If you think Macau is just popularly known for their gambling, we recommend you explore with us through this lengthy read. Macau is a very small territory in China not far from Hong Kong and used to be under Portuguese domain in the past. There many things to do in Macau! It is a wonderful place filled with so much culture of not just Chinese, but as well as the Portuguese influence stayed and is seen throughout many historical buildings and designs as well!
The whole centre of Macau is on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list which is brilliant so nearly all the sites here have historic importance. Portuguese influence are mostly seen in some of their architectural designs, you can see many churches as well. Most of the sights can be done in a day trip. We recommend you to spend a few days for visiting the places in Macau with time and also to try local food. Let´s read in our Macau travel guide: our favorite Macau tourist spots, Hong kong to Macau ferry thow to get there, where to stay in Macau, Macau currency, Macau weather forecast and Macanese food, what to eat in Macau. Read here Macau itinerary and how to get from Macau airport to city center!
Macau Travel Guide
Securing a visa for visiting Macau won’t be an issue. All visitors to Macau must hold a valid passport, or a valid travel document. You just need to hold a passport with at least 6 months before expiry. You will not get a stamp in your passport, they will give you a print paper with the date or arrival and the date that you should leave, usually 90 days. US citizens will have to go through customs and immigration so always remember to bring your passport with you. Check the link below to see full details.
Safety in Macau
Macau is quite safe and a non-violent city. Personal safety won’t be much of concern as long you’re aware of your belongings and have common sense. Travelers are the usual crime for pickpocketers or money fraud. You can always avoide them taking precautions and being vigilant. Always try to carry small bills or to use exact change when going around.
Macau Weather Forecast
If you’re planning to visit Macau during its peak seasons. Macau enjoys pleasant weather from October to December and this is a great time for you to visit the city. March to April is also a great time to travel to Macau, which is Spring time. While for off season option, Macau tends to be hot and humid between May and October. From May to July expect rainy days in Macau. January and February are the coldest months. Click here to have more information about Macau weather forecast.
Macau has its own currency: the Macau Pataca. This is often abbreviated to “MOP”. Hong Kong Dollars are commonly used by Macau vendors. Many tourists prefer to use Hong Kong Dollars, well if you have HKD is great that you can use in Macau as we did! You can find ATM very easy in Macau to directly withdraw cash (usually HKD or MOP). Macau’s large hotels and resorts all have places to exchange money as well. Again, if you prefer to use Hong Kong Dollars then hold on to it since they accept those as well. Click here to check the current exchange rate in Macau.
How To Get To Macau: Hong Kong to Macau Ferry
The cheapest and most convenient way to get to Macau is by ferry. You can take the ferry from Kowloon or from Hong Kong Island to Macau. On Hong Kong Island, ferries to Macau embark from the Macau Ferry Terminal and from the China Ferry Terminal in Kowloon. Hong Kong to Macau ferry is available to operate for 24 hours everyday and the ride takes approximately 55 minutes. And if you feel like doing the fancier option, a preferred choice for high rollers aiming to get a much more expensive view in Macau is a helicopter ride from Hong Kong which in only takes 15 minutes. Ferries can go to Macau and also to Taipa island if you are planning to stay at Taipa as we did in Macau.
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
We got Macau from Hong Kong by ferry and we left by airplane. We always use Skyscanner to look for our flights where 90% of the time we find the best deals. There are cheap flights to the Philippines from Macau, Thailand and other destiantions in Southeast Asia.
Where To Stay in Macau
There are a number places for where to stay in Macau. One thing you can do is definitely research in advance the locations, avalaibility and cost of the place you are staying. You may choose to stay in hotels, or find cheaper places in Macau. You may check these links below for more options. Hotels in Macau generally cost between HKD600-2000 per night.
Local Transportation in Macau
You have a number of options on how to get around Macau, buses, taxi, and even you can hire Uber to move around Macau.
In Macau visitors will find bus service, not only in the city but also in the islands. All buses have air conditioning. It’s always a great idea to check Macau’s bus route maps to get a gist of how to get around Macau by bus. In our opinion is very easy to go around Macau by bus and really cheap for less than $1 USD.
There are black and yellow taxies to move around Macau. Distances aren´t very big in Macau so it will not be ver yexpensive to ride a taxi in Macau plus not so much traffic in Macau!
If you prefer to navigate the place on your own with your map and itinerary. You may choose to hire a car and make your way around Macau. It´s easy to drive around Macau, and since it´s small you will not get lost.
It´s one our favorite to move around. Since it´s so comfortable and prices are usually cheap. We love to use it when we go with all our luggage.
Things To Do In Macau
Macau is more than just what it’s popularly called as the ‘Vegas of China’, Macau is a city where the party never ends. Indeed it never ends and there are so many things to do in Macau and we will give you a few suggestions and list for your next visit to Macau!
