Macau is a beautiful city just a short 1-hour boat ride from Hong Kong.

Today, they’re well known for their extravagant gambling facilities and entertainment centers.

But what else is there to see if you’re not into the glitz and glamour of casinos?

What are the best things to do if you have kids?

If you’re planning on visiting Macau, we can show you where to go to see Macau’s rich cultural heritage.

Experience Portuguese and Chinese influences through captivating architecture; or visit museums to learn more about this thriving city.

Check out these places in Macau so you don’t lose all your money!

1. Ruins of the Church of St. Paul

The Ruins of St Paul is one of the most popular landmarks in Macau, free for visitors to admire.

It was reconstructed after being damaged by fire in 1695 and 1601.

Furthermore, it became 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.

This is on the way to a well-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 if you want some great photo opps.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am-6pm
  • Admission: Free
  • Address: Calcada de São Paulo, Macau

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2. A-Ma Temple (Ma Kok Miu)

Check out the oldest temple in Macau, the A-Ma Temple.

It 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.

Stone lions act as these structures’ guards.

In addition, a short stroll through a gateway and a winding path leads to the Hongren Hall.

This is where the image of the sea goddess Mazu is located.

Along the wall, you will see numerous inscriptions and poems.

These are great examples of the rich Chinese culture.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 7am-6pm
  • Admission: Free
  • Address: R. de Sao Tiago da Barra, Macau

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3. Senado Square

Senado Square is part of the Historic Centre of Macau.

Furthermore, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In addition, it is a sprawling town square-shaped like an elongated triangle.

The cobblestoned streets of this top tourist attraction feature many pastel-hued, old buildings.

These structures mostly have a European design.

This is a pedestrian-only zone that hosts a variety of events and celebrations.

In particular, Chinese New Year festivities featuring a lion and dragon dance.

Likewise, fireworks displays can also be enjoyed in Senado Square.

The streets are lined with shops selling an eclectic mix of merchandise.

You’ll see unique traditional clothes, local snacks, and Chinese herbal medicine.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 24/7
  • Admission: Free
  • Address: Senado Square, Macau

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4. Kun Iam Temple

Kun Iam Temple is one of Macau’s 3 ancient temples.

Its present structures date back to 1627.

A walk through the open courtyards will take you to the three main halls.

This is where you can see a huge 300-year old bell and luxurious decorations.

Furthermore, you can see porcelain figures working on the roof décor and a statue of Kun Iam.

This embroidered silk-dressed statue wears a crown that is changed on a yearly basis.

At the back of the temple lies a charming garden.

Enjoy the bamboo groves, peaceful fountains, and shrines to priests who have departed.

As this is a place of worship, you are requested to remain silent.

Above all, avoid taking photos if one of the temple’s funeral rooms is occupied.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 7:30am-5pm
  • Admission: Free
  • Address: No. 2 Avenida do Coronel Mesquita

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5. The House of Dancing Water Show

Don’t miss the spectacular water show, House of Dancing Water.

It is showcased in a specially-built theater located in the City of Dreams Macau.

This adrenaline-pumping extravaganza features colorful water jets and jaw-dropping acrobatic maneuvers.

Furthermore, see the amazing motorcycle stunts, high dives, and multimedia acting.

The stage itself changes to showcase dry and wet scenery.

It is custom-built to hold 17 million liters of water – equivalent to the capacity of five Olympic-sized swimming pools.

  • Show Times: Check show times on official site
  • Admission: From 680 MOP
  • Address: City of Dreams, Macau

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6. 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.

Likewise, you could see Hong Kong and China from the observation lounge, 223 meters above the ground.

This lounge is covered with 3-story reinforced glass windows.

Consequently, the glass brings 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”.

Take a stroll, lie down, or crawl on a transparent glass floor and test your fear of heights.

  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 10am-9pm; Weekends 9am-9pm
  • Admission: Adults 145 MOP, Kids & Seniors 75 MOP
  • Address: Largo da Torre de Macau

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7. Macau Museum

The Macau Museum is situated on the old Monte Fort compound.

Learn more about the rich cultural heritage of this region.

In addition, discover the history of the territory as influenced by Asian and European (Portuguese) culture through various exhibits.

Three floors are dedicated to permanent collections.

Specifically, the first floor showcases the history of Macau.

Furthermore, the second floor is where you will learn more about its traditions and customs.

Lastly, the third features fascinating information about contemporary Macau.

  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am-6pm; Weekends 10am-7:30pm
  • Admission: Adults 15 MOP, Students 8 MOP, Free for kids under 12 years old.
  • Address: Garden of the Surrounding of Monte Fort

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8. Monte Fort

Don’t forget a visit to one of the most popular historic attractions in Macau – Monte Forte.

This is the oldest military fortification on the peninsula.

The beautifully preserved construction was originally built by the Jesuit.

