Because of Macau’s compact size, you can visit all of its greatest hits in a single day, if you were so inclined. If you don’t know where to begin, you can swing by most of the region’s must-see attractions by booking a Macau package tour. To get an idea of what to expect in the Las Vegas of Asia, check out our sample one-day itinerary below.
Morning: Take in a Macanese breakfast and explore the Historic Centre of Macau
Macau’s food is a good representation of the region’s multicultural background, as it blends elements of Cantonese and Portuguese cuisines together into a delicious fusion of flavors.
A prime example of a uniquely Macanese creation is Tai Lei Loi Kei’s pork chop bun, which combines a tender and juicy steak with flaky Portugese buns. Not only is it a local favorite, but it’s also been lauded by famous chef Anthony Bourdain as “[a] product of genius”. Because of the sandwich’s rising popularity, this humble restaurant in Taipa Village has opened several more branches to address the growing demand. You can now get this famous pork chop bun at Venetian Macao’s food court, or a few steps away from Macau’s most famous landmark, the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
This once grand church situated atop a hill used to be known as the Vatican of the Far East. Though only the façade remains, it continues to be a popular spot for photographs as it’s considered one of Macau’s most treasured icons. If you’re interested in learning more about Macau’s religious history, you can nip into the Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt located in the inner area of the ruins. This museum houses various historical artifacts from Macau’s different churches and convents as well as four sacred paintings. Once you’re done, you can head over to the Macau Museum to the east of the ruins. Its 2,100 square metres of exhibition space is dedicated to the preservation of Macau’s history and cultural heritage. There are currently three permanent exhibits, with guided tours available in Mandarin, Cantonese and English.
From the Ruins, it’s a roughly eight minute walk down to the meticulously preserved Senado Square, home to Macau’s most important historical building, Leal Senado. You can marvel at the architecture while sampling almond cookies, durian ice cream, and bak kwa (Chinese pork jerky.) You can also explore the narrow streets and alleyways at your leisure before hopping onto a bus to Taipa for lunch
Noon: Cross over to Taipa Village for a Michelin-approved meal
For one of the best lunches in the heart of Taipa Village, try out António. This charming Portuguese restaurant’s delicious offerings has secured it a spot in the Hong Kong/Macau Michelin Guide since 2009. As a result, Antonio’s has become a veritable tourist hot spot with long wait times, so it’s best to book a reservation ahead of time.
Fortunately, there are also plenty of other noteworthy restaurants in the area that you can check out. One such establishment is If you don’t wish to call ahead and are looking for more informal dining options, don’t be afraid to check out the rest of the area. The Blissful Carrot, a vegetarian café and bakery that offers raw and gluten-free options. Another notable restaurant is Goa Nights, a tapas-style establishment that serves quality Indian food. If you want to try authentic Macanese dishes, try out Restaurante Litoral Taipa’s minchi and saffron pork. For a scrumptious dessert, we recommend grabbing a box of Lord Stow’s Bakery’s Portuguese egg tarts.
To walk off your meal, try strolling through the cobbled streets of Taipa Village. This walkable district showcases the best of Macau’s multicultural heritage, evident in its cobbled streets, traditional architecture, and its diverse variety of dining options. If it’s too hot to go for a stroll, you can step into admission-free attractions such as the Taipa Village Art Space, which showcases the work of both local and international artists. You can also pop into the Museum of Taipa and Coloane History, housed in a gorgeous mint green 1920s-era administration building.
Night: Try Your Luck at the Cotai Strip’s Casinos
Once the sun has set, it’s time to visit Cotai. Dubbed the Monte Carlo of the East, Cotai is made up of 5.2 square kilometers’ worth of reclaimed land between the islands of Taipa and Coloane in Macau. All this was established for the sole purpose of creating a tourism and gambling area in a region where land s scarce
In fact, Cotai houses the largest casino in the world. The strip’s crown jewel, The Venetian Macao, is t a 980,000 square meters, 39-story behemoth where you could spend an entire night shopping or trying your luck at the tables. If you’re in the mood to, watch a show, though, head on over to its next-door neighbor, the Cotai Arena. This is a popular concert venue that can seat fifteen thousand people, and often showcases the biggest mainstream Western and Asian acts.
If you only have enough time to see a single show on the Cotai Strip, though, we recommend heading to the City of Dreams complex just across the street. There, you can watch the world’s biggest water show, The House of Dancing Water. You can watch the stage transform from a 3.7 million gallon pool of water to a solid platform before your very eyes. This 90-minute show is performed by a cast of over 80 actors, including circus artists, acrobats, gymnasts, divers and dancers. Due to the show’s popularity, tickets sell out quickly, so it’s best to line up early.
To cap off your evening, you can head into one of Cotai’s many bars or lounges to relax. McSorley’s Ale House at the Venetian offers a solid working-class Irish pub experience, while the City of Dreams’ Club Cubic is always a good choice for a celebratory night out.
Whether you’re visiting for its cuisine, its history, or simply for a great night out, you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy in Macau. If you’ve got even a day to spare, make sure not to miss these go-to destinations so you can make the most of your trip!