3 Days in Macau: Suggested Itineraries
By Viator, December 2013
Day 1: Macau Historic Centre and Macau Museum
Easily the largest draw for visitors to Macau outside of the casinos, the Macau Historic Centre boasts enough temples, ruins and pastel-colored colonial buildings to warrant an entire day of exploration. Collectively classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Macau Historic Centre is an epic walking tour introducing visitors to the unique cultural fusion of Portuguese and Chinese heritage through architecture, religion and artistic styles. Here in the Historic Centre it’s possible to burn incense inside of a 15th century Taoist temple and only minutes later stand on the steps of what was once the largest Christian church in all of Asia. Stand atop a stone fortress intended for protection in times of war, or peacefully relax with an afternoon coffee in Senado Square where groups of Macanese city dwellers have gathered for centuries. While walking among the cannons at Monte Fort or photographing the façade of St. Dominic’s church head over to the nearby Macau Museum for three levels of artifacts and information pertaining to the past, present and future of modern day Macau.
Day 2: Coloane, Taipa, and Venetian Macao (Cotai Strip)
Collectively known as the three “islands” of Macau, the islands of Coloane, Taipa and Cotai have recently been connected to create one single, large landmass. Nevertheless, all three islands have their own unique characters which easily take an entire day to understand. Start the day off with a morning walk on Coloane down Cheoc Van beach or amble among the streets of an authentic old fishing village. Enjoy a breakfast of Portuguese tarts in Coloane village before walking them off on one of the unpaved hiking trails which climb the hills of the former island. Once finished with Coloane head across the causeway to neighboring Taipa for some afternoon drinks and a few hands at the Taipa casinos before heading down to the center of the action: the infamous Cotai Strip. Modeled around the Las Vegas strip, Cotai is the glitzy home to what is officially the world’s largest casino: the Venetian Macao. Frighteningly lavish and superlative in size, the Venetian Macao is the largest single-standing building in Asia and the sixth largest building in the world when measured by volume. More than simply gaming, this 3,000 room hotel also houses the 15,000 seat CotaiArena where any number of the world’s top performers can frequently be found performing a live show.
Day 3: Luis de Camoes Grottos and Gardens, Macau Tower, House of Dancing Water show
After what was most likely a long night at the Venetian Macao, perhaps you’ll want to sleep-in a bit before enjoying a relaxing morning in Camoes Gardens, Macau’s largest park and a popular venue for locals to perform their morning exercise routines or walk their caged birds. If the Gardens are a bit too slow paced after a big night out, then paying a visit to the Macau Tower is sure to get the adrenaline running through the bloodstream again. The Tower offers inarguably the best view of the entire city and intrepid visitors can either ascend glass-fronted doors to the 58th floor observation deck, or if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, walk on the outside of the tower. At 61 floors up, the AJ Hackett SkyWalk awaits, where a vertical drop of 750 feet (228.6 meters) is within inches of your feet on both sides. With your energy jump-started by the dizzying heights of the SkyTower, head back down to Cotai again for an evening performance of the “House of Dancing Water” show at the City of Dreams Casino. The decadent counterpart to the Venetian Macao, the “House of Dancing Water” show incorporates a 3.7 million gallon pool, the size of five Olympic swimming pools, into an elaborate show already resplendent in state of the art lighting and hypnotic costumes. Easily one of the best shows offered on the Macau peninsula it makes perfect finale to a quick three day visit to Macau.