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Macau, China city skyline with resort casinos.

Things to do in  Macau SAR

Welcome to Macau SAR

Macau is often called the Las Vegas of China, but a visit to the city across the bay from Hong Kong reveals much more than slot machines and blackjack tables. A Portuguese colony for more than three centuries that only became a part of China again in 1999, Macau is a fascinating blend of Portuguese and Chinese cultures. Tours down narrow streets inlaid with intricate Portuguese tiles lead to fascinating Chinese temples such as the UNESCO World Heritage–listed shrine to A-Ma. Other historic highlights include the Ruins of the Church of St. Paul and the Fortaleza do Monte, part of the UNESCO-listed Macau old city center. Further down the Macau peninsula, you can tour the islands of Taipa, Coloane, and Cotai, each with their own charms, including spectacular fresh seafood restaurants and bakeries serving addictive Portuguese nata (custard tarts). Other popular attractions reveal the city’s modern side, including Macau Tower with its thrilling sky walk and bungee jump. And of course, gambling and thrill-seeking are both on the menu in Macau; if you are indeed in search of the Vegas of Asia, you’ve come to the right place for gambling, over-the-top shows, and indulgent meals featuring an delicious combination of Chinese and Portuguese cuisine.

Top 15 attractions in Macau SAR

#1
Ruins of St. Paul

Ruins of St. Paul

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One of the most famous landmarks in Macau, the Ruins of St. Paul is all that’s left of a church that was built in 1602 and was destroyed by fire in 1835. All that remains are the iconic stone façade and the grand staircase leading up to it. The ruins form part of the Historic Center of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.More
#2
Macau Tower

Macau Tower

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Reaching a neck-pinching height of 1,109 feet (338 meters), Macau Tower dominates Macau’s skyline and offers sweeping views of the peninsula for over one million visitors per year. Visitors without a fear of heights can rapidly ascend the high-speed, glass-fronted elevator to the tower observation decks on the 58th and 61st floors.More
#3
Kids' City

Kids' City

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Macau isn’t the most family-friendly destination, but Kids’ City inside the City of Dreams is designed for young visitors. This 17,000-square-foot (1,579-square-meter) indoor play park features slides, rope bridges, inflatable bounce castles, and ball pits, as well as crafting stations, a dress-up area, and an arcade.More
#4
A-Ma Temple (Ma Kok Miu)

A-Ma Temple (Ma Kok Miu)

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One of the oldest temples in Macau, A-Ma temple was built in 1488 and commemorates A-Ma, goddess of the sea (also known as Mazu and Tin Hau). Featuring multiple prayer pavilions set on different levels of a hill overlooking the Inner Harbour, A-Ma Temple forms part of the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.More
#5
Casino Lisboa

Casino Lisboa

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When the Casino Lisboa first opened in 1970 it set the stage for the gambling legacy that continues to power Macau’s economy to this day. Macau’s original casino, designed to resemble a towering lotus leaf, is home to a hotel, four gaming floors, shopping arcade, restaurants, a swimming pool, and a Parisian-style cabaret show.More
#6
St. Dominic’s Church (Igreja de Sao Domingos)

St. Dominic’s Church (Igreja de Sao Domingos)

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It’s hard to miss St. Dominic's Church (Igreja de São Domingos), with its pastel yellow façade. The church was established by three Dominican priests in 1587, though the current building dates from the 17th century. A popular attraction with a colorful past, the church forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Macau.More
#7
Artists performing at the House of Dancing Water in Macau

The House of Dancing Water

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It’s no surprise that the House of the Dancing Water was introduced to Macau by former Cirque du Soleil director Franco Dragone. Macau’s most spectacular show, staged at City of Dreams, features stunts, acrobatics, and elaborate choreography in a theater that uses as much water as five Olympic-sized swimming pools.More
#8
Macao's Historic Centre

Macao's Historic Centre

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Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, Macao's Historic Centre includes more than 20 historic and culturally significant sights. From churches and temples to forts and squares, Macao's Historic Centre reflects the area’s rich cultural legacy and its unique mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences.More
#9
Macau Islands

Macau Islands

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Historically, Macau was home to two small islands that sat just offshore of the mainland: Coloane and Taipa. Following recent land-reclamation efforts, however, a third island, Cotai, has filled in the gap. Each of the three areas, now merged into one island, retains its own identity, offering distinct experiences for travelers.More
#10
Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum

