Think the only things to do in Macau are gambling? WRONG! Don’t worry there are tons of things to do in Macau that don’t involve putting money on the table.
Trust us, we spent 3 days in Macau and never spent a dime gambling. Here are our favorite things to do in Macau that aren’t gambling.
Things To Do In Macau For The Non-Gambler
1. Visit Senado Square
Also known as Senate Square, it’s a paved town square with gorgeous pastel colored classic buildings on all sides. There are a bunch of shops and restaurants in the square or even get lost wandering around the side streets, you never know what you’ll find.
Start and end your day exploring all the things to do in Macau at Senado Square. The below 3 things to do in Macau are all in walking distance to Senado Square.
2. Take a photo of the St. Paul Church ruins
The St. Paul Church ruins is one of Macau’s best-known landmarks and officially listed as part of the Historic Centre of Macau which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins date all the way back to the 16th-century complex that once was St.Paul’s College and the Church of St. Paul. We say take a photo of it because that’s about all there is to it. All that is left is just the facade, the back of the church is in ruins.
3. Eat a Macanese Egg Tart
If you tell someone you’re going to Macau they will most likely tell you the #1 thing to do in Macau is eat an egg tart. The Macau version of an egg tart is basically a hybrid of an English and Portuguese egg custard tart.
The best egg tart in Macau is at Lord Stow’s Bakery, they sell 13,500+ tarts a day.
- Original Bakery Address: 1 Rua do Tassara, Coloane, Macau Open Daily 7am-10pm
There are additional Lord Stow’s Bakery locations throughout Macau and even 2 located in the Venetian Hotel.
4. Visit the Iconic Grand Lisboa Hotel
Probably the most iconic building in the Macau skyline, the Grand Lisboa hotel is 846ft high and the tallest building in Macau. I personally think it’s quite ugly but makes for a great picture!
Address: 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
5. Go Shopping in Macau
Instead of spending your money gambling in Macau go shopping! You will never be too far from a Gucci, Coach, Burberry OR if you more affordable stores like H&M, Gap, Forever 21, etc.
Related Article: Perfect 3 Days in Hong Kong Itinerary
The restaurants in Macau are amazing, so many international restaurants. During our stay at the Sheraton Grand Macao we never had to leave the hotel for amazing food we had: Italian at Bene, Portuguese BBQ poolside at SALA, and Asian hotpot at XIN.
7. Grab a Drink
Although Macau is much tame when it comes to alcohol consumption, it’s still not a bad place to grab a drink. However, don’t expect to be served while you’re playing, apparently, that’s not a thing in Macau yet. So casinos are rumored to do it, but this wasn’t our experience in Macau.
Instead, head over to the St. Regis hotel for their signature Macanese Bloody Mary. Each St.Regis hotel around the world has their own spin on the original. In Macau, it’s a deconstructed Bloody Mary served with a lobster egg tart!
8. Go Casino Hopping in Macau
You don’t have to be gambling to be in the casinos. There are 33 casinos in Macau go take a stroll thru them. Several of the casinos on the Taipa side are connected by walkways you could go exploring for hours and never have to go outside.
Take a stroll by the high roller tables and see how much money is spent gambling a day in Macau. We have been to Vegas many times, typically we will play $5-10 hands of Blackjack for several hours NOT in Macau…the cheapest Blackjack table we could find was $50 hand in most casinos. So when looking for cheap things to do in Macau don’t plan on gambling…
9. Relax By The Pool
After a busy day doing all the things to do in Macau nothing beats relaxing by the pool. I loved the pool at the Sheraton Grand Hotel not only because there were 4 to choose from but if you stay til dark you can see the “Eiffel Tower” at the Parisian Hotel light up!
10. Watch the sunset over the Macau Strip
Take in the views from one of the best places to see the sunset in Macau, the walking bridges over the strip. Head up to one of the many crossovers a little before sunset to catch the colors of the sun behind the electric of the neon lights. This view was from the metal round shaped crossover at the end of the strip near the Venetian lagoon.
Macau Travel Tips
- You’ll need your passport to travel to Macau from Hong Kong, you’ll pass through immigration.
- As Americans no special visa is needed, we were given a visa on arrival at the Macau ferry. Check to see visa rules for your nationality.
- Macau currency is different than Hong Kong so if you plan on gambling in Macau you should exchange money or use an ATM.
- Uber in Macau was super easy and efficient, there is public transportation but has several stops and takes a long time to get from the Taipa side to some of the best things to do in Macau. We only used Uber as it helped with the language barrier and we didn’t have any cash our entire trip to Macau.
Related Article: Hong Kong Travel Tips
Hong Kong To Macau Ferry / Macau to Hong Kong Ferry
- There are 2 ferry terminals in Macau: Macau Taipa ferry terminal and Macau outer harbour ferry terminal. Make sure to purchase your ferry ticket to the harbour closest to your Macau hotel. We stayed at the Sheraton Grand Macao which was on the Taipa side, they offer free shuttles from the Taipa ferry terminal to the hotel. We took the Hong Kong to Macau ferry with Cotai Water Jet both ways.
- There are two ferry terminals in Hong Kong: Hong Kong Sheung Wan and Kowloon China Ferry terminal. If you are staying at a hotel on Hong Kong island you would take the ferry from Hong Kong to Macau from Sheung Wan terminal. If you are staying on the Kowloon side you’d take the ferry from Hong Kong to Macau from the Kowloon China ferry terminal. Both run several times throughout the day.
- We noticed we were the only people to check luggage on the Hong Kong to Macau ferry, and it costs us 75 Hong Kong dollars ($10USD). On the way back from Macau to Hong Kong, we decided not to check any luggage and no one said anything to us. Save some extra money and only check luggage if asked to.
Related Article: Things To Do In Kowloon
Where To Stay In Macau
The first thing to decide before traveling to Macau is where to stay. There are 95 hotels in Macau on Agoda.com alone, so picking a hotel can be a task in itself. We stayed at the largest hotel in Macau, The Sheraton Grand Macao which has not 4,000 rooms but 4,001 rooms! A 5-star hotel for only $115 in October was a steal, especially coming from Hong Kong.
Check Prices Agoda | Booking.com | TripAdvisor Reviews
There are over 200 Airbnb listing in Macau. Considering renting an apartment in Macau for a fraction of the price than a hotel.
Airbnb first-timers, if you sign up through my referral link you get $40 credit when you book your first trip! –>> sign up here!
Best Places To Stay In Hong Kong
We spent half our time in Kowloon hotels and the other half in Hong Kong Island hotels. We recommend the following hotels as we personally stayed there:
- Budget Prices: Central Mini Hotel | Agoda | Booking.com |TripAdvisor Reviews
- Midrange Prices Hotel Jen | Agoda | Booking.com |TripAdvisor Reviews
- Luxury Hotel: Hotel Pottinger | Agoda | Booking.com |TripAdvisor Reviews
- Boutique Hotel: The Luxe Manor | Agoda | Booking.com |TripAdvisor Reviews
Related Article: Hotel Jen Hong Kong