Macau Island: the Asian analogue of Las Vegas and its magnetism for tourists

Macau is a small, narrow peninsula protruding from the mainland province of Guangdong and includes an area consisting of the islands of Taipa and Coloane, adjoined by a reclaimed piece of land from the sea known as Cotai. 

Macau was once a colony of Portugal. Over time, the peninsula acquired the status of a Special Administrative Region of China (SAR), which is an hour’s ferry ride west of Hong Kong. Despite its geographical proximity, travelling to Macau involves going through multiple stages of thorough immigration checks upon entry and exit.

Macau is dominated by Chinese culture, overlaid with features of Portuguese architecture (particularly churches and cathedrals) and customs. Chinese temples and shrines are juxtaposed with restored colonial villas.

The Barrier Gate, which connects the Macau Peninsula to the mainland, is a popular tourist attraction, as are early 17th-century structures such as Fort Monte and the nearby ruined facade of St Paul’s Cathedral. In 2005, the peninsula’s historic buildings were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, you will find beautiful beaches and waterfronts in Macau.

Economically, Macau has become a thriving Chinese neighbourhood as many affluent tourists arrive here, ready to try their luck at local casinos as well as uk online casinos. A variety of casino gambling games await tourists in Macau. Since the main vector of development of this region is aimed at increasing the gambling industry, Macau often hosts various events related to the gambling world.

Entry for Britons

A Macau tourist visa is not required for UK citizens for stays of up to 180 days. Sounds like a good deal! However, you should consider the following facts when planning a trip to Macau:

? Check the expiry date of your passport. All travellers need a passport that is valid for at least 90 days after the date of departure from Macau. However, it is strongly recommended that you always carry a passport with a validity of 6 months. UK nationals should obtain forms and instructions on how to apply for a new passport and renew a UK passport.

? Make sure your passport has blank pages for your visa. Most destinations, including Macau, require sufficient unused pages in your passport to allow the necessary stamps to be affixed on arrival and departure. It is recommended that you have at least two unused pages in the visa section of your passport before any international travel. 

? Find out if a transit visa is required for any connections. Check with your airline to see if you will have connecting flights overseas as part of your Macau trip. It may be that the countries you fly through on your way to your destination may require a separate transit visa. Please check the visa requirements of the specific country.

How can I get to Macau?

Gambling tourism in Europe requires careful itinerary planning.

The Shenzhen-Macau airport ferry route connects China with Macau. Currently there is only 1 ferry company operating on this route – TurboJet. The crossing is operated up to 6 times a week with a sailing time of about 1 hour.

The duration and frequency of Shenzhen Airport-Macau flights can change depending on the season, so it is recommended to check the schedule online for the most up-to-date information.


When it comes to restaurants in Macau, you will surely be spoilt for choice. 

Albergue 1601 Restaurant

Located in the courtyard of a two-storey colonial-era building, it is characterised by original architectural designs, great atmosphere and fine cuisine – a sort of hidden gem of Macau. The restaurant serves Portuguese and Macanese cuisine, with a menu to suit all tastes, from seafood to deliciously crispy roast pork. Undoubtedly, this restaurant is an ideal place for lunch, for business meetings.

Robuchon au Dôme establishment.

Robuchon au Dôme was the first haute cuisine restaurant to open in Macau, and has been maintaining its three-star Michelin status for several years. It offers fine French cuisine in a beautiful setting. The set lunch menu is one of the best offerings in Asia. Equally impressive is the 14,500-strong wine list (the most extensive collection in all of Asia). The traditional dessert table rolled out at the end of the meal is a true gourmet’s delight.

The Eight Restaurant.

A three Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in Macau. Come here for the dim sum as they are simply amazing. There are more than 50 types of dim sum on the lunch menu, we recommend trying the mouth-watering fish-shaped dumplings and hedgehog char siu buns (fried pork buns).

At the moment, the fresh food industry is developing rapidly in China. Restaurant dishes are prepared using organically grown food without pesticides and other chemicals.

