Macau Places to Visit: The resort city of Macau, or Macau, is a mix of holidays, events, and festivities. Acclaimed as the ‘top gambling destination in the world, Macau is located in southern China, a one-hour ferry ride from Hong Kong. Spanning 30 square kilometers in size, it is small enough to feel intimate but large enough to retain a degree of mystery.
The most densely populated region in the world, Macau offers world-class luxury entertainment. That’s not all though! You just need to take a step back in the old city to take in its rich Portuguese history and a dose of Chinese culture. The Historic Center of Macau is home to 25 historic places listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Macau was a Portuguese colony for 300 years, which is manifested in its lifestyle, architecture, and cuisine. One of the most fascinating sights is the Macau Tower which offers sweeping views of the magnificent city. Places like St. Paul’s Ruins, A-Ma Temple and Monte Fort tell the story of its wonderful heritage.
To the south of Macau are the former islands of Coloane and Taipa, linked together by Cotai, where huge casinos and gaudy malls are central. The cuisine of Macau is based on Cantonese and Portuguese cuisine with influences from Indian and Malay cuisines. A fusion of East and West in all aspects, there is so much to see, do and eat in Macau!
Macau Places to Visit
- St Paul’s Ruins
Standing adjacent to the famous Mount Fortress and the Macau Museum, the ruins of St. Paul’s are the ruins of a 17th-century Catholic church complex with granite in front and a grand stone staircase of 68 steps. One of Macao’s most famous landmarks, it is one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the world.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, the St. Paul ruins are rich in their history and symbolic features. Macau’s largest church was burned down by fire in 1835, leaving only the massive front façade and staircase. A steel staircase leads to the top of the ruins, allowing tourists to see the intricate carvings up close and enjoy the panoramic view. People traditionally throw coins into the upper window of the ruins for good luck.
- Senado Square
Senado Square in Macau, China is a paved public square that connects Largo do So Domingos at one end and Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro at the other. Also known as Senate Square, the triangular-shaped square is part of the Historic Center of Macau on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
One of the four largest squares in Macau, Senado Square is lined with shopping centers and traditional Chinese restaurants. The colorful pastel buildings and surrounding structures such as the Lil Senado Building and the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral add to the quintessential Macanese experience. On special occasions like Chinese New Year and Christmas, Senate Square comes alive with lion and dragon dances, fireworks, and many activities.
It is usually overcrowded with domestic Chinese travelers, especially on weekends. However, its many lanes and off-shoots are great to explore.
- The Venetian Macao
Located on the Cotai Strip, Venetian Macau is a luxury hotel and casino resort, popular as the largest casino in the world. As well as the largest single-structure hotel building in Asia, this Venice-themed attraction is visited by every tourist visiting Macau.
The Venetian is a world-renowned aesthetic accommodation with 3000 stunning rooms/suites, one of the largest casinos in the world, with over 350 shopping stores, Venetian themes, gorgeous bridges, hundreds of entertainment artists, and an endless number of features/attractions in-built water canals to save anyone from almost gasping at its grandeur. Venetian Macau competes hard against the Hogwarts of the Harry Potter world with its digitally controlled/man-made rooftop sky, which produces a range of vibrations from sunny to clear skies, making it a masterpiece in its own right.
- A-Ma Temple
The A-Ma Temple in So Lourenço is said to be the oldest temple in Macau. It is dedicated to the Chinese goddess of the ocean Mazu. It is believed that the city of Macao got its name from this temple.
One of the Three Buddha Halls in Macau, the temple is divided into six main parts, while the A-Ma Temple has two beautiful stone lions at the entrance. Ancient Chinese scripts and richly carved images are inscribed on the pillars and walls of the temple. A shrine to various deities such as Maju and Buddha, the A-Ma Temple is a perfect example of a mix of different cultures such as Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and folk beliefs. Every year hundreds of pilgrims visit the A-Ma Temple and grand celebrations take place on Mazu’s birthday and Chinese New Year.
- Mount Fortress
Monte Fort, also known as Fortaleza do Monte or Mount Fortress, is a 400-year-old fort located next to the ruins of St. Paul in Macau, China. It is one of the most iconic tourist destinations and a historic military center in Macau. The main attraction of Monte Fort is the spectacular view of the sunset and the casino.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site also houses the Macau Museum on its premises, which is considered to be one of the best museums in Macau. Spread over an area of 8,000 square meters, the former fort was burnt down in a major fire, leaving only the main façade and the podium.
Monte Fort is part of Macau’s historic center and is lauded as the best-preserved and large European construction of its age in East Asia. Filled with lush greenery, Fortaleza de Monte attracts tourists who are interested in history, defense, and photography.
- Macau Tower
Located in Macau, Macau Tower is a hub of shopping, entertainment, and adventure. With a height of 338 meters, the tower dominates the skyline and is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city. The main attraction is AJ Hackett Bungee Jumping, the highest commercial bungee jump in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The towering Macau Tower, also known as the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center, has grand observation decks, fine dining restaurants, exclusive theaters, plush shopping malls, and an exciting skywalk. It has been a major photo shoot site for America’s Next Top Model. It was also featured in the British comedy television series ‘An Idiot Abroad 3’ and the South Korean show Running Man. Climb to the top at sunset and take in the spectacular views of the Macau night sky.
