If you happen to be visiting Hong Kong, you must make a trip to Macau. Although they are very near to each other, they share a completely different vibe. Unless you are keen on gambling, a day trip is enough for you to get around Macau and visit their attractions. As Macau was previously a Portuguese colony, you can easily discover traces of how the Portuguese culture is presented in the city. Here we have put together a one-day itinerary for couples who are intending to spend a day exploring Macau.
*Do note that Macau has its own currency known as Macanese pataca or MOP. You are able to use both the local currency as well as Hong Kong dollars in Macau. Make sure you use MOP as much as you can when in Macau because once you get back to Hong Kong, you will not be able to use them.
Getting to Macau from Hong Kong via a ferry is the most popular option, which takes about an hour. Save time by consuming your breakfast on the ferry since you are allowed to bring food and beverages along or purchasing them on the ferry. You can buy your tickets at the ferry terminal on the day itself but we encourage you to book early. Be reminded to bring your passport along as you are considered leaving the country.
1st Stop: Explore the Fisherman’s Wharf
The Fisherman’s Wharf is just a walking distance away from the Macau Ferry Terminal. It is made up of a few sections which portray different characteristics. Take lots of photos together with the surroundings such as the Tang-style Chinese towers as well as the Roman amphitheater which is similar to Rome’s Colosseum.
2nd stop: Marvel at the beautiful architecture of Senado Square
At the centre of Macau lies the Senado Square where all major festival in the city takes places. As a UNESCO Heritage Site, there are many old European-style buildings in the area and you can take the chance to visit important ones such as the St Dominic’s Church. This stop is about a 10-minute car ride away from the ferry terminal so it makes a good place to visit as your first stop.
3rd stop: Snap a picture together with the Ruins of St. Paul’s
Like Senado Square, the Ruins of St. Paul’s is also a UNESCO Heritage Site. Located less than 10 minutes’ walk away from the Senado Square, this attraction is undoubtedly the most iconic landmark of Macau; you can’t say that you have visited Macau if you have not seen the Ruins of St. Pauls! It was once one of the biggest churches in Asia but what is left of it now is only its beautiful façade after a fire. Check out the nearby Fortaleza do Monte which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4th stop: Have an overview of Macau from the Macau Tower
If you are a daredevil, take the chance and go for a bungee-jump for a dose of adrenaline rush. At 233m, the Macau Tower holds the Guinness World Record for offering the highest bungee jump in the world. It will be the jump of your lifetime, but do note that it costs about USD499 per person. If bungee-jumping is not your thing, you can also visit the observation feck for a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.
5th Stop: Michelin Fine Dining with a view at Robuchon au Dome
This will be a romantic lunch date to remember. Book your lunch appointment for a gastronomic experience with Robuchon au Dome by Joel Robuchon. It is located in the dome of the eye-catching building of Grand Lisboa Hotel and offers a fantastic view of Macau. We recommend going for their 4-course lunch set menu which is very affordable for a 3-michelin starred restaurant.
6th Stop: Discover the traditional side of Macau at Taipa Village
The streets of Taipa Village are vibrant and colourful. There are many pastel-coloured buildings and street art which is great for taking some couple shots with your partner. You should also enjoy some local street food such as curry fish balls and their famous pork chop buns from the shops along the alleys. Most importantly, make sure you get your hands on everyone’s favourite Portuguese tarts. Look out for Lord Stow’s Bakery which is the place to get these delicious pastries from. Have them hot while you make your way around the village! This is also where you can probably get some good souvenirs as there are many shops that sell Macanese snacks. We recommend getting some crumbly almond cookies!
7th Stop: The House of Dancing Water in the City of Dreams Casino
There are many shows available around Macau, and the “House of Dancing Water” is the largest water show in the world that takes place in the City of Dreams Casino every day. This spectacular show is incredibly popular and sells out rather quickly, so we advise you to reserve your tickets early to avoid disappointment. We recommend going for the earlier 5 pm slot so you can have your dinner without having to rush later.
8th Stop: Local Portuguese food for dinner
You cannot leave Macau without having some Portuguese cuisine. There are plenty around but we highly recommend A Lorcha. They serve delicious and authentic fare in good portions, and their service is great too. As it is rather popular restaurant, it is best to book in advance.
Have Serradura for dessert
Serradurra, also known as sawdust pudding, is a popular Portuguese dessert which is simple yet delicious. It can be put together using just a few ingredients – namely heavy cream, biscuit crumbs, vanilla extract and condensed milk, and served cold.
After tasting this sweet delight, you will want to learn how to make it at home for your partner and yourself to reminisce about your holiday in Macau.
If you have time after that, it is a good idea to take a stroll around the area or make your way to the Macau Ferry Terminal for your trip back to Hong Kong.