Top 5 famous places in Macau

Macau has a wide range of all sorts of attractions. Here are the top 5 places to visit first:

Casino Grand Lisboa.

One of Macau’s largest casinos, it offers 270 tables and around 500 slot machines. Minimum bets, which is a hallmark of a casino of this size: baccarat, no commission baccarat, blackjack and roulette can be played for as little as $200.  Slot machines start at 5 cents and end at $1, and electronic games include roulette ($10), Big Wheel ($25), baccarat ($20) and sic-bo ($20).

The Venetian.

Macau’s gaming centre of the world, which hosted one of the central events of Asian gambling culture, the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia in 2021. Traditionally the expo is held in May, but in 2021 the expo was held between 17 and 19 August. Many well-known business people could be met at the event, the meeting was the place to make new connections, discover the latest products and learn all about the latest trends in the thriving gambling industry.

Senado Square.

One of the most popular spots in Macau, Senado Square is always packed with tourists and locals, making it one of Macau’s top tourist spots. Senado Square is more than just shops, restaurants and offices, it is an important UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is a reflection of Macau’s magical history.

Macau Tower.

From here you can enjoy unparalleled views of the Macau Peninsula, the Pearl River Delta, Coloane and Taipa Islands. Activities include bungee jumping, walking along the edge of the observation deck, dining at 360 Degree Cafe and shopping in the big shops.

Fishermans Wharf.

Located next to the marine terminal, Fishermans Wharf is a themed shopping centre and park designed after fishing wharves in Europe. Spread across 28 acres, Fishermans Wharf consists of three sections, Dynasty Wharf, East Meets West and Legend Wharf and is certainly one of the best places to visit in Macau.

Holidays, Festivals

Macau has developed its own unique festival culture, including traditional Chinese festivals such as Lunar New Year, Tou Tei God Festival, Tung Ng Festival (Dragon Boat Festival), as well as the important Western holidays of Easter, Procession of Our Lady of Fatima and Christmas. Macau also hosts many large-scale international events. 

Macau International Fireworks Competition.

Between September and October, Macau hosts the Macau International Fireworks Competition. This must-see event is considered the largest in the world. Around 100 teams of fireworkers from all over the world come to take part in the nighttime extravaganza.

Hungry Ghosts Festival.

The Hungry Ghosts Festival is a spirit festival, usually held in August, where effigies are burned to placate the spirits of ancestors. Various items made of paper are symbolically burned: houses, cars, and money.

Macau Open Golf Tournament

Between September and October, the best golfers flock to the annual Macau Open tournament held at the Macau Golf and Country Club. This tournament is known for giving Asia’s top players the opportunity to compete against the best from around the world.

Macau Arts Festival

An annual event that attracts artists from all over the world in late May and early June.

Dragon Boat Festival

In June, a wonderfully colourful dragon boat race takes place on the shores of Nam Wan Lake. Encouraged by drummers on board, rowers (both locals and foreigners) do their best to win the competition.

Practical tips for staying in Macau

To make your stay in Macau as comfortable as possible, the following tips are recommended:

1. Check if your hotel provides airport or ferry transfers; if not, find the nearest casino to your hotel, as most casinos provide free airport and ferry transfers


2. Most attractions are closed on Mondays.


3. Don’t take taxi drivers up on their offer not to use the taximeter – they will charge you more. Remember that taxi and bus fares in Macau are inexpensive. 


4. The best exchange point from USD to MOP and HKD is Hotel Lisboa. Note that this hotel is next door to the Grand Lisboa Hotel. It is open until 11 pm.


5. The sights of the historic centre and the old village are so close to each other that you can just walk through them. A day trip is enough to explore the historic sites and the old village, stop for lunch and coffee, and do some shopping.


6. It also pays to manage your finances wisely and keep your head up. Especially in the area of gambling.


7. Beautiful landscapes, authentic cuisine, various festivals, optimal immersion in the world of gambling, unforgettable experiences – all this promises its guests Macau.

Last Updated on 6 months by Lavania Oluban

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