- Macau Fisherman’s Wharf
Macau Fisherman’s Wharf is Macau’s first theme park located on the waterfront near the Hong Kong Macau Ferry. Spread over an area of over 111,500 square meters, this historic attraction is an area-wide hub of entertainment, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, marinas, and convention and exhibition facilities.
Macau Fisherman’s Wharf is an imitation of the structural and architectural sensibilities of the West that blend into Chinese culture. All over the front, one can find fancy rides like magic carpets and bumper cars which are sure to be loved by kids. Well planned and well executed, Wharf has amazing shopping options that usually tend to be heavy on the pocket.
However, there are also specialty shops from where you can buy souvenirs and take them back home as a memento of the place. Even though Macau Fisherman’s Wharf is a historical attraction that offers the best of both the East and the West, it is not liked by people because they do not want to see replicas of the original places they have already visited.
- Macao Giant Panda Pavilion
Nestled against a hill in Siek Pai Van Park in Coloane, the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion is a zoo and nature park. The star attractions here are the 4 pandas – Kai Kai and Shin are the parents of Shin Chengdu while the male twins Jian Jian and Kang Kang were born here.
The zoo enclosure at the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion is home to some gorillas, flamingos, and monkeys. It is a massive fan-shaped nature park of 3,000 square meters with two indoor activity quarters, an outdoor yard for giant pandas to inhabit, and an indoor exhibition area.
There is also a giant panda gift shop selling giant panda-related gifts and souvenirs, including soft toys, bags, clothing, stationery, household items, and more. The temperature inside is regulated to stay within 25 °C to provide a comfortable temperature for the pandas.
- Best local brews to drink in China
- Top museums in China
- China by train
- 7 Amazing cities to visit in China
Frequently Asked Questions About Macau
Macau Places to Visit
Q. Does Macau belong to China?
A – Macao, also known as Macao, is a small, special administrative region (SAR) of China that operates under the “one country, two systems” principle. The currency of Macau is the Macanese Pataca.
Q. Is Macau a Country or a City?
A – Macao or Macao (English: /məˈkaʊ/ (listen); Portuguese: [mɐˈkaw]; Chinese: Cantonese: [ōu.mǔːn]), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (MSAR). A city and special administrative region of China in the western Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea.
Q. Do people speak Chinese in Macau?
A – Macau’s two official languages are Chinese and Portuguese, although the latter is spoken by only a small minority. English is also widely spoken. In 2018 Reuters said, “there are signs that sugar is being prioritized in the government.”
Q. Is Macau related to Hong Kong?
A – Hong Kong and Macau were ceded to mainland China in 1997 and 1999, respectively. The Mainland announced to the international community that Hong Kong and Macau are “Special Administrative Regions” with “one country, two systems”.
Q. Is Macau rich or poor?
A – The International Monetary Fund once predicted that by 2020, Macau would overtake Qatar as the world’s richest country in terms of GDP per capita. Macau has been tagged “the largest gambling center in the world” because the economy has benefited greatly from the gambling business.
Q. How is Macau so prosperous?
A – Tourism is the backbone of Macau’s economy, and much of it is focused on gambling, which was legalized in the 19th century and has since been the linchpin of the economy and an important source of revenue for the government.
Q. Is Macau a good tourist destination?
A – Macau is a Chinese city, most famous for its gambling facilities, and in some ways, it has even surpassed Las Vegas. What makes it attractive to those seeking cultural and historical data is that it is the first and last European colony in China, representing a perfect relationship between East and West.
Q. Is Macau Cheap To Travel To?
A – The average cost for a 7-day trip to Macau is $1,440 for a solo traveler, $2,586 for a couple, and $4,848 for a family. The entire house will cost from $120 to $380 per night.
Q. What is the best month to visit Macau?
A – October to December is the best time to visit Macau. Dry and wet seasons are typical for Hong Kong and Macau. Therefore, the period between October and December marks the post-summer and pre-winter season, making it the best time to visit Hong Kong and Macau.
Q. Why is Macau a popular tourist destination?
A – Macau is known for its mix of Chinese and Portuguese cultures and its gambling industry. It is also famous for being home to several attractive tourist destinations that children, as well as adults, can enjoy.
Q. Are the people of Macau friendly?
A – Macanese people are generally friendly to foreigners but also shy. Note that English is only spoken well by a minority of local people and avoid speaking aloud in public. When communicating, try to use body language with small, friendly gestures to help them understand.
Q. Where do most tourists come to Macau from?
A – Tourist arrivals from major source markets in Macau 2021, That year, about 91 percent of all visitors to Macau came from mainland China, making mainland China the largest visitor source market for Macau.
Q. Is Macau cheaper than Hong Kong?
A – Macau is a gambling center as well as luxurious hotels and therefore it is more expensive than Hong Kong.