Here are 30 handpicked hidden treasures and must-do activities in Macau, Asia's casino hub. Highlights include the thrilling Macau Bungee, the charming Eduardo Marques Square, the finest Portuguese egg tarts, savory pork chop buns, the quaint historical villages of Taipa and Coloane, exquisite Portuguese dining at Dragon Portugese Restaurant, the expansive Venetian Macau – the world's largest casino – and the lively bars and nightclubs of Macau.
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Macau stands out as one of the most distinctive places I've had the pleasure of exploring. It's fascinating to think that this was a Portuguese colony within China for nearly half a millennium. The preservation of its colonial architecture in Macau is impressive, offering an authentic glimpse into life several centuries ago.
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Attractions • Restaurants • Rooftops
Bars • Nightclubs • Walking Routes
and Bonus Tips.
Best Places for Travel in Macau
1. Ruins of St. Pauls
Most popular tourist attraction in Macau visited by at least 30 million people each year. St. Paul burned down 3 times and only the front facade is still standing.
2. Monte Fort
Former Portuguese fortress complete with canons to protect Macau from invaders, especially the Dutch who tried to invade Macau 4x times. Entrance is FREE!
3. Macau Museum
Located within Monte Fort, massive history museum complete with Chinese and Portuguese cultural treasures and details on the Dutch invasions of Macau. Entrance is $15 MOP or $1.85 US dollars.
4. Pork Jerky (Bak Kwa)
Another local delicacy is pork jelly known as Bak Kwa. Salty-sweet dried pork meat with a jerky-like texture. Samples are FREE!
5. Tai Lei Loi Kei
Most famous and best Portuguese pork chop on a bun in Macau for over 50 years. Succulent, tender and juicy pork for $48 MOP or $6 US dollars.
6. Black Pepper Pork Bun
Famous pork buns made in a clay oven grilled to crispy perfection, just $2.25 US dollars per bun.
To get to Macau, the TurboJET Ferry from Hong Kong is the most convenient option. The cost is quite reasonable at $171 HK dollars, or $22 US dollars for a one-way trip. Remember to carry your passport for immigration procedures. Upon arrival in Macau, you can take a taxi to your hotel, but note that many taxis there don’t provide seat-belts.
7. Macau Tower Bungy Jump
Highest urban bungee jump in the world at 233 meters or 764 feet but also offers a Sky Jump, Sky Walk and Tower Climb for any thrillseeker, roughly $400 US dollars.
8. Margarets Café e Nata
Most popular Macanese egg tarts or Pastel de Nata in Macau, it is the sister bakery of Lord Stow. 1x egg tart goes for $8 MOP or $1 US dollar.
9. Yee Shun Milk Company
Local authentic delicay is steamed milk pudding which sells for $32 MOP or $4 US dollars.
10. Senado Square
Historic center of Macau and a UNESCO world heritage site with gorgeous portuguese-style cobble stone roads, especially nice to stroll around at night.
11. St. Lawrence Church
One of the best churches in Macau for selfies and photography, visit on a sunny day. Entrance is FREE!
12. Grand Lisboa Casino
Best looking casino in Macau with the best view of the Grand Lisboa for selfies at be observed from the R. Nova a Guia street. A beer at the casino costs $50 MOP or $6 US dollars.
For those looking to capture unique memories, Macau is perfect. My personal favorite photo selfie spot was on R. Nova a Guia street. Finding this hidden gem took me about an hour, but the resulting picture, showcasing a harmonious mix of ancient and modern elements, was well worth the effort.
13. Wynn Macau Performance Lake
Most intense water show in China taking place ever 15 minutes at the Wynn Casino synchronized to James Bond: Diamonds are Forever. Viewing is FREE!
14. Fish Balls
This bowl of street snacks can easily go for dinner, a giant bowl of bite-size bits for roughly $8 US dollars but also offers pork, beef, tofu and lobster balls. Perfect for sharing!
15. Dragon Portuguese Restaurant
Best Portuguese restaurant in Macau with Macanese dishes like grilled pork chop for $85 MOP or $10 US dollars, giant fried rice for $75 MOP or $9 US dollars and Sagres Portuguese beers at $25 MOp or $3 US dollars.
16. Beer Temple
With a collection of 100 imported beers, indulge yourself into Macanese and Portuguese beers as well including delicious local dishes.
Officially Freguesia de São Francisco Xavier, located at the most southern part and is the most traditional Portuguese village in Macau.
18. Lord Stows Bakery
The original bakery of the Macanese egg tart, Lord Stows egg tart taste more eggy than Margarets custardy version just $1 US dollar per egg tart.
