The Most Instagram-worthy Places in Macau

The Most Instagram-worthy Places in Macau

Do you love capturing travel moments through your lens? Or are you an avid shutterbug looking to up your Instagram game? If you love taking photos as much as we do, you’ll be delighted to learn that Macau is extremely photogenic! We highlight our favourite Instagram-worthy places in Macau for you here, in this guide.

At only 11,000 square kilometres, Macau seems to have it all – glitzy casinos, cobblestone roads, Portuguese ruins and even ancient Chinese temples. Although the city might be dubbed as the “Las Vegas of Asia” – it’s an interesting mix of old and new. From its neon lights and over-the-top casinos, to its rich Portuguese heritage and Chinese roots dating back to the Ming Dynasty – Macau is simply mind-blowing. Which is why, we simply couldn’t resist putting this guide on the most Instagram-worthy places in Macau together.

Although Macau is probably not on your destination hit-list yet, hopefully this guide will inspire you to explore this great little city. Especially if you have 1 or 2 days to spare on a stopover, or perhaps even as a day trip from Hong Kong. Here’s my guide on what not to miss.

In a rush? Pin these Instagram-worthy places in Macau for later.

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Instagram-worthy places in Macau you can’t miss

The Historic Centre

Senado Square

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Senado Square is one of the most iconic sights in Macau. The square is right in the heart of the city’s UNESCO Historic Centre. And is famous for its pastel coloured colonial buildings, wave-patterned stone walkway and vibrant atmosphere. It’s a great place for those looking to buy souvenirs, so be sure to drop by some of the cute shops lining the square. Senado Square is also a popular venue for public events and celebrations.

How to get there

Senado Square is easily accessed by either bus or on foot (especially if you are based in the city centre). You can take any of these public buses to here: 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5, 5AX, 6A, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 18A, 19, 21A, 26A, 33, N1A, N3.

GPS Coordinates: 22.1935° N, 113.5398° E

Pro tip

The best time to visit Senado Square is in the early morning before the crowds get in. Alternatively, come in the late afternoon or early evening to enjoy a leisurely stroll. It’s best to avoid Senado Square during festivities, as it is likely to be very crowded. I visited just before Chinese New Year and the square was so packed it was almost impossible to walk.

St. Dominic’s Church

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Any visit to Macau would simply not be complete without popping into the St. Dominic’s Church – just one of Macau’s many World Heritage Sites. The church was built in 1587, by Spanish Dominican priests and is an excellent example of the early Baroque architecture dotted around the Historic Centre. Interestingly enough, it is also here where the first Portuguese newspaper was published on Chinese land.

Besides its iconic altar, decorated wooden ceiling and colourful exterior, there’s also a quaint little museum housed in the bell tower – the Treasury of Sacred Arts. Here you will find a treasure throve of more than 300 artefacts containing statues and sacred art. Not to mention the church’s very impressive bell.

Opening hours

10am-6pm daily.

How to get there

It’s pretty hard to miss this Instagram-worthy spot in Macau as St. Dominic’s Church lies right in the centre of Senado Square. You can easily get here by taking bus # 3, 3A, 4, 5, 7, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 19, 21A, 26A or 33.

GPS Coordinates: 22.1947° N, 113.5404° E

St. Paul’s Ruins

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One of the most instagram-worthy places in Macau is undoubtedly the Ruins of St. Paul’s. Today, the grand carved stone facade is the only archaeological remains of the first Church and College of the Jesuits in China. It was originally built in the 16th century, but destroyed by fire in 1835. Although the extended staircase has been rebuilt many times over the years, the Ruins of St. Paul’s still remain the most popular tourist attraction in the city’s Historic Centre.

It features mainly Baroque architecture, but if you look closely you can see hints of Chinese and Japanese roots in the design. Which is why, it’s also known as one of the most unique catholic structures in the world.

History and art enthusiasts can head to the Museum of Sacred Art after visiting the Ruins of St. Paul’s – where you’ll find a collection of paintings and statues of Macau’s churches and monasteries. Some of the oil paintings here are of the oldest paintings in the Far East. Remains of martyrs of Japan and Vietnam can also be seen here.

