Who knew that Madeira, this small island off the coast of Portugal in the middle of the North Atlantic, would become such a hotspot for digital nomads? On this island, you can find the capital city of Funchal where the majority of nomads live. It’s also the home of Cowork Funchal, which, in our opinion, is the best coworking space on the whole island!
As digital nomads, our goal is to find a place that offers a good work-life balance and good wifi. Somewhere you can work and have the freedom of being close to nature and the outdoors while also having that nomad community nearby. Let’s just say Funchal and Cowork Funchal make it so easy to live that kind of life!
We’re so excited to share with you what it’s like to be a digital nomad in Madeira and what it’s like coworking in Funchal and everything that comes with it. The two months we spent at Cowork Funchal flew by and we’re already looking forward to going back.
Disclosure: This post has been created in collaboration with Cowork Funchal. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on our personal opinions and experiences.
Why Cowork Funchal is the best coworking space in Madeira
Firstly, let’s just say that it’s great that there are multiple coworking spaces in Madeira and it’s always good when there are more options. On Madeira, there’s something for everyone: people who like city life can stay in Funchal and people who like to be in quieter towns that are more secluded can stay in Ponta do Sol or another part of the island. It is very much a personal preference but in our opinion, it’s not even close when it comes to the best coworking space on the island.
Some of the things we value the most when it comes to coworking spaces are the accessibility, how good the wifi is, if there’s good coffee available (probably the most important thing after the wifi 😉 ), and how the place makes us feel… Do we feel motivated to do work when we go there or are the surroundings distracting and demotivating?
One thing that people overlook sometimes is the staff that works at the coworking space who run the place. We’ve found that sometimes at the big corporate ones you never get that connection with the staff.
This isn’t the case at Cowork Funchal – here you really get to know and like the staff, especially Catia who works in the office. The founding partners, André and Pedro, also stop by quite often and even the cleaning staff is super friendly. It really is a great environment and we felt right at home from the first day at Cowork Funchal.
With all that being said, we have a few reasons why Cowork Funchal really stands out and why we think Funchal is the best city to stay in Madeira. If you’re looking to be somewhere with a community and lots of things to do, keep reading.
Variety of different coworking spaces
One of the most impressive things about Cowork Funchal has to be the variety of different coworking rooms and offices they have. The building is 200 years old, absolutely huge with multiple different rooms, and it even has an outdoor space which is where you’d find us most of the time.
Depending on the type of coworking vibe you’re looking for you can check out some of the different rooms to see what fits your needs.
The outdoor space is perfect if you like a chill vibe and don’t mind a bit of noise while you work. The outdoor space is where you’ll find more temporary nomads and other people visiting Funchal who need to get work done.
The space is huge and it’s half open and half closed by a roof. You can work in the shade without overheating and when you feel like sitting in the sun just move over a few feet!
The courtyard space is the most social part of Cowork Funchal where you can always meet new friends and find people who are going for lunch. It’s also the more expat part of the coworking space so you’ll find people from all around the world coworking there.
It’s usually very quiet in the kitchen when it’s not lunchtime. The kitchen has a cozy little area with a few sofas and chairs where you can peacefully get work done with little to no interference.
It’s nice to be surrounded by people but sometimes you just want a nice relaxing area to get work done without distractions and interruptions and the kitchen area is a good place to get that done.
Meeting rooms are great if you have your team with you in Madeira or looking for somewhere to have a private meeting with a few people. You can actually rent the meeting rooms by the hour and there’s two of them so there should hopefully be one that’s available to you.
Standard coworking space
Last but certainly not least there’s the more permanent area where you can rent your own personal spot. This means you can leave your monitor and other office stuff at the desk overnight and you also get a key to the coworking space.
If you rent your own desk, you’ll be surrounded by other more permanent Cowork Funchal members and it makes for a great environment. It’s nice to have your own personal space and you can always go work in the courtyard on a sunny day if you feel like it but still have your permanent spot.
So you can see there’s a huge variety of offices and spaces to work from at Cowork Funchal and the exciting thing is they are planning to expand their office space even more in Funchal in the near future.
Community at Cowork Funchal
Wherever you go it’s always nice to have a community and that’s why we love coworking spaces. The beauty of Funchal is that it has the biggest digital nomad community on the island. Partially because it’s the biggest city and also because of the amount of events and meetups that happen in Funchal every week.
By going to Cowork Funchal you’ll meet members of that community and integrate into the community super easily. You can do things such as going for lunch, go hiking, and join some of the weekly events and you’ll find your community quickly through the coworking space.
Cowork Funchal conveniently located
Now, let’s talk about location… Being in Funchal itself you are literally less than an hour away from everything on the island – so if you want to get off work early one day you can easily go explore the island for a half day. There’s actually a hike called Levada do Bom Sucesso which starts roughly a 10-minute walk from the coworking space. You can do so many things from Funchal so we think the location is perfect.
Talking specifically about how well the Cowork Funchal is located within the city of Funchal it is great. You’re a short walk away from Maia Coffee Shop which has some of the best coffee in the city. You can grab a coffee there before going to the coworking space or if you need a 10-15 minute break during the day you can walk there and grab one.
There’s also a delicious vegan restaurant called Fala Fala nearby which has a simple but delicious lunch menu. If you’re looking for something more traditional Portuguese food, you can grab some to-go food from Restaurante Velha Cabra which is delicious and cheap.
Those are just a few of the restaurants and cafes near Cowork Funchal. The coworking space is also closely located to little markets, gyms, and everything else you need in the city. We may be biased because we had a great time at this coworking space but honestly you can’t beat it.
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- How to Get a Digital Nomad Visa in Portugal
- 12 of The Best Hikes to do in Madeira
Recap of Coworking Funchal
There ya have it! You can’t get a much better work-life balance than this. Cowork Funchal is great and it’s perfectly located on the island close to everything and in the heart of the digital nomad community on the island.
We do also want to mention that the island is very small and that you’ll still be completely immersed in the Madeiran culture and connect with locals too. A lot of locals also go to the coworking space. So we’re not just trying to talk about the expat and digital nomad community but we do believe as a digital nomad you do want to be close and connected with other like-minded people.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to see and do it all while also getting work done at Cowork Funchal. We had two months to explore the island while also working 3-5 days a week. It definitely wasn’t enough time but we’ll for sure be back in Funchal one day. Who knows, we may see you there one day too!
Portugal has become so digital nomad friendly with the D7 Visa and a ton of marketing attracting nomads to Madeira. More and more expats are starting to call Portugal and Madeira their permanent home and it is super beneficial both to the locals and the nomads.
We hope you have the best time living, working, and exploring this beautiful island!
Dom & Jo
Red White Adventures