The other side of the 5 top gambling cities in the world – part 2

Welcome back to the Online Casino review ‘The other side of the top 5 gambling cities in the world’. In part 1 we had a look at London and Paris. In part 2 we going to head over to Macau, Monte Carlo and Las Vegas!

While these famous gambling cities have nowhere near the extensive history and cultural background of London and Paris, we still found some pretty cool stuff to do when you’re taking a break from the casino gambling – and that doesn’t mean we hit the online casinos!

Macau, Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China

Macau is a city built on gambling and lives up to its nicknames of ‘the gambling capital of the world’, ‘Las Vegas of the East’ and ‘Monte Carlo of the Orient’. It is home to some of the most luxurious casinos on the planet including the Venetian Macau, the world’s 2nd largest casino and 7th largest building by floor space – 546,000 square feet! Most of the entertainment options in Macau are centred around the casinos, but the city does have quite a cultural history.


There are a number of museums in Macau that cater to followers of history and art including Taipa Village, a quaint and nostalgic reminder of Macau’s past where you can walk the twisty streets and take in the views of colonial churches side-by-side with ancient Chinese temples.

For those of a more seafaring bent, the Maritime Museum is a must-visit.

But the two most interesting museums in Macau must be the Grand Prix Museum and the Wine Museum.

The Ruins of St. Paul’s

One of Macau’s most famous landmarks is the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral. This impressive cathedral complex was built in the 16th century and burnt to the ground in 1835 leaving behind only the ornate façade. It is one of the most photographed locations in Macau.

Don’t be square

St. Paul’s overlooks the world famous Senado Square, a stunning symbol of the marriage of Eastern and Western cultures that epitomises Macau. Pastel-coloured neo-classical architecture, Portuguese-style mosaic floors, historical shops and cafés, awesome food and a sense of tranquillity offset by the decorations of whatever festival is currently being celebrated make Senado Square a magical and photogenic place to visit.

A taste of Macau

While there is a delicious history of cuisine in Macau, and a host of world-class restaurants offering fine dining in the casinos, any visitor to this melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures absolutely has to try the street food. From pork buns to pastel de nata, from tacho to cappela, Maccanese cuisine is a fusion of the very best – and tastiest – that both worlds have to offer.

Let go and fly

Gambling is not the only thrilling, risk-taking activity on offer in Macau. For those truly fearless adventurers, the Macau Tower offers the Guinness Book of Records-certified highest bungee jump in the world – 233m of terrifying free fall!

For the less crazy there are also SkyJump and Skywalk activities available.

Yes, the casinos

The casino do offer more than just gambling with tons of entertainment options. Even just walking through them can be an eye-opener. The 546,000 square feet of floor space dedicated to the art of gambling at the Venetian Macau for example. Or the lobby of the Grand Emperor Hotel & Casino with its floor that is tile with gold bricks – yes, REAL GOLD BRICKS in illuminated display cases! Interesting fact: the Emperor is owned by Jackie Chan.

Grand Emperor Hotel & Casino

Splash out

The House of Dancing Water is the biggest water show in the world. The show is 90-minute, high-energy extravaganza featuring mind-blowing stunts and incredible acrobats, dancers, divers, actors and motorcyclists.

All on a giant stage that regularly changes from a solid floor to a massive performance pool and back!

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monte Carlo. The poster city for the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And thanks to countless movies, the ultimate destination for opulent casino life. Which is weird when you consider that there are only four casinos in the city – Casino Le Café de Paris, Sun Casino, Monte Carlo Bay Casino and, of course, the world famous Casino de Monte Carlo.

Attractions outside the casino are pretty much in line with a Mediterranean tourist town, although at a pricing level that will make your eyes water. It’s really not surprising though, because Monte Carlo is a whole 0.30km2 in size. In a country (more accurately, a principality) that has a total area of 2.1km2 – that’s smaller than Central Park in New York. Want some more interesting facts about Monaco?

  • One policeman for every 100 citizens
  • 1 in 3 people living there is a millionaire
  • Second highest GDP per capita in the world
  • Zero poverty rate
  • Citizens of Monaco – a country famous for its casinos – are FORBIDDEN BY LAW FROM GAMBLING!

So, what do you do in Monte Carlo when the opulence of the casinos becomes too much?

5 top gambling cities in the world Grand Casino Monte Carlo

Pretend to be royalty

Take a tour through the Palais du Prince, a breath-taking palace in the style of Louis XIV and the home of the world’s oldest monarchy, the Grimaldi family.

The palace is still home to the Grimaldis and when they’re not in residence you can take a look at just how the blue bloods live with a tour through the throne room, stately rooms and chambers and even the private State Apartments.

And no, even if you hit the biggest jackpot ever at the Casino de Monte Carlo, you will never be able to afford this lifestyle!

