Cost of travel in Madeira: how to budget your trip


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To give you an idea of how much a trip to Madeira might cost, we kept daily track of our expenses during our most recent trip. The numbers are from 2024, so these are post-inflation prices. We’ll also share suggested budgets for different travel styles.

Is Madeira expensive?

Whether a destination is expensive is subjective and depends a lot on what you’re accustomed to at home. However, if you’re coming from a high-income country in, say, Northern/Western Europe or North America, then you’ll probably consider Madeira quite reasonably priced.

Madeira is not an ideal destination for low-budget travel, however. Budget accommodation is quite rare; even a dorm bed in one of the few existing hostels may cost at least €40 per night. There is often a need to take tours or rent a car to properly explore the island, which will add to your daily costs.

Most travellers will probably agree that Madeira is a ‘medium budget’ destination; not outrageously expensive, but not exactly cheap either.

Suggested daily budgets

Below are some rough indications for the cost per person per day. This assumes you will be with at least two people and can divide the cost of transport and accommodation.

Travel styleEUR per dayUSD per dayGBP per day

Backpacker means staying in the cheapest accommodation you can find, taking public buses only, cooking your own meals, and doing mostly free activities such as hiking. We don’t think Madeira lends itself super well to this travel style, but it’s still a possibility.

Basic budget includes car rental (an inexpensive model), a normal good hotel room or B&B, and going for one big meal out every day. Some of your lunches and breakfasts might involve cooking or getting something from a supermarket. No splurging, just regular day-to-day activity.

Mid-range means eating most if not all meals out, having cocktails sometimes and not just wine or beer, staying in nicer accommodation, and indulging a bit more in terms of tours or experiences.

Luxury is anything above. The sky is the limit here; one night at the illustrious Reid’s Palace starts at around €1,000! If you spontaneously decide to book this hotel for a week then please use our affiliate link… we will be very grateful 😉

Accommodation costs

Expect to pay at least €100 per night for a double or twin room in a good quality hotel, a room in a charming guesthouse, or maybe a nice studio apartment on Airbnb. Consider this the minimum cost for at least a 3-star equivalent place to stay with good reviews.

If you look around a lot you can still sometimes find budget options for less. For example, we stayed in a basic room in a surfing camp in Porto da Cruz for €60 and once booked a simple guesthouse in Jardim do Mar for €70 per night. These are rare finds though.

If you’d like to stay in a boutique hotel or just something a bit more premium, you can count on spending at least €150 per night. You can check our boutique hotel recommendations to get a sense of what you’ll get at this price level.

Seasonality has some effect on prices but it’s relatively minor in Madeira, as it’s a year-round destination.

Whatever the costs in Madeira, enjoying its incredible nature is always free

Transport costs

The best way to get around Madeira is by car. Rental costs vary greatly depending on the type of car, the provider, how far ahead you book, and whether you can leave a credit card deposit (at least, we’ve noticed the cheapest options often demand larger security deposits).

Just to give you some indication, on our recent trip in 2024 we hired a 5-seater Mercedes GLA for around €30 per day. You can compare prices and book your car rental on DiscoverCars, the platform that brings together listings from all the different rental companies.

We’ve had great experiences with Magic Islands Rent A Car, DrivingMadeira, and 7M, among others. You can check the ratings on DiscoverCars to pick a trusted provider. This platform often lets you find great deals, especially if you book well ahead.

For some of the hikes and activities it’s doable to use public transportation, but it will require a fair bit of patience and planning. One of the longest bus trips you can take is from Funchal to Porto Moniz and this costs about €5.

Taking a taxi from the airport to Funchal should cost around €25.

Food costs

If you’re coming from Western or Northern Europe you will probably consider the meals quite good value in Madeira. Expect to pay €15 to €20 per person for a one-course meal with drinks.

A plate of the local speciality espada, or scabbardfish, will typically cost around €14. For other fresh fish or dishes such as steak, the price will be similar. Some simpler dishes such as picado (beef or chicken cut into cubes and accompanied by fries and salad) may cost less, e.g. around €9. These prices are representative of general restaurants, not high-end options.

This scabbardfish fillet with sweet potatoes and salad cost €15 in the tavern A Pipa in Porto da Cruz. Incidentally, it was very yummy and we recommend this restaurant!

If you just want a quick bite, you can usually get a toastie or sandwich with a drink in a local bakery, cafe, tavern, or tasca (neighborhood restaurant) for under €5. A coffee will usually cost around €1 if it’s a regular coffee from a Portuguese brand such as Delta. For a speciality brew (rarely found in Madeira, by the way), it’s around €2 for an Americano.

Funchal is generally more expensive than rural places, so keep this in mind if you’ll be only staying in the city. It is customary to leave a small tip (such as 10%) which we’ve not accounted for here.

Unsurprisingly, prices can be a lot higher in the most touristy places. For instance, a house wine on a terrace in one of the main squares in Funchal cost us €6.50, which is a lot for Portugal. In a local bar in a village, this would cost no more than €2.50.

Tours and activities

Island tours can be easily booked on sites like GetYourGuide or Viator, starting at around €30 per person for a shared minibus tour that takes you sightseeing for a day.

However, we like to recommend the tours by 4×4 jeep over the ones by minibus. These have smaller group sizes and are a lot more fun because they take you via some of the steep roads and even go a bit off-road. These tours start at around €60 per person.

Many visitors in Funchal like to take the cable car up to Monte where the botanical gardens are located. This costs €18 round trip for adults. You don’t have to take the cable car — it’s reachable by bus or taxi as well — but it can be a fun experience.

Whale-watching and dolphin-spotting tours are usually around €30 per person.

Museums will generally charge roughly €10 for a regular entry fee. This is true of the whaling museum, the banana museum, and the most standard tour in Blandy’s Wine Lodge.

We hope this has given you a better idea of the prices in Madeira. Are you still wondering about other aspects? Then don’t miss our honest pros and cons of Madeira so you’ll know what to expect. And if you’re ready to start planning, head on over to our 3-day or 1-week itinerary!

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