Did you know that it’s possible to enjoy Macau in 24 hours? If you included a quick day trip to Macau in your Hong Kong itinerary and have no idea what to do and see in this Asian destination – then I got you covered! Keep on reading this Macau travel guide for a comprehensive list of activities and top tourist attractions in Macau for first-timers! The best part is they’re mostly CHEAP or FREE!
⚠️ IMPORTANT REMINDER: Postpone, don’t cancel! Let’s save the tourism industry. Some information in this post may have changed due to the pandemic and it might affect your travel plans. Always be a responsible traveler and keep yourself updated by reading COVID-19 advice from your local authorities and in your point of destination/s before traveling. You can go ahead and take inspiration from this post, bookmark it, or save it on your Pinterest travel board for future reference.
Macau, also commonly known as “Las Vegas of Asia” due to its many giant casinos, is one of the two special administrative regions (SAR) of China, the other being Hong Kong. These two regions are very accessible from one another by land, air, or ferry (TIP: take the ferry as it’s the most common way to get to Macau from Hong Kong).
Even though it’s technically a part of China, you will be amazed by the diverse cultures in Macau. It’s a Portuguese territory until 1999, thus many things like their cuisine and architecture reflect it.
It’s an incredible place to visit and worth the trip even if you are only spending less than a day. I have been to Macau twice already. On my first trip there, I spent 4 days. Then on my latest Macau trip back in July 2019, I was only there for less than 24 hours (I added it to my Hong Kong trip on a whim just cos I wanted to revisit Macau).
TIP: Book your TurboJet Ferry Tickets for Hong Kong and Macau via Klook for discounts! I had a great experience when I bought my tickets from them.
Traveling to Macau doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet. In fact, there are a lot of cheap and free things you can do! Are you excited to find out what you can do in Macau in 24 hours? Let’s get started!
Cheap & Free Things To Do in Macau in 24 Hours
Stroll around Senado Square
Macau’s town square called Senado Square is a popular venue for public events and celebrations. It’s part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site.
Since Macau was one of the former colonies of Portugal it’s just natural to see some Portuguese traces. One of those is the Portuguese-style mosaic flooring in Senado Square.
It is also surrounded by beautiful pastel-colored buildings that are neoclassical in style.
You’re FREE to roam around Senado Square and it’s the best place to people watch and to appreciate the interesting “east meets west” atmosphere that Macau has to offer.
📍 Looking for directions to Senado Square? Open Google Maps
Try Portuguese egg tarts
Don’t miss out on this must-try food in Macau! Many shops sell egg tarts so they’re not really hard to find – what is hard though is to stop eating them. They’re insanely delicious and I think I finished three (or four? Who knows? 🤷🏻♀️ LOL!) all by myself!
So it was like – Ohh egg tarts, I’ll order. *walks around* Ohh another egg tart seller… lemme get one. And the cycle continues. HAHA! Just typing this makes me crave their flaky pastry crusts and mouthwatering egg custard centers topped with burnt creme brulee. YUM!
Try to find a branch of Lord Stow’s Bakery – they’re said to be the pioneer of Portuguese egg tarts in Macau. Margaret Cafe é Nata and Koi Kei Bakery are also two famous egg tart shops in Macau.
Price of egg tarts in Macau is approximately MOP 9 (PHP 54) per piece.
Be amazed by the Ruins of St. Paul
Located within the vicinity of Senado Square is the Ruins of St. Paul — one of Macau’s most popular landmarks today and among the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World. Many tourists flock this famous historical structure to see up close the remains of a beautiful old church.
At one point, this church was considered as one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia. However, it was destroyed by a fire in 1835.
The intricately designed stone facade has since been restored and the leaning structure is secured with concrete and steel for everyone’s safety.
TIP: Make sure to bring an umbrella to keep yourself protected from the sun or rain when you visit the Ruins of St. Paul. And have fun taking photos from different angles.
📌 Don’t have time to read everything now? No worries! Pin this ‘Guide to Macau in 24 hours’ for later!
Experience Venice City in the Venetian Macao
Experience the Venetian lifestyle in this luxury hotel and casino resort called the Venetian Macao. It’s among the top casino-hotels that you must visit when in Macau. So definitely include this in your “Macau in 24 hours itinerary”.
So what makes it unique? This gigantic hotel and casino complex also has a shopping mall inside which will remind you of Venice. Complete with cobblestone flooring, ceiling painting resembling an afternoon sky, and of course, gondola rides in a manmade canal. You can ride the gondola (for a minimal fee) and sail down the scenic canals of Venetian Macau while being serenaded by the boatman.
