ItineraryMacauTravel

Beyond Betting Tables: Your 4-Day Macau Itinerary

Not sure how to plan a visit to Macau without gambling? The tiny city may be known as the ‘Gambling capital of the world’, but if you’re looking for an authentic Macanese experience, then here’s a Macau 4-day itinerary we created just for you! Hold on, why does it take 4 days to see it all? That’s right. We guarantee you’ll be surprised by the rich history and unique hybrid of Eastern and Western culture that the city holds if you make it decide to make it more than a typical weekend getaway.

So what’s Macau beyond the betting table? Being one of the earliest Asian cities that are under western colonization, Macau has deep Chinese roots with an apparent 300-year European influence.

The bizarre mix of Latin and Chinese culture is visible everywhere in their architectures, spoken languages, local customs, and cuisines. Prepare a feast for your senses and follow this itinerary that takes you to see both historical and modern aspects of Macau!

4D3N Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrive at Macau → Shop around New Lisboa / Wynn Macau & Lunch → Senado Square & Ruins of St. Paul’s & Dinner

The first day in Macau is all about seeing those landmarks that Macau is most known for: the fancy casino hotels and Ruins of St. Paul’s, duh!  

First Stop: Grand Lisboa / Wynn Macau Hotel

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Greet the unmistakable lotus-shaped skyscraper, Grand Lisboa, along with other 5-star casinos such as Wynn Macau Hotels and MGM Macau, showing their charms with extravagant exterior and interior design.

Although the appearances of these three hotels are not as magnificent as those at Cotai Strip, you get the same lavish vibe as you walk in—dazzling chandeliers everywhere, fine dining, spas, and the fanciest show performances you can possibly think of. Plus, the only 3-star Michelin Restaurant is right inside Grand Lisboa, offering exquisite French cuisine for you while you get a taste of Macau’s luxurious casino culture.

Second Stop: Senado Square & Ruins of St. Paul’s

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After lunch, head to Senado Square and Ruins of St. Paul’s, the two most iconic historical landmark of Macau which utterly reflect the architecture blend of East and West. Senado Square is right on the way to Ruins of St. Paul’s and always crammed with camera-clickers, for  good reason. It’s a funnel-shaped square with wavy black and white paving, surrounded by Western neoclassical buildings such as Macau Post and Holy House of Mercy.

Ruins of St. Paul’s and the stone stairs in front, on the other hand, are the old remains of St. Paul’s Church built in early 17th century but was then burnt down in 1835. Closely observe on the church facade relieves of traditional Christian symbols like doves, angels, and devils blending harmonically with Chinese symbols such as peonies and dancing lions.

Pro-tip: Be spontaneous and explore some hidden valleys around the area. Make sure to scope out “Travessa da Paixão”, an 80-year-old walk-only pathway that has appeared in plenty of movies and TV series.

  • Address: Largo do Senado, Macau (Senado Square) / Calcada de São Paulo (Ruins of St. Paul’s)
  • Transportation: Take bus no. 3 or 33 to bus stop “Almeida Ribeiro / Rua Mercadores”

Day 2: Taipa Village & Brunch → Casas – Museu da Taipa → Cotai Strip → The House of Dancing Water

First Stop: Taipa Village & Brunch

Image via Flickr│Ming-yen Hsu

Time to cross the bridge and hop to Taipa, an island which used to host small fishing villages, then has also rendered with colonial culture and now has also developed new Las Vegas—Cotai!

One of the top highlights here is the Taipa village, an old Macau area that seems stuck in the past. Perhaps you’d even think that you have traveled through time and space to historical streets in Portugal! Get lost in a cluster of dreamy and colorful characteristic buildings, try out some Macanese delicacies or souvenir stores scattered around the cobbled streets, and treat yourself with a satisfying brunch in a cha chaan teng.

Pro-tip: For non-tacky souvenirs, check out Cunha Bazaar, a bright yellow and fun-looking building which sells handmade crafts from local artists!

  • Address: Around Rua do Cunha
  • Transportation: Take bus no. 11, 15, 22, 28A, 30, 33 or 34 to bus stop “Rua Do Cunha”

Second Stop: Casas – Museu da Taipa (Taipa Houses – Museum)

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For a glimpse of Portuguese families’ lives in Macau back in first half of 20th century, pay a visit at Taipa Houses – Museum. Painted in a Tiffany green color, the architecture represents a typical Portuguese style architecture. Browse through different rooms exhibiting mixed Western and Eastern style pieces of furniture, and several historical documents to understand local life back in the old days.

