It is a very good idea to change your money only
once you arrive on Madeira. It is, however, necessary
to have some change in Escudos upon your arrival.
So try to change the minimum possible back home. If
you forget to change some money all is not lost. You
can withdraw money direct through the automated cash
withdrawal machine/s at the Airport and elsewhere.
Nearly any card with a Visa/Mastercard/Electron sign
on it can be used to withdraw money from international
accounts.When you arrive at your accommodation you
will find that most of the big hotels have a currency
exchange service. But shop around as prices of exchange
rates can become quite competitive. Best bets are
the numerous banking institutions aligned along all
the busy streets of Funchal.
In most cases you will have to pay a small commission.
Some financial institutions charge a flat once-off
fee for the global sum of the change, or a low percentage
A great tip ! If you are penny pinching
and find it aghast to pay exhorbitant commission fees
you will find that at the Banco
Espirito Santo offshore branch behind the
TAP - Air Portugal offices (next to the Funchal Cathedral),
you will encounter a very nice service: that is, for
money exchanges below the portuguese value of 10 000$00
Escudos you do not get charged any commission fee
! Also, the rates are amongst the most competitve
we have ever seen. In fact, the exchange rates that
may be seen quoted in the Newspapers refer directly
to the exchange rates quoted by this Bank.
Word of warning though, this branch is a very busy
one. So expect to stand in a long cue sometimes.