Hop on a ferry or bus to Macau where palatial hotel resorts, exuberant casinos, local delicacies and exhilarating shows await!
Whether you’re visiting Macau for the first time or have been waiting three years to revisit our neighbouring SAR, we’re glad to bring your our updated guide to where to eat and stay in Macau. From newly opened resorts, local delicacies, historical sites and exciting attractions, here are all the best things to see and do while you’re there.
Macau (or Macao) is a no-brainer pick when it comes to a short and easy getaway. It’s similar to Hong Kong in the sense that it is also a Special Administrative Region, meaning it has its own currency, administration and legal system to the rest of China. Like Hong Kong, Cantonese is widely spoken there and Hong Kong Dollars is also widely used and accepted, which approximately converts 1:1 Macanese Pataca (MOP).
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for more updated Macau content from us as we reacquaint ourselves with the region.
Getting To Macau
Getting to Macau has never been easier. Not only can we go by ferry, but since the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge opened back in 2018, we can also go by bus, which operates 24/7.
How To Get From Hong Kong To Macau By Ferry
Most people know about the ferry from Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan, but you can also get the ferry from the Kowloon China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui and Hong Kong International Airport’s SkyPier. There are two ferry operators to choose from:
- TurboJet – Takes you to Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal. www.turbojet.com.hk
- Cotai Water Jet – Takes you to the Macau Taipa Ferry Terminal. www.cotaiwaterjet.com
How To Get From Hong Kong To Macau By Bus
If you get seasick easily, a good alternative is to travel to Macau via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB). Those choosing to stay on land can either take public transport to the Hong Kong Port (more details here), then catch a shuttle bus to Macau Port. From there you can take public transport to your final destination. Alternatively, you can take a cross-boundary coach or hire a cross-boundary car (see the list of cross-boundary hire car operators here) to take you directly from Hong Kong to Macau.
There are also a number of bus services that can get you straight to your hotel in Macau:
- One Bus – Starting from Jordan, the route passes through Sands Macao, Venetian Macao and Parisian Macao. www.onebus.hk
- Hong Kong Shared Bus Transfers – Direct busses from Hong Kong with drop-off points at Venetian Macao, Galaxy Macau, MGM Cotai, Grand Lisboa Macau and more. www.klook.com
Sassy Tip: Those driving in a private car to the Hong Kong Port can book a parking spot here and enjoy 30-minute complimentary parking within any 3-hour period.
Where To Stay In Macau
Macau is made up of one peninsula and two islands, however, the area between the two islands, Taipa and Coloane, created an additional area known as Cotai. As such, when we speak of Macau, we refer to four main districts, namely Macau Peninsula, Taipa, Cotai and Coloane. Most attractions, sites and casinos are located in the first three districts. Coloane, however, offers a more cultural experience of Macau. Colonial buildings running along the sides of the cobblestone streets of this coastal village give visitors a glimpse of the city’s Portuguese past.
Read More: The Best Hotel Staycations In Hong Kong
The Parisian Macao — Cotai
Be prepared to be transported to the City of Love. From the Eiffel Tower to the iconic windmill in Montmartre, The Parisian is an impressive replica of the French capital. This five-star hotel oozes opulence and has everything you need under its roof, from casinos (naturally) to shops, restaurants and even a water park for the little ones.
Hotel Pousada de Coloane
Hotel Pousada de Coloane is a quaint boutique hotel that offers an experience that couldn’t be further away from the extravagant hotels along the Cotai Strip. Hotel Pousada is a former manor house from the 1930s. Located on the beachfront in the southern bay of Macau, this is a lovely hideaway for an idyllic stay with a touch of history.
The Londoner Macao
The Londoner Macao encompasses two new all-suite hotels – The Londoner Hotel and Londoner Court – alongside Sheraton Grand Macao, St. Regis Macao and Conrad Macao. With a grandiose façade, complete with a life-sized Big Ben, a red double-decker bus (flown in from the UK!) and phone booths for picture taking, it’s worth passing by in the least for the ‘Gram.
Sassy Tip: Be sure to catch the light and sound spectacular, where the building’s outer façade comes to life with dazzling lighting effects choreographed to classic British-themed musical scores, running hourly from 7:30pm to 11:30pm.
The Venetian Macao
As the region’s very first integrated resort, modelled after its sister casino resort in Las Vegas, The Venetian hardly needs an introduction. It’s best known for impeccably replicating a number of Venetian landmarks, including an impressive network of canals and gondolas that run through the building.
What To Eat: Macau Cafes And Restaurants
Macau Cafés And Snacks
Don’t be fooled by the rapid emergence of new cafés, Macau has a long-standing coffee culture, taking roots from its colonial era. Sei Kee Café and Cafe Namping are some nostalgic options. For more hip and up-and-coming spots, check out Chaa, Chillout Macau and Brew Lab.
