With eye-catching contemporary architecture and famous historic landmarks, Macau is a place that is attracting lots of attention. The Historic Centre of Macao is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with Baroque churches and ancient Chinese temples while dazzling 21st-century landmarks in Macau are redefining the skyline.
With this melding of its rich past and exciting future, it should come as no surprise that the city punches way above its weight in the monument and landmark department. On track to becoming the wealthiest place in the world by 2020, new landmarks in Macau keep on popping up each year.
Macau’s monuments and buildings are up there with some of the best landmarks in China. So go ahead and see tick these fantastic places off your bucket list. With so many new and impressive monuments, now is the best time to visit Macau.
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- 18 Macau Landmarks For Your Bucket List
- Hotel Landmarks in Macau
- Classic Macau Landmarks
18 Macau Landmarks For Your Bucket List
Hotel Landmarks in Macau
A futuristic architectural masterpiece designed by Zaha Hadid is one of the most impressive landmarks in Macau.
The building is a 40-storey skyscraper housing one of the most impressive hotels in Macau, Morpheus Hotel in the City of Dreams.
Morpheus is the first free-form exoskeleton-bound high-rise building and if you’re wondering where to stay in Macau, you can’t go wrong here.
It cost US$1.1 billion to build and opened on 15 June 2018.
2- Eiffel Tower
Although the Eiffel Tower in the Parisian Macao is a landmark that is half the height of the original Eiffel Tower in Paris, it was a challenge to build.
Macau’s Eiffel Tower was built from steel instead of wrought iron and constructed to withstand a typhoon.
It has observation decks, a restaurant and there’s a nightly light show.
The Macao Eiffel Tower cost US$2.7 billion to build and was completed on 15 October 2015.
3- Golden Reel
What happens when two asteroids crash into a Gotham City tower? In Macau, you get a Ferris Wheel in the sky.
Studio City’s Golden Reel is not only the world’s first figure-8 Ferris wheel, but it’s also Asia’s highest.
One of the unique things about this Macau landmark is it sits 130 m (427 ft) above the ground.
The experience starts at the Industrial Revolution-themed loading platform and travels around a figure-8 track high in the sky.
The integrated leisure destination resort brings more than a dash of Hollywood glam to Macau.
If you’re visiting Macau with kids, head for the Batman Dark Flight motion ride, a family entertainment centre and Fun Zone packed with characters from Warner Bros, DC Comics, Hanna-Barbera Productions and Looney-Tunes.
Other attractions include magic shows at The House of Magic, a cool Ibiza-style nightclub called Pacha Macau, a 5,000-seat entertainment centre for live concerts and a host of events.
Studio City’s Golden Reel is part of the US$3.2billion Studio City complex that opened in June 2015.
4- Grand Lisboa Hotel
Until the Cotai Strip was conceived, the 260m (856 ft) Grand Lisboa Hotel tower dominated the Macau skyline.
Designed by Hong Kong-based architects Dennis Lau and Ng Chun Man, the iconic Macau landmark houses a 58-floor hotel, casino, restaurants and shops.
The Grand Lisboa Hotel opened on 11 February 2007.
5- MGM Cotai
MGM Cotaii’s design of sparkling blocks makes it a striking landmark in Macau and it’s as impressive inside as it is outside.
Tables in the shape of gold ingots grace the main lobby and there’s an impressive four-storey atrium the size of a football field.
Around the atrium are restaurants, vertical gardens and 25 LED screens with a rolling display of the best places to visit in China.
This incredible Macau landmark houses over 1,000 rooms, Skylofts and Villas in The Mansion, which is an exclusive invitation-only luxury escape.
MGM Cotai cost $3.4 billion to build and opened on 13 February 2018.
Landmarks in Asia
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Classic Macau Landmarks
6- Macau Tower
Inspired by Auckland’s Sky Tower, Macau Tower is a 338m high landmark of Macau that is instantly recognisable.
This multi-award-winning attraction has six restaurants and cafes, shops, Macau’s largest 3D movie theatre and breathtaking views from the Observation Lounge on the 58th floor.
