Macau is a beautiful city with diverse civilization and has a lot of entertainment sources. The city has a diverse culture because of its colonial past. Macau has a lot of Portuguese influence on its architecture, culture, and more. It’s among one of the safest cities for travelers. Macau is an autonomous region on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong.
A Portuguese territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of cultural influences which makes the Macau trip very interesting. Its giant casinos and malls on the Cotai Strip, which joins the islands of Taipa and Coloane, have earned it the nickname, “Las Vegas of Asia.” One of its more striking landmarks is the tall Macau Tower, with sweeping city views. The city’s attractions include churches, architectural sites, European style senado square, science center, museums along with some of the world’s best casinos at hotels like The Venetian Macao, Studio City, The Galaxy Hotel and more.
How to Reach to Macau?
Macau has direct flights from Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and other countries. In addition, Macau has their own airlines, they mostly fly regional flights. So, if you live in China, you can get direct domestic flights. Otherwise, second best path is to go to Hong Kong and take a bus or ferry to Macau. You can get Macau buses from Hongkong port, and it takes about 45 minutes for the trip.
If you want to visit the northern most sides of Macau, taking a domestic flight would be a wise choice as the airport is located in the eastern side of Taipa. The modern facilities, and amenities along with natural attractions will make your Macau trip worthy.
1 Day in Macau Trip Itinerary
The one-day Macau trip itinerary can be packed with exploring the city’s unique blend of Portuguese and Chinese cultures, its historic sites, and its vibrant atmosphere. Here’s a suggested itinerary for a day in Macau:
Start with Breakfast: Begin your day with a traditional Macanese breakfast or dim sum at a local eatery. Look for places that serve “dim sum,” a variety of delicious steamed and fried dumplings.
Senado Square (Largo do Senado): After breakfast, head to Senado Square, which is the heart of the historic center of Macau. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great place to start your exploration. You can admire the beautiful Portuguese-style buildings, take photos, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
Ruins of St. Paul’s: Just a short walk from Senado Square, you’ll find the iconic Ruins of St. Paul’s. This 17th-century church façade is one of Macau’s most famous landmarks. Take your time to explore and learn about its history.
Macau Museum: To delve deeper into Macau’s history and culture, visit the Macau Museum, located on Mount Fortress. The museum offers insightful exhibits and panoramic views of the city from its rooftop.
Lunch: Enjoy a delicious Macanese or Portuguese meal at a local restaurant. You can try dishes like bacalhau (salted codfish) or African chicken.
A-Ma Temple: Head to the A-Ma Temple, one of Macau’s oldest and most revered temples. It’s dedicated to the goddess of seafarers and offers a tranquil atmosphere amidst the bustling city.
Macau Tower: For some breathtaking panoramic views, visit the Macau Tower. You can take an elevator to the observation deck or even try the thrilling Skywalk or Bungee Jump if you’re feeling adventurous.
Dinner: Enjoy a seafood dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants along the Macau waterfront. The city is known for its fresh seafood dishes.
The Venetian Macao: Wrap up your day with a visit to The Venetian Macao, one of the world’s largest casinos and entertainment complexes. Even if you’re not into gambling, you can explore the Grand Canal Shoppes, take a gondola ride, or catch a live performance.
Cotai Strip: Stroll along the Cotai Strip, known for its dazzling lights and entertainment options. You might find live music, street performances, or other events happening in the area, and it can be a fun addition to your Macau trip.
Please note that Macau has a lot to offer, and these itinerary covers some of the highlights. Adjust the schedule based on your interests and the opening hours of attractions. Also, be prepared for a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated throughout the day.
The Best Things to Do with One Day in Macau:
Explore The Macau Historic Center
In a city that is now essentially Chinese, stepping into the Macau Historic Center is a fascinating glimpse at the old Portuguese history that the peninsula has. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, the Historic Center is a collection of over 20 locations that showcase the co-existence of the two distinct cultures.
Some of the best highlights include the A-Ma Temple, which was built in 1488; the happening Senado Square; the gorgeous Monte Forte, which watches over the city; and the impressive Ruins of St. Paul. But with so many different places to explore inside the Macau Historic Center, you could easily spend your entire day wandering between the ancient sites and forget about all the other things to do in Macau.
Do The World’s Highest Bungy Jump with AJ Hackett Macau Tower
Who would have thought that one of the best (and, as it turns out, the biggest) adrenaline activities in the world would be located right in the heart of Macau? 61 stories up and 233 meters above the ground, the legendary adventure tour operators, AJ Hackett Macau Tower, have turned this gambling Mecca into the latest and greatest destination for thrill seekers! If you are looking to tick off that number one item from your bucket list, you need to check out the world’s highest bungy jump—one of the most exhilarating experiences imaginable.
While not exactly a budget activity (the Macau bungy jump price is pretty high), it really is something that you should save just a little bit longer for so you can take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Hands down one of the best things to do in Macau!
Hot Tip: If the idea of jumping off a building with a giant elastic band strapped to your feet doesn’t sound appealing or is a bit out of your budget, AJ Hackett Macau Tower also offers a number of other activities, such as the Skywalk, Skyjump, and Tower Walk.
