from costly and moderate restaurants in hotels and tourist areas, there are also smaller and less priced restaurants and pubs where residents dine.
The cost of eating out varies depending on the type of restaurant. If you go to a fine dining establishment, you can expect to pay 150-250 euros per person. In contrast, a typical local restaurant will set you back only 30-60 euros per person. Of course, you can also find delicious food at much cheaper prices, but only if you know what types of places not to go to.
The most expensive city in Portugal when it comes to eating out is Porto with a average price of 40 euros per person. Lisbon is next at 35 euros, while Funchal is the least expensive at 10 euros.
Madeirans like to eat out too and the cost of food is one of the reasons why many people cannot afford to live here. A meal for two people usually costs around 60 euros or more. However, there are some regions with low food prices such as the southern part of the island where vegetables are expensive and meat is cheap.
Overall, Madeira has reasonably high food prices. The main expense is meat which accounts for 70% of the total bill.
You should budget roughly EUR 76 ($91) per day for your holiday in the Madeira Islands, which is the average daily price based on other guests' spending. Previous visitors spent an average of EUR 27 ($32) on meals and EUR 7.89 ($9.38) on local transportation in a single day. If you plan to visit several museums and attractions, add some extra for parking fees and bus tickets.
The main airport in the Madeiran capital, Funchal, is called "Madeira Airport". It offers direct flights to London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt many times a week, as well as to cities in Portugal including Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. The airport is not really big but it has all the necessary services for a comfortable stay.
If you're looking for something more intimate, there are also smaller airports on Madeira where you can find flights to/from cities such as Las Vegas, New York, Toronto, and Miami. These airports are located on the northern coast near where most of the cruise ships dock.
The best place to stay on Madeira is definitely the city center. There are many affordable hotels in Funchal with prices starting at around EUR 80 ($95). For less than EUR 100 ($115), you can stay in downtown Santa Cruz. If you want to spend more, consider checking out luxury hotels such as the Hilton or the Westin that go up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars per night.
Madeira's cost of living is far lower than the rest of Europe, however it certainly depends on your lifestyle. Most things are less expensive than in other EU nations, including real estate, rent, food, beverages, and entertainment. Public transportation is also very affordable. A half-day pass for a bus or ferry costs only €4 (about $5). If you drive, you will not be able to afford to own a car; there are no rental agencies on the island.
The most expensive thing about Madeira's lifestyle is likely going to be its beauty. Madeira has some of the best beaches in all of Portugal, with black sand and clear waters that are perfect for diving. It is possible to go hiking or biking through the islands' natural parks, where you will find waterfalls, caves, and arches carved by the wind and rain. In addition, many luxury hotels have been built on the coast, such as JK Residence - which features five-star amenities like its own private beach and restaurant- and Quinta do Lago, which offers spa treatments and yoga classes.
Overall, Madeira's economy is based mainly on tourism, but it also has some successful agriculture and commerce sectors. Since there are no factories on the island, everything is imported from elsewhere in Portugal or abroad. However, despite its low prices, Madeira remains economically independent and stable.
Based on past tourists' spending tendencies, an average lunch in Portugal should cost roughly EUR 12 per person. Breakfast is often less expensive than lunch or supper. In Portugal, the price of meals in a sit-down restaurant is frequently more than the price of food in a fast food restaurant or on the street.
The most expensive country in Europe for eating out is probably France, but you can easily spend twice as much there as in Portugal. In Italy, a meal for two will set you back about $50, but that's before you add wine, coffee, or dessert. Spain is also very expensive, with prices rising especially during summer when restaurants offer outdoor dining.
In Portugal, you can have a meal for around €12-15 inside a good restaurant. If you go outside city limits, you can expect to pay around €20 for what would be a typical main course menu item. Beer and wine together make up about one-third of the total cost of eating out. Appetizers, desserts, and water are also relatively expensive.
Beer is the cheapest thing on the menu, at just over €3 per pint, while wine goes for around €10-15 per glass. If you drink alcohol, you'll also need to factor in the extra cost of these items. Eating out is still quite affordable compared to many other countries, though.