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Die Skyline von Macau, Bild: ESB Professional / shutterstock

Experience Macau up close: The best sights

For over 400 years, the former Portuguese colony of Macau has shared its semi-autonomous status with Hong Kong, but has its own laid-back charm. The region’s unique Eurasian heritage is evident in many areas: local cuisine (often referred to as one of the earliest fusion cuisines in the world), architecture, customs, and language. And Macau’s historic squares, peaceful parks and beachfronts, despite their manageable size, are a destination for adventurers of all kinds. Which highlights are particularly worthwhile can be found here.

While the use of online casino offers has risen sharply in recent years, players in Macau are entering the glittering world of real roulette, blackjack and poker. Because it is not for nothing that Macau is called the “Las Vegas of Asia”. The so-called “Cotai Strip” is particularly recommended here. Because it is this piece of land that makes Macau a gambling metropolis. The Strip’s luxury casino resorts offer everything your heart desires. In addition to glamorous restaurants and clubs, there is even an indoor canal where visitors can take romantic rides in gondolas. From the gigantic Venetian, which is practically a city in its own right, to the Hollywood-style Studio City with an impressive Ferris wheel, the casinos are a breathtaking world of experience even for people who don’t want to gamble.

As suspected, entertainment lovers in Macau are in for a treat. So fans of epic love stories will also get their money’s worth. Macau is home to the world’s largest water stage show. With the help of a 14-million-liter pool, thousands of visitors marvel at the acrobatics and acting of the famous “House of Dancing Water”, which was not only written but also conducted by Franco Dragone, director of Cirque du Soleil. Since there is hardly a comparable spectacle anywhere in the world, it is at the top of most travelers’ must-see lists. And because the show is very popular, you should book tickets online in advance. By the way: The construction of the water theater took 19 months and cost over 250 million US dollars.

History buffs can experience the complete contrast to the glittering world of the “Cotai Strip” in Macau. For example, in “Coloane Village”, a picturesque village on the south coast of Coloane. Its cobblestone streets and charming houses offer not only peace and serenity, but also a magnificent panorama for holiday photos. Because the pretty buildings that line up in the black sand of “Hac Sa Beach” shine in the colors of the rainbow. By the way, this is also where the “Lord Stow’s Bakery” is located, where the best Portuguese egg cakes are supposedly offered. There’s even more history in the historic center of Macau, which is now also a UNESCO World Heritage Site . Over 20 historically significant landmarks can be found here, such as statues, public squares and military barracks.

What makes Macau so unique is the Eurasian flair, i.e. the mixing of Portuguese and Chinese cultures. In addition to many European remnants from the colonial era, there are also many highlights of Asian origin to discover. This is also the case with the small, rustic fishing village of Taipa, which is located between Chinese temples. Particularly popular is the pedestrian zone “Rua do Cunha”, which is also celebrated as the culinary hotspot. Traditional food stalls, grocery stores, bakeries and many other shops are lined up here. What you should definitely try are the “serradurra”, a kind of pudding, almond biscuits, Chinese dishes with seared pork and the famous peanut candies.

Rua do Cunha, Macau
Entrance to Rua do Cunha in Macau, Image: Francesco Bonino / shutterstock

Not only gourmets, but also art lovers will not miss out in Macau. Because there is also an extremely large art collection here. The Macau Museum of Art is housed in a five-story building and is Macau’s only art museum with works by local and international artists of all eras. Best of all, admission is completely free and visitors are allowed to stay in the museum as long as they want. And if that’s too boring for you, visit the AJ Hackett Tower, named after the man who “invented” bungee jumping. So it’s no surprise that it’s home to a sophisticated, commercial bungee jump facility that offers travelers the ultimate thrill.

Tip: If you are exploring Macau, you should also pay a visit to Hong Kong, which is only 70 kilometers away. By ferry, the journey takes just under an hour.