While Macau is known for its casino empire, these off-the-beaten-track destinations prove there’s far more to Macau than opulent casinos. From its historical sites to the parks and bakeries, this Portuguese enclave has so much more to offer! So hop on a 1-hour ferry ride from Hong Kong and join us as we reveal the BEST off-the-beaten path spots in Macau that only the locals will know about:
The Historic Center of Macau, inscribed as a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site in 2005, is filled with cultural treasures:
A-Ma Temple: It is the oldest temple in Macau, and is an exemplary representation of Chinese culture inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and multiple folk beliefs.
Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral: They are the ruins of a 16th century complex and regarded as one of Macau's best known landmarks.
Senado Square: It is the urban center of Macau. You may feel you are in a city by the Mediterranean Sea when you see the pastel-colored neo-classical buildings around the square.
Monte Fort: It is an almost 400-year-old stone fort, which offers superb sunset and casino views from the top.
Sample Macau’s unique cuisine with its blend of Portuguese and Cantonese influences! These are places locals love to eat at and their best dishes:
Sei Kee Cafe 世記咖啡: Do not miss out on their pork chop buns! Imagine a well-marinated slice of pork chop enveloped in a bun that is soft yet has a crispy exterior. Pair that with coffee or milk tea and you have a heavenly combination to die for! The tiny shop is located at the end of an alley opposite Rua do Monte, turn in after BCM Bank.
Lord Stow Portuguese Egg Tart (安德鲁葡挞): The name Lord Stow’s has become synonymous with the best Portuguese egg tarts in Macau. Buttery flaky pastry shell and rich creamy custard filling, Macau’s version differs from most egg tarts sold elsewhere. There are several branches of Lord Stow’s in Macau - most famously one on Rue Do Cunha Food Street.
Seng Cheong Crab Porridge (城昌饭店): Crab Porridge is one of Macau’s iconic dishes and the one at Seng Cheong is cooked with 3 types of crab. No wonder it is often crowded with customers! It is also located on Rue Do Cunha Food Street.
贏到粥 Hot Pot Clam: This local-favorite haunt is hidden in an alley and relatively unknown to most tourists! The restaurant gets busier late at night with regulars heading to the shop for their 卜卜蜆, a clam broth steamboat. Address : Fong Son San Chun Iii, no.104-124, Rua da Escola Nautica, Macau (Google Map)
If you enjoy more than just the gambling aspect of a night’s worth of revelry in Macau, the city can offer you a treasure trove of other entertainment options - try out these exclusive night spots:
D2 Nightclub & Divino Gentleman’s Club: These two nightclubs are known as Macau’s most infamous locations. D2 is considered by many as the liveliest club in Macau and literally next door from another must-go-to-spot - Divino’s Gentleman’s Club. Expect D2 to be packed on a nightly basis so finding your way in and around the are might be a struggle on some nights. But hey, the club closes at 8 in the morning so you have plenty of time to spare, right?
Mug’s Talk: Mug's Talk is one of those bars you wouldn't notice unless you knew about it. Located in a residential area near the Nam Van Lake, it is popular among locals for its impressive selection of imported beers. To get there - go to the central area and then walk along the lake. The bar is on the opposite side.
Fernando’s: This al-fresco bar is an absolute gem. Popular with the local Portuguese community, locals, and tourists alike, there’s sangria, Portuguese beer, and an excellent selection of Iberian wines to choose from. The laid-back, lazy ambience is straight out of the Algarve. Located in Praia de Hac Sa, Coloane Island - this is one journey worth taking to enjoy Fernando's amazing family cooking.
Macau is a balanced city of modern infrastructure and enough quiet and natural spaces for those needing a quick reprieve from the bustling urban life. You’ll find many large and active urban parks to stroll about and appreciate some peace and quiet. Here are two that locals absolutely enjoy:
Luís de Camões Garden: The Camões Garden is one of the oldest and largest parks in Macau. Behind the grotto, paths lead up to a wooded hill with a Chinese pavilion and stone tables and stools, where local men gather to play Chinese chess. In front of the grotto is a spacious garden with benches shaded by banyan trees, where people bring their caged birds for an outing, do their morning tai chi exercises, or meet with friends.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Garden: Located in the north of the Macau Peninsula, it is one of 43 Sun Yat Sen Memorial Gardens commemorating the founding father of the Republic of China, Dr Sun Yat Sen. It is the largest park on the Macau Peninsula.
And there you have it! Armed with this list of beautiful parks and mouth-watering foods, it’s time to start discovering Macau like a local. Book your flight and tour packages on Mayflower now. Follow Mayflower Facebook Page for the latest travel deals.