Macau does a lot of things well and it does drinking very well indeed. This is partly due to the Portuguese influence, as the former colonial ruler imported a fondness for wine as well as Mediterranean food, so nowadays few respectable hotels or restaurants lack a well-stocked cellar.
The city’s international vibe means that a pub crawl is one of the fun things to do in Macau and it could embrace anything from Japanese sake to the merriest beers brewed in Ireland.
Here are my suggestions on cool bars to get your fill of Macau nightlife.
- Where To Go For The Best Macau Nightlife
- The best bars in Macau
- Clubs in Macau
- More about Macau
Where To Go For The Best Macau Nightlife
The best bars in Macau
1- Ritz-Carlton Bar & Lounge
Think of the Ritz-Carlton Bar & Lounge as a cocktail containing three very snazzy ingredients.
First off, it’s perched on the 51st floor of the hotel, with towering views over the city, the South China Sea, and the Mainland.
Secondly, nothing has been left to chance in its interior design: from the custom-cut, curved Italian marble bar top to the hardwood flooring and the luxurious, plush sofas, everything speaks of elegance and sophistication.
Thirdly, and most importantly, the drinks menu is exotic, enticing and entertaining.
Cocktails like Padua Punch, Stack of Fortune and Road to Heaven are intriguing, but where the bar really triumphs is its gin and tonic – with numerous different spirits, an array of tonics, and a great deal more garnish than mere ice and lemon.
2- Prem1er Bar & Tasting Room
The clue’s in the name: this neat Taipa watering hole is indeed a bar, but it’s really somewhere to embark on a thoughtful, alcohol tinged safari.
The owners like to let it be known that they scour the world for premium artisanal spirits, wines and beers, and to date, they certainly haven’t been found wanting.
To start with the spirits: there’s Chinggis Khan vodka and Haswell’s Dry Gin.
The wine selection contains a couple of surprises, as in addition to some award-winning vintages from France there are two notable labels from China: 1421 Export Silver Chardonnay 2010 (“clean with a straight linear structure”) and 1421 Export Silver Cabernet Sauvignon (“medium-bodied and very well balanced”).
Craft beers range from Irish to Belgian.
Prem1er by name, premier by nature.
3- Bar Patuá
Tucked away inside the MGM Macau, Bar Patuá packs a lot into its discreet space.
It’s small, intimate, very much somewhere to repair for a quiet snifter with a business acquaintance, or perhaps a romantic tête-à-tête, or simply to take some time for yourself and appreciate life through the prism of a very good drink.
Named for the long-neglected Macanese creole language that fuses Chinese, Portuguese, Malay and Sinhalese, the bar pays tribute to Macau’s rich multicultural heritage.
And besides an excellently curated wine list, there are some unusual cocktail offerings like the Portuguese milk tea that comes with a slug of brandy.
Final point: Bar Patuá gets busy in the evening for the highly commendable reason that it offers two drinks for the price of one from 6pm to 9pm.
4- Bar Cristal
In a city that’s got a bit of a reputation for over-the-top design, Bar Cristal scales the ultimate heights.
Walk inside, look up, and suspended from the ceiling is a fabulous 19th-century chandelier, which was discovered by sheer chance in a Parisian antique shop.
Given the chandelier, everything else followed and Bar Cristal was modelled around this magnificent glittering centrepiece.
Cristal’s more like a museum or a film set or stepping into a chateau in days gone-by: of course, everyone’s first thought when it comes to something to drink is “Champagne”.
But there’s a lot more to choose from, even tequila, mezcal and raicilla.
5- Goa Nights
Goa Nights is the sort of place that automatically lands up on lists of “Best Kept
Slotted into the back streets of Taipa, it nods to the fact that Portuguese mariners had set up on the coast of India before they got as far as China.
Goa Nights is a restaurant as well as a bar, but the two exist happily in parallel without impinging on each other.
The atmosphere is chilled, amiable, and fellow drinkers at the bar could easily be casino staff at the end of a shift or finance types out on a spree.
It’s almost compulsory to sink a Lisbon cocktail: gin infused with raw turmeric Aperol, grapefruit and egg white sprayed with port wine.
6- Sky 21
Starting at the very top – Sky 21 is as much drone as it is a cocktail bar, perched atop a downtown skyscraper, with views from its roof deck out over both city and sea.
As might be expected, the crowd here is pretty flash and gets pretty wild towards the early hours of the morning.
You’ll get to experience Macau nightlife at its best.
Sky21 is at 21/F, AIA Tower, 251A – 301 Avenida Comercial de Macau, Macau. Operating hours: 11.30 pm to 3 am (Monday to Thursday), 11.30 pm to 4 am (Fri, Sat and Public Holiday Eve), 1200 to 3 am (Sundays and Public Holidays).
Cocktail to try: Cookie Monster – a creamy coffee-flavoured dessert cocktail based on frozen vodka with butterscotch liquor, Tia Maria, Baileys, Kahlua and cookies.
7- Macallan Whisky Bar & Lounge
From the dizzy heights of downtown to one of the most intimate bars in the city: The Macallan Whisky Bar & Lounge.
