What do you think of when you hear Macau? It may be the ruins of St. Paul’s church, the Portuguese egg tart, or perhaps the Cotai Strip which makes Macau the “Las Vegas of Asia”. But did you know that there are some other low-key places that are worth the visit and make for great ‘insta-spiring’ photos? We’ve selected a few wonderful areas with well-hidden gems, including international street art Vhils pieces, colored walls and untouched scenery in Coloane village! Check out where to go to have a perfectly up-to-date IG account.
Macau Central Area
(See featured image, by @romanbabakin1)
It’s a bit difficult to choose a single angle for that perfect Instagram photo at the city center. We suggest heading to this bustling area and frame Grand Lisboa Hotel within the concrete jungle it lives in. You can also opt to head to the Macau Portuguese School and have a Vhils piece on your phone, but why not start with this giant? Take a look at @romanbabakin1 account to see more!
Lai Kei Ice Cream Shop
Is time travel your thing? Well, you came to the right place! There are several beautiful and untouched-by-time places in town, but cafés and restaurants take the prize. Lai Kei has been around for dozens of years and it’s still pretty famous. Instagram is proof of that, but also all the customers they have. Check it out, snap some ice cream and its main door full of colours and experience a blast from the past.
Lai Kei Ice Cream 12 Av. do Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida, Macau
Definitely the bar with the best 360º view of Macau, Sky 21 is perfect during every season! Head there during a cold winter night, a spring sunset hour, a hot and humid night and you will never be disappointed by the view here. On one side, there’s MGM Macau, Wynn and some other major hotels, while on the right you can see the city’s three connecting bridges, the Pearl River and have great views of Taipa side. Try capturing a photo during sunset hour with perfect clear blue skies, decorated with a bit of orange and pink. How can this not draw hundreds of likes?
Sky 21 Bar & Restaurant 21/F AIA Tower, 251A – 301 Avenida Comercial de Macau, Praia Grande, Macau
It doesn’t take much to notice, while roaming through old and new streets, that Macau is a nostalgic and happy result between Portuguese and Chinese cultures. The view from Penha Hill–leading to Praia Grande Bay and Nam Van Lake–is proof of that. Boasting an amazing view of the Macau Tower, bodies of water and an overall peaceful vibe from above, this spot is a go-to when looking for panoramic photos of Macau. If you take a good look down, you can see the tennis club, some restaurants, old buildings and houses, characteristic of Barra and the Nam Van Lake areas. Traffic here is very few and a lot of people would come here to jog or have a romantic stroll.
Chapel of Our Lady of Penha Hilltop of Penha Hill, Macau
Boasting an incredible panoramic view to the other side, this housing complex in Taipa features high apartments from where one can take great photos. One of the first building structures to be set on that side, Ocean Gardens is relaxing, has fresh air running through. Be it early morning, late afternoon or deep night, there is always something interesting to capture from here. You can focus on the sculptures in front, the lighted bridge, the water, casinos on Macau side and even China, depending on the angle!
Ocean Gardens Jardins Do Oceano, Taipa
There are some well-hidden gems in Taipa Village when it comes to Instagram. We admit that it’ll be hard to choose from the array of monuments, posters, art pieces, coloured walls, beautiful shops and rooftops located in this area. However, the best ones include–Vhils’ art piece in Rua dos Clérigos, a vintage Chinese ad poster on a bright yellow wall in Rua do Cunha, Thailax’s interior, Goa Nights’ decor, the view from Rooftop café and so much more! Also, check out Taipa Village’s official IG account and be delighted by their love for this area!
Taipa Village Taipa Village, Rua Do Cunha, Macau
After exploring the chaotic and full of life Macau peninsula and Cotai area, doesn’t it feel good to have a silent area for once? Enjoy the sea breeze, have a walk through Coloane village and expect nothing but great photos that you’ll find hard to choose from for your Instagram account. With their blue, orange, yellow, green and white walls, this area’s tiny houses are a piece of history not only well-preserved, but worth committing to memory, since they’re one of Macau’s oldest and most beautiful attractions. These are a reminder of how life used to be here–relaxing and calm.
Coloane Village Coloane
Hac Sá Long Chao Kok
Leading the way from Hac Sá Beach to a housing complex close to Cheoc Van Beach, this trail is not only amazingly relaxing, but also super Instagrammable! Made of yellowish irregular stones, it’s great for kids, adults and even the elderly. Take the whole family or go on a stroll with your sweetheart, it doesn’t even take 30 minutes to complete and there is a beautiful green and red pagoda along the way. Set a bit further from the trekking path, it looks like the religious structure is going into the sea. Locals, tourists or for the curious, this is the perfect place to hang out when you’ve had enough of the lights, noise and casinos. If you’d like to explore Coloane more, check out our guide to Coloane’s best hiking trails here.
Long Chao Kok Coastal Trail Rua de Hac Sá Long Chao Kok, Hac Sá, Coloane
Be sure to follow us on our Instagram and tag #macaulifestyle if you do visit any of these spots or discover new ones. Happy snapping!
This post was originally written by Hannah Estenilo in February 2018 and updated by Leonor Sá Machado in June 2019.