An influx of naive Western guys who assume that all sexily dressed women are hookers leads to problems. If you are a new visitor reading this remember that many of the people in the clubs are reasonably, if not very well-paid workers, from the hotel and the travel industry. If you misbehave the local community and the security staff will close down on you very quickly. Have fun, but be safe please.
Let’s start with the nightclubs first before hitting the bars.
Macau doesn’t have a lot of choice when it comes to clubs. Basically, there are only three of them: two in Cotai and one at Fisherman’s Wharf that’s a shell of its former self.
Formerly known as Pacha Macau. Showhouse is still the best club in Macau. Large, stylish, with a fun friendly crowd that knows how to get down, it’s the undisputed king of the late night party scene and the only club in town that I fully endorse. Only open three days a week, Friday nights always heave because it’s Ladies Night so women get free drinks and entry while men have to pay a cover charge of $200.
There’s more hard core clubbing on Saturday nights, with the action really picking up around 1 am. Expect a younger 20 to 35 year old crowd, and a DJ that dabbles in both house and commercial beats.
Drink prices at Showhouse are very fair and reasonable, given that it’s the preeminent venue in town and the only one you should be considering on Friday and Saturday nights.
Rum: $85 to $200 Tequila: $85 to $200
Brandy: $100/$120 Gin: $85 to $200
Whisky: $85 to $2 Champagne: $120 to $200
Beer: $70 White wine: $85 to $1200
Shooters: $50 to $150 Red wine: $85 to $120
Vodka: $85 to $120
Location: Studio City
Website: Showhouse Macau
Club Cubic is open everyday but you can expect only Wednesdays to be busy because it’s Ladies Night. Aside from that, the club struggles to maintain an audience and I’ve never thought the layout was conducive to hard core clubbing. There are too many tables, not enough space and no proper dance floor.
The security staff and front door personnel have the well earned reputation of being cocky as hell, and those vibes seem to rub off on the clientele as well. Expect a club with barriers, a club that’s cold, and a club that’s not much fun to be in.
Music is mostly techno and the crowd is generally younger, in their 20’s. Be prepared to pay $200 to $300 to get in, with no actual assurance that anyone else will be once you do. Unless it’s Ladies Night, don’t waste your time.
Here’s a part of their drink menu:
Shooters: $55 to $140
Cocktails: $85 to $120
Sangria: $100 to $150
Location: City of Dreams
Website: Club Cubic
A shadow of its former self, the once mighty D2 has gone straight down the tubes. It used to be the hottest nightclub in town when it was at the AIA building, but those days are long gone. Now it’s mostly just sleaze after reinventing itself as Macau’s only topless club, featuring Go Go dancers and DJ’s who bare all upstairs. Basically they can’t compete with Showhouse and they know it, so they’ve changed their format and gone more risque, hoping to play to a different market.
Mostly spinning techno beats, the club pulls an older, 30 plus crowd, a good percentage of which are foreign. The action really starts to pick up around midnight and can continue all the way until 3 or 4 am. Ladies Night has been discontinued, so the door pass is $130 for everyone, which comes with 1 free drink. Other menu prices are very reasonable with beers $57, cocktails $65 to $70 and hard stuff $60.
Personally, I find this new incarnation of D2 to be totally irrelevant. It’s mostly just loud, dark and bereft of the kind of people I want to party with. For lack of a better word, I just find D2 dirty.
I should also mention that its sister club D3 is located next door, but that venue pulls less people than D2 and is a lot more Chinese. $100 to get in, it only starts to get cooking really late, usually around 4 or 5 am.
Location: Fisherman’s Wharf
Anyone who’s spent any kind of time on this site knows how I feel about MacauSoul. It’s the pinnacle of life, the best bar in town, and you absolutely must visit it when you’re in Macau.
What it’s not, however, is the second coming of Party Central, so for a more raucous scene, one characterized by more mischief, noise, and mayhem, you’ll have to consider another venue on this list.
Only two bars in town are extremely popular with Westerners, so let’s start there.
Old Taipa Tavern
Located in the heart of Taipa Village, the Old Taipa Tavern (or OTT) is generally considered to be Macau’s best expat bar. Often very busy, it’s the top option in town for Westerners to meet over a few drinks and a bite to eat.
