Often regarded as the Las Vegas of Asia, when you think of Macau what comes to your mind are the gambling dens and glitzy casinos that stay up all night. However, with its world-renown beautiful attractions, gob-smacking delicacies, and unique rich East-meets-West culture, Macau is far more than just a casino city. The city’s rich past is evident in every aspect, from its fine architecture to the well-preserved colonial buildings. Being easily accessible by flight, land, and even ferry in most locations, Macau is one of the most incredible places that you can visit in Asia. If you are traveling here for the first time, here are top 12 things to do in Macau to give you a sneak preview of its attractions.
Hop through Casinos
Considered as the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau has over 33 casinos. The biggest of them all is “The Venetian Macao” which is also the biggest casino in the whole world! Other popular casinos here include the Grand Lisbon and the Galaxy among many others. You can take advantage of the free shuttle buses all over the city and hop through the many beautiful casinos. If you are feeling lucky enough, you can go on and try your luck as you enjoy the scenery.
Visit the A-Ma Temple
While there are a large number of Chinese temples in Macau, the A-Ma Temple is the most famous of them all. Being the oldest temple in Macau, it is believed to be where Macau got its name. A-MA temple is dedicated to the goddess Mazu who is believed to be the protector of seafarers and fishermen. It consists of the Hall of Guanyin, Gate Pavilion, the Prayer Hall, the Memorial Arch, the Hall of Benevolence, and the Zhengjiao Chanlin.
Take Selfies at the Ruins of St Paul’s
The Ruins of St. Paul’s is a beautiful stone façade that is an iconic landmark in Macau. The ruins are the remains of what was once the greatest of all Macau’s churches. Built in the 16th century, the church consisted of the Cathedral of St. Paul and the complex of St. Paul’s College. The large and beautiful facade was left after the church was burned down in the year 1835.
Try Bungy Jump on top of Macau Tower
The Macau Tower is definitely one of the most popular attractions in Macau. Standing over 338 metres above land, the tower boasts of amenities such as a revolving restaurant, an observation deck, a cinema, and the world’s highest commercial bungee jump facility. Situated at the top of the Macau tower, you can leap from the 233m high platform and experience the ultimate free fall experience.
Sample Macanese cuisine
From the Portuguese egg tarts to dim sum, Macau has a lot of delicacies that will satisfy your taste buds. With a history of more than 400 years, the Macanese cuisine is a blend of ancient southern Chinese cuisine and the Portuguese spices and cooking techniques. These two blended into a distinct style that became known by the locals as the “Macanese”. Some of the classic Macanese dishes that you should try are cappela, tacho and Minchi.
Explore the Taipa Village
Away from the bustling exterior of Macau lies Taipa Village. This is a charming, quaint, historic village that houses several rows of rustic Chinese/Portuguese shops and restaurants. Here, you will also find colonial churches and museums. The most stunning museum here is the Taipa House Museum which was built in 1921 to serve as a residence for the colonial Portuguese governor, high-level civil servants, and their families.
Visit the Maritime Museum
Located just opposite A-Ma Temple, the magnificent Maritime Museum hosts numerous displays and exhibitions. There is also the Inner Harbor just in front of the museum you will see a sampan, a restored Chinese dragon boat, a fishing smack, and a flower boat. While here, don’t forget to visit the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf found nearby. This is a fun theme park that features numerous restaurants, shops, and rides that are built to resemble world-famous coastal cities like Venice and Amsterdam.
Stroll through the Senado Square
Senado Square is probably the city’s most recognizable public space. The Square used to be Macau’s official civic square when it was still a Portuguese colony; however, today it is one of the most popular attractions in the city. In fact, it is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The square is filled with many heritage sites together with several shops and restaurants.
Visit the Macau Museum
If you are a history lover, there are quite a large number of museums that you can include in your list of things to do in Macau. One of the most popular among them is the Macau Museum. Strategically placed on top of a hill, just right beside the Ruins of St Paul’s, this museum is the place to visit if you want to know the history of Macau. Other notable museums in the city include the Grand Prix Museum, the Macau Maritime Museum, and the Wine Museum.
Visit The Ionic Grand Lisboa
Standing at 846ft high and the tallest building in Macau, if you are yearning to have a bird’s eye view of the city of Macau then this is where to head over to. Consider dining at The Eight and Robuchon au Dôme which are three-Michelin-starred restaurants.
Head over to Guia Fortress
If you are feeling like taking a hike, Guia hill is the perfect place to head to. Initially built to defend the city of Macau from attacks coming from the sea, the Guia Fortress is another popular attraction worth visiting. This area was, however, a restricted military area from when it was built to 1976 when it was finally opened as a tourist attraction. The fortress stands at 91 meters tall and features a light that is visible more than 20 miles away in clear weather conditions.
Discover the many urban parks of Macau
One of the best things about Macau is that it is a balanced city with modern infrastructure and enough natural spaces. If you feel that you need a quick relief from the hustling and bustling urban life, you can head to one of the large and active urban parks in Macau. However, most of the parks here are more than just trees and benches. Some are mini-zoos and many of them feature monuments that are dedicated to historical figures that contributed to the development of the city.