The Ruins of St Paul
We visited a 17th century Portuguese church, now known as St. Paul’s ruins. The area is surrounded with colonial Portuguese buildings, still preserved to show its original architecture. Some streets with Chinese signs over them, which makes the place looks really interesting and we took so many pictures around. Definitely a good place to visit while in Macau. During the day it makes the whole place really such a beautiful sight. And at night, an illumination show which is stunning! Going there was so easy and little bit crowdy. There are a lot of shops and restaurants along the way. You can have a free taste some delicacies, Ruben loves this ha!
Senado Square is the place most visited by tourists. Located near the former Senate building. The square is surrounded by people, shops and restaurants. We were walking around this square everyday and we loved getting lost around the area. It´s the most crowded place in Macau apart from the casinos!
Having a walk around the historic Taipa in Macau to admire the colorful buildings in the area. We were staying in Taipa, not only casinos around the area but also nice palces to walk around. And many locals places where to eat in Macau. When we were visiting Macau a big typhoon took place and many parts and tree were broken in Taipa. We really loved this part as a place to stay in Macau.
A-Ma temple is one of the most popular Macau tourist spots. A-Ma Temple or known also as the Mazu Goddess Temple is one of the oldest temples located in the southwest of Macau. It was built around 1488 during the Ming Dynasty. The A-Ma Temple is a sacred place for offering silence and stellar views. Not only is the place full of amazing cultural designs, the temple also contains rich and deep of traditional Chinese culture.
In Macau Tower you can find everything from watching movies, shopping, theatre performances and of course, magnificent views, this high tower is worth it to visit. Do you like adventure? You should also try their Skyjumping activity!
More Things to do in Macau
Casino Hopping at Macau
Casino hopping is one of the most exciting things to do in Macau. There are many casinos The Venetian, City of Dreams Macau, The Sands Macau, or Casino Lisboa. Casino Lisboa is the largest casino in Europe and the top 10th largest casino in the world! Enjoy live bands at night, shows during the afternoon. Free tea, coffee, water and drinks. Be ready to gambling and goodluck!
When it comes to beaches of Macau, the Hác Sá Beach is the most well-known of all. It is named after the black sea sand of its shoreline, the main attraction of the beach. Enjoying barbecue and picnic in front of an open sea view is such a relaxing getaway from the crazy and chaotic city life. You can spend your day playing basketball or volleyball. You can also take a barefoot walk along the sandy beach to give the soles of the feet a nice massage. Looking into the distant horizons with the changeful sea that lies beneath, a gentle brush of sea breeze is astonishingly refreshing.
Guia Fortress, Guia Chapel and Guia Lighthouse
The fortress was built between 1622 and 1638. What’s inside the fortress stands Guia Chapel and Guia Lighthouse, which were established by Clarist nuns. You can the links below if you want to visit the place. The architecture of the lighthouse is of a column structure, the interior of the lighthouse boasts three levels, connected by a spiral staircase that leads to a large light on top of the building. The lighthouse was damaged by a typhoon in September 1874. You can actually see the Portuguese influence in their architectural designs, which is almost similar to some of the churches in Angeles City, which we have an article written about the whole city about.
Shopping Malls in Macau
Macau is full of shopping malls – some are reasonably priced and some are very expensive. It is best to find shopping centers that suit your budget. You can find whatever you are looking for about clothes, gadgets and food in shopping malls in Macau.
What to Eat in Macau
For centuries, this tiny region in the South China Sea was controlled by the Portuguese, who used it as a trading hub for Asia. But Macau is not all about casinos. It has a fascinating history, and a unique blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultures that goes beyond the draw of slot machines and gaming tables. Here is our picks for the best things to do in Macau on your next visit. Here are some the things to do in Macau and what to eat in Macau!
Macanese Egg Tarts
Macanese egg tarts, also known as Portuguese-style egg tarts. It´s the most popular Macanese food and we were eating daily. You can get an egg tart almost everywhere in Macau. Prices are starting half dolar as street food.
Chan Kong Kei Roast Duck
Roast duck marinated in special homemade black pepper sauce. For both of us apart from Macanese egg tart roast duck with rice was our favorite. Prices are around MOP 65.
Dumplings are also a popular food in Macau. Pork or beef mix it with some cabbage and onions and wrap it in dough. Dumplings are a universal food around the world. You can find them everywhere and especially in Chinese speakers countries.
One of the best things during a cold weather is to feast on a hot noodle soup. We assure you that like us, you will be going around the streets of Macau looking for the best noodle place to dine in.
The fusion of traditional Chinese and Portuguese cultures is reflected everywhere in the city, from the architecture to the cuisine. The A-Ma Temple and the Ruins of St. Paul’s are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which were mentioned in this article above, are proof to the city’s unique heritage. The culture of Macau is a beautiful mix of Chinese and Portuguese cultures. Those were some of the best places to visit, best eats, and things to do in Macau!
We would love to hear your travels in Macau as well, comment down below if you want to add something to our Macau Travel Guide. Feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.