Macau is a small peninsula in mainland China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. A Portuguese overseas territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences. Its giant casinos and extravagant malls have earned it the nickname, the “Las Vegas of Asia.” One of its more striking landmarks is 338m-high Macau Tower, with sweeping city views.
1. Explore the bylanes around Senado Square
One of the most popular places to see in Macau, Senado Square is always bustling with tourists and locals making it one of the top Macau tourist places. The Square isn’t just about shops, restaurants, and offices, this is an important World Heritage Site as announced by UNESCO since it well portrays the magical history of Macau.
Many European buildings, a park, and a fountain elevate the magnetism of the area. Though Senado is always flocked with tourists, with the arrival of festivals and events it puts on a more stunning attire. If you happen to be here on any special day like Chinese New Year – don’t miss the glamorous firework, lion and dragon dance held there.
Don’t miss: Authentic Chinese restaurants and apparel stores surrounding the square.
Opening hours: Open throughout the day
Entry fee: None
2. Spend the day at the awesome Macau Science Center for kids as much as for adults.
Located in Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the Macao Science Center is one of the best places to visit in Macau. Kids here can begin an educational and interesting journey into the science world. It’s also a fun activity for all family members.
The eye-catching structure is home to 12 permanent galleries having an extensive range of fields of education. It’s shaped like a space rocket and it aims to display science in an interactive manner and engaging way for parents and children.
Children here can literally touch and try displays to have a real understanding of the concepts of science and technology.
Timings: Open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; closed on Thursdays!
- For the exhibition center: MOP $25
- For the planetarium with 2D Dome and 2D Sky shows and 3D Dome and 3D Sky shows: MOP $60 to MOP $80
- Children under 2 years: Free
3. House of dancing water show, the city of dreams
Located in Cotai, City of Dreams is a hi-tech and glittering entertainment zone and very popular among Macau tourist attractions. Nightlife in City of Dreams is just amazing with sparkling casinos, dazzling discotheques, posh pubs, exquisite clubs, amazing live performances, stylish accommodations, fine dining restaurants of global cuisine and designer brand shopping.
Must-Visit: Club Cubic, Kid’s City, Crown Spa, Vquarium, Rock Spa, Isala Spa, and Hard Rock Hotel Game Area.
Timings: Open all days from 10 am – 11 pm; On Friday and Saturday, it is open till midnight.
Entrance Charges: None
4. Shopping and gaming around the Cotai Strip
Reclaimed land in Cotai is primarily to be used for the development of the casino and Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which states that their development of many adjacent properties would include an area that would be similar to the Las Vegas Strip, although on a smaller scale
In the last decade, the layout of the Cotai Strip has also gradually developed into a grid-like layout with major hotels and casinos (Wynn Palace, MGM Cotai, and Galaxy Macau) built not directly linked to the ‘strip’ as opposed to Las Vegas strip with the majority of main hotels and casinos, having front access to the Las Vegas Strip.
5. Explore Portugal and Macanese culture
Macao is a self-governing region within China. By 1999, a Portuguese colony, in Macau, is a diverse culture with a mixture of the influences from Western Europe and East Asia. Macao is known to be the largest gambling center in the world.
While speaking Portuguese is back in vogue because China establishes business connections with Portuguese Speaking nations including Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique and casts Macau as an important link due to its cultural ties and history.
6. Nature trails on Coloane Island
The Cologne Trail is the longest walking trail in Macau, which spreads 8100 meters in a circle around the hills of Coloane, at an average of 100 meters above sea level.
The hills are intersected with other paths, which connects along the main trail having regular points along its route – so it is possible to get involved, and leave the trail at several places (Hac-Sa Beach, Coloane Village, Panda Park, etc.). It’s one of the best things to do in Macau.
7. Visit A-ma Temple
One of the oldest and most popular Chinese temples in Macau, this Taoist building was built before the Portuguese colonization and hence has enormous historical importance to the island. Macau gets its name from the goddess A-ma.
