Macau nightlife is not very interesting for the young traveler. If you are expecting to party like in Las Vegas, you will be disappointed: There are actually very few nightclubs and bars, and you rarely have famous guest DJs or performers.

Macau is really focused on hardcore gambling, with a rather large high-end prostitution scene. That makes it a popular destination for sex tourists, mostly from mainland China, but it's not really my thing. Therefore, I was happy to spend only a couple of days there before heading back to Hong Kong, which is way more fun.

During my two days, I had enough time to explore all the nightlife spots around, except the famous Macau saunas (a local friend told me everything about them for this review).

The following article will give you a quick overview of what I learned during my trip. If you have more questions about partying in Macau, please just leave me a comment below.

Where to Stay in Macau Near the Nightlife
The NAPE Zone ((Novos Aterros do Porto Exterior) is the best location in Macau to be both near the nightlife and near the casinos.

In this area, I recommend the following properties:

Wynn Macau (rated 9.0 on Agoda, US$250 per night).

Grand Emperor Hotel (rated 8.4 on Agoda, US$140 per night).

Sintra Hotel (rated 8.1 on Agoda, US$95 per night)

Macau doesn't have any decent budget hotel. There aren't any hostel either. It seems the government doesn't want to attract low-end tourists and backpackers. If you want to sample the nightlife without booking a hotel, it is possible to arrive in the afternoon and to go back early in the morning. The ferries operate 24-hour from and to Hong Kong.

Best Nightclubs in Macau
Nightclubs in Macau are almost all Chinese-oriented. This means that they tend to favor large groups who book a table and order bottle service. If there is a dancefloor, it will often be very small. If you are planning to dance and to buy individual drinks, you may feel like a second-class customer in those places.

This is the only European-style nightclub in Macau. It is quite small, almost like a bar, with just a few tables and a live stage. They have some sexy hostesses and dancers, from Thailand, China, and even some Eastern Europe countries (maybe Romania?). It is "busy" only on weekends and late (entrance fee around 200-300 MOP with two drinks). Before entering, make sure there are some people inside. Music is generally house/EDM.

Cubic is often considered the best nightclub in Macau, and yet it is empty on most nights. It is a medium-sized venue with a stage for live performances (DJs, bands, dancers) and several VIP seating areas. Unfortunately, there isn't a real dance floor. Entrance is free before 12.30am. After that, it will cost you on average 250 MOP with 1 or 2 drinks. Famous DJs who played there in the past couple years include Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Yellow Claw, and Martin Garrix.

DD3 Disco & KTV
Just 3 minutes walking distance from its sister venue D2, this is a small Chinese-oriented club with Thai hostesses and karaoke rooms. The main lounge has a DJ or a live band every night. I didn't visit it.

Show House in Studio City
This nightclub, originally from Taiwan, replaces Pacha which closed down last year. It has mostly (sexy) dance shows, DJs and concerts, with a special event about once every two weeks. For instance, in the past months, they welcomed artists like Paul Van Dyk or Mr. White. The rest of the time is rather quiet, even during their ladies night on Friday (free entry and drinks for girls). Most visitors are groups, but I think it is still enjoyable for a single guy as you can watch the dancers. It closes at 6 AM.

Best Bars in Macau
The bar scene in Macau is pretty poor. There are some expensive, yet boring venues in most of the luxury hotels (for instance, McSorley's Ale House in The Venetian). They often have live music (cover bands or piano), but nothing truly happening.

For a more busy atmosphere, you don't have that many options. Your best bet is to head to the Docks, in the street opposite Kun Iam Statue. There are several bars, cafés, and restaurants there, including Moonwalker. It is a simple venue, with a live Filipino band every night, decent food, and a friendly crowd (if you are lucky!).

Another possibility is to go to the Broadway food street in the Galaxy complex. It is a busy place to eat, with two bars: Duffy's, a typical Irish pub, and The Roadhouse (American country style with live music). Both places share the same menu which is quite expensive (US$12 for a pint of beer).

In Taipa's old village, Prem1er Bar has a large selection of liquors and wine. You can check their Facebook page for their events (live music, sports, happy hours).

Finally, if you need a more stylish venue to invite a girl on a date, I'd recommend the rooftop bar Sky21 on AIA Tower. It has both an indoor and an outdoor area, with a nice view of the Nam Van Lake. They serve mostly western food.

Fishbowls and Saunas in Macau

Note: I haven't visited any of Macau's infamous saunas. The information below comes from a friend (+ some research online).

Since prostitution is legal in Macau, the industry has been allowed to grow with little restrictions. In particular, you will find some very exclusive and expensive 24-hour brothels called "saunas" and "fishbowls", both of which are venues where men get (soapy) massages, followed by sex.

In the saunas, you have access to nicer bathing facilities (hot pool, shower in the room), and you pick your girl from a line-up. They are also open 24-hour. In the "fishbowls", you make your choice after looking at an "aquarium", a glassed room where dozens of girls are sitting and waiting for customers. They offer soapy massages, a bit like the ones in Thailand.

Some services happen in the main lounge. For instance, back and shoulder massages, manicure, or even the notorious "thigh massages" (in which a girl will sit next to you and give you a handjob directly under your robe). For the more intimate services, you will go to a private room with a bathtub and a TV (that often shows a porn movie).

These are the most famous saunas and fishbowls in Macau:

Rio Sauna in Rio Hotel (open 24 hours) is the most luxurious of all the saunas in Macau. It has some amazing facilities, and their girls are truly gorgeous. But the cost is high. The minimum spend is US$150 (you will have to pay this amount even if you don't do anything inside). Choosing a "normal" girl is US$350 (Vietnamese, Thai, etc), and for an Eastern European girl, you'll have to fork out at least US$410. The Japanese models are the most expensive at US$660 for a session.

Familia Nobre Sauna (also open 24-hour) is another popular sauna with foreigners, with cheaper prices than Rio (about 20% less). The facilities are still great, with a large number of girls (including some Russians and Blacks).

The other famous saunas are East (smaller one, in Waldo Hotel), Eighteen (the worst one), Emperor (in Emperor Hotel).

For the "fishbowls", Darling 1 in Macau Masters Hotel is the most recommended. It also has a sister property called Darling 2. They are both less onerous than saunas (30% less than Rio), but you don't get the same standard of service and facilities. If affordability is your main concern, then you may want to check Hou Va, one of the cheapest adult massage parlors in Macau.

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