Macau Fisherman’s Wharf
If you are looking for a bit of fun in Macau, you can always head to the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf. A large entertainment complex right near the Hong Kong-Macau ferry pier, the place is full of restaurants, cafes, and retail stores. It opened at the end of 2006 and was designed after a bunch of similar seaports in Cape Town and Amsterdam. And if you want to spend a bit of money, you can’t miss the theme park in your Macau trip.
Eat All the Street Food
With its eclectic mix of Portuguese and Chinese cultures, the culinary delights that have evolved in Macau are extraordinary! From egg tarts to beef jerky to dried fish, it is way too easy to just snack your way through the city! There are some world-class international restaurants that have opened up around the peninsula, but if you are traveling on a budget, it is easy to find a cheap bite to eat as well. You may leave town a bit heavier than when you arrived.
Hot tip – On Rua Do Cunha, stores hand out free samples of cookies, jerky, and other items to pedestrians. You can simply walk up and down the street collecting these samples until you are full. Enjoy!
Get Lost in The Casinos
Going all the way to Macau and at least not looking at a casino would be like going to New York City and skipping the Statue of Liberty. Macau hosts some of the most luxurious and intricately designed gambling halls that can be found anywhere, and luckily for us, they are all free to visit!
There is no requirement to actually gamble or spend any money inside them, meaning you can wander through and check out mainland Chinese tourists throwing down thousands (and thousands) of dollars in single bets, or admire the extravagant decorations. Even if this isn’t really your idea of some great things to do in Macau, it’s still worth checking out the $2.4 billion Venetian (the largest casino in the world), which has had the famous canals of Venice reconstructed throughout the entire building. Even the roof is painted like a perfect blue sky, giving the illusion of daylight at all hours. A surreal scene.
Hot tip – Most of the casinos have free buses that run between the ferry terminal, the airport, and the other casinos. You do not need to be staying at or gambling at any of them to use their service. Hooray for free transport!
Head To Macau’s Beach
Yep, that’s right – the beach. The most popular option, Hac Sa (Black Sands) Beach on Coloane Island, isn’t exactly world class, but if you have been craving some beach time after a long stint in China or just love the feeling of sand beneath your toes, consider heading out to the coast for your one day in Macau. Despite the name, the government has filled the beach with yellow sand to prevent erosion, and as a result, it is much more picturesque than it once was.
Hot Tip – You can camp for free on Hac Sa Beach. There are cafes and bathroom facilities close by, meaning the only thing you need to bring with you is a tent! A perfect alternative to the expensive accommodation options in the city. Make your Macau trip special within budget.
Sun Yat Sen Park, Macau
Sun Yat-sen Park in Macau is a massive urban park spread out over 17 acres in the northern part of the island which you must visit during your Macau trip for the amazing natural beauty. There are a lot of things to do in Sun Yat-sen Park if you are simply looking to walk around. Check out the Feng Shui Forest, the open-air theater, and the old gate that used to mark the official entrance to Macau.
Where to Stay in Makau?
Macau offers a wide range of accommodations to suit various budgets and preferences. Here are some popular hotels and types of accommodations in Macau:
Luxury Hotels and Resorts:
The Venetian Macao: This massive resort and casino complex on the Cotai Strip is known for its luxurious rooms, indoor canals, and gondola rides. It’s one of the largest hotels in the world.
The Parisian Macao: Designed to resemble the Eiffel Tower, this upscale resort offers elegant rooms, a variety of dining options, and a shopping mall.
City of Dreams: Home to several hotels, including the Grand Hyatt Macau and Hard Rock Hotel, City of Dreams is a popular entertainment and dining destination.
Wynn Palace: Wynn Palace offers opulent accommodations with a focus on luxury and elegance. It features a stunning water fountain show.
MGM Cotai: Part of the MGM Resorts International brand, this hotel offers contemporary luxury with a range of dining and entertainment options.
Holiday Inn Macau: Located in the heart of the city, this hotel provides comfortable rooms and easy access to cultural attractions.
Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central: A mid-range option on the Cotai Strip, this hotel offers modern amenities and convenient access to shopping and entertainment.
Budget-Friendly Hotels and Guesthouses:
Hotel Sintra: Situated in the Macau Peninsula, Hotel Sintra offers affordable rooms with easy access to the historic district.
Best Western Hotel Sun Sun: Located in the heart of the city, this budget-friendly hotel provides comfortable accommodations for travelers on a tighter budget.
Hostels and Guesthouses: Macau also has several hostels and guesthouses that cater to backpackers and budget-conscious travelers.
Coloane Village Guesthouses: In Coloane Village, you can find charming guesthouses and boutique accommodations with a more local and traditional feel.
Hac Sa Beach Camping: For a unique experience, consider camping at Hac Sa Beach on Coloane Island. It offers a different perspective of Macau and its natural beauty.
When booking accommodations in Macau, consider factors like location, your budget, and the type of experience you want. Additionally, keep in mind that prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year, so it’s a good idea to book well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons or major events.
What to Eat in Makau?
