Dec 212012

Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China and allows visa-free entry to the citizens of the most countries. Once a Portuguese Colony, it has a lot of colonial attractions to visit apart from its famous casinos. But from a backpacker’s perspective, only problem is the highly expensive hotels of Macau. Hong Kong is also expensive, but you have the options of many hostels and budget hotels there. You are not so lucky in the case of Macau. This is the main reason why mostly budget travelers prefer to stay in Hong Kong and travel to Macau on a single day tour. Many travel companies offer a single day package to Macau from Hong Kong. Macau is not so small also, that we can discover it in a single day, but if you plan our trip wisely, you can enjoy many attractions of Macau in a single day.

Graphical Representation of Macau Attractions

Graphical Representation of Macau Attractions

How to Start? First and most important factor to visit Macau in a single day is early arrival to Macau from Hong Kong. Catch a ferry from Hong Kong to Macau as early as possible in the morning. These ferries drop you to the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal of Macau. To know more about the ferries between Hong Kong and Macau, I advise you to go through this post: Ferries Between Macau and Hong Kong

Transportation Cost in Macau? Best way roam around Macau is to walk.  Macau is a small territory and it can be visit by a simple walk. However, it is not possible to visit everything in a day by this method.  Another option is to hire a cab, but important sites in Macau are located so closely, that most of the time of your visit, your driver will wait simply outside, while you roam from one site to another. So, it is a wastage of money.  Public buses also do not seem a good alternative. Another interesting option is to wisely use the casino buses, that runs throughout Macau.  These buses are comfortable, free of cost and frequent in service. By using these buses you can visit Macau without any transportation cost.  But, how to use these buses? Wait for my next post, that will give you a good idea to use these buses in Macau.  In this post, I will only explain about the important places of Macau.  This will help me to keep this post simple and smaller.  So, here is the list of some important places to visit in Macau:

Casino trails of Macau:  Macau is basically famous for its gambling industry and has 33 casinos on its two islands. 23 casinos are located on the Macau Peninsula and 10 casinos on Taipa Island. Gambling is its biggest source of revenue. It is considered as the Los Vegas of the east and even its casinos are generating revenue more than Los Vegas. Venetian is the biggest casino, with other famous names include Galaxy, Sands, MGM, Lisboa, City of Dreams, Wynn etc. They all operate under a government franchise and under a common set of rules. These casinos are the amazing places to experience the nightlife of Macau. You can visit them without any restriction, even if you are not interested in gambling. But don’t try to cover all the casinos in a single day. You can’t do that. Decide your favorite casinos, maximum three to visit in a day. My choices are Venetian, Galaxy and Lisboa.

Opening Hours: Every casino run 24×7, throughout the year. Entrance is Free. Various sections of a casino may have different opening and closing hours.


The Venetian


The Galaxy

Ruins of St. Paul: Listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site List as Historic Center of Macau, this is one of the most famous attractions of Macau. This church was first constructed in 1580, caught fire several times, reconstructed again and again damaged in a typhoon. Today, the front facade and grand stairs are the only remains of its glorious past. The facade depicts various scenes of Christianity on its outer wall. There is a small museum behind the facade, sometimes referred as St. Paul’s Museum.

Opening Hours:Ruins of St.Paul: Whole day, throughout the year. Entrance is Free. Museum: Daily 9am to 6pm (except Tuesday). Entrance is free

Ruins of St Paul

Ruins of St Paul

Senado Square:  (Open Area, Entrance is free, access is 24×7 throughout the year). This is also a part of Historic Center of Macau listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site List. Senado Square has been Macao’s urban center for centuries, and is still the most popular venue for public events and celebrations today. This place is full of historical colonial buildings with Portuguese influences. This is the best place to buy the famous egg tart, drinks, restaurants, fashion clothes and souvenirs.

Senado Square

Senado Square

St. Domingo’s Church or St. Dominic’s Church: This catholic church in heart of Senado Sqaure is also a part of Historic Center of Macau.  Built in 1587 by three Spanish Dominican priests, this Catholic church was the venue for the very first Portuguese newspaper ever published on Chinese soil.  St. Domingo’s Church was refurbished in 1828 and expanded to the large scale that it represents today.