Opening Hours

The Museum of Sacred Art is open from 9am – 6pm daily, except on Tuesday afternoons when it closes at 2pm. The last admissions are at 5:30, so be sure to time your visit here.

How to get there

Bus numbers 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5, 5AX, 6A, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 18A, 19, 21A, 26A, 33, N1A, N1B and N3 all stop nearby the Ruins of St. Paul’s.

GPS Coordinates: 22.1977° N, 113.5409° E

Walls of Macau

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The Walls of Macau were built as early as 1569 by Portuguese settlers. Today, only parts of the walls remain, but it is still worthy of your time. If you look closely, you’ll be able to see some of the interesting materials used to build this defensive structure – such as clay, rice straws, crushed rocks and even oyster shells. 

When visiting here, be sure to also pop into Na Tcha Temple – a small traditional Chinese temple built in 1888. Then, pass through the City Wall where you’ll find a cute little courtyard. It’s a great spot to take a breather, and get away from all the tourists.

How to get there

The Walls of Macau are right next to the Ruins of St. Paul’s, so simply use the same directions to get here. Trust me, you can’t miss it!

Travessa da Paixao

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Right beside the Ruins of St. Paul’s, you will find one of the most picturesque little streets in Macau. Travessa da Paixao, also known as the ‘The Romantic Lane’ is only about 50 meters long. But the beautiful pastel coloured buildings make for awesome Instagram pics!

The lane has become quite an Instagram hot spot, so it’s best to time your visit here. Come in the early morning hours if you want to miss the crowds.

Oh and foodie tip – just a stone’s throw from here, you can grab Macau’s famous pork chop bun at Tai Lei Loi Kei. Afterwards, wander down the staircase to Portuguese Street, where you’ll find interesting art galleries and cool cafes.

How to get there

Once you get to the Ruins of St. Paul’s platform, make a left towards the Walls of Macau. Na Tcha Temple will be in front of you, to the right. Turn left and walk along the side of the old city walls. Then, walk down the small staircase once you see the small lane lined with pretty pink and yellow buildings.

Monte Fort

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Monte Fort, also known as Mount Fortress, was the city’s main defence structure. It was built during 1617 to 1626, and covers more than 8,000 square meters. Till this day, you can see some of the original canons which were used here. Apart from the Macau Museum that is also on the grounds, it is an excellent platform for those looking to get a bird’s-eye view of the cityscape.

But just a tip, you really don’t need more than 30 minutes here. Unless you need more time to take pictures or planning to pop into the Macau Museum.

Opening hours

Fortress and garden: 7am – 7pm, daily.
Macau Museum: 10am – 6pm daily (except Mondays). Last admissions at 5:30pm.

How to get there

Take any of the following bus numbers which stop nearby, 3, 3X, 4, 6A, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A, 33, 101X, N1A.

GPS Coordinates: 22.1971° N, 113.5422° E

Pro Tip

At the entrance there are some vendors selling snacks and drinks. If you’d like to grab some water, you might want to try asking for it in Chinese as you’ll get the most expensive bottle when asking in English. Here are some handy phrases:

Wǒ xiǎng yào yī píng shuǐ (Wo shiang jao ee ping shway.) – I want a bottle of water. If you want a small bottle, try: Wǒ xiǎng yào yī xiǎopíng shuǐ (Wo shiang jao ee shou ping shway). And for a big bottle…Wǒ xiǎng yào yī dàpíng shuǐ (Wo shiang jao ee da ping shway).

Although I was able to speak English for most parts of my trip, I often had to rely on Chinese in the less touristy spots. Macanese mainly speak Chinese or Cantonese, so even if you can speak a bit of Taiwan Chinese like me, you’ll still be able to get by easily. Especially seeing as the tones are just slightly different. Here are some handy Chinese phrases which you might want to refer to when travelling in Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong or China. Do take note though that Taiwan uses Traditional Chinese in writing, whereas China uses Simplified Chinese. But then again, if you can only speak Chinese (and not read or write it) you still wouldn’t have any trouble getting by. 