Macanese cuisine is a delightful fusion of Chinese and Portuguese flavors, with influences from other Asian and African cuisines. When visiting Macau, be sure to try some of these iconic dishes and snacks:
Portuguese Egg Tarts (Pastéis de Nata): These creamy, flaky pastries with caramelized tops are a must-try. Lord Stow’s Bakery in Coloane is famous for its delicious egg tarts.
Bacalhau à Bras: This Portuguese dish features salted codfish cooked with scrambled eggs, onions, and straw fries. It’s a flavorful and hearty option.
African Chicken: A Macanese specialty, African chicken is chicken cooked in a rich, spicy peanut sauce. It’s a unique and flavorful dish.
Minchi: Minchi is a minced meat dish (usually beef or pork) stir-fried with diced potatoes, onions, and spices, often topped with a fried egg. It’s a comfort food favorite in Macau.
Pork Chop Bun: This simple but delicious sandwich consists of a crispy pork chop served in a bun. You can find it at various street stalls and eateries.
Serradura: Serradura, also known as sawdust pudding, is a popular dessert made with layers of crumbled biscuits and sweet whipped cream.
Curry Crab: Crab cooked in a flavorful curry sauce is a signature dish in Macau, and it’s a must-try for seafood lovers.
Tacho: Tacho is a traditional Macanese stew made with a variety of meats (pork, chicken, and sausage) and vegetables, simmered in a savory sauce.
Shrimp Roe Noodles: These noodles are served with a rich sauce made from shrimp roe, giving them a unique flavor and color.
Caldo Verde: A Portuguese soup made with kale, potatoes, onions, and slices of chouriço (sausage). It’s hearty and comforting.
Almond Cookies: Macau is known for its almond cookies, which make for a delicious souvenir to bring back home.
Street Food: Explore Macau’s vibrant street food scene, where you can try items like fish balls, beef jerky, and various dumplings from street vendors.
Dim Sum: While not strictly Macanese, you can’t visit Macau without indulging in some delicious dim sum. Look for local dim sum restaurants for a taste of these bite-sized delights.
Seafood: Being a coastal city, Macau offers an abundance of fresh seafood dishes. Try dishes like garlic prawns, black pepper crab, or salt and pepper squid at seafood restaurants along the waterfront.
Milk Tea: Macau has its version of Hong Kong-style milk tea, which is strong and sweetened. It’s a popular beverage to accompany your meals.
Exploring Macanese cuisine is an essential part of experiencing the unique culture of this special administrative region. Be adventurous and savor the diverse flavors Macau has to offer.
Budget for Macau: 1 Day Itinerary
Creating a budget for a one-day trip to Macau will depend on various factors, including your travel style, preferences, and whether you plan to engage in activities like gambling or high-end shopping. Here’s a rough estimate for a budget-friendly one-day itinerary in Macau for one person:
Ferry from Hong Kong (round trip): Approximately $50 – $60 USD.
Local transportation (buses, Light Rail Transit): $10 – $15 USD.
If you’re visiting just for the day, you won’t need overnight accommodations. However, if you decide to stay overnight, budget hotels and guesthouses can start at around $50 – $100 USD per night.
Breakfast: $5 – $10 USD at a local eatery or cafe.
Lunch: $15 – $25 USD for a mid-range restaurant or local street food.
Dinner: $20 – $40 USD for a mid-range restaurant or local seafood dining.
Attractions and Activities:
Entrance fees to museums and attractions: $10 – $30 USD, depending on which places you visit.
Optional activities like visiting Macau Tower or taking part in entertainment experiences may cost extra.
Souvenirs and incidentals: $10 – $20 USD.
Keep in mind that these are approximate estimates, and actual costs can vary based on your choices. Macau can be an expensive destination, especially if you plan to indulge in fine dining, shopping, or gambling. Adjust your budget accordingly based on your preferences and spending habits.
Additionally, it’s wise to have some extra cash or a credit card with you in case of unexpected expenses or emergencies. Be aware of currency exchange rates if you’re not using Macau Patacas (MOP) or Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) for transactions. Lastly, always check the latest prices and availability for transportation, attractions, and meals, as prices may have changed by the passage of time.
FAQ about Macau Trip:
Is Macau Expensive to Visit?
Like Hong Kong Macau isn’t an expensive city. The hotels can cost $70 to $140 per night for a single room. And, for a 7-day trip the approximate cost of a traveler is around $200 to $250 per day.
Do Macau Casinos Stay Open 24 Hours?
Macau casinos typically operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Macau is known as the “Las Vegas of Asia” and is a major hub for gambling and tourism. The casinos in Macau cater to visitors from all around the world and often remain open around the clock to accommodate the varying schedules and preferences of their customers.
Where is Macau Located?
Macau is a special administrative region of China located on the southern coast of the country. It is situated on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, bordering Guangdong Province to the north and facing the South China Sea to the south and east.
Is There Any Specific Macau Travel Policy?
Valid passports with free pages required for entry stamp, tourist visa, and vaccination certification should be carried by the travelers. Other than that, there is no specific travel documentation required for Macau.