The Best Time to Visit Macao

Macao buliding and the Grand Lisboa hotel on an overcast day
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The best time to visit Macao is mid-fall to early winter (October to December). Cool, clear weather with lots of sunshine and little rain await you on its autumnal shores. Late spring, summer, and early fall in Macao can be quite oppressive because of the heat, humidity, and abundance of rain. There are exciting events taking place in Macao year-round with some highlights being the mid-autumn lantern festival and the Macau Grand Prix.

The Weather in Macao

Macao has a subtropical climate and weather known to change instantly. The average annual temperature is about 72 degrees F (20 degrees C).

Winters are cold and sunny; spring is foggy and warm; summers are just plain hot; and fall is cool and clear. The wet season runs from May to August, the dry from November to January, and the hot, muggy season from June to September. Given its location on the ocean, Macao can have intense humidity (sometimes 95 percent). Despite the sometimes inclement weather, most months have pleasant days to be outside.

Popular Events and Festivals

Macao’s melting pot culture mixes Chinese and Portuguese heritage with local Macanese culture. Holidays center around ancient Chinese festivals, Catholic holy days, and Macanese folklore. Regardless of their origins, eating each holiday's food, like Mid-Autumn Festival's mooncakes or Easters' folar da pascoa (egg cake), is a defining part of each festivity.

Major international sports events are big celebrations here. The most famous, the Macau Grand Prix, welcomes hundreds of thousands of spectators. The Macao International Dragon Boat Races and FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League competition also draw sizeable crowds.

Typhoon Season in Macao

Typhoons are tropical cyclones that occur from May to September (and sometimes October) in Macao. They can be quite mild, but can also cause intense damage. Rebook your travel if a strong typhoon is on its way. Should there be one while you are there, stay indoors and away from the windows. Check with the Hong Kong Observatory’s forecast for the most up-to-date information. Have plenty of water and food on hand to wait out the storm, and if possible, fully charge devices before the storm hits. For more tips, check with your hotel for their safety recommendations.

January

Expect blustery, cold, clear days and lots of sunshine. January is the coldest month of the year, but it's a mild cold with temps even reaching into the mid-60s Fahrenheit.

Events to check out:

  • The Macao Fringe Fest hosts local and international artists showcasing theater, performance art, installations, murder mystery tours, and more.

February

Still fairly dry, expect little rain and strong winds. The temperatures are on par with January.

Events to check out:

  • Chinese New Year, a lunar holiday, falls in January or February, depending on the year. See Macau Tower’s dazzling fireworks show, watch multiple parades, and observe locals praying for good fortune at A-Ma Temple.

March

March is foggy, has the least amount of sunshine all year, and cold winds at the beginning of the month. The days continue to get longer, with up to 12 hours of daylight.

Events to check out:

  • Experience a unique Macanese celebration on the first day of Lent by following the Procession of the Passion of Our Lord. A big Jesus statue is hoisted by participants and carried from St. Augustine’s Church to the Macau Cathedral.

April

While there can be beautiful sunny days with blue skies, expect plenty of cloudy days, fog, and even black rain. Temperatures heat up, staying between the high 60s and high 70s Fahrenheit (20 to 26 degrees C).

Event to check out:

  • During Easter, go to a mass at one of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed churches in Macao or see the Macao Orchestra’s Easter Concert at the baroque St. Dominic’s Church.
  • The A-Ma Festival and Feast of Pak Tai are two separate events honoring the deities A-Ma, the goddess of fishermen and sailors, and Pak Tai, the Taoist god of the north. Cantonese opera, lion dances, and other rituals can be observed at the A-Ma Temple and Pak Tai Temple respectively.

May

Half the month experiences heavy rain. Yet with the rains come even more sunshine on pleasant days, more hours of daylight, and higher temperatures, making clear days perfect for beach swimming.

Events to check out:

  • The Feast of the Drunken Dragon brings together fishmongers at Kwan Tai Temple. True to the name, participants get drunk and grab brightly painted wooden dragon heads and tails. They proceed to dance through the city, passing out “longevity rice.”

June

Expect more of everything: rain, heat, and humidity.

Events to check out:

  • The Dragon Boat Festival, one of the most lively Chinese holidays, falls in June. International dragon boat teams from over 10 different countries race at Nam Van Lake Nautical Center.

July

The hottest month in Macao, July averages a temperature of 85 degrees F (29.5 degrees C). Expect extremely muggy weather, with occasional sea winds bringing respite. Weather can flip flop easily, accounting for this month being the sunniest of the year as well as one of the wettest.

Events to check out:

  • July is the best time to experience Macao’s indoor and air-conditioned entertainment (the last part being key). See a show, like the aquatic, acrobatic House of Dancing Water or gamble at one of its more than 40 casinos.

August

Rainstorms are frequent but less so than in July. The ocean water is warmest this month, making beach swimming a must. Check weather reports frequently though, as this is the height of typhoon season.

Events to check out:

  • See professional women's volleyball matches in the FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League competition. Hosting teams from 16 different countries, they bump, serve, and spike their way to the title over a three-day competition.
  • The Feast of Hungry Ghosts (or Ghost Festival) takes place throughout the month when many believe the doors of the afterlife are thrown open. Locals burn joss sticks and “hell money,” and set out offerings of food for wandering ghosts.

September

Expect warm days, cooled by northern winds. The humidity also begins to lower, and each day experiences a solid 12 hours of sunlight. The weeks prior to the Mid-Autumn Festival are about the only time you can get discounted hotel rates all year.

Events to check out:

  • Light a lantern on the beach and let it go, or chow down on mooncakes during Mid-Autumn Festival.
  • See dazzling displays of fireworks for an entire week at the Macao International Fireworks Display Contest.

October

Winds begin to pick up and the peninsula experiences a strong breeze from now until mid-March. Rains dissipate even more, and the temperature becomes much more comfortable from 72 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 27 degrees Celsius).

Events to check out:

November

Cool days, little rain, and a significant drop in humidity make November an ideal time to visit Macao.

Event to check out:

  • Formula Three enthusiasts flock to the Macau Grand Prix, a major international racing event for both cars and motorcycles, and one of the toughest racing circuits in the world.

December

Nights become cool and the air dry. Expect a mixture of warm and cold days. There's less sunshine, but the Macao citizens make up for it with extravagant Christmas lights.

Events to check out:

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