Opening Hours:10.00 AM-18.00 PM. Entrance is free


St. Domingo’s Church

Macau Tower:  Inaugurated in Dec. 2001, Macau Tower is an important landmark of Macau with an impressive height of 338 meters.  It is approx. 4 kms from the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and about 3 kms from the Fisherman’s Wharf. Also known as Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center, it has an observation deck for panoramic views, theaters, shopping malls, restaurants and also famous for bungee jumping from the top.  It is also used for communications and broadcasting. Charges are variable depending on the activities. If possible, try its observation desk for an impressive night view of Macau.

Opening Hours:  10.00 AM to 21.00 PM (Monday to Friday) and 09.00 AM to 21.00 PM (on weekends and public holidays).

Macau Tower

Macau Tower

Fisherman’s Wharf: (Opens 24 hours throughout the year, with no admission fee, however at stores,restaurants and particular attractions, you have to pay the charges) Officially opened in 2006, Fisherman’s Wharf is the first theme park complex in Macau. Located within 1 km from the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, this park contains over 150 stores and restaurants, a man-made volcano, which exterior was built on the style of Potala Palace in Lhasa(Tibet), a fort known as Aladin’s Fort, a roman amphitheater built on the style of Colosseum and a casino. In fact, this park has many buildings in the style of different world seaports such as Miami, Venice, Rome, Cape Town, Amsterdam etc.


Fisherman’s Wharf


Fisherman’s Wharf


Fisherman’s Wharf

Kun Lam Statue: This 32 meter tall bronze statue is just ahead of science center and dedicated to the goddess of mercy in Chinese Buddhism. It is located on a man-made island off the Macau peninsula, and linked to it by a 60-metre causeway.

Opening Hours: 10.00 AM to 18.00 PM (except Friday). Entrance is free.


Kun Lam Statue

Macau Science Center:  Opened in 2009, this center is built on a reclaimed land along the waterfront of Macau. Looks impressive with its distinctive, asymmetrical, conical shape and a spiral walkway, it mainly consists of interactive exhibits aimed at science education. There is also a planetarium with 3D projection facilities and Omnimax films.

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10.00 AM to 18:00 PM. Closed on Thursdays and Lunar New Year’s Eve.

Entrance Charges: 25 MOP for adults, 15 MOP for children under 11 years. Planetarium show tickets are 35 MOP, 45 MOP for the 3D shows

Macau Science Center

Macau Science Center

Macau Grand Prix Circuit: (Opens 24 hours throughout the year, with no entrance fee) The Macau Grand Prix is a motor-racing event held annually in Macau. It is known for being the only street circuit racing event in which both car and motorcycle races are held. Every year in November hundreds of racing drivers and riders compete in different categories of motor-racing, including single-seaters, touring cars and motorbikes. The circuit passes through the Outer Harbour ferry terminal, Fisherman’s wharf, Casino Lisboa etc.


Macau Grand Prix Circuit in front of Ferry Terminal

Beautiful Bridges of Macau:  (Opens 24 hours throughout the year, with no entrance fee) There are three bridges in Macau that connects Taipa island to Macau Peninsula.  These bridges over Pearl river delta are also the impressive structures  in Macau.

Macau Bridge

A Bridge over Pearl River Delta

Macau Museum:  It is the biggest museum of Macau,  just adjacent to the Ruins of St. Paul.  It is located in the famous Monte Fortress, in the heart of the city and where the Portuguese first set foot. Different permanent exhibitions are on display inside this three-level Museum.

Opening Hours: 10.00 AM to 18.00 PM (Ticket booth closes 17.30 PM) Closed on Mondays, Free for public on the 15th of every month, Open on public holidays.

Admission Charges: MOP 15 for adults, MOP 8 for children between 5-10 years and senior citizens, Free for children below 5 years. Free for all visitors on the 15th of every month.

