Free Things to Do in Macau
Macau is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China. It is located across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong.It is famous for its legal gambling and numerous casinos. It is also a former Portuguese colony, which has a rich blend of Chinese and European architecture and culture. A large section of Macau Peninsula has been listed asa UNESCOWorld Heritage Site. Though some places need entrance fees, there are still interesting places which are free to visit. Below are some recommended scenic sites.
Historic Center of Macau
It is a lovely place to experience the Portuguese-Chinese cultures. There are lots of lovely Portuguese and Chinesearchitectures, which you could not find anywhere else in the world!
There are plenty of attractive buildings and little temples to photograph, lots of shops, restaurants, as well as many people.
The well noted ones are A-Ma Temple, Guia Fortress, the Holy House of Mercy, the old city walls, the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral and Senado Square.
You can spend a leisurely afternoon wandering around this area. The ruins of St Paul's Cathedral are great and there is a really cool vibe around there at dusk.
Tips: It is suggested that you visit it duringthe evening as there are less people around.
Location: Macau Peninsula, Macau
Largo do Senado (Senate Square)
There is saying that goes"If you haven't been to Senado Square, you haven't been to Macau".It is a lovely place to sit, rest and take photographs. There are a lot of fashion shops, restaurants, snacks and souvenir shops.
The wavy lines on the ground and the buildings behind it give it a slight bohemian European feel. From this areayou can go anywhere you want, such as the old city wallsand the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral. Don't miss the lovely fountain.
Location:Central District of Macau Peninsula, Macau
Ruins of St Paul's Cathedral
It's a must-see in Macau. It is considered to be Macau's most famous landmark. Even though it is just a wall, it's a piece of history for Macau. The details on the wall are beautiful and it's an icon which you should take a few memorable photographs of. For those who have difficulties walking up the stairs, there is a wheelchair access pavement by the side with railings.
You can get there from Senado Square. There are directional signposts from Senado Square and usually there will be crowds walking towards the ruins. You don't have to worry about getting lost.
Notes: Remember that no food and drinks are allowed inside the ruins.
Location: Rua de Sao Paulo, Macau
Although it is a narrow street, it is part of historic Macau.There are many shops and food stores with Canton and Hakka food, and lots of tasty cookies. Interestingly, if you stand and look at a product long enough, someone will feed you some pork jerky or an almond cookie. Sometimes, you don't even need to have lunch. It's an enjoyable walk up to the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral.
Location: Rua da Ressurreicao, Macau
St Domingo's Church
It is a very pretty Catholic church situated near the Largo doSenado (Senado Square), in the heart of Macau City, surrounded by shops.
It was originally built in wood, in a Portuguese style. You can go inside and take photos. There are also some displays upstairs.
It is one of several historic churches to visit in Macau and can be visited enroute to the famous ruins of St Paul's Cathedral from the Senado Square area.
Location: St Domingo Road, Macau
Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 daily
A-Ma Temple(Ma Kok Miu)
Ma Kok is the Sea Goddess who protects people when sailing on the sea, such as fishermen's business and fortune. So people built a temple as a memorialto her and to pray for blessings.
The A-Ma Temple is located in the south-eastern part of the Macau Peninsula.It is the oldest temple in Macau, built in 1488 during the Ming Dynasty.
There are four pavilions dedicated to the worship of different deities in a single complex that make the A-Ma Temple an exemplary representation of Chinese culture inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and multiple folk beliefs.
There is also a shrine dedicated to Kun Lam that can be seen at the A-Ma Temple.
Location: Mage Street, South of Macau Peninsula, Macau
You can use bus route 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 21, 21A, 26, 28B or 34 to visit the A-Ma Temple.
Opening hours: 07:00-18:00 daily
Compared to downtown Macau, it is a much quieter and livelier place. The Portuguese houses are well kept and there are still lots of people living there.There are a lot of restaurants, dessert shops and souvenir stores, as well as some churches and museums around this area.You can stroll around the small alleysand experience the local life.
Location: Rua Do Cunha, Macau
It is about 15 minutes' walk from the Venetian Hotel and Casino and not much further to other major development projects on the Strip.
Transportation: Many buses go to Taipa from Dasanba with bus number 33 being the most frequent.
I updated this article on January 19, 2014
See all my travel articles