Macau is one of the most impressive best places to visit in Asia with its ancient-earth Sino European architecture and tradition prevailing side by side with the profuse and contemporary lifestyle – the outcome of the casinos and traveler industry of it. Macau is also known as “Vegas of China” because of its allure, magnificent architecture, giant casinos, amazing nightlife, and a picturesque skyline, and so on. From encouraging heritage to casinos, there is plenty of stunning places to go to Macau.
Macau is a great destination where the east meets with the west. With the enchanting blend of Chinese and Portuguese culture, Macau is really an outstanding place that every tourist could hope to travel. The flamboyance and amenity of Macau are almost overwhelming. This is unbelievably extraordinary and doesn’t show many similarities to anywhere else on the earth.
Gambling is not only the reason for visiting in Macau, there are much more stuff to do and behold. If you visit in Macau as a non-gambler, the priority will no confusion be on exploring much more about the Chinese and Portuguese heritage of it which has been entangled for decades to create one of the most charming places in East.
Excavate the ancient history of Macau and Gather some historical knowledge before your trip
Macau was originally known as Ou Mon. The primary settlers of Macau are speculated to have been fishermen from a province named Fujian, mainland China. Dating back to 1513, the Portuguese came to this area for the first time. They came for trading purposes. The Portuguese were permitted to anchor their ships and form warehouses in 1535 in Macau. By 1557, this territory came under the Portuguese rule. Then they named it ‘’Macau’’. This name is derived from what the natives called this area ‘’Ma Gao’’, which means a ‘’place of A-Ma’’ – the goddess of sailors. Macau was officially perceived as a Portuguese colony in 1862 and remained the same until 1999. But during the second world war, Japan took control over Macau for a sudden period. This is the last remaining European region in Asia. Then finally Macau became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 20th December 1999. You can browse the best tourism websites to know something more about Macau.
Take some idea about the geographical location of Macau
Macau is a country that locates the south coastline of greater China. There is an interesting thing that not everyone esteems Macau as an actual country. Hence, many of them think that it is a part of China, even though Macau has been proclaimed a sovereign, independent nation in 1999. Macau – the special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, is situated on the south-western corner of Chu Chiang (which is known as pearl (Zhu) river and stands exact opposite Hong Kong, another special administrative region. It is situated 37 miles (60 km) away from the west of Hong Kong and 145 km southwest from Guangzhou, which is the capital of Guangdong province. It is surrounded by the South China Sea in the south and the east and Zhuhai city to the north and west. The sovereignty consists of the Macau Peninsula, the islands of Taipa, and Coloane.
Let’s have a look at Macau’s people language & religious life at a glance
Macau is a tiny territory that covers an area of 21 sq km (8.3 sq miles). It has a population of about 624000. Macau has a population of 56,059 people per square mile or 21645 people per sq km which makes this territory the second-most densely populated region in the world after the principality of Monaco. Macau’s population is equivalent to 0.01% of the entire population of the world. It is such a crowded and busy place, so you will definitely be disappointed if you are looking for a quiet and calm tour in Macau.
Macau mainly consists of Chinese, ethnically 88.8% of Macau’s total population is Chinese. Most of the Chinese are mainly originated from Guangdong (32%) or Fujian (6%). Macau’s minority community mainly comprises of some other several ethnic and groups. The largest non-Chinese communities being Filipino s ( 4.6 %) and Vietnamese (2.4 %). A large number of Macanese are Portuguese citizens, a legacy of the Portuguese colonial who cover 1.8 % of the total population of Macau. There are two official languages – Chinese ( Cantonese – Yue dialect and Min dialect)), and Portuguese.
The territory has its dialect of Portuguese which is known as Macanese Portuguese. Mandarin and English have also been spoken in Macau. English is becoming an expanding language because it is largely spoken by the people who are engaged in business, tourism, and commerce. A majority (60%) of the people of Macau have no religion. 20% of the total population is adhered to by Buddhism. The minority includes the followers of Confucianism and Taoism who are 14 percent and Roman Catholicism (7 %). Macau has various popular Chinese spirit cults. Small minorities are adhered to by Islam and Hinduism.
