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 Macau has a colorful palette and a plethora of sites despite occupying just 30.8sq km of the Chinese mainland. From neon-lit casinos to dusky markets, cobbled streets to modern cafés and Baroque churches to Art Deco buildings - there’s a wonderful mix of East and West. Thirty buildings and squares are UNESCO listed and many reflect Macau’s colonial Portuguese legacy, as does the food, laid-back lifestyle and the blue azulejo-tiled street names. Yet Macau has a modern Asian look, rivalling Singapore and Hong Kong.

currency

Macanese pataca (MOP)
MOP$1 ~ US$0,12

phone

Police, fire & ambulance: 999
24-hour tourist emergency hotline: 110,112
International directory assistance:101
Local directory assistance:181

newspaper

Hoje Macau (Portuguese)
Jornal Tribuna de Macau (Portuguese)
Macau Daily News (Chinese)
Macau Daily Times (English)
Macau Post Daily (English)
O CLARIM (Portuguese, English and Chinese)
Ponto Final (Portuguese)
Tai Chung Pou (Chinese)
Son Pou (Chinese)
Va Kio Daily (Chinese)

hours

General business hours are 10.00am-8.00pm.

population

656 700 (2018)

info

Macao Government Tourist Office (MGTO)
MacauAlameda Dr. Carlos d'Assumpcao, 335, Macau
+853 2833 3000
9.00am-6.00pm

Macau view Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

The City

It was the Portuguese who settled Macau in 1557, persuading the Chinese to rent them the peninsula and establishing trade links in the region that made them very wealthy. It was this period of prosperity that created the colonial Macau we see today – the Basilica of St Paul, the Mediterranean courtyards, luxurious villas, the hill-top lighthouse and UNESCO World Heritage old city.

By the 17th century Macau was already in decline and became a backwater for licensed gambling, prostitution and organized crime well into the 20th Century. In fact the Chinese refused to take it back until 1999, by which time it was in better shape anyway. By then the Triad gangs had been dealt with, the monopoly on casino licenses revoked and Macau’s economy had kick started as foreign tourism increased.

Today Macau is seen as having something of two faces with people coming to appreciate the fortresses, churches and food of the colonial era and dining in the modern Las Vegas of the East amidst 14 casinos and ritzy hotels. There are also other sights such as Buddhist temples, war bunkers, the excellent Museu de Macau, Macau Tower and the Fisherman’s Wharf theme park.

Macau, city skyline at sunset. Sean Hsu/Shutterstock.com

Do & See

Macau is based on a peninsula with a couple of islands including Taipa and Colôane. Most of the sights including St. Dominic's Church and Basilica of St Paul are packed around a few blocks in the old core around Largo do Senado, a good starting point of your tour.

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Senado Square

Richie Chan/Shutterstock.com

Leal Senado

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St. Dominic's Church

Richie Chan/Shutterstock.com

Basilica of St Paul (são Paulo)

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Monte Fort (Fortaleza do Monte)

Brenden Brain/Wikimedia Commons

Macao Museum

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Guia Fortress

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Macau Tower

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Taipa Island

Roderick Eime (2012 Melco Crown Entertainment Limited Macau)/Flickr

The House of Dancing Water

AsiaTravel/Shutterstock.com

Coloane

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Macau Giant Panda Pavilion

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City of Dreams

Diego Delso/Wikimedia Commons

Macao Science Center

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock.com

Lou Lim Lok Garden

People dining Kzenon/Shutterstock.com

Dining

Macau restaurants serve a spicy blend of Portuguese, Chinese, Malay, Indian and African dishes. The choice should keep all palettes happy because not only can you find delicious dim sum and pork chop bun, but there are also excellent Portuguese coffee (bica) and wine, Goanese chicken and fresh Chinese vegetables. Traditional Portuguese dishes to look out for including bacalhau (dry cod) and rich soups like caldo verdo or sopa a alentejena. Famed Macanese (Chinese/Portuguese) dishes include stir-fried curry crab and jagra de ovos (sweet egg tart).

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A Lorcha

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Boa Mesa

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Fernando's

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Seng Cheong Restaurant

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The Golden Peacock

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IFT Educational Restaurant

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The Eight

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Morton's, The Steakhouse

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Zi Yat Heen

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The Tasting Room

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A Petisqueira

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Tou Tou Koi

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Portofino

Barista Cafe Making Coffee Preparation Service Concept Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Cafes

Thanks to its Portuguese heritage, Macau has got coffee right. It therefore makes sense to head to Portuguese establishments for the best blend of bica and pastries, while the Chinese establishments produce a juicy pork bun with milky teas and puddings.