See below the sea

The Oceanographic Museum is the biggest and best museum in Monte Carlo and brings the wonders of the ocean to every visitor. It features state-of-the-art aquariums, displays, exhibitions and games that are a delight for all ages and quite educational in terms of making the plight of our oceans a reality.

Get divine inspiration

There are a few churches that are worth your time, especially the Sainte-Devoté Chapel and Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Apart from the sense of serenity that these beautiful buildings bring, the exquisite architecture is a great reason to visit all by itself.

Any port in a storm

The only sight more iconic than the Casino de Monte Carlo is the view of the mega-rich’s luxury mega-yachts. Take a walk down the Port de la Condamine, grab a treat at the Condamine Market and take in the spectacular view of both the Med and the absolutely ridiculous amount of wealth some people seem to have.

A golden oldie

While Monaco is packed with ultra-expensive properties, you can still get a feel for the history of the Principality with a visit to Old Town – known locally as Le Roche (The Rock). Here you will find winding alleyways and gorgeous views with the Mediterranean Sea on three sides,

Something different

Monte Carlo is also the venue for one of the greatest motor-sporting events on the calendar – the Monaco F1 Grand Prix.

If you want to take in all the sights of Monte Carlo, from the yacht basin to the Casino de Monte Carlo, you could do in the ultimate player style by renting a Ferrari and driving the same streets that the race is held on.

5 top gambling cities in the world Monaco Grand Prix

Or, if you prefer a more scenic, laid back and classy experience, why not rent a classic sports car and drive the twisting roads up into the mountains with the top down.

Las Vegas, USA

Sin City. The ultimate casino city. The Strip. The MGM Grand. The Bellagio. Neon lights and 24 hour non-stop action. Mobsters and movie stars. And instant millionaires.

When you think of gambling, you think of Las Vegas. When you hear the word ‘slots’ you picture the banks of machines in Las Vegas. When someone talks about the World Series of Poker, you know it’s got to be happening in Las Vegas.

But what else happens in this city of vice and victory? Do we ever see or hear anything other than gambling and glitzy showgirls?

Well, Las Vegas offers way more than just casinos. There are a multitude of bars, nightclubs and world-class restaurants that come with a city that has a great food and drink culture. But it’s the unusual, and unlooked for, attractions that really got the OCR teams packing their bags.

When you don’t give a dam

Take a tour of the Hoover Dam, the second tallest dam in the United States, and see the ingenuity of man holding back the power of nature. This monstrous (and dizzying) edifice holds the largest reservoir of water in America at 28.9 million acre-feet of water (approximately 9,392,500,000,000 gallons of water!).

Interesting fact: 112 people died during the construction of the Hoover Dam. The first fatality was surveyor John. G. Tierney on December 20, 1922. The last fatality was Patrick Tierney on December 20, 1935 – John G. Tierney’s son!

Electric Boogaloo

For a more ‘illuminating’ experience, a visit to the Neon Museum is sure to light you up. This museum is dedicated to all the old neon signs and marquees from old Vegas casinos, restaurants, bars and other businesses.

Try get their at night for the full effect and make sure to see ‘Brilliant’, a light, video and music display that brings the magic of these lights to life – without a single one being plugged in.

5 top gambling cities in the world Neon Museum Las Vegas

I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse

The Godfather quote above aside, the Mob Museum is definitely something you should put on your Vegas bucket list. Housed in a restored 1930’s courthouse, the Mob Museum is an interesting – and sometimes frightening – look at organised crime from old Las Vegas to the modern international cartels. It houses some amazing artifacts and the interactive displays really show how Vegas was built and how the influence of organised crime has spread around the world.

Is there a Tommy in the house?

For fans of flashing lights and sound effects the Pinball Hall of Fame is a must-visit. Housing over 200 vintage pinball games, all playable for a quarter (that’s 25c in American currency), it’s an incredible journey back to simpler times. Did you know that pinball was once deemed more morally harmful than gambling?

Get yo’ freak on

In a city built on hedonism it comes as no surprise that there would be museums dedicated to the pleasures of the flesh and the sights that accompany them. Las Vegas also has two really scintillating museums in the Burlesque Museum and the Erotic Heritage Museum. Make no mistake, these are not peep shows or strip joints, they are actually quite serious tributes to the art that lies behind these subjects.

5 top gambling cities in the world Burlesque Museum Las Vegas

Our bags are packed!

While the OCR team is passionate about gambling, especially online gambling and online casinos, there comes a time when you need to step away from the screens and go see what the big wide world has to offer. And these five cities really put on a show.

Our personal favourites and definitely on our bucket lists: London and Paris just for the culture and history and insane amounts of things to do and see. Although we’d all like to see those gold ingot tiles in Macau. And take a drive along the French Riviera in a classic soft top Rolls Royce. And maybe hit some of the weirder spots in Vegas like the Burlesque Museum – for educational purposes of course.

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