The Adventure Deck offers a list of activities that will get the adrenalin pumping, including the Macau Tower Bungy Jump, which is listed in the Guinness World Record as the Highest Commercial Bungy Jump in the world.
Macau Tower was completed on 19 December 2001.
10- Kun Ian Statue
The beautiful Goddess of Mercy, Kun Iam, is a 20m bronze statue with a base that resembles a lotus flower.
Inside the domed base is a centre where you can obtain information about the region’s main ideologies: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
Kun Ian centre is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day except Friday.
11- The Bridge
The 55km (34 miles) bridge is an engineering feat and the longest sea bridge in the world.
The bridge is an engineering landmark that connects three Pearl River Delta cities – Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau – reducing travel time between the cities from three hours to 30 minutes.
Constructed with 4.5 times the amount of steel used to build the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, this bridge can withstand a super typhoon or a magnitude 8 earthquake.
A unique feature is the 6.7km (4-mile) submerged tunnel connecting two artificial islands.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge cost $20 billion to build and opened, finally after nine years, on 24 October 2018.
12- Macao Science Centre
The Macao Science Centre is a space-age landmark of Macau, with a conical-shaped Exhibition Centre, Convention Centre and Planetarium (it holds the Guinness World Record as the highest resolution 3D planetarium).
There are interactive displays, galleries, workshops and shows.
Macao Science Centre is open daily from 10 am to 6om but closed every Thursday.
13- Ruins of St Paul’s
The College of St Paul was created by Jesuit priests and was the first Western university in Asia, making Macau an important centre for foreign missionaries.
A legacy of Macau’s Portuguese history is the beautiful churches that remain.
Famous churches in Macau include St Lawrence’s, St Augustines and the Chapel of St Francis Xavier but none are as instantly recognisable as the Ruins of St Paul’s.
The Ruins of St Paul’s are the ruins of a seminary complex consisting of the College of St Paul and facade of the former Church of Mater Dei built in 1640.
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14- Guia Lighthouse
Guia Lighthouse is a historic Macau landmark in the 17th-century Guia Fortress, which also houses Guia Chapel.
Guia Lighthouse was the first modern lighthouse to be built along the coast of China.
The fortress, lighthouse and chapel are icons of Macau’s missionary, military and maritime past.
Guia Lighthouse was built in 1865.
15- A-Ma Temple
A unique historic landmark in Macau, A-Ma Temple was here long before the city existed and was a landmark for fishermen.
Halls and pavilions are inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and other traditional Chinese beliefs, making A-Ma Temple a pleasure to explore.
When the Portuguese arrived in Macau and asked the name of the land, the locals misunderstood and told them the name of the temple, which later morphed into the name Macau.
A-Ma Temple is in Barra Square.
16- Mount Fortress
Built in the 17th Century, Mount Fortress was originally the city’s main military defence structure.
As it sits on Mount Hill, there are fabulous views of the city from the fortress.
The Macao Museum is built into the Fortress and has impressive displays of the city’s fascinating past.
Mount Fortress along with the Ruins of St Paul’s are significant historical landmarks of Macau’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
17- Our Lady of Penha Chapel
While there are many chapels and churches, one that is a beautiful landmark of Macau is Our Lady of Penha Chapel.
The chapel was a pilgrimage place for sailors to pray before embarking on a hazardous voyage.
Our Lady of Penha Chapel was built in 1622 by the crew and passengers of a ship that escaped being captured by the Dutch.
18- Border Gate
The Border Gate was put in place in 1870 at the border of Macau and Zhuhai in China.
Border Gate Square has fountains, blue tiles on the walls along with a poem by poet, Camoes, describing the history of Macao.
Macau is 60 km to the west of Hong Kong and is bordered by the South China Sea, Guangdong and Zhuhai in China.
Macao is a Special Administrative Region of China (SAR) with its own currency and legal system. Residents of Macao have their own passports
The distance between Macao and China is 1648 km
It depends on what country you’re from and what passport you’re travelling on. Australian passport holders travelling to Macao for up to 30 days do not require a visa.