Specifically, it was used to defend the peninsula from an attack coming from the water.

You can climb the battlements on top of the 9-meter high walls.

Moreover, see the dazzling lights coming from the casinos spread over Macau, and stunning sunset views at dusk.

In addition, you can take a stroll around the compound to get a taste of its riveting history.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 7am-7pm
  • Admission: Free
  • Address: Garden of the Surrounding of Monte Fort

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9. Guan Yin Statue

See the majestic statue of the Buddhist goddess of mercy (Guan Yin).

It 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.

In particular, it is a popular spot for taking photos of the riveting bronze statue facing inland.

If it piques your interest, take the time to explore the ecumenical center.

Above all, this is where you can learn compelling facts about Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.

  • Opening Hours: Kun Iam Ecumenical Center Saturday to Thursday 10am-6pm
  • Admission: Free
  • Address: 1101 Av. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, Macao

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10. Macau Science Center

Macau Science Center is shaped like a silver cone.

It’s an indication of the enthralling experience waiting for you inside the science-themed learning center.

The structure houses a planetarium, convention center, and exhibition center over an area of 23,000 square meters.

The exhibition center has 5 floors.

Specifically, there are 14 galleries of themed exhibits, including those for robotics, food science, and the environment.

In addition, the convention center is usually where performances and lectures are held.

On the other hand, the planetarium is where you can watch 2D and 3D shows.

  • Opening Hours: Friday to Wednesday 10am-6pm
  • Admission: from MOP 25
  • Address: Macao, Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-sen

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11. Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum is constructed in the shape of a ship as it is anchored on the water.

To illustrate, it is situated in the exact spot where it is believed that the first Portuguese traders came onshore.

The ground floor houses exhibit showcasing the life & traditions of fishermen from South China and Macau.

In addition, this is where you can see various fishing instruments and different fish varieties &shellfish.

Moreover, as it features a replica of a traditional fisherman’s house.

Other exhibits include navigational equipment and instruments.

Likewise, check out a model of the oldest lighthouse on the South China coast, the Guia Lighthouse.

  • Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday 10am-6pm
  • Admission: Adults 25 MOP, Kids 12 MOP
  • Address: 1 Largo do Pagode da Barra, Macao

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12. 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 particular, check out Rua de Cunha, which is considered Macau’s best street food.

This is where you will find traditional restaurants and food stalls selling everything from beef jerky to egg tarts.

Sample scrumptious almond cookies, or enjoy authentic Chinese dishes.

Also, check out the Taipa Village Art Space.

This is a two-story gallery showcasing the work of up-and-coming artists.

You’ll find offers for special classes and workshops.

Another highlight is the Taipa Houses Museum which showcases wonderful examples of Portuguese architecture.

It’s distinctive white and green façade once served as home to the Portuguese governor.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am-10pm
  • Admission: Free
  • Address: Taipa, Macau

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13. Macau Giant Panda Pavilion

Located inside the Macau Zoo, the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion is a nature park.

Specifically, it houses the pandas and various animal species.

The residents include flamingos, gorillas, and monkeys.

Also, this is where you will see the pandas lounging around and doing their normal daily activities in the panda dens.

Furthermore, you will also get to see their storage quarters, bamboo-washing areas, and feed preparation rooms.

Visit the Pavilion of Rare Animals where you will see red pandas in their wild habitat.

This area is spread over 2 outdoor and 3 indoor activity areas that give them the space they need to move around freely.

Interestingly, these activity areas are kept at a steady 25 degrees Celsius temperature.

This is the most comfortable temperature for the pandas.

  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am-1pm & 2pm-5pm
  • Admission: Adults 10 MOP, Kids free
  • Address: Estr. de Seac Pai Van, Macao

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14. Macau Grand Prix Museum

Automobile and racing enthusiasts will have a wonderful time exploring the Grand Prix Museum.

This museum features exhibits dedicated to the Grand Prix worldwide.

It was built in 1933 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Grand Prix racing in Macau.

You’ll see vehicles that were driven by legends like Michael Schumacher, Eduardo de Carvalho, and David Coulthard.

In the middle of the hall, is a red and white Formula 3 racing car that was once driven by the famed Ayrton Senna.

  • Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday 10am-6pm
  • Admission: 80 MOP
  • Address: 431 R. de Luís Gonzaga Gomes, Macao

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15. Guia Fortress

Soak up a part of Macau’s cultural and military history with a visit to the Guia Fortress.

This complex showcases a colonial military fort, lighthouse, and chapel.

Furthermore, the chapel was constructed by Clarist nuns around 1622.

Its interior has frescoes that depict the influences of both European & Chinese religion and mythology.

In addition, the lighthouse was built in 1865.

It 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.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am-6pm
  • Admission: Free
  • Address: Guia Municipal Park

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echo
For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!