The temple is made in honor of the goddess Mazu, who is believed to bless the Macau fishermen and is a lovely sight which symbolizes local culture and beliefs with classical twisting joss sticks and poems carved into the side of the adjacent cliff.
There are six main parts of this temple, all comprised of architectural treasures and protected by stone lines.
Timings: 7 am – 6 pm
Entrance Charges: None
8. Visit the ruins of St. Paul’s Museum
Popularly known as Sam Ba Sing Tzik, Ruins of St. Paul’s is situated near Mount Fortress and Macau Museum and is one of the most popular places in Macau. It is one of the top Macau tourist spots. This is the most important and age-old structure of Macau with a gigantic relic and a stairway that reflect the remains of the century-old Jesuit Church. This structure of the biggest catholic church of East Asia has five tiers, built in granite.
Must-Visit: Explore the Statute of Jesus and Madonna, walls camouflaged with bas-reliefs in different designs like a devil, angels, signs of the crucifixion, and Portuguese sailing ship, and the amazing picturesque garden in the front.
Timings: From Monday – Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm; Tuesday: 9 am – 2 pm
9. Explore the urban parks in Macau
In Macau, you’ll witness a number of big and active urban parks to walk lazily and appreciate the peace and quiet; Seac Pai Van Park is one of them. For the real ‘local’ urban park, go for the Sun Yat Sen Park or Camoes Garden among others.
Several parks have monuments dedicated to historical figures who contributed to the cultural development of Macau and most of these parks also act as a mini-zoo (usually aviaries). Strolling in these is one of the best things to do in Macau.
10. Laze the day away on the sands of Hac Sa Beach
Hac Sa Beach holds the position of the largest natural beach in Macau and in summer, it’s one of the top tourist destinations. The beach acquired its name from the natural black sand on the beach (Hac Sa means black sand in Cantonese).
Must-Visit: A refreshing lazy walk on the beach and most scenic sunset.
Timings: 24 hours
Entrance Charges: Free
11. Visit the many museums of Macau
Macau is a beautiful historical city, and that is best depicted by the bulk of museums the city has. Also, because of the religious influence of the Portuguese colonial era, there are multiple Sacred Art Museums in Macau as well. Grand Prix Museum and the Wine Museum are the two popular museums.
Macau Museum is located in Monte Fortress which is a colossal display region, showcase items, and remembrance of different communities and nationalities. The museum also exhibits how different religion of people had survived here in harmony, conserving their own culture and ideology. Giving a blend of insights into both history and culture, it has now become one of the best places to visit in Macau with family.
Must-Visit: Displays of Neolithic Period and Contemporary Macau
Timings: 10 am – 6 pm. Last entry at 5:30 pm. Closed on Monday.
- Adults: 15 MOP
- For children (5-10) years and senior citizens: 8 MOP
- On every 15th day of the month: Entrance fee is free for all
12. A jump from the Macau Tower?
You’ll definitely love to catch a glimpse of the 338m tall Macau Tower which is out of this world. You can have a few clicks of the bewildering tall structure. It’s the world’s highest bungee jump from a building; a jump from more than 200m above ground! It’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Macau.
Timings: Open all days from Weekdays: 10 am – 9 pm; On Weekends: 9 am – 9 pm
- Infant: Free
- Children (age 3-11) and Senior Citizens (Above 65): 70 MOP
- Adults: 130 MOP
13. Visit the Fisherman’s Wharf
Macau’s Fisherman’s Wharf is a classic attraction. It’s basically a sort of theme park having various ports towns including New Orleans, Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Cape Town. The place features restaurants, shops, and models of renowned structures such as the Roman Coliseum.
Must-Visit: Ramphitheatereatre, human-made volcano and waterfalls, Water Performance Arena and a Video Games Center, model battleship, and Arabian themed kids play zone.
Timings: Opens all the time
Entrance Charges: Free