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Macau’s heritage has long been linked with the sea, and the Maritime Museum celebrates the connection while tracing the nautical histories of Portugal, China, and Macau. Fittingly enough, Macau’s oldest museum opened in 1987 near the spot believed to be where the first Portuguese traders came ashore.More
#11
Guia Fortress

Guia Fortress

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Built in the 17th century as a fortification against foreign aggression, Guia Fortress is located at the highest point on the Macau Peninsula, the 300-foot (91-meter) Guia Hill. Guia Fortress also includes a lighthouse and a chapel. It offers panoramic views of Macau, and forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Macau Historic Centre.More
#12
Macao Science Center (Centro de Ciencia de Macau)

Macao Science Center (Centro de Ciencia de Macau)

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Housed in a silver cone-shaped building designed by architect I.M. Pei, the Macao Science Center (Centro de Ciencia de Macau)is a science-themed museum and learning center. With exhibitions, films, live demonstrations, and interactive experiences across different science and technology themes, the museum offers a fun learning environment for the whole family.More
#13
Macao Museum

Macao Museum

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Set within the compound of the old Monte Fort, the Macao Museum chronicles the history of this region and its blend of European and Asian cultures. Exhibits cover the territory’s history, the relationship between China and Portugal, Macanese religion, folk customs, architecture, and urban development.More
#14
Lou Lim Ieoc Garden

Lou Lim Ieoc Garden

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Macau’s only Suzhou-style Chinese garden, Lou Lim Ieoc Garden, often attracts locals who come to practice tai chi or play music in what was once the largest private garden in the city. Today the space is a 4.4-acre (1.8-hectare) public park, featuring traditional elements like ponds, bridges, rockeries, pavilions, and pagodas.More
#15
Monte Fort (Fortaleza do Monte)

Monte Fort (Fortaleza do Monte)

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Built by the Jesuits to repel an attack from the sea, the Monte Fort (Fortaleza de Monte) is the oldest military fortification on the Macau peninsula. Though cannons were readied and defense preparations made, the only military action the Monte Fort ever saw was during an unsuccessful raid by the Dutch in 1622.More

Trip ideas

Top Historical Sights in Macau

Top Historical Sights in Macau

How to Spend 2 Days in Macau

How to Spend 2 Days in Macau

Recent reviews from experiences in Macau SAR

star-5
What an amazing show!
Lewis_J, Jul 2019
The House of Dancing Water Show in Macau
Speaks English badly and just says, "Take a bus across the street.
We perform checks on reviews

All about Macau SAR

When to visit

Lunar New Year is undoubtedly the most colorful and chaotic time to visit Macau, with fireworks, dancing dragon parades, and cultural performances in abundance. But, even outside of the festive period, winter remains the best time to visit, thanks to its moderate weather conditions.

Currency
Chinese Yuan (CN¥)
Time Zone
CST (UTC +8)
Country Code
+86
Language(s)
cn

A local’s pocket guide to Macau SAR

Jake L.

Jake is a long-time China resident who would escape to Macau on the weekends to enjoy the city’s history, culture, and entertainment.

The first thing you should do in Macau is...

make a beeline for the casinos. Baccarat is the game in this town, but the cheapest hand of blackjack (HK$100 or US$13) can be found at the Pharaoh Hotel’s Casino.

A perfect Saturday in Macau...

includes brunch at Cafe Namping (try their fresh egg tarts). Then visit the surrounding neighborhood, the Macau Museum, and dine at Fernandos on Black Sand Beach.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the Ruins of St. Pauls, the facade of a 17th-century cathedral destroyed by a fire. It’s packed with people, but is very impressive and includes a great underground museum of religious artifacts.

To discover the "real" Macau...

wander some of the residential areas. Visit the Master’s Hotel (“wan shi fa jiu dian”) and explore the nearby alleyways. You’ll find interesting tea shops, trinket stores, and local cafés that haven’t changed since the 50s.

For the best view of the city...

check out the Fortaleza de Monte, a 17th-century military fortress built to protect the property of the Jesuits from pirates. It’s surrounded by parkland, and gives a great view of the island of Macau.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking that Macau is only casinos. Though small, Macau has some great history, excellent museums, and fantastic ancient temples hidden deep in winding alleyways.

Frequently Asked Questions
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