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Leitaria I Son

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Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei

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Margaret’s Café E Nata

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Pizzeria Toscana

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Terra Coffee House

Maucau lights Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Bars & Nightlife

Nightlife in Macau no longer centers on the gambling establishments. There are wonderful places to head including the Dock’s Outer Harbor sidewalk bars on Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Do note some places are true to the Mediterranean tradition and don’t heat up until after 1am.

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Macau Soul

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Crazy Paris Show

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Casinos

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CheChe Café

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McSorley's Ale House

woman holding shopping bag in mall VGstockstudio/Shutterstock.com

Shopping

Due to its tax free status, shopping is a delight in Macau with prices considerably lower than the USA, Europe and other Asian centers. Thanks to recent developments, you can find designer shopping centers though there are plenty of exotic Asian markets and traditional shops selling Chinese medicines and Portuguese antiques. Other things to shop for including electronics, jewelry, fabric, porcelain and wine. Prices vary according to quality so be wary of imitations. Avenida Almeira Ribeiro is the main commercial center and has many designer boutiques.

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Grand Canal Shoppes

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Senado Square

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Red Market

David Boté Estrada/Flickr

Rua de Sao Paulo

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New Yaohan Department Store

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Three Lamps District

travel oriented/flickr

Rua do Cunha

PangiswainING/Wikimedia Commons

Koi Kei Bakery

YUROU GUAN/Shutterstock.com

Cunha Bazaar

Stefano Tronci/Shutterstock.com

Macau Creations

close up traveler man looking location on tablet,man reading map GNT STUDIO/Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

Passport / Visa

All visitors must hold a passport or a valid travel document for travel to Macau and are required to have a visa except some countries which are exempted from a visa or entry permit.

Most travelers can enter Macau with just their passports for between 30 and 90 days, including citizens of the following countries:
Australia
Canada
EU
New Zealand
South Africa
USA

Travelers who do require visas can get them, valid for 30 days, on arrival in Macau. Visitors may also apply for an entry permit or visa upon arrival at the immigration checkpoint. However, visitors from certain countries are required to obtain a visa in advance before their trip to Macau.

You can get a single one-month visa extension from the Peninsula or Taipa branches of the Macau Immigration Department.

Address: Public Security Police Force Headquarters, Praceta de 1 de Outubro, Macau

Email: sminfo@fsm.gov.mo

Phone: +853 2872 5488

Website: www.fsm.gov.mo

More Information:

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Macau is during autumn and winter, from mid-October to December. The average yearly temperatures are around 20 degree Celsius and there are almost 100 days when the temperature becomes higher than 30 degree Celsius.

Visitors are advised to wear a thick jacket or an overcoat to keep warm during the colder months.

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Airport

Macau International Airport locates on Taipa Island and is serviced by flights of Air Asia, China Easter, EVA Airways, Silk Air, Singapore Airlines, Trans Asia Airways and Xiamen Airlines.

From the airport you can catch public buses to Avenida Almeida Ribeiro, the Border Gate, the Jetfoil Terminal and Colôane.

Shuttle bus service to your hotel is available departing from the north exit of the airport parking lot. Buses run every 15-20 minutes between 11.00am and 9.00pm. It is also possible to get to Hong Kong airport via the fast ferries from Macau Jetfoil Terminal.

Address: Taipa, Macau

Email:

Phone: +853 2886 1111

Website: www.macau-airport.com/en

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Public Transport

Getting around Macau is easy. Bus services are provided by Transmac and TCM, and routes run from 6.45am until midnight to destinations all over the city. You pay your fare into the box at the front, there’s no change given. You can get a full list of companies and routes from the Macau Tourist Map. Mokes are also a fun way of getting around. These bright, open-sided vehicles are part of Macau history and worth a ride. Many gather outside the casinos and main hotels.

Ferry services link Macau to Hong Kong and Shenzhen. First Ferry and Turbojet have regular services. You can also get a sampan across the harbour to Wānzái on the mainland.

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Website: www.transmac.com.mo/en

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Taxi

Taxis can be found at the airport, Jetfoil Terminal and on main streets. There are surcharges between Taipa and Coloane and Macau and Coloane.

Black Taxis
+853 3988800

Yellow Taxis
+853 2851 9519

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Post

The General Post Office is located at Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro.

Address: Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Macau

Email:

Phone: +853 2832 3666

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Pharmacy

H.& B Pharmacy
865, Grand Canal Street, Level 3
Shoppes at Venetian
Opening Hours:
Sun–Thur 10am - 11pm
Fri–Sat 10am - 12am

Lotus Pharmacy
Seng Tou Street, 407-413 G/F,
Nova Taipa Garden, Macau
Opening hours:
Daily 9.30am-9.30pm.

Address: Seng Tou Street, 407-413 G/F, Macau

Email:

Phone: +853 2885 5100

Website: www.lotuspharmacy.com.mo/en

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Telephone

The country Code is + 853.

There are no area codes in Macau.

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Electricity

220V, 50 Hz

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