The food gets high marks and goes beyond standard pub fare, with tapas, wraps, steaks and salmon all available, while the drink list is extensive and reasonably priced to boot, with beers $32, pints of draft $49, and most bottles of wine $250 to $500.
OTT isn’t the place for cheap gimmicks and marketing mumbo jumbo about new ways to experience an apple cider, which is probably why it’s as successful as it is.
Blue collar all the way AND the blue blood of bars in town – start here if you want a proper pub type experience.
Location: Beside Pak Tai Temple in Taipa Village
The Roadhouse Macau opened when Broadway Macau did in May of 2015. Since then it’s attracted quite a good following, mostly owing to their live music performances 6 nights a week starting from 9:30 pm. Buy 1 Get 1 Free happens daily from 5 pm to 8 pm, while there are a slew of other specials on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.
Sports are broadcast on the big screens, albeit without sound, with the music left to take centre stage, which is usually blues or rock. There’s also good patio seating outdoors, which is surprisingly hard to find in a warm weather locale like Macau.
For an idea of their food and drink menu, please follow the link to the Broadway Macau review.
The rest of the bars below aren’t especially popular nor guaranteed to be busy outside of peak weekend hours. However, each one has something special about it that may appeal to you in some way.
China Rouge used to be a private membership club but that concept bit the dust once the VIP gaming market collapsed in 2015. Now it’s open to the public with live music performances 6 nights a week from a Chinese house band, who dabble in a bit of everything.
China Rouge isn’t a bar in the traditional sense, nor is it a nightclub – perhaps the best way to describe it is very Chinese. Most of the older more mature 30 plus crowd don’t mingle or mix, preferring to keep to themselves at their own table and watch the show.
For more information, check out the China Rouge review here: China Rouge.
Here’s a part of their beverage menu:
Japanese whisky: $150 / $2100 or $3200 per bottle
Whisky: $70 to $150 / $900 to $2100
Red wine: $135 / $650 to $1800
Vodka: $70 to $85 / $900 to $1380
Boutique red wine $140 / $680 to $1230 (bottles)
Boutique white wine: $155 / $750 or $780
Location: Galaxy Macau
Website: China Rouge
Mico is only on this list because it specializes in cheap but good Portuguese wine, making it a (very) poor man’s MacauSoul. Truth be told, it has all the ambience of an airport hangar and there’s nothing really nice about it, but I’ve still become a fan nonetheless.
The original owner Pedro was a nice guy and his wine prices were right, with some very good bottles available for $220 to $350. There’s also a small snack menu featuring cheese ($60), cold cuts ($50 to $70), sardines ($40) and tune pate ($40 to $70).
Located behind Kiang Wu Hospital in a very residential district, tourists have no idea about Mico (until now), making it the most local hangout on this list. It opens everyday except Mondays, from 5 pm to 2 am.
Location: Rua Tomas Viera 78 R/C
Telephone: 6661 0500
I would be remiss not to mention the MJ Cafe at the Sofitel just for their all you can drink deal that happens daily from 8 pm to 1 am. Costing only $158 it’s ridiculous value considering you can drink for free for 6 hours, with selected beer, wine and sangria on offer.
That’s the kind of deal I would have had them re-thinking twenty years ago as a young man, but one that I couldn’t put a dent in it today. Seriously, two shots of whisky now and I’m hungover, whereas back in the day, I got up in the morning and kept going. Sweet Lord, did I really used to drink in the shower??
Location: Sofitel Macau
Part club, part bar, part restaurant, Sky 21 takes up the penthouse floor of the AIA building close to Grand Emperor and San Ma Lo.
The club usually needs a cover charge while the bar is free and often empty. It’s more a local hangout without much expat action, so I wouldn’t pay it much mind. The restaurant does get good reviews though.
Location: AIA Building
Divinos is an upscale gentleman’s club featuring provocative pole dancing on the floor and private lap dances in the back room. Not exactly a strip club because the performers don’t get fully naked on stage, but it’s not far away from being one either. Lap dances start from $500 HKD on up, which is patently ridiculous but such is the market for imported Western talent in Macau. Expect to pay a premium on drinks too, either for yourself or the dancers, who don’t mind joining your table if the price is right. The club really only pulls a serious crowd on weekends, so adjust your expectations accordingly if you go some other time.
Location: AIA Building