Is the title a bold claim? Yes. Yes it is. But I think this one-day Macau tour can live up to it. You may think that one day isn’t enough to see all of Macau’s sights. You wouldn’t be wrong, exactly, but since Macau is mostly casinos, there’s really only enough non-gambling sightseeing to fill up a day or two. And since I already covered one day of Macau in my Hong Kong itinerary, there are only so many stones left unturned.
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How to Use This Macau Itinerary
Much like my other itineraries, this should be taken as more of a guideline than anything. I aim to provide accurate information for transportation along with my personal recommendations for lively and exciting places to visit. But you should feel free to put in attractions that cater to your interests and swap out anything that doesn’t appeal to you.
Touring the Island and the Peninsula
Macau is divided into two main parts: a peninsula and an island. The route I planned for this Macau tour is a bit different from the one I used when I visited last, starting at the airport instead of the Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal, but I’d say it works out pretty smoothly. Here’s a quick overview:
|1. Fly into Macau.||2. Explore the island.|
|3. Bus to the peninsula.||4. More sightseeing.|
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Macau Tour Transport Info
Until recently, public transportation in Macau has been pretty limited to just buses and taxis. A new railway system opened up in 2019, but don’t let that excite you too much. There’s still only one line – from Ocean Station to Taipa Ferry Terminal – so you won’t exactly be able to explore the city that way.
Airport Transportation Information
Options for getting from the airport are pretty straightforward:
- A lot of hotels offer a free shuttle from the airport (as well as most ferry terminals). These are really handy, but you want to check ahead of time to make sure that your hotel actually has such a shuttle.
- If that’s not an option, go with a taxi so you don’t have to lug your bags onto a bus. You’ll find them at the ferry terminal next door.
Looking at a map, you might not think that Macau is that big – just one little island and peninsula, right…? Sure, it’s not as big as Hong Kong, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with walking.
- Take a Bus: Buses charge a flat fare of 6 patacas (i.e., MOP, about 74 US cents) and go pretty much anywhere you’d need. Just make sure you have exact change.
- Take a Taxi: Since Macau isn’t too big, this is another great option. It starts at only MOP$19 (or US$2.35) and can go up depending on how far it is. Honestly, it’s worth it for the convenience and for not having to sweat out in the hot sun waiting for a bus. (The heat was insane when I visited. Can you tell?) There is a surcharge for luggage, but it’s only MOP$3.
- Rent a Car: This is another option, but honestly, I think it’s a pain to rent a car if you’re only going to stay for a day or two, and public transportation is decent enough that it’s not necessary.
- Take the Light Rail: As mentioned, there’s only one line, so it’s not too useful. But, hey, if you’re traveling in the northern part of the island – and only the northern part – it’ll do the trick. Tickets run from MOP$6-$10 for a one-way trip, so it’s both fast and cheap.
Where to Stay in Macau
For Macau, we stayed at the iconic Grand Lisboa. This place had some gorgeous rooms, plus a casino and a three-star Michelin restaurant. Did I mention the killer prices?
PHOTO CREDITS: GRAND LISBOA MACAU VIA HOTELS.COM
What You Don’t Want to Miss on a Macau Tour
I thought I’d try a slightly different format from usual to keep things more organized. Below, I’ve listed out some of my top recommended sightseeing that you can hit up in a single day Macau Tour.
Must-See #1: Macau Giant Panda Pavilion
Want to see a panda in person? This attraction isn’t well-known since it’s a bit out of the way, but that also means that the crowds won’t be too intense. The main features are the pandas – both giant pandas and red pandas – but it hosts a few other animals, too.
The pavilion is actually just a small part of the larger Macau zoo, so there’s a lot to see around here, but the pandas are definitely the main event.
- Why visit: Pandas. Need I say more?
- Helpful hint: I’d suggest asking your hotel’s front desk to call a taxi to get to the pavilion. Or, if you want a guided experience, consider booking a private tour that includes transportation to make things easier.
- Fun fact: The pandas are most active in the morning and around 2 pm – feeding time! (Go figure.)
Must-See #2: Venetian Macau Tour
Hop on bus 26A or 50 for your next stop. This place is one of the biggest buildings in the world, and not for nothing. It pretty much has it all: shopping, restaurants, street performers, a mini indoor replica of Italy, and even a freaking Venetian gondola you can ride on. How cool is that? I didn’t get to see it myself last time, but you better believe it’s on my to-do list for next time.
This makes for an especially good stop if you’re traveling with two or more people with different interests. Everyone is basically guaranteed to find something they like. Unless you’re allergic to the city. In which case, you might want to try your luck in the Taiwanese countryside instead.
- Why visit: Endless options for entertainment – something for everyone.
- Helpful hint: If you decide to stay in the hotel part of Venetian Macau, there’s a free hotel shuttle. Save your money where you can, I say!
- Fun fact: Even if it’s rainy outside, a beautifully painted sky will keep things sunny on the inside.
Must-See #3: A-Ma Temple
From the Venetian, board bus 11 or MT4 to cross over to the peninsula and get to A-Ma Temple. This is the oldest temple in Macau, built over 500 years ago.
- Why visit: History? Curiosity about other cultures? Ancient architecture? Take your pick – it’s got all that and more.
- Helpful hint: The temple is pretty big, but divided into six different sections to make for easier viewing.
- Fun fact: The name “Macau” actually comes from a misunderstanding connected with this temple. The Portuguese sailors asked the natives what the land was called, but they thought they were asking about the temple’s name. So they said, “A-Ma Gau.” Given the temple’s historic significance, though, it could’ve been worse.
Must-See #4: Macau Tower
Macau Tower is a short 12 minute ride away via bus 5. It’s perched right by the water and will give you an amazing view over the city and the water both. You can come at any time of day, but I’d recommend going in the evening so you can see the full glory of Macau at night.
- Why visit: Amazing views, and a shot at adventure for thrill-seekers out there.
- Helpful hint: If you want to go on the skywalk, where you hook yourself up to a safety harness and walk outside the tower, be sure to book ahead.
- Fun fact: If you’re the daredevil type, this tower has the world’s tallest bungee jump. Don’t expect to see me up there, though. I like to keep my lunch in my stomach, where it belongs.
Tired After Your Macau Tour? I Sure Hope Not!
That’s the end of this one-day Macau tour, but it’s not the end of my Macau series. I still have a ton more content planned out, and I hope you’ll stick around for it.
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