Although Macau is a often thought of as a day-trip destination, multiple days are needed to properly explore this multifaceted spot. Macau’s history and culture runs deeper than its mega-casinos. Here is a 3-day itinerary for experiencing colonialism’s quirkiest outpost.
Day 1: Historic City
Spend your first day in Macau diving into the city’s history and heritage. Start with a guided tour of the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Portuguese and Chinese influences are evident in both art and architecture. Climb the steps to the ruined façade of St. Paul’s Church, duck into the incense-filled A-Ma Temple, or tour the old walls of Monte Fort, built to protect the city from invading Dutch forces. Pay a visit to the Macau Museum inside the fort to learn more about the area’s Chinese and European cultural heritage. Continue the historic theme by booking tickets to a modern retelling of Journey to the West, called Monkey King – China Show, at the Sands Cotai.
Day 2: Modern Macau
You’ve explored Macau’s past. Today is about its present. Start with a visit to Macau Tower, the city’s tallest skyscraper and a popular attraction. Take in the views from the observation deck, or step outside for a Skywalk, tower climb, or the world’s highest commercial bungee jump. Spend some free time in the afternoon visiting Macau’s glitzy casinos, getting hands-on at the Macau Science Center, or escaping the heat in the Underground Amusement Center. Once the sun sets, make your way to the City of Dreams casino for Cirque du Soleil-style show, The House of the Dancing Water.
Day 3: Hong Kong
Visitors to Macau are within day trip distance of two cities. The most popular option is Hong Kong, a short ferry ride away. There’s something for everyone in the giant metropolis, including Hong Kong Disneyland for families. On the mainland China side, visitors can day trip to Shenzhen, popular for its shopping. For either Hong Kong or mainland China, plan for a full day, ending at a local restaurant.