- 16 Sep 19
A little city (by China's standards!), Macau is a beautiful blend of cultures old and new. If you're planning a tour around the Far East, this is one destination you won't want to miss.
Where exactly is it?
Macau, an autonomous city in China, is located along the southern coast of the country. Its north side connects with Zhuhai city, while Hong Kong lies just a short distance away, across the Pearl River.
How do I get there?
Macau has an airport, but this serves mainly domestic flights. The best way to get to Macau is by flying to Hong Kong, and taking either the high speed TurboJet ferry to the city, or a shuttle bus that crosses the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge - the world's longest sea-crossing structure.
What is the language?
There are two official languages in Macau: Portuguese and Cantonese. Most of the locals use Cantonese as their daily language, but Portuguese is also part of the city's linguistic make-up, with some official documents and street names using the European language. However, English speakers won't encounter many problems, as most people in restaurants, shops and hotels will be able to speak it.
Why should I go?
Macau is a stunning city containing a mix of both Chinese and Portuguese cultures, as a result of Portuguese colonial rule from 1557 to 1999. This comes through in the wonderful architecture and delicious food on offer within the city. Macau is also small enough to explore by foot, and you can navigate most of the essential tourist spots within two days.
This city is not only a beautiful place to walk around, but also offers some exciting activities. If you are looking to step outside of your comfort zone, you can try out some of the jaw-dropping city bungee jumps, or sky walk in Macau Tower. Macau is also commonly dubbed the 'Vegas of the East', so why not try your luck at the Cotai, where most of the world-famous casinos are located, including the Venetian, Parisian, Wynn, Sands, and the Plaza.
What are the most touristy things to do?
Stand at the middle of Cotai strip, lift up your arms, and get a good picture with the casinos in the background. Place a few bets in the magnificent Macau casinos. Taste the variety of local foods in Macau, including the Portuguese egg tarts and pork jerky. Visit the famous landmarks, including the Ruins of St. Paul (Rua de Sao Paulo), Senado Square (Central District of Macau Peninsula), Macau Tower (Largo da Torre de Macau) and A-Ma Temple (Rua de Sao Tiago de Barra and Calcada da Barra). Plus, Macau is full of wondrous narrow allies, so don't be afraid to get lost and discover something new by venturing into the unknown!
What is the food like?
Travelling on a budget? No problem! Macau is an inexpensive place to visit when it comes to food. The street food is next to none, with local specialities like curry fishball, Portuguese egg tarts, red bean pudding and egg waffles all available on the street.
If street food isn't your thing, there's a great array of fine-dining restaurants. Robuchon au Dôme (Grand Lisboa, 43/F, Avenida de Lisboa , Macau Peninsula) is perfect for dinner, and has been awarded three Michelin stars for 11 consecutive years. The Tasting Room (Estrada do Istmo, Cotai , Level 3, Nüwa, Macau, China) has two Michelin stars, and is a great place to experience French cuisine. Yi (Morpheus, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Level 21), the first Chinese restaurant in Macau offering daily multi-course tasting menus, also serves traditional cuisine in an innovative way.
Where should I go at night?
As well as 24-hour casinos, there's plenty to do in Macau at night. Chill out and sip a drink at Sky 21's bar (AIA Tower, Avenida Comercial de Macau), while also enjoying the beautiful night views from the AIA Tower. Penha Hill is another great place to hang out at night. Conveniently located in the centre of the city, it's a fantastic spot for a walk, and offers great views of Macau. Not many tourists know about this spot, so it makes for a peaceful evening walk.
Where can I stay?
There are many hotels that you can choose from. We recommend picking one of the many casino hotels in Macau, as these are usually highly rated. Prices range from €100-€200.
Every year around November, in the rotunda opposite the Macau Tower, the city plays host to the Macau Food Festival. The event attracts tourist and locals and brings together delicious cuisines from countries all over the world, making for a phenomenal atmosphere.
Another event that happens in November is the internationally prestigious Macau Grand Prix, where racers will compete along the narrow streets in Macau for four days.