TIP: Book your Gondola Ride at The Venetian Macau via Klook to avail a discount.
Even if you will not buy anything (although it’s quite tempting to go window shopping as they have a lot of luxury designer brands), you can just stroll around and enjoy the “Venetian vibe” at no extra cost.
As mentioned earlier, Macau is dubbed as the “Las Vegas of Asia”. There are plenty of casinos in Macau you can visit – the popular ones are the Grand Lisboa, the Venetian Casino, the Wynn, and MGM.
You don’t even have to gamble to enter these casinos – entrance is absolutely FREE! Some casinos even offer FREE bottled water or juice even if you’re not playing.
If you can stay until late at night, do so. These casinos come to life at night with their extravagant lights and decors.
Don’t miss out on the FREE fountain show when you stopover at the Wynn! It’s an enchanting exhibition of water, fire, and light all dancing to the music.
💸 BUDGET TRAVEL TIP: Take advantage of the FREE shuttle services of these luxurious casino hotels. You can roam around Macau with little transportation cost!
Sample meat jerky
Meat jerky is sold all over Macau. They are basically dried meat that has a savory-sweet taste and is marinated with spices, salt, sugar, and soy sauce. You will commonly see beef and pork jerky, but other exotic meats such as ostrich and boar are also available in Macau.
Price starts at around MOP 69 (PHP 419) per pound and can go higher depending on what flavor and what type of meat you choose. They make great souvenirs to take back home.
I realized I didn’t have any photos of the meat jerky so here’s a video I got from Youtube.
It’s FREE to sample them. So take as you please. There are a lot of meat jerky vendors who will follow you around and shove samples to your face so might as well grab them. They’re delicious and I enjoyed munching them while walking around Senado Square.
Visit the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf
The Macau Fisherman’s Wharf prides itself as the first theme park in Macau. It is also the largest leisure themed complex comprising of an integrated waterfront, hotel, convention, dining, retail, and entertainment facilities.
Here you can find different themed areas such as the popular and arguably the most photographed spot in this side of Macau — the Roman Amphitheater. This replica of the Colosseum in Rome is a sight to behold!
Other multicultural architectures you can find in Macau Fisherman’s Wharf are inspired by the Italian Riviera, Amsterdam canals, New Orleans, Cape Town, medieval England, Lisbon buildings, and Spanish colonial houses.
Oh, and did I mention that you can enjoy all these wonderful sceneries for FREE? Yes, the entrance fee is FREE in Macau Fisherman’s Wharf!
However, if you’re pressed for time (staying in Macau in 24 hours or less), you can skip this! Somehow I felt that something is missing here. I find it boring, to say the least. Perhaps you can take quick photo-ops and then leave — good thing it’s just a 10-minute walk from the Macau Ferry Terminal.
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!
Have you been to Macau before? How long did you stay? Did you also spend just a day in Macau? Do you plan to visit Macau in the future? Are there any Macau travel tips you want to share?
So there you have it! A Macau day trip can be a little bitin to fully experience what this place has to offer. If you can do 3 or 4 days, the better. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Macau in 24 hours.
You just have to spend your time wisely, plan accordingly, and choose which sights you truly want to see once you’re in Macau in 24 hours. Remember, you don’t have to see everything all at once. Savor the moment and appreciate it. 💙
💡 PRO TIP: Learn more travel tips in this Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Trip In 8 Easy Steps! I covered the basics of planning a trip and also included the tried and tested websites and apps I normally use to score cheap deals.
Oh wow! Macau looks like a great place to visit. I’ve only ever heard of it in passing. I had no idea it was so full of things to do.
I’ve always wanted to visit Macau. I saw it on a travel show once, and it jumped to the top of my travel bucket list.
I love the vibe of Macau. It looks like an amazing place to explore. It’s equal parts excitement and appreciation of culture.
So awesome! Macao wasn’t really on my radar until now. I will have to add it to my bucket list. So many awesome things to see and do there.
Macau isn’t a place I knew anything about, but your review makes it look like a can’t miss excursion when visiting Hong Kong! I found it really interesting to see the Chinese characters along with Spanish on the signs.
I love this post – It’s great to see that travelling on a budget is possible, especially as there are free things to do! I’m glad you had an amazing time, I’d love to visit Macau one day
Em | http://www.loveemblog.com
I didn’t know that Macau is the Las Vegas of Asia! Now that is a trivia! As a catholic, I would love to see the Ruins of St. Paul! It resembles the catholic churches in the Philippines, too!