Rua De Felicidade

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Rua De Felicidade, also known as the ‘Happiness Street’ might have a shady past as the city’s former red light district, but today is it one of the most Instagram-worthy places in Macau. Chinese-style shophouses with red-shuttered doors and windows line the street, making it one of the most scenic spots in the city.

Besides the cute coffee shops and art stores, Rua De Felicidade has become a popular street food spot and is home to one of the oldest noodles shops in the city, as well as some cool souvenir shops.

How to get there

The street is within walking distance from Senado Square. Alternatively you can catch any of the following buses to here; 2, 3, 3A, 3X, 5, 6A, 7, 10, 10A, 11, 18A, 19, 21A, 26A, 33, N3, N1A, or N1B.

GPS Coordinates: 22.11397°N, 113.3215.6 °E

A-Ma Temple

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A-Ma Temple is the oldest temple in Macau, and dates back more than 500 years. It consists of a variety of pavilions on four levels, as well as a Memorial Arch and some halls. Each of the pavilions are dedicated to different deities, making A-Ma Temple an excellent example of Chinese culture influenced by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and multiple folk beliefs.

Even if you aren’t into religious temples, I highly suggest adding A-Ma Temple to your Insta-spots list of Macau. There are tons of photo ops here – from the various viewpoints overlooking the Inner Harbour and temple exterior, to the spiralled incense coils and colourful wish cards.

Opening hours

7am – 6pm daily.

How to get there

Take either bus 1, 2, 5, 6B, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 21A, 26, 28B, 55, MT4 or N3 to Barra Square.

GPS Coordinates: 22.1862° N, 113.5313° E

Macau Tower

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Photo by Healthycliff Syndor on Uplash.

If you’re looking for terrific views, pop into one of the most Instagram-worthy places in Macau – the Macau Tower. The tower stands 336 meters tall and was first opened in 2001. 

Apart from the great panoramic views on offer here, more adventurous travellers can also enjoy Bungee Jumping from the 57th floor or even an exhilarating walk around the outside of the tower with the Tower Skywalk X.

Although there wasn’t much of a queue on my visit, the observation decks did fill up quite quickly just before sunset. So, if you’d like to skip the lines, consider grabbing your Tower Admission ticket first. Alternatively try to time your visit to early morning or late evening to avoid the crowds.

For those looking to dine with a view, the rotating 360° Café on the 60th – 61st floors offers excellent meals with ever-changing views. Both lunch and dinner buffets are available, but if you just feel like a light snack, try out their famous afternoon tea which boasts with a tasty selection of savoury bites and sweet treats.  

Opening hours

The Macau Tower is open from 10am – 9pm on weekdays and 9am – 9pm on weekends.

The Macau Tower 360° Café is open from 11:30am – 1pm, 1:30pm – 3pm, 3:30pm – 5pm and 6:30pm – 10pm, daily.

How to get there

Take any of the following buses to get to the Macau Tower; 5, 5AX, 9A, 18, 18B, 21, 23, 32 and 26. Alternatively, get on one of the free shuttle buses which travel between Studio City, Macau Ferry Terminal, Altira, Macau city centre, Taipa city centre or MGM Cotai.

GPS Coordinates: 22.1800° N, 113.5378° E

Fisherman’s Wharf

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Nearby the Macau Outer Harbour Ferry, you’ll find the Fisherman’s Wharf -an interesting entertainment area spanning over 133,000m². Here you’ll find loads of restaurants and accommodation options, as well as cute shops and European themed architecture – all in one place!

The Roman inspired colosseum is one of the best Instagram hot spots in the city, so be sure not to miss it on your visit to Macau.

Opening hours

You can have a stroll around the area 24/7, but take note that most of the restaurants here are closed on Mondays. So, if you are looking to dine here, it’s best to come between 12pm – 10pm. For more details, check out their website, here.