    • Address: Avenida da Praia, Macau
    • Transportation: 5-minute walk from Taipa Village, or take bus no. 11, 15, 22, 28A, 30, 33, or 34 to bus stop “Carmo Swimming Pool”
    • Opening Time: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00am – 6:00pm, closed on Monday
    • Entrance Fee: MOP$5, free entrance for visitors under 10 or over 65 / Free entrance on Sunday

Third Stop: Cotai Strip

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Needless to say, your trip won’t be complete without a sneak peek at Cotai Strip, the largest man-made entertainment paradise in Asia. Featuring a full-scale reproduction of Venice’s St Mark’s Square, indoor rivers with gondolas, the Venetian Macao is the biggest casino on earth! Get some photos of its dazzling indoor design. Live like a “crazy rich Asian” as you shop, be serenaded by gondoliers, try your luck at one of the 3,400 slots machines, or rent a poolside cabana.

If you prefer to save some money instead, simply pay a short visit from one casino to the next along the hotel strip. For dinner, choose a hotel buffet to dig into tasty cuisine from different countries.

Fourth Stop: The House of Dancing Water

Image via Flickr│Wei-Te Wong

It’s time for a exciting and unforgettable show to fall in love with Macau! The House of Dancing Water in City of Dreams casino is a water-based extravaganza combining dazzling visual effects, acrobatics, an epic and touching love story, and a looooot of water (reminder: put on a raincoat if you’re sitting at the first row!).

Gasp with other audience as the acrobats fly over and flip freely into the deep swimming pool, with the mesmerizing dancing fountain and exhilarating soundtracks that keep you on the edge of your seat. To see the show, book in advance with KKday for discounted tickets!

Day 3: Praia de Hac Sá & Grilled Lunch → Coloane Village & Egg Tart → Macanese Cuisine

This day is all about taking your taste buds on an adventure as you venture south to Coloane! Macau in 2017 has become a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of gastronomy, and its Macanese cuisine is widely regarded as the “world’s first fusion gastronomy”. All of these titles simply mean that you must try ALL the food!

First Stop: Praia de Hac Sá

Image via Flickr│Aidan Mak

Praia de Hac Sá, meaning “black sand beach”, is a long sandy beach near Coloane Village. Famed for the clean black sands, it is a perfect relaxing place for picnics with loved ones, swimming sessions , or, most importantly…barbecues! Chow down on some honey-glazed pork barbecue by the beach and drink in the peaceful sea view.

    • Address: Estr. Nova de Hac Sa
    • Transportation: Take bus no. 15, 21A, 25, 26A to bus stop “Praia de Hac Sá”

Second Stop: Coloane Village

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After getting your full dose of “Vitamin Sea”, shake off beach sands from your clothes and shoes and head to Coloane Village. Similar to Taipa Village, it is a quaint old village that used to  shelter pirates. At present, it quietly keeps its beauty away from the modern casinos’ bustle. Take your time to walk around the pastel-colored buildings and narrow lanes. Oh, and remember to taste mouth-watering, warm and creamy egg tarts at the most famous Lord Stow’s Bakery!

    • Address: Around Rua do Caetano
    • Transportation: Take bus no. 15, 21A, 25 or 26A to bus stop “Coloane Village”

Third Stop: Macanese Food

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Coloane Village is the ideal spot to dig in some of the best Macanese food! It is a blend of Southern Chinese and Portuguese with exotic spices and ingredients brought by Portuguese sailors. The must-try? Galinha à Portuguesa, Bacalhau balls, and others recommended in our detailed Macau local food guide.

Recommended Restaurant: Restaurante Espaco Lisboa

  • Address: 8 R. das Gaivotas, Macau
  • Transportation: The restaurant is located in an alley next to Lord Stow’s Bakery. You can take bus no. 15, 21A, 25 or 26A to bus stop “Coloane Village”, then walk to the destination
  • Opening time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm, 6:30pm – 10:00pm

Day 4: A Ma Temple → Macau Fisherman’s Wharf → Airport & Home

First Stop: A Ma Temple

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Head back to the Macau Peninsula on the last day, and first pay a visit at A Ma Temple. It’s the oldest temple in the city built in 1488 and host goddess of the sea “Mazu” that protects the fishermen. There are 4 different pavilions dedicated to deities from Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and folk beliefs showcase the diversity of religious beliefs. See the wisps of white smoke from the traditional incense coils surround dedicated worshippers. You’ll be enchanted!

    • Address: Barra Square, Macau
    • Transportation: Take bus no. 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, or 26 to bus stop “Almirante Sergio / Praia Manduco”
    • Opening Time: 7:00am – 6:00pm

Second Stop: Macau Fisherman’s Wharf

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Finally, head to Macau Fisherman’s Wharf to wrap up your trip with a wonderful end. This entertainment complex is a miniature of everything in Macau—all kinds of European architectures, casinos, hotels, shopping, and dining facilities, you name it.

Not a lot of tourists come here, meaning you’ll have a bigger chance to get great selfies with the impressive replicas of the Roman Colosseum without being photobombed by others. Bonus: its makes for a lovely wedding photoshoot location too!

    • Address: Avenida da Amizade
    • Transportation: From A Ma Temple, take bus no. 28B, 10 or 10A to bus stop “Gonzaga Gomes / Auto-Silo Da Rua De Malaca”

What You Might Need for Your Trip in Macau:

All You Need to Know about Macau: