A day trip to Macau is a popular thing to do and a lot of travellers usually combined with it with their Hong Kong visit. Both countries are only an hour apart by ferry and easily accessible.
If you’ve never heard about Macau then you’re in for a treat. It’s considered the Las Vegas of Asia with all the major international casinos showcasing all their glitz and glam, free tourist attractions, and most importantly FREE shuttle bus services to and from the casino to the ferry terminal.
If you’re doing you travel on a budget then you’re in luck. Almost all of the major tourist attractions in Macau are accessible by first taking a free shuttle bus and then doing a little bit of walking.
THE LAYOUT OF MACAU
This country is divided by a river which represents the North and South (Taipa and Cotai area) of the country. If you’re here to check out all of the casinos, you’ll be mostly wandering around the South end of the city.
In the North is where the tourist attractions are such as the Ruins of St. Paul, the old city walls, Monte Fort, etc.
THINGS TO DO IN MACAU
1. Walk from Senado Square to the Ruins of St. Paul
Senado Square and the Ruins of St. Paul are the heart of old Macau and its most iconic attractions. They’re part of the Historic Centre of Macau which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many shops and restaurants in the area so apart from admiring the architecture, you can easily spend a few hours shopping and sampling all the delicious Macanese goodies. While you’re in the area, make sure to visit the Old City Walls and Monte Fort while you’re there.
2. Explore Taipa
Taipa is a charming village located south of the Macau Peninsula. There you’ll find Cunha Street (Rua do Cunha) and its many Chinese shops and restaurants. There’s an excellent Portuguese restaurant just off Rua do Cunha called A Petisqueira. This is a great place to try Portuguese favorites like bacalhau and fried clams. About a 5-minute walk from here is a complex of five colonial houses known as the Taipa Houses-Museum. On display there are various artefacts and exhibits from the Portuguese era.
3. Enjoy Coloane’s Old World Charm
Coloane is the southernmost part of Macau. It used to be its own island but it’s now physically connected to Taipa via reclaimed land which became Cotai. Away from the big casinos of Cotai and the peninsula, it’s a much quieter part of Macau and home to some lovely Portuguese houses and churches. Coloane is also where you’ll find the very first branch of Lord Stow’s Bakery, makers of what many believe to be Macau’s best Portuguese egg tarts.
4. Ride a Gondola at the Venetian
Riding a gondola in Venice is probably on most people’s bucket lists. If you haven’t found your way to Venice, then the next best thing would be to ride a gondola at the Venetian. Named after that iconic city in Italy, the Venetian is one of the most well-known casino hotels in Macau. It’s become famous for its network of canals within the hotel offering gondola rides powered by your own singing gondolier. I know, it isn’t quite the real thing, but it’s the next best thing till you make that trip to Italy. Gondola ride tickets are available at the Venetian.
5. Get an Adrenaline Rush from the Top of Macau Tower
Towering 338 meters (1,109 ft) above the ground, Macau Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks on the peninsula. Its 360° observation deck offers the best views of Macau, even allowing you to see all the way to Hong Kong! You can purchase tickets at the gate.
6. Catch a Show
Being the Las Vegas of Asia, you can expect to catch some pretty spectacular shows in Macau. One of the most popular is The House of Dancing Water at the City of Dreams. We haven’t seen it yet, but it’s said to be one of the world’s largest and most impressive pool-based performances.
7. Go Gambling
Macau is considered the Las Vegas of Asia so many tourists come here to do one thing — gamble. There are casinos everywhere in Macau and they’re every bit as impressive (or ostentatious, depending on how you look at it) as the ones in Sin City.
Before you go on your trip, make sure to protect yourself from the potential accidents that can happen during travel. Travel insurance is a must and it would be foolish to go without it.
World Nomad’s is the #1 insurance provider for backpackers because they allow you to extend, cancel, or even renew your policy wherever you are in the world! Created for travellers, by travellers.