It is always great to discover new places to visit. Macau sounds like the perfect place for some nice vacations with a lot of fun things to do
I have been to Hong Kong 3 times but I have never been to Macau. Planning to visit Macau next year. Will keep all of these in mind!
Bookmarked for my next travels! I love articles sharing tips for free and fun activities. Sooo kind and generous. Love your photos, too, esp at St. Paul’s!
Macau is definitely a place that’s on my bucket list! I would love to be able to go there one day and see it all for myself.
We were supposed to be in Hongkong and Macau last March, but it was cancelled because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I added a day tour in Macau on our itinerary because I heard there are really cheap things to do in Macau.
I love how honest you were about the Wharf. So many blogs try and paint everything in a positive light, but I’m like you and I prefer it that way – tell it like it is! Thanks for all these free ideas, though 🙂
This looks amazing! I would love to go to the Ruins of St. Paul or Fisherman’s Wharf.
I did Macau in less than 24 hours too! I went via Hong Kong and it was so fun! It’s one of my favorite quick stops. I love Venetian Macao too.
Nnniiiccceeeee….I would love to sample meat jerky! Anything “meat”, you got my full attention.
Hi Hazel! Wow that’s a lot of things to do in Macau for 24 looong hours. Some of these things are familiar to me kasi my boyff keeps on telling me about it. Yung replica ng grand venice canal sa manila lang talaga napuntahan ko. HAHAHA I am definitely visiting Macau someday. 😀
So many interesting places! I wish I did not live so far away but maybe I will be able to visit one day. Thanks for all these great tips, all the places look amazing and the food looks delicious.
I loved my trip to Macau and was so surprised with how much it reminded me of Vegas. I honestly hadn’t done any research before I went. But I had a friend living in Hong Kong who suggested we take a trip to Macau. We saw one of the shows there and it was incredible!
Oh I really want to go here! I was in HK last year and we almost went! It looks like so much fun
Oh my – I didn’t know there were so many things to do in Macau! Never even considered it as a tourist destination to be honest, but your photos are making me feel differently. How comfortable is traveling around? (Can definitely feel the Portuguese influence!)
We did this last year and I wrote a blog about my visit to Macau as well. We went to all of the places you mentioned and I loved the colorful way you wrote about them. It’s like I’m back there with my cousins chasing down egg tarts! Too bad we didn’t get to visit the Fisherman’s Wharf tho!!
Oh really..? Im amazed.. One of our travel goals.. I look forward visiting all the places mentioned..
I love finding 24 hour itineraries as I love to see as many places as possible! Macau looks so fun. Thanks for sharing this unique location!
My family and I are always in Hong Kong, but only my parents go to Macau since they say it’ll be boring for us anyway cause it’s just full of casinos. But seeing your post, I really wanna go huhu 🙁
waah sobrang bet ko mag macau. during my last HK visit when my sis was still working in hongkong disneyland, we were supposedly going to macau. kaso nagkasakit kami, me my mom and coco. nakakaloka! we were just sleeping the whole day. pero kinaya namang mag nyongping village nun afternoon. sana maka visit din kami jan when the time comes na pwede na uli
Hello Hazel! First of all, I love the important notice pinned on top! Yes, we should just postpone and not cancel. Grabe, the tourism industry is suffering big time. I’m not saying others aren’t but if people won’t help each other out in saving it, we might go back to the 1980s where flights cost a fortune! I don’t want that to happen 🙁
Anyway, I love your photos and how you edit them, ang cute!!!! Even if nakailang silip na ako sa HK, I never saw Macau pa pero parang nagutom ako doon sa egg tart hah! Hahaha
Last year kami nagpunta sa Macau, di kami nakapunta sa Macau Fisherman’s Wharf at di namin tinry tikman yung meat jerky. Pero yung egg tart talaga ang sarap, kulang nga nabili ko pasalubong na egg tart kasi nagustuhan nila.
I really love your pictures! They are so lovely and gave justice to the beauty of Macau. Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic list of what to do in Macau. I hope I get to visit here after the quarantine.
Macau is always nice place to visit, and just a boat ride from Hong Kong. I will always comeback to Macau, more peaceful than Hong Kong.
Macau is beautiful but you made it even more exciting to visit because of this blog post. The scenic places are amazing, I would love to try Portuguese egg tarts. It looks so good and nakaka-curious yung taste.
The layout of this blogpost is super engaging, so I enjoy that! I’ve visited Macau for a day so your post really brought back some nostalgia. My friend and I went to eat in a restaurant and had the spiciest noodles known to man. Good times.