Is Macau a safe place for traveling?
Most of Macau’s parts are totally safe to visit. The locals and tourists experience a lower level of crimes. Though Macau is a densely populated city, still, the crime rate is lower than many other cities. Even women and kids can go out anytime and anywhere they want without any fear. You do not need to think about personal safety in Macau. You can see the cops in every corner of Macau’s street.
When is the best time for traveling to Macau?
Macau is a stunning place to travel all year round but some months are more suitable to visit than the other months. Macau has sub-tropical weather. Autumn is the best season to travel to Macau. Autumn starts from September to December. You can get a clear bright sky and relatively cool weather with rare rainy and typhoon weather if you pay a visit then. You can find the last minute trip deals in many Thai travel sites in Autumn. These are the ideal months to visit the city for the tourist. May is the rainiest month of the year. Macau tends to be warm and moist between May & October. But July is the warmest month.
What are the best places to visit in Macau that you oughtn’t to miss
You can explore the city’s past in every single corner, in its stunning architecture and gorgeous colonial apartments. The historic center of Macau has been placed in the list of the most notable World Heritage sites of China.
- The Ruins of St. Paul’s – This is also known as Sam Ba Sing Tzik which is located near Mount Fortress & Macau Museum. It is one of the top tourist destinations in Macau. St. Paul’s Cathedral, is considered one of the nicest Christian buildings in the East. The ruins entice the most number of travelers visiting Macau.
Timing – Every day, 9 am to 6 pm
Entry fee – Free
- A-Ma (Mazu) Temple – This is Macau’s one of the most ancient temples. There is a saying that Macsaus name itself was inspired by the name of this temple. A-Ma temple features glamorous architecture and marvelous design and these make it the most desirable places to go in Macau.
Timing – Every day, 7 am to 6 pm
Entry fee – Free
- Senado Square – Senado Square is located in the heart of the Macau Penninsula. It covers an area of almost 4 thousand ha. It is home to many cultural and traditional activities. The public square of Senado offers glitzy shopping malls and many restaurants where you can taste the delicious Macanese foods. It has been announced as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. You can experience the amazing fireworks, drunken dragon and lion dance if you visit there on any special occasion such as Chinese New Year eve.
Timing – Open throughout the day
Entry fee – Free
- Fortaleza Do Monte – This was constructed in 1626. It was served as the house of a Portuguese Governor. Currently, this old residence is considered as Macau Museum. This place attracts many of Macau’s visitors.
Timing – Every day except Monday ( from 7 am to 7 pm)
Entry fee – 15 MOP
- The Venetian Macao – This a Vegas-style & Venice theme-based hotel. It is one of the ten hugest buildings on the earth. It features more than three thousand hotels, restaurants, entertainment zone, and shops.
Timing – Throughout the day
Entry fee – Free
- The Maritime Museum – Maritime Museum (Museu Maritimo de Macau), shaped like a ship that is located just opposite the A-Ma temple. This is a large display area. This popular museum exhibits things and momentums of several groups and communities. You can travel there with your family and kids. It is considered as one of the cheap holiday destinations in Macau.
Timing – 10 am to 6 pm (every day except Monday)
Entry Fee – Adults: 15 MOP, Children: 8 MOP
- Fishermans Wharf – This is the biggest and themed shopping center & park in Macau, which is situated near the Maritime terminal. Fisherman’s wharf has 3 divisions; namely, East meets West, Legend wharf, and Dynasty Wharf.
Timing – Throughout the Day
Entry fee – Free
- AJ Hackett Macau Tower – This tower is a magnificent landmark of the country. A great view from the top, an alluring structure, and an unbelievable construction make it a popular tourist spot. This is 338 m long. Visit there to get a lovely view of the entire Macau Penninsula.