How to get there

The Fisherman’s Wharf is only a five minute stroll from the Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, so take one of the free shuttle buses to there and walk onwards. Alternatively, take one of the following public buses to get here, 3A, 3AX, 10AX or 12.

GPS Coordinates: 22.1930° N, 113.5562° E

Taipa Village

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Taipa Village is one of the best places to experience authentic Macau as it offers visitors a glimpse into Macau’s old-world charm and unique mix of Portuguese and Chinese architecture. Apart from being one of the most instagram-worthy places in Macau, it’s also a popular tourist spot for art and history lovers and those looking to sample Lord Stow’s famous ‘pastéis de nata’ (Portuguese egg tarts). Browse through traditional shop houses, hipster cafes, museums, galleries and streets lined with colourful buildings and street art on your visit here.

Once you’ve made your way through the winding lanes and alleys, sampled some street food (don’t miss the egg tarts, almond cookies and traditional Portuguese treats on offer here), head to the Our Lady of Carmel Church and the Taipa Houses for a closer look at the area’s unique culture and history.

Taipa Houses

The Taipa Houses consist of five houses which have been transformed into a museum site displaying exhibitions and scenes from Macau’s past. There is a small entrance fee should you wish to browse around inside.

Opening Hours

The Taipa Houses are open daily (except Monday) from 10am – 7pm, with the last admissions at 6:30pm.

How to get there

Take bus numbers 11, 15, 22, 28A, 30, 33 or 34 to Taipa Village. There are clear signs pointing the route to the Taipa Houses and the Our Lady of Carmel Church. Alternatively, free shuttle buses also run from the ferry terminals, Studio City, Galaxy Macau or Wynn Palace to here.

Coloane Village

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One of my favourite Instagram-worthy places in Macau is the quaint sea-side area of Coloane Village. The area is not very big, but it’s a great place to have a leisurely stroll along the water. There are tons of cute pastel-coloured buildings and wall murals dotted around, offering endless photo ops. Don’t forget to drop by the iconic Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, which was built in 1928 and features a bright yellow facade. (The chapel is open daily from (9:30am – 5:30pm).

Further along the riverside you’ll also find the local library and the Tam Kong Temple – a small Taoist Temple dedicated to the seafarer god, Tam Kong.

Coloane is also where the first Lord Stow Bakery came to life, so be sure to grab some egg tarts for the ride back or even just to enjoy on the spot. There are also some great restaurants serving both Portuguese and Chinese food if your tummy starts to rumble.

How to get there

Take bus 15, 21A, 26, 26A or N3 to reach Coloane Village.

GPS Coordinates: 22.1261° N, 113.5639° E

The Cotai Strip

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There are tons of photo ops on the Cotai Strip – from the grand interiors of the dazzling casinos to the extravagant architecture. Here’s what not to miss.

Macau Eiffel Tower

Another awesome Instagram spot in Macau is the city’s very own Eiffel Tower. The tower forms part of one of the most famous casino resorts in the city – The Parisian. Head to the Observation Deck for fantastic views of the city and watch the city come alive at night. The Eiffel Tower has two observation decks – a large deck on the 7th floor, where most people tend to go. But, if you really want an amazing view of the cityscape, be sure to head to the small deck on the 37th floor.

Opening hours

11am – 11pm daily, depending on the weather.

How to get there

Simply hop on bus 26A to get to the Parisian Macau. You could also take one of the free shuttle buses, which stop nearby. For more details and bus schedules, click here.

The Golden Reel

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You can find the world’s first figure eight ferris wheel, right here in the heart of the Cotai Strip. The ferris wheel has 17 pods and the track takes about 10-15 minutes to circuit. At roughly 130 meters high, you’ll be able to get stunning views of Macau’s cityscape and even of the South China Sea.

I didn’t have time to book a ticket in advance, so I ended up queuing for more than 45 minutes. Seeing that the ferris wheel is a real must-do in the city, I highly recommend grabbing your Golden Reel tickets beforehand. Not only will you save time, you’ll also save a few bucks booking online. 

