Today's guest post takes us to China where Agness of eTramping has sussed out some of the best things to do in Macau that won't cost you anything.
Although Macau is not necessary a budget friendly place, there are still plenty of free of change attractions you can enjoy while exploring the Las Vegas of China. Here are our top 7 choices:
1. Senado Square
There is nothing better than strolling down the Senado Square on a sunny day, holding a cup of Portuguese coffee with some egg tarts (you will fall in love with Portuguese cuisine) and admiring wave-patterned mosaic colored stones and Portuguese styled windows and walls. This place is Macau's urban center and an extremely common venue for big events and holiday celebrations. The Square looks lovely at night so it's a perfect place to romantic walk. If you get hungry, you can get some local street seafood (steamed, boiled or grilled).
2. Ruins of St. Paul
That should be the highlight of your visit in Macau. These 17th century ruins are the main touristic attraction of this place. As we found out, the ruins feature a spectacular façade with intricate carvings by Japanese monks. Get ready for the massive queues!
3. Holy House of Mercy of Macau
It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Centre of Macau" and it's worth spending a couple of hours there. You are surrounded by charming Portuguese fountains, beautiful flowers and some statues made of stone.
4. Local Churches (St. Augustin Church, St. Lawrence Church)
Almost all local churches are free of charge. You can not only go pray there, but also admire the Portuguese architecture. Their decorations and objects displayed in the church are very interesting to see. The good news is that churches are never busy. You can spot only a few locals praying and some tourists taking photos.
5. Monte Forte
Monte Forte was built in the 16th century and it was later used as a military base. Nowadays, the fort features a public park, an observatory and the Macau Museum.
It is located a few meters walking distance from the famous ruins of St. Paul Church. It is being preserved perfectly and it is open to visitors every day. You can enjoy a stunning view over Macau from here.
6. Macau Bridge
If you feel like exploring Macau on foot, try to walk towards the main bridge of Macau. It's long and you will sweat a lot to get on the other side on a sunny day, but it's worth the view.
7. Hac Sa Beach
Hac Sa Beach is considered to be the largest natural beach in Macau. It is on the southeast side of Coloane (you can easily get there by a local bus 25 or 26A which goes directly there from the city center). As its Chinese name implied, Hac Sa Beach is famous for its black sand. You can also enjoy a little picnic in the park nearby as we did.
Which of those attractions would you love to see?
Bio: Agness is a Polish vagabond who, after graduation, left her comfort zone and set off for a journey of her lifetime to China in 2011. She has been constantly travelling the world since then (slowly, but surely as she says), living like a local for less than $25 a day. She became a photography passionate and adventure blogger sharing her life enthusiasm and travel experience with everyone around. She blogs at eTramping and you can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.
This is really helpful! Is it possible to do things in an afternoon/evening in Macau? We are staying in Hong Kong and would have to go back at night.
I would take at least a full day to visit Macau from Hong Kong. Depending on the border crossing and the schedule of the ferries, it will take between 2 and 3 hours for transport alone, to get back and forth.
I guess if you really wanted to, you could just go for one afternoon/evening to visit the old town or some of the casino’s. But if you want to see everything on this page, you need at least a full day.
I hear Macau is great for fantastic custom made furniture shopping, apart from other things. Quite fascinating that this is the only place in China where gambling is allowed..It´s seems like a very complex mixture of western and Asian culture, casinos and the whole gambling world being part of the Asian legacy while the historic centre belonging to the European one.
Agree with Senado Square and St. Paul…I loved that cultural angle of Macau, too
Great suggestions! I have heard that Macau can be both fun and crazy with all of its casino frenzy. Those look like some fun things to do.
Thanks Andy! Macau is so much fun, hope you can enjoy it once you make it there :)!!
It’s always a good thing to know of the freebies where money can get lost so quickly. I love the combination of culture here. The views from above with the different architecture is probably so fascinating.
It’s extremely fascinating, you would be blown away!