Culinary enthusiasts will appreciate Macau's distinct Macanese cuisine, a blend of Chinese and Portuguese flavors. Signature dishes include African chicken, Pork chop buns, Pork Jerky, and the famous Portuguese egg tarts (Pastel de Nata). Not to forget, there are delightful desserts like durian ice cream and steam milk pudding from Yee Shun Milk.
19. Eduardo Marques Square
Perhaps the most hidden square in Macau, located in the heat of Coloane with great views of mainland China.
20. Tam Kung Temple
This temple is over 100 years old and is home to one of the few Chinese deities known only to Hong Kong, Tam Kung is also a patron of fishermen.
21. Taipa Houses–Museum
A set of four houses displaying various artifacts and exhibits on life during Macaus colonial era while another serves as an event venue. The houses were built in 1921.
22. Bird Nest Egg Tart
Most bizarre egg tart in Macau is the birdsnest tart at New Holly Coffee Cake Shop in the heart of Taipa village. $1 US dollar per tart.
23. Tuga and Lola Wine
Macau is home to many Portuguese wines, especially Porto. No trip to Macau is complete without visiting this adorable wine shop for wine tasting.
Personally, my favorite restaurant in Macau for its large portions, high-quality standard and afforable prices. Porto is true Macanese cuisine!
Key attractions in Macau include the iconic Ruins of St. Paul's, which has survived three major fires, leaving only its front façade, and the picturesque Senado Square, known for its Portuguese-style cobblestone streets. Don’t miss out on other sites like Monte Fort, the Museum of Macau, and the Taipa and Coloane villages for a genuine Portuguese colonial experience.
25. Gelatina Mok Yi Kei
Great ice cream shop for Durian Ice Cream and Mango Mochi, but be aware, durian is the most smelly fruit in the world.
26. The Venetian Macau
Largest casino in the world with over 10 million sqft of casinos, resorts, restaurants and shops, complete with gondola rides. This place will blow your mind.
27. The Parisian Macau
Located next to the Venetian, Parisian has a full replica of the Eiffel Tower and is a great place for selfies to trick your friends thinking you are in Europe.
28. SKY 21
Epic bar located on the rooftop of the AIA tower with an excellent lounge and breathtaking views of the Grand Lisboa and Macau Tower and is open until 4am every day.
29. Club Cubic
Most epic nightclub in Macau located at the City of Dreams casino, especially popular during Halloween for its outrageous party and DJs. Entrance is $200 MOP on average or $25 US dollars, with beers at $90 MOP or $11 US dollars.
I recommend visiting Macau by TurboJET from Hong Kong, a one way ticket is $171 HK dollars, around $22 US dollars but do remember to bring your passport. Click the link for a sweet discount!
For dining, Dragon Portuguese is highly recommended for its grilled pork chop and Portuguese-style fried rice, complemented by Sagres beers. Also, try an authentic pork chop bun from Tai Lei Loi Kei, a renowned local chain for over 50 years.
Macau's nightlife, though not extensive, offers some fantastic spots. Start your evening at SKY 21, a stunning rooftop lounge atop the AIA tower. It offers breathtaking views, a live DJ, ping-pong, and shisha, and stays open until 4am. For those seeking a larger party scene, Club Cubic in The City of Dreams casino is a great choice, especially during Halloween for its performances and costumes. The average entry fee is $200 MOP or $25 US dollars.
An amusing fact about Macau is that there is no legal drinking age. Additionally, tipping isn't customary, and it's advisable to get change in Hong Kong dollars rather than Macanese Pataca, as the latter has limited use outside Macau.
Macau's primary casino area, Cotai, represents a combination of "Coloane" and "Taipa." It generates an impressive 80% of the government's revenue, outstripping Las Vegas fivefold. Macau boasts a GDP of $82,000 US dollars and no public debt. Gamblers find Macau attractive due to the 0% tax rate on winnings, compared to Las Vegas's 30%.
A highlight of my visit was the Macau Bungee, the World's Highest Urban Bungee Jump at 233 meters (764 feet), offering a thrilling 6 to 7-second free-fall at speeds of 120km/h. Although expensive at about $360 US dollars, it's an unforgettable experience. For adventure seekers, there are also options like the Sky Jump, Sky Walk, and Tower Climb.
In summary, my 6-day stay in Macau was a revelation. While many tourists opt for a day trip from Hong Kong, a longer stay of at least 2 days and 2 nights is recommended to fully appreciate this unique former Portuguese colony and its myriad charms.