Macau Museum

Way to Macau Museum

Apart from this list, there are other places also that I did not visit due to the time constraints. Other important places to visit in Macau are Wine Museum, Grand Prix Museum, St. Lawrence Church, Guia Lighthouse, A-Ma Temple etc.

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  22 Responses to “Interesting Places to Visit in Macau”

  1. Hi,

    Is one whole day enough to explore places you’ve been in Macau? I’ve been planning to go there by early morning and set off by afternoon. Thanks.

  2. Dear Solo Backpacker,
    Highly informative. Although I have been to Macau, Hong Kong and even Shenzhen, I find your information very helpful especially to some of ”off the beaten track” interesting places… The photographs are very sharp and good. Thank you so much… My hubby and I are going to Macau, Hong Kong and Shenzhen from 24th August. 2016 for a total of 9 days… Thanks again… God Bless and May you have more wonderful and footloose adventures on your travels.

  3. can we explore The Venetian Macau as a non-hotel guest? 🙂

  4. Hi! Ur blog is very informative and superb!.. May ask lng sana ako,. If am coming from senado sqaure in macau and want to go to macau airport and how many hours travel of this? ano po ba pwede sakyan na dumadaan na mismo sa senado square going to macau airport na po? Thanks, hoping to hear ur response soon. Thanks!

    • Hi, From Senado Square to the Airport is about 60 minutes by a bus. If you don’t have luggage, just walk towards Lisboa Casino from Senado Square. From Lisboa, you can catch their free shuttle bus to the ferry terminal and from there, another free shuttle bus to the airport. If you book taxi from Senado Square, you can expect to reach there in 30-45 minutes. 🙂

    • Hi, thanks po sa reply. Il try take by bus nlang po cguro pra to make myself and challenge and experience these narin cguro. Ask ko narin po kun wat name ng bus from lisboa to ferry terminal and from ferry terminal to macau airport? And may oras po ba pra macatch ko un mga busses naun?thanks! Hope to hear ur reply. 🙂

  5. Hi there, I’m Jel from the Philippines. I would like to ask if you know a budget friendly hotel/hostel. I know Macau is a very expensive place to visit but hoping to find an affordable place to stay on my 3 days visit, coz I’m on a tight budget..Thank you so much.

  6. Hi I am Nisha at Don’t know why my comment isn’t showing my blog’s url.

  7. When were you there and for how long? Your post has rekindled my lovely memories of the place. 🙂

  8. Hi. Is it possible that we go from macau to hongkong? Coz our entry is macau. Then from hongkong coming back to macau probably just one day trip only in hongkong.

  9. Hi! After read your articles about Macau trip, I’m wondering about casino buses. Can you explain me about ‘how to use these buses’? So can simplify our one day trip. Many thanks!

    • Hi, The major historical attractions of Macau are centered around Senado Square. The best way to reach there is to catch any bus of Lisboa Casino from the Macau Ferry Terminal. From Lisboa, you can walk for 3-4 kms to cover Senado Square, St.Damingo’s Church, Ruins of St. Paul, Macau Museum etc. Again, catch a bus from Lisboa Casino and come back to the ferry terminal. Now, catch another bus from Venetian or Galaxy Casino, it drops you near at the respective casino. You can walk for 2-3 kms to cover Galaxy, Venetian and City of Dreams in that area. The Sand Casino and Fisherman’s Wharf is very close to the Ferry Terminal, so you can walk there from the terminal. For Macau Tower, better to catch a bus of MGM Casino. So, in a single day, I suggest you to first go to Senado Square from the ferry terminal by Lisboa Casino Bus. Come back to ferry terminal and visit The Sands and The Fisherman’s Wharf. and then catch a bus for Venetian/Galaxy Casino and visit that area. Leave MGM and Macau Tower for another visit. Have a nice trip.

  10. Oh Ya it is good place, Hotels with good ambience, Hospitality, caring people, Good Infra, upcoming an new destiny in Asia.

  11. Macau is one of the best places I have been to. Also because I have never been to Las Vegas and Macau gave me taste of gambling!!

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