Macau is a beautiful city just a short 1 hour boat ride from Hong Kong.
The rich cultural heritage (with both Portuguese and Chinese influences, as seen in the captivating architecture) works side by side with the cutting-edge technology used in the gaming establishments – both in the gaming areas and in their sensational building designs.
Get ready for a mind-blowing adventure and check out this list of the best things to see and do in Macau.
1/ Ruins of the Church of St. Paul
The Ruins of St Paul is one of the most celebrated landmarks in Macau.
After being damaged by fire in 1695 and 1601, it was once again re-constructed to what was the largest Christian church in Asia at that time.
However, tragedy once again struck in 1835 with a fire that left the church in complete ruins.
Now, what’s left of the once mighty structure are 66 stone steps that go up a steep hill, on the way to a painstakingly-carved façade made up of 5 tiers – the iconic image of the church.
Include a trip to this famed landmark as part of your adventure in Macau for a truly remarkable time.
2/ A-Ma Temple (Ma Kok Miu)
Check out the oldest temple in Macau, the A-Ma Temple which was constructed in the year 1488 under the Ming Dynasty.
Visit the 6 main parts of the temple that make up classical Chinese architectural structures, which all have stone lions acting as guards.
A short stroll through a gateway and a winding path will lead you to the Hongren Hall, where the image of the sea goddess Mazu is located.
Along the cliff wall, you will see numerous inscriptions and poems that will give you a peek into the rich Chinese culture.
3/ Senado Square
Part of the Historic Centre of Macau and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Senado Square is a sprawling town square shaped like an elongated triangle.
As you walk around the cobblestoned streets of this top tourist attraction, you will see many pastel-hued, old buildings that mostly have a European design.
This is a pedestrian-only zone that hosts a variety of events and celebrations, such as Chinese New Year festivities when you can see a lion and dragon dance, and fireworks displays.
The streets are lined with shops selling an eclectic mix of merchandise including clothes, snacks, and Chinese herbal medicine.
4/ Kun Iam Temple
Kun Iam Temple is one of Macau’s 3 ancient temples, with the present structures dating back to 1627.
A walk through the open courtyards will take you to the three main halls, where you can see a huge 300-year old bell, luxurious decorations, porcelain figures working on the roof décor, and a statue of Kun Iam.
This embroidered silk-dressed statue wears a crown which is changed on a yearly basis.
At the back of the temple lies a charming garden, where you will find bamboo groves, peaceful fountains, and shrines to priests who have departed.
As this is a place of worship, you are requested to remain silent and to avoid taking photos if one of the temple’s funeral rooms are occupied.
5/ The House of Dancing Water Show
Don’t miss the spectacular water show, House of Dancing Water which is showcased in a specially-built theater located in the City of Dreams Macau.
This adrenaline-pumping extravaganza features colorful water jets, jaw-dropping acrobatic maneuvers, motorcycle stunts, high dives, and multimedia acting, in a stage that seamlessly changes to showcase dry and wet scenery.
The stage is custom-built to hold 17 million liters of water, which is equivalent to the capacity of five Olympic-sized swimming pools.
6/ Views from Macau Tower
A visit to the Macau Tower will surely be one of the highlights of your trip.
Marvel at the unobstructed, 360-degree views of Macau (and maybe all the way to Hong Kong and China) from the observation lounge, 223 meters above ground.
This lounge is covered with 3-storey reinforced glass windows that bring in the natural light to make your experience even more unforgettable.
If you’re not afraid of heights, go for a “walk in the sky” as you take a stroll, lie down, or crawl on a transparent glass floor that lets you see through it down to the ground – 223 meters below.
7/ Macau Tower Extreme Activities
Feeling more adventurous?
Go out on the adventure deck and feel the fresh breeze from 233 meters high and decide which thrill-seeking activity to do first.
Go around the perimeter of the tower on a Skywalk experience, which will give you a chance to literally hang out on the tower’s edge, without any handrails to make the experience even more thrilling.
Take a leap of faith with a Bungy Jump from a height of 233 meters from ground level – the world’s highest commercial bungy jump, according to Guinness World Records.
You can also try out the less daring Skyjump, which uses the technology used in film stunts to simulate a gradual freefall experience.
Conquer Macau’s highest summit with the Tower Climb that brings you to a height of 338 meters through the vertical ladders of the tower’s mast, and gaze at the breathtaking views from that incredibly high vantage point.
8/ Macau Museum
Learn more about the rich cultural heritage of this region through the Macau Museum, which is situated on the old Monte Fort compound.
Discover the history of the territory as influenced by Asian and European (Portuguese) culture through various exhibits.
Three floors are dedicated to permanent collections: the first floor showcases the history of Macau; the second floor is where you will learn more about its traditions and customs; and the third features fascinating information about contemporary Macau.
