10 Macau attractions you’ve probably never heard of but should know about

10 Macau attractions you’ve probably never heard of but should know about


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macau atttractions
Main photo: MGTO. Other photos: Brad Reynolds

There are plenty of well-known Macau attractions like the Ruins of St Paul’s and other popular areas to visit. But even though Macau is compact, there remain some hidden gems in Macau that most tourists are not aware of. Here are 10 spots you won’t find in the guidebooks or online travel websites. They are Macau attractions you’ve probably never heard of but should know about.

1- Best View You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

One of the best views in Macau is located at the Holy House of Mercy museum at Senado Square.

This is hidden gem in plain sight, right in the heart of Macau, a place that very few know about.

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View of Senado Square from Holy House of Mercy Verandah

Simply pay your MOP5 museum entrance, go to the second floor of the Holy House of Mercy and find the outdoor verandah overlooking the square.

Odds are you’ll have the entire balcony area to yourself.

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Holy House of Mercy Verandah

This is one of my very favourite spots in Macau, especially during the holidays when Senado Square is decorated.

2- Best Outdoor Art You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

Art lovers and historians make your way to Cathedral Square, just a couple of minutes’ walk from Senado Square.

At the base of Cathedral Square is a row of lovely Portuguese style murals (circa 1835-1840) believed to be the works of the English painter, George Chinnery, who spent much time and died here in Macau.

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George Chinnery tiled mural at Cathedral Square

Situated between two period wall fountains, these blue-and-white tiled images offer a glimpse into the world of early 19th century Macau as seen through the eyes of Chinnery.

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The Chinnery Murals at Cathedral Square

The Chinnery murals are the best outdoor artwork in Macau that you’ve never heard of.

They are easy to find and worth a quick detour when visiting Senado Square.

3- Best Garden You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

Macau has lovely public gardens. One that receives little attention yet and one of my personal favorites is Jardim de San Francisco, situated just behind the Grand Lisboa Hotel, five minutes away from the Historic City Centre.

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San Francisco Garden in Macau

Here you’ll find a terraced public garden with pastel pink wall mounts, fountains and two historic structures that I love.

These include the little round tower, which is actually a WWI monument tower found at the upper terrace of the park, as well as the cute Chinese Pavilion Library found just in front of Jardim de San Francisco.

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Chinese Pavilion Library

Jardim de San Francisco is a great place to take a break from sightseeing.

There are plenty of park benches, good free wifi service and a small playground for kids.

macau attractions
Jardim de San Francisco in Macau

4- Best Child-friendly Activity You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

Families visiting Macau should make way to Flora Garden for a fun ride on the four-seater Guia cable cars, which slowly scale Guia Hill.

macau attractions

Riding the Guia Cable Car in Macau is the best child-friendly activity in Macau that you have never heard of.

Child-friendly fun at Guia Hill

There are never queues and the ride (MOP2 one-way, MOP3 return) is a short three to four minutes only.

From the upper terminus, you are a six to eight-minute walk to the World Heritage attractions located on Guia Hill.

5- Best Urban Walk You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

Along the north side of Sai Van Lake is the charming Avenida da Republica, a historical street, lined with cobblestone walkways, park benches and large trees, yet with surprisingly few cars passing by.

Ave. da Republica is the best urban walk in Macau

This is where you find some peace and quiet while taking in great views of Macau Tower, home to the popular Macau bungee jump, across the lake with the casino skyline in the distance.

View of Macau Towers from Ave. da Republica

Avenida da Republica is also one of the best locations to see the many fireworks displays held in Macau throughout the year.

Best spot to watch fireworks in Macau

6- Best Local Shop You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

Forget luxury brand-name shopping when in Macau and make your way to Macau Creations, a local shop where you can go shopping in Macau for traditional gifts and creative souvenirs sourced from and created by local Macau-based artists.

Made in Macau souvenir shopping at Macau Creations

This is the best shop in Macau that you’ve never heard of and a great place to pick up a genuine ‘Made In Macau’ item to remember your trip.

Macau Creations at Cunha Bazaar in Taipa Village

Even if you don’t buy, there are many interesting unique things to see at Macau Creations, located at Macau Towers on the peninsula side and in the Cunha Bazaar shop in Taipa Village.

7- Best Art Gallery You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

Tap Seac Gallery is another unknown on the Macau tourist circuit and one of several Macau art galleries.