Timing – 10 am to 9 pm, Everyday
Entry fee – 70 MOP for Children and senior citizens, 130 MOP for Adults. Free for Infant.
- Kun Lam Temple – Kun Lam is one of the eldest and richest temples in Macau, dedicated to the goddess of Marcy. It was built in 1627. The official name is Pou Chai Sim Un. There are three statues of Buddha in the entrance hall. Another hall contains a statue of the Goddess of Mercy and 9 Buddha’s figures.
Timing – Throughout the Day
Entry fee – Free
- Mandarin’s House – It is also called as Casa de Cheang. It is the home of a popular theoretician named Zheng Guanying. It covers an area of 4 thousand sq m. This house is considered the biggest residential apartment in Macau.
Timing – Every day, from 9 am to 6 pm
Entry fee – Free
Don’t forget to shop when you go to Macau
Despite being too tinier in size, Macau is one of the most famous tourist spots in the world. If you are traveling to Macau, there is a bunch of stuff you can not miss. You must visit the high-end shopping malls in Macau for a shopping trip.
- Shoppes @ Parisian
- New Yaohan Department Store
- The Boulevard
- One Central Macau
- Huafa commercial Plaza
- Shoppes @ Cotai Central
- Port Shopping Plaza
- Yanming Plaza
- Senado Square
- International Trade Sea Sky City Plaza
Best Macanese Cuisine Tourists Won’t Want To Miss In Macau
Do you know what is the best way to get to know a place? The best way is its food. The best thing about Macau is its traditional Macanese cuisine which is a perfect mix of Chinese and Portuguese ingredients and techniques of cooking. The culinary tour is too powerful in Macau. Having Macanese foods is a great explanation to travel to Macau. Here is a list of must-try Macanese dishes on your next trip to Macau.
- The Portuguese Egg Tart – Egg tart may be the most popular Macanese foods. The number one food tourists have to taste in Macau is the Portuguese egg tart. It is made with eggs, fresh cream, flour, and water. Portuguese tarts are not the same as Chinese tarts. There are two different places you can go to have egg tarts – one is Lord stow’s bakery on Coloane island and another is Margaret’s.
- Serradura – Serradura is one of the most traditional Portuguese desserts. It is Macau’s most common desserts. This one is similar to the Portuguese one but also has an Asian touch to it. Serradura actually is a layered dessert made of condensed milk and heavy cream. Crushed biscuits are added in between the layers. You can find this any confectionary shop. These shops are one of the cheap places to visit.
- Minchi – It is a popular Macanese dish. It is made of minced beef, potatoes, onions, and Worcestershire sauce. This food is served with steamed rice. Minchi is a popular traditional Macanese breakfast. There are various Macanese restaurants where you will find Minchi. Riquexo is a famous restaurant for Minchi.
- Tacho –It is a traditional Portuguese cuisine, combining cabbage, pork, and meats.
- Pork Chop Bun – This food item is also known as ‘’the Macanese version of Hamburger’’. Pork chop bun is the most iconic food in Macau. It is a marinated pork chop with a soft bun. You can go to Sei kee café to have some pork chop bun.
- Almond Cookies – Almond cookies are a signature Macanese food item. You will find almond cookies almost on each and everywhere in the city. It is considered as one of the most delicious and nice foods of Macau. If you are a dessert lover, almond cookies will be your thing for sure.
- African Chicken – No matter who you question about Macanese cuisine, this one will be a part of the answer. African chicken is another mouthwatering example of a fusion cooking of Macau. This item is cooked in the Piri Piri style. In 1940, a local chef invented African chicken who was inspired by the African ingredients. He used spices that he got from his trip to Africa. It consists of chicken, nuts, tomato, coconut, peppers, chili, and paprika.
- Capela – It is a Macanese type meatloaf. Capela consists of pork, beef, chorizo, bread, and olive. It is served with crispy bacon slices and cheese. Best served from the Lord stow’s bakery in Coloane.
