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.