The Big Guide to Macau's Must-See Casinos
Which casinos in Macau to visit and what to see there
What do you picture when you think of Macau? Do you think of the city’s amazing museums, historical Portuguese colonial architecture, or delicious food? Probably not. While Macau has all of those that and more, chances are that you you think of Macau, you think of casinos… and for good reason! Macau is home to some of the biggest, most luxurious, and most impressive casinos anywhere in the world.
Even if you aren’t a big spender and don’t feel like trying your luck at the casinos, it can still be well worth your time to spend a day (or two!) touring around the casinos. Macau’s casinos offers a very different look at the city than anything else you’ll see, and are probably the most impressive and iconic part of the city.
If you don’t have time to visit every casino in Macau, try to visit at least a few of the ones listed here. These are the casinos that have the most to offer a visitor (even if you don’t want to gamble). These casinos have exciting attractions for tourists, amazing sights to see, and impressive collections to wonder at.
Macau is the ONLY place in China where gambling is legal, and the casinos are the Special Administrative Region’s biggest moneymaker, drawing millions of tourists and billions of dollars every year. In fact, since 2007, Macau has passed Las Vegas in casino revenue!
How to get around the casinos in Macau - the FREE Macau Casino Shuttle
There is a free shuttle bus that runs between the airport, ferry terminal, and casinos in Macau. This service is operated by the casinos and is complimentary for use by anyone. You can catch the shuttle outside of any major casino, or ask at the front desk for help. While it is possible to walk from casino to casino (I did this), it’s much easier and more relaxing to ride the free bus from place to place.
Grand Lisboa - home of the ACTUAL Dragon Throne
The hotel tower at the Grand Lisboa is not only the tallest building in all of Macau, it’s also one of the most impressive casinos in the city. The Grand Lisboa is a very distinctive part of Macau’s skyline, and can be seen from all over the peninsula.
While the hotel and casino is massively impressive on its own, it’s worth visiting for the art collection in the lobby alone. The Grand Lisboa has an amazing display of priceless treasures that can be seen for free just by walking through the hotel’s lobby.
Take, for instance, the Dragon Throne. The real, actual, honest-to-God Dragon Throne where the last emperors of China once sat.
The lobby also displays the fossilized tusk of a woolly mammoth which has been carved into an intricate and delicate representation of the Great Wall of China.
The Grand Lisboa also features one of the world’s largest diamonds, and the wine list at the hotel features nearly 15,000 wines! In short, everything about the Grand Lisboa is pure luxury.
Even if you can’t afford to stay at the Grand Lisboa, you can always explore the lobby, or have a cup of tea at one of the hotel’s cafes. The Grand Lisboa is located on the southern tip of the Macau Peninsula, and is easily reached from all parts of the city.
Galaxy - get lost here for HOURS
I’m not joking, I actually got lost inside this mega hotel and casino! Galaxy Macau is actually five different hotels connected together into one massive resort compound. The interior contains one of Macau’s most popular shopping malls; it’s where expats like to go to do a lot of their shopping.
The interior is impressive, but it’s the scale of Galaxy that really stuns me. The hotels have a combined 2,200 rooms, and the mall boasts 50 different retailers. Galaxy even has an artificial beach and wave pool for guests staying at the resort.
The Parisian Macau - go ice skating atop the Eiffel Tower
The Parisian is one of Macau’s newer casinos, but it is already on its way to becoming a landmark and icon of the city. This casino and hotel, which opened in 2016, is designed to remind visitors of the City of Lights.
Walking through the halls of the Parisian actually does feel like being outside on a city street. Occasionally, the “sky”, which normally looks like a clear, early evening, lights up in loud and brightly colored videos advertising the various shows and attractions at the casino. This in itself is quite a spectacle!
If you find yourself becoming tired or hungry after walking around all of the casinos you’ve visited, the Parisian has an excellent and reasonably-priced food court. You can buy a variety of western and Cantonese dishes, mainly fast food and noodle options. Pull up a seat, order a bowl of noodles, and wash it all down with a bottle of crisp Macau Beer Golden Ale!
The main feature and attraction at the Parisian, however, is the half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Like the real Eiffel Tower in Paris, visitors can purchase a ticket to ride an elevator to the top, from where they are treated to amazing neon views of the Cotai casino strip.
Although it’s not free to go up the Eiffel Tower, it’s definitely worth it if you want to get amazing views across Cotai. There are two observation decks, on the seventh and thirty-seventh floors, and during the winter, the seventh floor is transformed into an ice skating rink!
The Venetian Macau - ride a gondola along the canals of Venice
Our last casino to recommend is the Venetian, an icon in Macau in its own right. The Venetian is the largest casino in the world and the largest hotel in all of Asia! The Venetian has one of the most stunningly beautiful building interiors that I’ve ever seen. Spend some time wandering around the lobby area before heading to…
…the canals of Venice!
The Venetian has three canals: the San Luca Canal, the Marco Polo Canal, and the Grand Canal. Each canal runs through a luxury shopping mall and dining area.
After you are through shopping, why not hire a singing gondolier to give you a tour of the canal? It’s just like you are actually in Venice!
The casinos in Macau are amazing, and are undoubtedly a highlight of any visit to the city. In fact, visiting Macau just wouldn’t feel complete without spending a day at least touring the city’s most iconic casinos. However, the city has a ton more to offer that visitors often overlook, especially when it comes to museums, history, and culture. You might be interested in a few of my other posts where I write about some of the less-known treasures in Macau.