Funchal is the principal town of Madeira where you'll find the centre of local government, the cruise and ferry port, historic attractions and the main shops, restaurants and bars. It is the seat of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

There are hotels in the centre of town, though the main hotel district is to the west around the Lido.  
Most of the public transport runs along the Avenida do Mar - the road that runs along the sea shore. At its western end is the port and at the eastern end you'll find the terminus of the cable car that can take you up to Monte.
Port and Avenida do Mar

The principal thoroughfare is the Avenida Arriaga running from the Rotunda do Infante roundabout up to the Cathedral (Sé). Along the way there are often exhibitions or performances to entertain visitors. It's also the place to find the Tourist Information Office!
Avenida Arriaga 

Art Fair

There are two parks right in the centre of town, the Santa Catarina Park near the Rotunda do Infante and the Jardim Muncipal adjacent to the Avenida Arriaga.

Santa Catarina Park

The Santa Catarina Park plays host to a variety of concerts and events throughout the year.

Every year, a little after Easter, the flower festival sees floral carpets in the streets and a major parade. Another Funchal highlight is the New Year fireworks display which takes place over the harbour and can be enjoyed not only from many vantage points on land, but attracts cruise ships which moor off the coast to take in the spectacle.