Never been here but I just wanted to share that one of the main things I remember seeing in the movie skyfall (i think) is the floating lanterns. It was shot in Macao that made me want to see in person. Haha! You got great pictures here.
Interesting read. I like how to liken it to Las Vegas. It paints a clear picture.
I’ve been to Hong Kong four times but haven’t got the chance to take the ferry to Macau. Next time I will make sure we will. It is such an interesting place. The Ruins of St. Paul is definitely a must-see!
Great pictures makes me one to start planning for travels. I have never been to Macau looks beautiful.
Looks like you had a fab trip and there clearly is so much to see and do. thanks for the virtual travel inspiration x
This is a wonderful guide. I love all of these affordable options while traveling to Macau.
Doing a sidetrip to Macau has always been a non negotiable whenever I travel to Hong Kong. It’s such a quaint and action packed place, filled with lots of good food and wonderful cultural remnants. I used to do day trip the first 2-3 times but on the last one I decided to do an overnight stay with family and we absolutely loved it! Shopping and food galore of course.
I have been to Macau a couple of times but only for short stops or quick business meetings. We never really had a chance to stay overnight but yes, I can say that there are a lot of things to do even during the short visit such a sightseeing at the Ruins of St. Paul and a gondola ride at the Venetian Macau.
Honestly I would never associate the words free nor cheap with Macau but maybe that’s just because everyone goes and loses all their money gambling. How funny is that little Venice, sky and all!!
I haven’t been to Macau but LOVE seeing all the fun things to do for free/cheap at any location. Usually the best way to see a city!
Oh, I’d love to see Macau. What a great post! There’s so much to do in 24hrs there, and cheap! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
I’m amazed that your photo of Venice city looks so similar to the Venice mall we have in BGC, haha!
I love this blog, we’re thinking of checking out macau with the kids one day, perhaps a side trip from HK.
Sayang di kami nakapunta dito nung nagpunta kami sa Hong Kong, di rin applicable kasi may mga bata kaming kasama. Dami pa naman free na pwede gawin or puntahan. Next time na lang siguro 🙂
I would love to visit Macau. I’m not a big gambler but I would definitely like to visit the Venetian Macao. It looks gorgeous!
OMG this is so concise and interesting to read. I know of Macau’s Portuguese history and casinos and that’s it…but I never knew of all these attractions! And yes, the egg tarts – pasteis de nata – are so addictive, you can have them as a balanced diet all day lol. I especially would like to see Fisherman’s Wharf with replicas of European sights. I wonder how those look. Great post!
wow! I never knew anything about it. Macau seamed interesting for me because of the views but I never knew there is much history about it
Yes I like how it’s a mix of Chinese and Portuguese! 😍 Food are so yummy too!
Oh wow, it looks like there are some truly beautiful sights to see in Macau! I don’t like casinos, but I’d probably go see one for a few minutes or so, but other than that, I’d mostly spend my time wondering around all these other places you listed and trying the foods you mentioned! Everything looks so dreamy here 😍
Yes the casinos are totally optional but nice to visit a few ones in Macau. 😂 I remember 10 years ago when I first visited Macau I was amazed by the casinos being that was the first time I also entered one. Lol!
Some great ideas right here and best of all they are free. Would love to visit Macau one day. With these tips, I’m sure to have a great time.
I am IN LOVE with all of the incredible architecture here. I have always had a love for the different styles of buildings around the world. I would be able to occupy quite a bit of time just walking up and down the streets, quite honestly. That being said, there are a few options listed here that I would definitely have to add to my planned itinerary!
This brings back such good memories of my visits to Macao 🙂 I also went twice, once for the day and once for a few nights. I would love to go again!
Oh wow that’s great – that’s what happened to me too! I definitely want to visit again. 🙂
This looks like an amazing place to visit. Macao looks stunning and Sedado Square would be a fab place to visit. I miss travelling x
I hope you can visit Macau someday! 🙂
This looks like such a fun day trip! I love all the fun little European looking site. Those egg tarts look so tasty too!
If one has endless money you could never be bored. There are just so many amazing places across the globe that we can go and visit. This looks amazing!!!
Haha yes that’s somehow true about never being bored if you have endless money! And if you have limited budget you can get creative on the other hand to strech out your money further. Lol!
So many amazing things to do! Definitely adding these all to my bucket list!
Hi, Jessica! Thanks for dropping by! 🙂
I was so excited to see someone writing about Macau. A friend was just telling me how it needed to be on my bucket list 🙂
I know it’s not really the most popular Asian destination but it’s worth a visit! I hope you can see Macau someday! 💙