9/ Monte Fort
Don’t forget a visit to one of the most popular historic attractions in Macau – Monte Forte, the oldest military fortification on the peninsula.
This beautifully-preserved construction was originally built by the Jesuits to defend the peninsula from an attack coming from the water.
You can climb the battlements on top of the 9-meter high walls to see the dazzling lights coming from the casinos spread over Macau, and stunning sunset views at dusk.
Take a stroll around the compound to get a taste of its riveting history and check out the other areas which are part of the Historic Center of Macau UNESCO World Heritage Site.
10/ Kun Iam Statue
See the majestic statue of the Buddhist goddess of mercy (Guan Yin), which is perched on top of the lotus-shaped Kun Iam Ecumenical Center, which is also a religious artifact museum and library.
This is one of the most iconic landmarks of Macau, which makes it a popular spot for those who would like to take photos of the riveting bronze statue facing inland.
If it piques your interest, take the time to explore the ecumenical center where you can learn compelling facts about Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.
11/ Macau Science Center
The mesmerizing architecture of the Macau Science Center, shaped like a silver cone, will give you an idea of the enthralling experience waiting for you inside the science-themed learning center.
The structure houses a planetarium, convention center, and exhibition center spread over an area of 23,000 square meters.
The exhibition center has 5 floors filled with 14 galleries of themed exhibits, including those for robotics, food science, the environment, and a whole lot more.
The convention center is usually where performances and lectures are held, while the planetarium is where you can watch 2D and 3D shows.
12/ Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is constructed in the shape of a ship as it is anchored on the water, situated in the exact spot where it is believed that the first Portuguese traders came onshore.
The ground floor houses exhibits which showcase the way of life & traditions of fisherman from South China and Macau.
This is also where you can see various fishing instruments, different fish varieties and shellfish, as well as a replica of a traditional fisherman’s house.
Other exhibits include navigational equipment and instruments, and a model of the oldest lighthouse on the South China coast, the Guia Lighthouse.
13/ Studio City
The sprawling cinema-themed Studio City is a high-rise structure that integrates film and television production facilities with gaming, retail, and hotel accommodations.
A visit to this palatial hotel & casino resort offers unique adventures that will make your Macau trip truly unforgettable.
Go on a thrilling ride on the Golden Reel, one of the most unusual ferris wheels in the world which seems to be built in the middle of a figure-eight shaped hole.
Follow Batman as he tries to save Gotham City in a simulated flight through a 4D theater experience featuring state-of-the-art video and audio technology.
The young ones will have a fun-filled day in the Warner Bros. Fun Zone, which is a sprawling playground with various activities that promote both physical activity and creativity through the most famous Warner Brothers and DC Comics characters.
14/ Taipa Village
Take a trip to the tranquil Taipa Village, which will give you a unique peek into Macau’s unique cultural heritage.
The well-preserved buildings will take you to an earlier time when the influences from Asian and European cultures are most prominent.
Sample the food and cuisine that makes Macau a favorite foodie destination in the Rua de Cunha, which is considered as Macau’s food street; this is where you will find traditional restaurants and food stalls selling everything from beef jerky, egg tarts, almond cookies, to authentic Chinese dishes.
Check out the Taipa Village Art Space, which is a two-story gallery showcasing the work of up-and-coming artists, as well as special classes and workshops.
The Taipa House Museum is a wonderful example of Portuguese architecture, with its distinctive white and green façade that once served as home to the Portuguese governor.
15/ Macau Giant Panda Pavilion
Located inside the Macau Zoo, the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion is a nature park that houses the pandas and various animal species, including flamingos, gorillas, and monkeys.
This is where you will see the pandas lounging around and doing their normal daily activities in the panda dens; you will also get to see their storage quarters, bamboo-washing areas, feed preparation rooms, and others.
Visit the Pavilion of Rare Animals where you will see red pandas in their wild habitat, spread over 2 outdoor and 3 indoor activity areas that give them the space they need to move around freely.
These activity areas kept at a steady 25 degrees Celsius temperature, which is the most comfortable one for the pandas.
16/ The Venetian
The Venetian Macau is a luxury 39-story hotel and casino resort situated on the Cotai Strip.
It is the world’s largest casino, and you can expect staggering options when it comes to gaming activities in the property.
It houses 51,000 square meters of casino space, with 800 gaming tables, 3,400 slot machines, and the Cotai Arena which can seat 15,000 spectators during sports and entertainment events.
Explore the rest of the sights and sounds of Venetian Macau through a gondola ride, which includes an oarsman singing an Italian love song during your ride.
17/ Fisherman’s Wharf
The Fisherman’s Wharf is the Macau Peninsula’s largest themed and leisure entertainment complex.
