Recent Searches
Clear

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.

Learn more

Top 10 attractions in Macau SAR

Ruins of St. Paul
#1

Ruins of St. Paul

One of the most recognizable, dramatic, and popular icons of the city of Macau are the Ruins of St Paul's Cathedral. Originally constructed in 1580 by Jesuit priests, the church was twice ravaged by fire in 1595 and 1601. Not to be deterred by the loss, construction resumed in 1602 and ultimately grew into what would be the largest Christian church on the entire Asian continent. As fate would have it, however, disaster met the church once again in 1835 when fire ripped through the soaring cathedral for the third and final time. Devastated by the blaze all that remains of the Church of St Paul are the 66 stone steps which ascend a steep hill and the intricately carved five-tier façade for which the ruin is now so famous. Carved from granite which was able to withstand the fire, the façade features a panorama of carvings which fuse traditional European Renaissance and Oriental artistic styles....
Macau Tower
#2

Macau Tower

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....
A-Ma Temple (Ma Kok Miu)
#3

A-Ma Temple (Ma Kok Miu)

In a testament to the A-Ma Temple, it’s believed by many historians that the peninsula of Macau is in fact named after this very spot. An exquisite Taoist complex dating to 1488, the temple is dedicated to A-Ma, a Taoist Goddess of seafaring and mariner’s fortune. At the modern day entrance to the temple a stone engraving of a traditional sailing junk serves as a nod to A-Ma’s long-lasting connection to the sea. Also known by the names of Mazu or Matsu, the goddess has nearly 2,500 temples around the world devoted to her praise and worship. Upon arriving in Macau the original Portuguese sailors inquired about the name of this newfound land. In a cross-lingual miscommunication the original inhabitants offered the name of the area surrounding the temple: A-ma-gao. From this point forward it would be known to the Portuguese as A-ma-gao, or, in its abbreviated form, Macau....
St. Dominic’s Church (Igreja de Sao Domingos)
#4

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

In few places throughout Macau are the colonial influences of European rule more evident than at the historic Church of St. Dominic. Set at the back of a lively square this Baroque style church is instantly recognizable by its pastel-yellow and cream-colored façade. It’s more picturesque on the outside than lively on the inside, and in an artistic touch the front of the church features green shuttered windows which symmetrically flank the three-story bell tower. Built in 1587 by three Dominican priests from Acapulco, Mexico, the original chapel was ultimately destroyed and replaced in the 17th century with the building which stands today. Notable for being the first place to print a Portuguese language newspaper on Chinese soil (A Abelha da China: The China Bee), the Church of St. Dominic is better known for a violent and tumultuous past....
Monte Fort (Fortaleza do Monte)
#5

Monte Fort (Fortaleza do Monte)

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....
Macao Museum
#6

Macao Museum

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....
Macao's Historic Centre
#7

Macao's Historic Centre

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005, the Historic Centre of Macau comprises a zone of culturally significant buildings scattered in the southwestern corner of the Macau peninsula. Easily enjoyed as a half-day or full-day walking tour, the Historic Centre of Macau primarily focuses on the fusion of Portuguese colonialism with traditional Chinese cultural heritage. As an important Far East trading port, Macau has one of the longest-standing histories of European influence found anywhere on the Asian continent. For over 400 years two distinctly different cultures coexisted on a tiny strip of land. During this time both the Chinese as well as Portuguese residents crafted temples, forts, public squares and traditional works of architecture that create what is now the best example of European influence found anywhere on the Asian continent....
The House of Dancing Water
#8

The House of Dancing Water

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....
Casino Lisboa
#9

Casino Lisboa

When the Casino Lisboa first opened in 1970 it set the stage for the gambling legacy which continues to power Macau’s economy to this day. With the original 12–story building was spearheaded by real estate magnate and entrepreneur Stanley Ho, the 2006 addition of the Grand Lisboa brings the total number of rooms in the Lisboa complex to a staggering 2,362 rooms. Located in the Central Business District of Macau, the Casino Lisboa is the iconic, “original” casino of Macau which came to prominence prior to the recent explosion of neighboring casinos built on the reclaimed land of the Cotai Strip. Despite frequent renovation, the Casino Lisboa manages to retain its welcoming charm and avoids the ostentatious display some of the newer casinos thrust at their deep-pocketed, starry-eyed visitors. With the newly designed Grand Lisboa crafted around the style of a towering lotus leaf, the casino deftly manages to incorporate elements of both Portuguese as well as Chinese feature....
Guia Fortress
#10

Guia Fortress

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....

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

Frequently Asked Questions