- Macanese Chili Prawn – Macanese Chilli prawn is such a delicious mouthwatering Macanese food which is also known as Gambas a Macau. This item is stuffed with red chili, shallot, garlic, and parsley leaf before being fried and served with garlic sauce and white wine. It is quite popular among the natives. Search for a good restaurant where you can taste Macanese Chilli Prawns.
- Besides this delicious Macanese cuisine you can also taste the Durian ice cream, Seaweed pork floss rolls, Egg waffle, and Chrysanthemum tea.
The best restaurants you must visit to taste the traditional Macanese food in Macau
Macau has one of the most amazing culinary backgrounds in the world. Having Macanese food is a good excuse to travel to Macau. This place is a foodie haven. Macau offers an extraordinary dining scene on earth. In this article, you will get to know about some of the best restaurants in Macau where you can taste the delicious Macanese cuisine.
- Restuarante Litoral
- Le Buffet
- Cheung Chau Mochi Dessert
- Terra Coffee House
- Market Bistro
- Nga Tim Café
- The St. Regis Macao
- Chiado Portuguese Restaurant
The best affordable hotels in Macau where you can stay
The first thing that most travelers think of when traveling is where to stay most affordably. There is plenty of hotels in Macau for the tourists who are on a budget. The budget hotels have all the facilities for tourists to wholly relish this beautiful Asian destination. Here is a list of some best rated Macau Budget-friendly hotels.
- Harbourview Hotel Macau
- Ole Tai Sam Un Hotel
- East Asia Hotel
- Fu Hua Hotel
- Macau Hotel S
- Hotel Sintra
- Pousada de Coloane Beach Hotel & Restuarant
- Hotel Royal Macau
- Hotel Lisboa
- Crown Plaza Macau
- Grand Lapa Macau
- Grand Coloane Resort
- Rocks Hotel
What types of transport you can use while traveling around Macau
Travelers to Macau are generally bewildered by the precise way that traffic moves around in this tiny country. All public buses are operated by two bus companies –TRANSMAC and TCM. A bountiful number of taxis can be found at the ferry terminal and the airport. Currently, there are almost 1100 taxis in Macau. You can book your ticket by the best travel deals sites.
- Buses – Buses are the major way of transportation for both locals and tourists in Macau. Transportes Urbanos Macau (TRANSMAC) and Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos de Macau (TCM) are the prominent companies that provide public buses and mini-buses between Macau Peninsula, Taipa, and Coloane.
- Taxis – You can able to find taxis all over the city. Taxis are one of the cheapest ways to move around. Most of the taxi drivers don’t know English. So before hiring a taxi, try to write down your destination in Cantonese or have a road map.
- Ferries – If you want to enjoy the water view, ferries are perfect for you. Macau has 3 ferry terminals offering ferry services from Macau to Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
- Bikes – Visitors can travel around Macau by two-wheelers like motorbikes or scooty. They are provided by the rental companies.
Unusual places not to be skipped in your Macau trip
Besides the casinos, and tourist spots, there are tones of alternative temptations and activities that a tourist will be amazed to know even existed. Do check out some of the unique attractions and explore the other side of the City of Dreams.
- Michael Jackson Themed Mansion Suite
- Macau Design Center
- Golden Reels Ferris Wheel
- Escada Do Papel
- Ash Jesus & Ash Buddha
- Triangular DaAreia Preta Garden
- Macau Tea Culture House
- Sai Van Bridge
- Old Protestant Cemetry
- Macau Giant Panda Pavilion
Hiking trails in Macau do offer a great escape from urban life
Macau has a vast population, diverse cuisine, and a blend of several cultures and traditions, but very tiny area to fit it all into. And yet, even in this populous land, there are many destinations to leave the mobs behind and hike through the quiet trails.