Operating hours

You can take the ferris wheel between 12pm – 8pm on weekdays and 11am – 9pm on weekends. The last admissions are 30 minutes prior to closing time.

How to get there

Make your way to Studio City by bus 26A. Or simply hop on any of the free shuttle buses from the Macau Ferry Terminal, Macau International Airport, or the Taipa Ferry Terminal.

Getting Around in Macau

Getting around Macau is pretty easy considering there is a very reliable bus network, which runs at a flat rate of MOP6 (less than 1USD). This means, you’ll only pay the fixed rate to reach your destination (no matter how far the stop is, but granted you do not change buses).

If you are staying at one of the casino resorts, hop on their shuttle bus and head to one of the ferry terminals. From there you could simply get on to any casino’s shuttle bus and whizz off to your destination. The casino buses are free to use and you do not need to stay at a specific resort to use them. Win, win, WIN! If you do however plan to use the free shuttle buses, make sure to do proper research in advance and check out which casino buses, go where.

Alternatively, there’s also the Hop on Hop Off bus which allows you to explore the city at your own pace. (But just a side note, the bus is in need of an interior make-over, so don’t expect anything too fancy.)

However, if you are short on time, or not comfortable accessing the city on your own, there are a number of great tour options available which will still allow you to see what the city has on offer. Here are my top tour options.

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Where to Stay in Macau

The great thing about Macau is that with a bit of planning, it’s actually one of the few places in East Asia where you can get luxury accommodation at mid-range prices. But, do note that it will take some planning. Book well in advance to avoid last-minute price hikes and keep an eye out for special offers from the casino resorts.

This probably goes without saying, but you’ll often find that prices are much higher during Chinese New Year. So, if you are travelling on a shoestring, rather try coming before of after this annual celebration.

Whether you’re staying near the historical hub or on the Cotai Strip, there are two ferry terminals which allow easy access to and from Hong KongKeep an eye on the blog as I’ll be writing a detailed guide on how to travel between Macau and Hong Kong soon.

Historical Centre

I always prefer to stay close to the action. Which is why, I love staying in the heart of Macau’s city centre. Not only are there plenty of accommodation options to choose from, the historical sights are all easily accessed from here, too. Here are some excellent choices.

Where to stay in Macau
Grand Lisboa Hotel
Where to stay in Macau
Wynn Palace
Where to stay in Macau
Sofitel Hotel
Where to stay in Macau
Hotel Royal Macau

Cotai Strip

If you’re looking to stay in one of Macau’s glitzy casino resorts or close to the Cotai Ferry Terminal, I highly recommend basing yourself on the Cotai Strip. There are tons of accomodation options to choose from and with the free shuttle buses nearby, you could easily travel around. Here are some great options.

Where to stay in Macau
The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel
Where to stay in Macau
The Parisian Macao
Where to stay in Macau
Galaxy Macau
Where to stay in Macau
MGM Cotai

Grab our favourite Macau must-reads here…

So…

Have you ever visited Macau? What Instagram-worthy places in Macau do you recommend adding to this list? Drop your comments below.

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Macau // Discover the true charm and character of Macau beyond its glitzy casinos. We highlight the most Instagram-worthy places in Macau for you here, plus pro tips and need-to-knows to help you plan your visit. #macau #eastasia #travel #instagramguide #instagramspots #traveltips #travelplanning #travelguide #macao
Macau // Discover the true charm and character of Macau beyond its glitzy casinos. We highlight the most Instagram-worthy places in Macau for you here, plus pro tips and need-to-knows to help you plan your visit. #macau #eastasia #travel #instagramguide #instagramspots #traveltips #travelplanning #travelguide #macao
Macau // Discover the true charm and character of Macau beyond its glitzy casinos. We highlight the most Instagram-worthy places in Macau for you here, plus pro tips and need-to-knows to help you plan your visit. #macau #eastasia #travel #instagramguide #instagramspots #traveltips #travelplanning #travelguide #macao

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