Though best known for its casinos, Macau has a surprising abundance of history and picturesque scenery hidden in its streets. Tons of attractions in Macau are well worth a visit, but for the sake of brevity, I’ve whittled them down a list to my seven favorites. To see these attractions arranged into a tour, check out some of my itineraries. There’s a standalone 1-day Macau itinerary, plus Macau day trips in both the 15 days in Asia and 3-days in Hong Kong itineraries.
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Where To Stay In Macau
One of the nice things about Macau is that it has a crap-ton of nice, 5-star hotels for really good prices. Last time I was there, I stayed at the Grand Lisboa. It’s got that shiny veneer you’d expect from a casino hotel, plus a three-star Michelin restaurant and a pretty decent view of the city.
PHOTO CREDITS: GRAND LISBOA MACAU VIA HOTELS.COM
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The Best Attractions in Macau
1. The Ruins of St. Paul and Senado Square
Both of these places – along with A-Ma Temple two places down this list – are actually part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a fantastic place to see Portuguese and Chinese architecture blending together. The entire historic center is a tapestry of beautiful architecture. Not to mention, they make for a surprisingly colorful harmony and a great photo op.
2. Coloane Village
I put Coloane here like it’s just one of many little attractions in Macau, but really, it’s more like dozens of attractions wrapped into one. This seaside village is positively gorgeous, from its Portuguese-Chinese-influenced architecture to the colorful street art. It’s no contrived tourist attraction. Its calm and laid back atmosphere make for a perfect break in a hectic travel schedule.
The custard tarts at Lord Stow’s Bakery also come highly recommended, so you definitely want to pop in if you get the chance.
3. A-Ma Temple
This 500-year-old temple complex is chock full of history – and quite a bit of green considering it’s in the middle of the city. It has several buildings (apparently called pavilions) built both on the ground and up the hill. You could wander through the complex for a good hour or two and have plenty to see, from a courtyard with protective charms to a near-circular moon gate.
I didn’t manage to stroll around during my last visit (it can get pretty crowded and I wasn’t feeling it at the time), but it’s a must-see for anyone interested to know more about Macau’s history and ancient culture.
4. Giant Panda Pavilion
Show of hands: who loves pandas? No wait, don’t answer that. Because as it turns out, even if you don’t care for pandas, this pavilion has plenty of other activities to keep its visitors entertained. It’s actually a small part of the Macau Zoo, so you’ll have the chance to see other animals as well – not just pandas.
If you have any kids with you, you might want to check out the children’s playground and the rest of the Macau Zoo too. Let them run some of that energy off while you take it easy.
5. Taipa Village
I can almost hear the nay-sayers asking what I’m doing, putting another village on my list of attractions in Macau. Well, the short answer is that Taipa’s a lot different from Coloane. It has plenty of nice architecture and some historic ruins, sure, but it’s also a great place to sample Macau’s street foods. It’s a bit more touristy than Coloane, but it still has a lot of rustic charm to make it worth a visit.
6. Venetian Macau
Ever wanted to visit one of the biggest buildings in the world? You can check that off the bucket list right here in Macau. And, as you’d expect from such a huge place, there’s tons to do. I go over some of that in my one-day itinerary of Macau, but the Venetian has a little bit of everything.
Probably my favorite feature is that it has a miniature imitation Italy inside, including a fake painted sky that (judging from the pictures) gives a good impression of a lovely summer day. There’s loads of beautiful artwork, plus gondola rides. Great way to break up the monotony of walking everywhere, right?
7. Macau Tower
Macau Tower mainly attracts two kind of people: scenery-gazers and thrill-seekers. From its vantage point on the water, you can get an amazing view of both the city and the ocean. I’d imagine the view is even better at night when everything is lit up.
And for you adrenaline junkies out there, this tower also happens to have the world’s tallest bungee jump. Not only that, but you can make a booking on their Skywalk, where you can take a stroll on the Outdoor Observation Deck. I mean, it’s not for me, but if you want to get buffeted by the wind from 732 feet up, this is the place to do it.
Knowing the Best Attractions in Macau is Just the First Step
Once you’ve decided which attractions in Macau you want to visit, it’s time to start thinking about where to stay and what bars to hop. Fortunately, I’m keeping this Macau series going with more helpful travel tips. Follow me for future updates and check out some of my other posts while you’re waiting!
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