Macau is one of China’s most visited cities, thanks to its glitzy hotels, unparalleled selection of casinos and a surprising amount of natural beauty.
If you’re lucky enough to plan a vacation to Macau, you’re guaranteed a great time. To ensure you get the very most out of your trip, there are certain things that you should be sure to see. We’ve created this guide to Macau’s five most famous sights and experiences that you should take extra care to slot into your holiday itinerary.
A-Ma Temple is one of Macau’s oldest tourist sites and can be visited any time between 7 am and 6 pm, making it a great gap-filler for any spaces in your sightseeing itinerary.
This temple is of particular importance not just because of the stunning architecture, but because the A-Ma Temple gave Macao its name. The word ‘Macao’ derives from the Chinese ‘A-Ma-Gau’, which refers to the bay of A-Ma where, you guessed it, the A-Ma Temple can be found.
Halfway up the slope of Barra Hill, you’ll find the main temple. You’ll need to go through the beautiful Gate Pavillion and memorial arch to get to it. Once inside, you’ll be able to visit several different halls, each with its own story and helpful plaques explaining its history.
This site is a Buddhist site, and as such, it blends in perfectly with the natural surroundings, such is one of the philosophies of Buddhist building.
Explore a Games Room
If there’s one thing that Macau is famous for above everything else, then it’s the casinos, so much so that Macau is known as the gaming capital of China.
If you want to get the most out of your visit to the casino, it pays to know how to play the games. Take a little time to brush up on your poker or roulette knowledge before spending an evening in one of the game rooms.
You’ll be able to find casinos in much of the city centre, many of them attached to five-star hotels. It can be fun to choose a casino attached to a hotel, as the resort elements of the hotels can be fantastic. Some have enormous aquariums, fireworks displays, glistening water fountains and a huge selection of top-quality restaurants.
While it would be possible to spend an entire vacation in one of Macau’s many exclusive resorts, we’ve got just a little more sightseeing to do.
The Ruins of Saint Paul’s
Probably the most widely visited tourist sites in Macau, the Ruins of St Paul’s are an incredible part of Macau’s unique history. The original church was built between 1602 and 1619, and although only the ruins remain today, there’s much to learn from them about Macau’s history.
The church was created to display Portugal’s conquering of Macau and how it had brought the Catholic church to the East. As such, many of the features of the ruins have an architectural style that isn’t at all traditional of China, being far more reminiscent of the sort of architecture you’d find in the Mediterranean.
Take some time to explore the ruins and if you feel like embracing some of Macau’s Portuguese roots, indulge in a pastel de nata. This delicious custard tart is as beloved in Portugal as it is on this archipelago.
To round off your Macau sightseeing trip, head to the center of Macau and watch the world go by at Senado Square. This enormous square is right in front of the parliamentary building, so you can take your time and study its architecture, or just enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of the city’s heart.
There are plenty of food and drink vendors in the square, and with its enormous size of more than 3000 square metres, you’re guaranteed to find somewhere to sit and relax.