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Macau city tours and excursions

Macau city tours

Walking tours

The MGTO produces a series of self-guided free walking tour pamphlets, and also details recommended routes online. Most of these involve around half an hour of walking, and range from a wander around the historic centre to an exploration of the "bygone days" of Taipa Village.

Tel: +853 2831 5566

Gondola tours

It might not compare to being transported along the canals of Venice itself, but the ersatz alternative at The Venetian remains a popular draw for visitors. The rides last around 20 minutes, during which time serenading gondoliers will float you past mock Italian facades. Private gondolas can be hired for a surcharge.

Tel: +853 2882 8877

Macau city excursions

Coloane Island

Leafy Coloane Island, now joined to Taipa by reclaimed land, is known as the 'lung of Macau'. Its hilly natural landscape features picturesque squares, black-sand beaches, shady parks, temples, churches and attractive village houses. It serves as welcome sanctuary from the incessant hustle of the roulette tables, and has hiking and golf options.

Taipa Island

More built-up than Coloane, Taipa Island nevertheless contrasts agreeably with the bustle of mainland Macau. Wandering the lanes and squares of Taipa Village is a pleasure, especially around Rua da Canha, aka Food Street. From here, head to Avenida de Praia (once the island's waterfront before land reclamation altered the coastline) and the beautifully restored strip of early 20th-century Portuguese villas.

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Featured Hotels


Grand Coloane Resort

Formerly the Westin Resort Macau, this five-star getaway overlooks gardens and a sandy beach on Coloane Island. It's long been favoured by visitors seeking a bit of peace and quiet in upscale surrounds. Each room has a sea or beach view, and there's an excellent spa and an adjoining golf course.

San Va Hotel

This cheap traditional-style guesthouse has a decent location in downtown Macau on the historic Rua da Felicidade (Happiness Street). The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable, and some of the doubles and twins have en-suite shower and bathroom. It was established in 1873, and claims to be the oldest existing guesthouse in Macau.

Pousada de São Tiago

Built into what was once a 17th-century fort that defended Macau against hostile invaders, this traditional Portuguese pousada is a romantic place to stay. It commands a splendid view of the Inner Harbour, and the interior décor, with its flagstones, wooden rafters and blue tiles, is a delight.

Harbourview Hotel

Drawing rather incongruously on 18th-century Prague as a basis for its style and design, this 389-room hotel is nevertheless a smart, well-rated place to stay. Perks include a Jacuzzi and indoor pool, as well as a cocktail bar. It offers good value for money, and sits close to the Sands Macao.

Grand Emperor Hotel

With a gilded chariot at the entrance, doormen dressed as Buckingham Palace guards and myriad chandeliers, the Grand Emperor doesn't go in for subtlety. The rooms are more restrained, with wall-mounted plasma screen TVs and large bathrooms with walk-in rainforest shower. Facilities include a business centre, fitness centre and five floors of gaming.

Hotel Royal Macau

This newly renovated Macau hotel may be a little removed from the action, but it's all the more attractive for that reason. It's just up the hill from the wonderful Clube Militar de Macau restaurant and offers some good-value packages. It sits at the foot of Colina da Guia, Macau's landmark hill and the site of the historic Guia fort and lighthouse.