Sei Kee Café, 1 Largo dos Bombeiros Voluntários, Macau, +853 6569 1214
Cafe Namping, 85A, 85 Rua de Cinco de Outubro, Macau, +853 2892 2267
Chaa, R/C A, Mei Lei Court, 84 Rua das Estalagens, Macau, www.instagram.com/chaa.macau
Chillout Macau, 2 Patio do Mainato, Macau, www.instagram.com/Chillout.macau
Brew Lab, 106 Rua do Matapau, Macau, www.instagram.com/brew_lab_macau
Street Food Along Rua do Cunha (官也街)
From Portuguese egg tarts to beef offal, Rua do Cunha has it all. Be mentally prepared for a dense crowd, but don’t let this put you off as the queues tend to move quickly since there are often several vendors selling these local delicacies. Our advice is to not jump into the first queue you see. Do a quick scope of the area – you might be surprised by what you’ll find further down the street. Also, remember that you didn’t come all the way to shop at boutiques you can find in Hong Kong. Pastelaria Fong Kei is a local favourite. This century-old pastry shop can only be found in Cotai so make sure to get there early before some of their best sellers get sold out for the day.
Rua do Cunha, Taipa, Macau
Read More: Sassy’s Guide to Taipa Village, Macau
Cheong Kei (祥記麵家)
This family-run noodle shop has an unsuspecting storefront yet, for 50+ years, Cheong Kei has been serving arguably the best fine noodles in town. You have to try its signature dish: noodles with dried shrimp roe. All dry noodles come with a bowl of soup, which is cooked with dried prawns and plaices for over eight hours. The best thing about this is that you can ask for refills free of charge.
Cheong Kei (祥記麵家), 68 Rua da Felicidade, +853 2857 4310
If you can’t make it to Paris, why not try La Chine, an award-winning Cantonese restaurant tucked inside the Eiffel Tower at The Parisian? Located on the sixth floor, La Chine offers a sophisticated location for a romantic lunch and dinner, as well as a panoramic view of the surroundings. The menu, curated by Executive Chef Ben Lui, is a fusion between fine French and Chinese cuisines.
For an evening option that provides a coastal contrast to the glamour of modern Cotai, head over to Fernando’s, an authentic Portuguese restaurant located at the southern tip of Hác Sa beach in Coloane. This charming eatery serves a variety of seafood and other Portuguese staples with a plentiful wine range to pair. Accompanying the dishes is a convivial, rustic atmosphere, ideal for a stroll along the sand before or after your meal.
Sassy Tip: If you don’t manage to make a reservation in advance, we recommend arriving early and putting your name down on the waiting list before popping yourself down in their courtyard for a drink or two whilst you wait for your table.
Fernando’s Restaurant, 9 Estrada de Hác Sá. Coloane, Macau, +853 2888 2264
The Conservatory, Sheraton Grand Macao
Located within Sheraton Grand Macao, The Conservatory combines three dining experiences under one roof – namely Three Bottles, Chaan, and The Sweet Shop, offering an array of British-inspired and authentic Cantonese fare. Out by the restaurant’s main entrance, you’ll find an old-school sweet shop with shelves lined with lolly-filled jars and a vintage cart serving unique and seasonal flavours of homemade ice-creams – perfect for a sugary pitstop between exploring.
The St. Regis Bar
During the day, The St. Regis Bar plays host to a classy afternoon tea, featuring three tiers of sweet and savoury pastries and cakes, finger sandwiches and divine hand-crafted scones. In the evening, the bar dims and is buzzing with live jazz music and the jovial clinks of cocktail glasses. The Macau-inspired mural behind the bar makes for the perfect backdrop for your obligatory cheersing boomerang.
What To Do In Macau
Despite being known as the “Las Vegas of Asia”, there is so much more to Macau than just casinos. Having been a Portuguese colony for almost 600 years up until 1999, Macau’s identity is deeply rooted in its Cantonese culture but also heavily influenced by Western Europe. This is particularly evident in the colonial buildings scattered around Macau and the fact that Portuguese is a co-official language there.
If this is your first time visiting Macau, a good place to start would be Senado Square, a popular shopping and dining area that is also part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. On the way to the Ruins of St. Paul’s, you’ll walk past St. Dominic’s Church, where royal weddings took place back in the day. Once you reach the ruins, make sure to go up those stairs to see a display of how the church used to look, and admire the view from a higher vantage point before you make your way back down.
Don’t get sucked into the souvenir shops just yet. Make a right turn at the bottom of the hill and pass by Travessa da Paixāo for a romantic pitstop. With colourful houses lining both sides of the street, this is a popular photo spot. You might also want to check out Calçada do Amparo (大關斜巷), a colourful alleyway just off Rue de São Paulo. This creative walkway will lead you down to Rua dos Ervanários, a street offering a glimpse of old Macau with a growing number of hipster coffee shops.
Macau is the perfect place for adrenaline junkies. From zip lines to bungee jumping, there’s something for everyone. If you prefer quieter activities, make your way to The Venetian, where the popular Japanese immersive art space teamLab SuperNature resides or enjoy the spectacle of The House of Dancing Water, an impressive production with an international reputation.