This is a former administrative property, converted into very good art space, where visitors can enjoy several high impact (free) art exhibitions each year.

Tap Seac Gallery in Macau

Exhibitions have included the works of British photographer Clive Barda (2012) and Czech contemporary artist Václav Jirásek (2012).

In 2014, the gallery hosted the original posters (circa 1880-1980) by Dutch collector, Martijn F. Le Coultre, featuring rare posters by Klimt, Mucha and Lautrec.

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Good Use of Art Space at Tap Seac Gallery

It’s not bad for an art gallery most have never heard of before. Check their official website before visiting Macau to see if exhibitions are scheduled at that time.

8- Best Museum You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

The Handover Gift Museum (free entry) is a little-known gem in Macau, hosting a remarkable collection of auspicious gifts given by 56 various regions, cities and ethnic groups of China as welcoming gifts to Macau during the ceremonial handover from Portugal in 1999.

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Handover Gifts Museum

These extraordinary gifts demonstrate fine craftsmanship throughout China, oftentimes making use of materials that are unique and rarely seen outside of their regions of origin.

Located next to the Macau Museum of Art, this makes an ideal add-on attraction for those who enjoy museums and artworks. Of course, being a World Heritage-listed city, there are some excellent museums in Macau.

9- Most Intriguing Landmark You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

Few know that Macau was the site of the very first Chinese-American trade agreement, known as the Treaty of Mong-Ha, in July 1844.

This historic event occurred in the back garden of the Kun Iam Temple where you can still see the stone desk used for signing the treaty.

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Signing desk of the first Sino-American treaty in 1844

Considering China and the U.S.A. are the two largest economies in the modern world, this monument makes for a significant landmark which few even know exists.

Yet here it is in Macau!

10- Best Chinese New Year Spot You’ve Never Heard Of in Macau

Tam Sin Sing is a historic temple in Coloane that is a great spot to visit during Chinese New Year in Macau. Here you can join locals ward off bad luck and evil spirits as they hoist up and set off lengthy rolls of massive firecrackers.

Bring your earplugs!

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Bursting of massive rolls of firecrackers at Tam Sin Sing Temple

It is a loud and deafening experience but very interesting if you’ve never seen or heard continuous bursts of firecrackers numbering in the thousands.

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Chinese New Year aftermath at Tam Sin Sing Temple

These are some of the great spots to visit in Macau that you probably haven’t heard of.

Most of these places are close to popular tourist attractions and can be conveniently included in your Macau sightseeing itinerary.

So why not add a few of these the next time you’re in town?

Brad Reynolds lives and works in Hong Kong but regularly spends time in Macau leisurely exploring lesser-known parts of the city.

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  1. These are great tips! I’m surprised that they are not better known. The blue and white tiled mural is gorgeous and I like the idea of the cable car at Flora Garden. Tip number 9 is very cool. I certainly didn’t know about the Treaty of Mong-Ha! I think it’s wonderful that you can visit the signing desk.

    • Good points, Sarah!

      Macau is still getting tis feet wet when it comes to tourism and promotion of its lesser known places. There are many interesting places in Macau that remain mostly unknown beyond its residents and regular visitors. Even in Hong Kong many are unfamiliar with what can be seen and done beyond Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul, A-Ma Temple and the major casinos. Hopefully that will change in time.

    • The Treaty of Mong-Ha desk in the garden at Kun Iam Temple is indeed a very significant, yet at the same time, an almost totally unknown attraction in Macau.

      The USA and China are the world’s superpowers today and this is where it all started in terms of international trade agreements between the two nations. Yet, try to find anything about this on the MGTO website, a guidebook or online travel website and you’ll be completely out of luck.

      The good news is that if you visit, there there is sign next to the desk, providing information about the treaty and the desk itself (see attached image if interested). This way you can find the desk and learn a bit about it during your visit.

  2. Hey, I have been to Macau and luckily I have seen at least 3 things from your top 10 list. Being a nature lover I have seen the garden and also the urban walk as it was near the lake. The view was really amazing. And then there were the local shops to satisfy my shopping hunger.

    • Glad you enjoyed your previous trip to Macau and were able to visit some of the lesser known spots around the city. Hopefully you can see a few more next time you are around.

  3. Senado Square, Macau Tower, art galleries and the Museum are the best place in Macau that one should visit according to me. You can’t miss these places. Thanks for the awesome list!


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