Take your time choosing – there are 400 different malts from all over the world on offer, dispensed in a clubby atmosphere that’s formal, discreet and wholly enjoyable.
Enjoy the Macau nightlife with a Scottish twist.
Sample a range of Scottish whisky, such as Arran, Benromach, Dalmore, Glentturret and Highland Park as well as whisky from Ireland, USA, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, Japan, India and France.
Macallan Whisky Bar & Lounge is on Level 2, Galaxy Hotel. Operating hours: 5 pm to 1 am (Sunday to Thursday), 5 pm to 2 am (Friday and Saturday).
Cocktail to try: Spring Salad Mojito – a sweet, bitter and sour refreshing cocktail to cleanse the palate.
8- Bar Azul
Similarly classy, Bar Azul is often cited by repeat guests as one of their main reasons for staying at Four Seasons: Bombay Sapphire gin is given a bit of a marketing push here – not that anyone is objecting.
Bar Azul is in the Four Seasons Macau, Estrada da Baia de N. Senhora da Esperanca, Taipa. Operating hours: 6 pm to 1 am daily.
9- McSorley’s Old Ale House
From the sublime to the hilarious: McSorley’s is typical of all those Irish bars that dot the global map like bus stops.
It’s set within The Venetian, but retains a distinctive, free-booting air, with all the traditional beverages (and of course food) on tap.
McSorleys is in the Venetian Macao. Opening hours: 12 pm to 1 am daily.
10- Old Taipa Tavern
Macau’s other standout pub is the Old Taipa Tavern, set in the heart of Taipa village and very much an expat local, a world away from the glitz and glamour of the casinos and high-end malls.
Sit outside here, or prop up the bar with a pint, and it doesn’t take long for lunchtime to merge into supper, or aperitifs to transform themselves into nightcaps.
This Aussie/NZ Gastropub has more than 50 kinds of craft beer and ciders, wine by the glass and seven sports screens.
Old Taipa Tavern is at R. de São Joao, Macau.
11- Vida Rica
One of Macau’s most intriguing watering holes occupies pride of place in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Vida Rica sports three bars, serving champagne and cocktails – the Millionaire’s Mojito embraces rum, cane sugar and fresh lime and mint – as well as tapas.
The design is crisp and modern, with the soaring ceilings complimented by windows overlooking the harbour.
This is the ideal place to entertain (the hotel’s restaurant is right next door), celebrate, or simply to kick back and revel in the very best service and deliciously fused alcoholic beverages that the city has to offer.
In my book, this is one of coolest of the cool bars in Macau.
Vida Rica is in the Mandarin Oriental, Av. Dr Sun Yat-Sen, Macau. Opening hours: 5 pm to midnight (Monday to Thursday), 5 pm to 1 am (Friday), 3 pm to 1 am (Saturday), 3 pm to midnight (Sunday).
12- 38 Lounge
Finally, what is perhaps Macau’s most discreet drinking haunt has secured a niche for itself at the top of the Altira Hotel on Taipa.
Called 38 Lounge – a traditionally lucky combination of numerals – it’s a blend of indoors and out, with a house band and a resident DJ, all sorts of enticing cocktails, and a fun ambience that pulls in a young crowd intent on having fun.
The lounge opens late afternoon, but has no set closing time: it’s very much a case of “last man standing.”
38 Lounge is in Altira Macau, Macao Av. de Kwong Tung. Operating hours: 6 pm to 3 am (Monday to Sunday), 10 pm to 2 am (Tuesdays).
Cocktail to try: Moulin Rouge – Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry juice, Grenadine.
13- The Roadhouse Macau
Life-sized models of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and the Blues Brothers outside? Check! A stash of motorcycle memorabilia within? Check!
Guitars signed by The Rolling Stones and a pair of Mohamed Ali’s boxing gloves? Check!
The Roadhouse Macau is not just Macau’s biggest independent bar, it’s retro written in capital letters.
But really it’s the live music — a heady mix of rock and blues – at Roadhouse Macau that keeps tourists, locals, expats, and casino workers looking to chill at the end of their shift coming here in their dozens.
Although the bar opens at noon, it hits it really gets going after dusk.
The Roadhouse Macau is at Galaxy Macau, Broadway Food Street. Operating hours: 4 pm to 4 am (Monday to Friday), 12 to 4 am (Saturday and Sunday).
14- Macau Soul
It would be hard to find somewhere more laid-back than Macau Soul.
The bar is run by a couple from the north of England with a fondness for good wine, good music and all the other good things in life.
Anyone dropping by here should take a moment to browse the wine list, which carries more than 400 labels from Portugal, chosen from both traditional and newer progressive producers.
The live entertainment is similarly wide-ranging and varies from night to night: jazz, blues, old-time, Texas swing, country, folk and classical.
It’s always fun here, that’s for sure.
Macau Soul is at 31A R. de São Paulo, Macao. Opening hours: 3 pm to 10 pm (Wednesdays and Thursdays), 3 pm to midnight (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), closed on Monday and Tuesday.
