Back in April, we booked a super last minute 5-day trip to Hong Kong. Since it was so last minute, we didn’t have time to plan at all, but we knew Macau was going to be on the must do list. After all, we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the Las Vegas of the East! I’m sharing our 12 hour itinerary and top things to do in Macau!
11:00am: Get to ferry terminal for 12pm departure
Macau is only a 60-minute ferry ride away from Hong Kong. There are two major ferry operators TurboJET and CotaiJet. Depending on where you are located in Hong Kong, ferries leave about every 15-30 minutes and costs about $165 HKD roundtrip. However, the lines to buy tickets can get extremely long. To play it safe, buy your ferry tickets in advance online. We did this with TurboJET and it saved us so much time and guaranteed us a seat for the time slot we purchased for!
When preparing to go to Macau, you must bring your passport. We had to go through customs and security before even getting on the ferries, and then once again when departing Macau. To account for security and custom checks, be sure to get to the ferry terminal at least an hour ahead of your scheduled departure.
Tina’s Tip: I recommend not exchanging your Hong Kong (HKD) or US dollars (USD) for Macau currency. We thought we needed Macau Pataca (MOP) but most of the hotels we stopped by, like Venetian and Wynn, only accepted HKD or USD!
1:00pm: Arrive in Macau
Once we got to Macau, we walked out of the terminal area to where all the hotel shuttles are – the best thing is that they’re all free, even if you’re not staying at the hotel! We picked The Venetian Macao so that we could compare it to the US location, check out the Cotai Strip, and because it’s listed as one of the top things to do in Macau! The shuttle ride was also enjoyable since the views of the water and Macau’s incredible bridges were simply breathtaking.
1:30pm: Eat and Explore at The Venetian Macao
Arriving at The Venetian Macao, we were starving and grabbed some Portuguese food from the food court. I’m sure there are well-known Portuguese restaurants in the area, but I was way too hungry and the food court food was still delicious and legit!
After lunch, we explored the hotel. It was just as grand and fabulous as the one in the US. There was a gondola, beautiful architecture, designer shopping, and even public water shows!
3:00pm: See the Eiffel Tower at The Parisian Hotel
Next to The Venetian was The Parisian Hotel. They were giving away free tickets to visit the Eiffel Tower so we made our way up there. The tickets didn’t let us go all the way up to the Eiffel Tower but the view of Macau from the base was still pretty awesome. You can see that they also replicated the locks of love.
4:00pm: Walk from Senado Square to the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral
There’s a free shuttle from the City of Dreams that will take you to the Senado Square. However, there was a wait so we took a taxi, which was less than $10 USD!
Senado Square still has a huge Portuguese influence and I felt like I was transported out of Asia. We followed the pathway from Senado Square to the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is part of the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ruins is also on every list of top things to do in Macau! On the way, be sure to grab a Portuguese egg tart (they’re to die for!), almond cookies from Koi Kei Bakery, and pork or beef jerky! Don’t forget to check out some historic sites and shops too.
6:00pm: Hike up Monte Fort
After admiring the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, we noticed a lot of people were hiking up another pathway right next to the Ruins itself. Not knowing what it was, we followed the crowd like sheep. It ended up being the Monte Fort, another historic site in Macau. Despite the steep stairs, the 360-degree views of Macau were worth it. Tina’s Tip: Apparently there’s an escalator that takes you all the way up – definitely take this to save time and some sweating! 😉
7:00pm: Get your gambling on
We made it back to Senado Square and continued walking towards the hotels on this side of Macau. It was kind of a far walk, but we wanted to explore more. We got to see the Grand Lisboa, which has one of the most unusual building shapes I’ve ever seen! Then we made it to the Wynn Macau to roll some dice. We couldn’t leave the Las Vegas of the East without just a Tina bit of gambling! 😉
8:30pm: Leave for Hong Kong
We hopped on the Wynn shuttle back to the terminal, which took about 30 minutes. Security and customs were a lot quicker going back. We made it on our 10pm ferry with plenty of time to spare!
We got back to Hong Kong around 11pm and were exhausted from such a fun and packed day! There were a few things we didn’t get to see like the Fisherman’s Wharf, Taipa Village, and try a foodie restaurant. I think a full day in Macau is sufficient but if you love to gamble and shop, I would recommend staying in Macau for one night but no more than 2 days!
Have you been to Macau? Let me know what your favorite things to do in Macau are!
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