Spread over a sprawling area of approximately 133,000 square meters, you can explore the European-themed structures such as the Legend Place Hotel, an exhibition and convention center, and the Babylon Casino.
Visit the Legend Boulevard which is a complex of themed hotels, dining, casino and retail establishments patterned for coastal towns such as Amsterdam, Miami, Cape Town, Lisbon, Cape Town, New Orleans, Rome, and the Italian Riviera.
Look at the impressive Roman Amphitheater, which is an outdoor colosseum that serves as a venue for special events that can seat 2,000 guests.
18/ Macau Grand Prix Museum
Automobile and racing enthusiasts will have a wonderful time exploring the Grand Prix Museum, which features exhibits dedicated to the Grand Prix worldwide.
Built in 1933 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Grand Prix racing in Macau, the museum showcases records of champions, videos, photos, illustrated articles, and commemorative items.
This is where you will get to see over 20 formula cars and motorcycles which were once used by celebrated drivers including Michael Schumacher, Eduardo de Carvalho, and David Coulthard.
At the middle of the hall, prominently displayed is a red and white Formula 3 racing car that was once driven by the famed Ayrton Senna who perished while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
19/ Parisian Macau
The Parisian Macau is a luxury hotel n Macau that may be best known for its half-scale of the iconic Parisian landmark, the Eiffel Tower.
A trip to the observation deck of the Macau Eiffel Tower will treat you to a stunning view of the Macau skyline from the 37th floor.
Check out the hotel’s interior which features a spacious atrium and fountain, which are meant to transport you to contemporary France.
At night, the Eiffel Tower replica dazzles with a spectacular light show that illuminates the surrounding areas.
20/ Casino Lisboa
The iconic Casino Lisboa is considered as the granddaddy of Macau’s casinos, being the original casino to be built before the other casinos started being built on the Cotai Strip.
It retains its old-world charm and goes without the flamboyant profiles that are synonymous with the newer-built casinos in the area.
A recent renovation has reworked the building style of its extension, the Grand Lisboa, into a gigantic lotus leaf, which combines elements of both Chinese and Portuguese cultures.
21/ Guia Fortress
Soak up a part of Macau’s cultural and military history with a visit to the Guia Fortress – a complex that includes a colonial military fort, a lighthouse, and chapel.
The chapel was constructed by Clarist nuns around 1622; the interior showcases frescoes that depict the influences from both European & Chinese religion and mythology.
The lighthouse was built in 1865 and is East Asia’s first lighthouse to feature a western-influenced design.
Check out these intriguing structures which are all part of this UNESCO Historic Macau World Heritage Site.
22/ Wynn Palace
The Wynn Palace is a spectacular luxury resort in the heart of Macau which draws its inspiration from the beauty of nature.
The 28-story hotel is home to 1706 superbly furnished rooms, villas, and suites to accommodate the most discerning tastes.
The luxurious structure also houses the largest spa in Macau, an extensive art gallery collection, 11 casual and fine dining establishments, and 9,800 square meters of luxury retail space.
Your visit to the Wynn Palace will provide you with a variety of entertainment options, including the unique gondola/cable ride called the SkyCab, an 8-acre Performance Lake, and large-scale floral displays.
The eye-catching architecture of the Morpheus Hotel in the City of Dreams is enough to captivate your imagination and your interest in exploring further.
The glass and steel building structure is enveloped by an extraordinary free-for exoskeleton, instantly cementing a place as one of the most iconic landmarks in Macau, and in Asia.
Large “holes” in the middle of the building look like meteors have struck the surreal-looking hotel.
Treat yourself and your loved ones to the finest dining experience as you choose from two Alain Ducasse restaurants, the first Pierre Hermé Lounge in the Greater China area, and a fine dining Chinese restaurant.
See internationally-renowned contemporary art exhibits on the 23rd floor, with collections that are changed every few months to keep things fresh and interesting.
Macau City Sightseeing Tour
Treat yourself to a full day of discovering Macau’s cultural heritage and peek at the bustling gaming world with some of the most popular tourist spots and activities on a tour.
Take the time to soak in the culture and history of UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Ruins of St Paul and the A-Ma Temple.
Satisfy your inner car racing enthusiast with a visit to the Grand Prix Museum to check out the cars which were previously used by some of the world’s most renowned drivers.
Choose your thrilling adventure from the adrenaline-pumping activities offered at the Macau Tower, such as bungy jumping, sky walking, tower climbing, and sky jumping.
Whatever activity or tourist spot you choose, you are guaranteed to have a superb experience in Macau.
If you’re having trouble deciding which things to do in Macau, an local guide will show you the way on this 1 day tour.