15- Aba Bar
The MGM hotel has one of the most amazing atriums in Macau – high and bright and a stunning tribute to the city’s architecture.
In one corner ABA Bar – complementing Aux Beaux Arts restaurant – is a parlour-style lounge where guests can enjoy a crafted cocktail or sip from a multitude of varietal selections housed in the wine cellar.
High-backed chairs and satin sofas provide the perfect backdrop for a pre-dinner drink or a romantic nightcap.
On weekends DJs serve up contemporary and chic sets for the music-loving crowd.
Not surprisingly, the most popular request is Dancing Queen, the 1976–hit from that very-well-known Swedish group!
ABA Bar is at Grande Praca MGM Grand Hotel Macau. Operating hours: 5 pm to 12 midnight daily.
16- China Rouge
When you’re in the mood to chill, China Rouge presents the thinking drinker’s lounge bar in Macao, with top-notch music and a vast selection of all things grain and grape and their associated accessories, delivered amid smart décor that’s an admirable melding of eastern style and western pizazz.
China Rouge Macau sits within the confines of the Galaxy Macau [SIC] complex, and its sumptuous interiors are bedecked with works by the likes of visual artist Chen Men and digitalist Bu Hua.
A regular jazz band adds a soothing backdrop, with a programme of contemporary favourites and standard classics, while the cocktail menu adds more than a touch of exoticism.
China Rouge is in Galaxy Macau, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Macao. Opening hours: 9.45 pm to 1.30 am (Tuesday to Thursday, Sunday). 10 pm to 2 am (Friday and Saturday).
17- Wing Lei
You want class? Ease into Wing Lei.
The bar takes its cue from the 18th-century French chandelier which illuminates the whole space.
The light is reflected in numerous mirrors and gilded mouldings, and semi-precious stones such as malachite, lapis lazuli, tiger eye and rose quartz are inlaid in the walls.
This is somewhere you come to drink in the atmosphere as much as the cocktails.
Surprisingly, there’s a tea menu here, with more than 50 varieties curated by Wing Lei Macau’s own master sommelier.
This is certainly the place to come for an upper-crust cuppa.
Wing Lei is in Wynn Macau, R. Cidade de Sintra. Opening hours: 6 pm to 11 pm.
Clubs in Macau
There’s no argument about it – Macau rolls 24/7, working hard, playing hard, and letting off steam with more than a little gusto.
Stick a pin anywhere in the city map, and you’ll be within a short hop of a bar, club, pub or some sort of similar establishment that serves up alcohol and good vibes in equal measure.
From the Macau casino hub of Cotai to the hushed back streets of the old city, the Macau club scene will delight all tastes and pockets: live music, vintage wine (and Portuguese wine), celebrity haunts – as the old saying goes, if you don’t see it, we ain’t got it.
Now: time to party! Here are the best Macau clubs.
18- Showhouse Macau
One of the most startling hotels to open in Macao in recent years, Studio City – which is flanked by twin, 30-metre-high “Hero of Steel” statues – needed a pulsating nightclub to marry up with its silver screen rep.
And it got it with Showhouse, part of the legendary Taiwanese entertainment chain.
It’s got the lot: dazzling light systems, awesome audio, exotic dancers, Top 100 DJs flown in to spin their wildest sounds.
The crowd here is adventurous, well dressed, and above all just out to have a rollicking good time.
Of course, occasionally offering free entry and free drinks to ladies never did anything to spoil a good party.
Regulars say the joint starts jumping around midnight: it closes around dawn.
19- Club Cubic Macau
If Pacha has a rival, it’s Club Cubic Macau, the long-established Party Headquarters that’s facing off the brash newcomer on the other side of the Cotai Strip.
Spread across some 30,000 square feet over two levels of live entertainment space, Macau Cubic boasts a state-of-the-art performing stage, a dance pool lit by laser beams, a Gothic-style bar and – the first in Asia – a Perrier-Jouet champagne bar.
To crank the experience up a level, book one of the quintet of VIP rooms on the first floor, some of which have their own balcony that granting an unobstructed view of the pulsating action down below.
Club Cubic Macau is Level 2, The Boulevard, City of Dreams, Estrada Do Istmo, Cotai, Macau. Opening hours: 10 pm to late.
20- D2 Club
This local nightclub hotspot is a hidden gem.
Housed in the corporate AIA Tower, expats and locals arrive after hours to dance and listen to the hottest tunes.
Gaggles of ladies arrive for Wednesday’s Ladies Nights while the guys come out on Thursday nights for Gentlemen’s Night.
If you don’t feel like dancing at D2 you can always watch a team of pro dancers flitting in acrobatic contortions and diving into insane aerial acts.
Be wary some of them are skin exposing shows.
More about Macau
When to visit Macao?
Visit Macao when there’s a festival happening for a great time. Parade Through Macao, Latin City is a fun and colourful festival in December. There’s always something going on in Macao. You’ll find festivals and events happening every month.
Should I bring the kids to Macao?
For those looking for a family holiday, there are several reasons why Macao is a great choice. Macao’s family activities are fun for all ages. Besides being a safe destination, Macao has plenty for kids.