- Small Taipa 2000 Circuit
- Mong Ha Hill
- Keung Shan Country Trail
- Seac Min Pun Ancient Path
- Long Chao Kok Coastal Trail
- Hac Sa Reservoir
- Grand Taipa Hiking Trails
- Coloane Trail
- Trilho Do Parque De Coloane
- Guia Hill
Most colorful and fantastic festivals in Macau that delve into the world of fancy
Macau is a place of many events and festivals, with a stunning calendar throughout the year so there is no confusion that Macau does know how to organize a party. Tourists who visit Macau will find festivals taking place all over the country. With the most celebrated fests, events, music, sculptures, sports, and famous ceremonial activities, Macau itself envisages persuading the jazziness and divergency of its customs and legacy. This is one of the most amazing places to visit in the world. Macau has got truly stunning yearly festivals that nobody wants to miss. It has a wealthy culture inherited from the Chinese and the Portuguese. The vibrating and colorful decorations make Macao an enchanting destination for the visitors. Hundreds of festivals take place throughout the year. Here is a list of Macau festivals for you.
- Ching Ming – you should not miss the opportunity to attend the Ching Ming festival if you visit there in April. It is a family festival. Family members show respect to their progenitor on the day of the Ching Ming Festival. People offer flowers, money, and wines to the tombs of their ancestors as a symbolic gesture.
- Three feasts (Feast of Buddha, Feast of the Drunken Dragon, Tam Kung Festival) – When you are in Macau for a tour, do as the Macanese do. The three festivals are very popular for both the natives and tourists, are on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month of the Chinese year. These three festivals take place on the same day. The feast of Buddha is popularly known as the Feast of Bathing of Lord Buddha. All the sculptures of Buddha are ceremonially purified and washed in all the Buddhist temples in Macau. At the Kuan Tai Temple, the Feast of Drunken Dragon takes place. This temple is located near Senado square. Men offer an enthusiastic drunken dance performance. They dance with the head and tail of a giant dragon. Tam Kung Festival is one of the popular folk festivals in Macau. Tam Kung is considered as a Taoist god of the sea. A colorful ceremony takes place on the birthday of this child god.
- International Dragon Boat Race Festival – The dragon boat festival is also known as Tuen Ng Festival or Duan Wu Jie. It is celebrated on the 5th day of the fifth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. It has an alternative name that is the double Fifth Festival. The dragon boat race festival is a daylong event. This festival commemorates a great poet and minister Qu Yuan. It is an event to pay a tribute to this renowned personality who sacrifices his life by committing suicide to protest against corruption. It is declared as a public holiday.
- Macau Lotus Flower Festival – Do you have any idea that lotus is considered as a part of the identity of Macau? The country’s flag carries it. You will be amazed if you pay a visit to this festival. Lotus is symbolic of holiness and refinement. It is an annual summer fest. You can explore several species of this holy flower all over the city. This festival is to pay homage to the species and elegance of lotus around the country.
- Macau Arts Festival – Be prepared to gaze impressive interactive expositions and execution. This popular festival lasts for months. Cultural enthusiasts have the opportunity to watch something new be it live music, and performances daily. It is a theme-based event and each year there is a brand new theme. So you should be a part of the festival.
- Chinese New Year – Chinese new year is commonly known as Lunar new year or the Spring festival. It is the Chinese festival that commemorates the inception of a new year on the traditional lunar calendar. Macau is not only famous for gambling, but there are also many things to do and enjoy This festival is one of the most salient public holidays in China. Chinese New year is a significant extravaganza all over the world. This festival is celebrated for 16 days. It starts from the New year’s eve to the lantern festival.
- Macau Light Festival – You can enjoy another amazing festival while on a trip to Macau. It is called Macau light festival. This festival is generally held in December. You can enjoy the enchanted light shows if you pay a visit to this light fest.
- Macau International Fireworks Display – Fireworks specialists travel to Macau from all over the world to participate in this international fireworks competition. This festival takes place in September. Be astounded by amazing 3D – shows and light installations. Traveling to Macau during the light festival is one of the best times of the year to visit Macau with your family.