Who I am as a traveler, I prefer a good mix of culture and history, food and shopping, as well as being a little touristy. I’m also decently traveled, and though not willing to spend a ton of money on hotels, I’m open to spending on new experiences and adventures.
Unless you’re into gambling and depending on your interest, you can do Macau in one full day including staying a night. From my experience, this can be accomplished at a pretty leisurely pace too. You can walk the historical quarter and see the sights within a few hours time so how long you spend in Macau really comes down to how much you want to explore and gamble in their world famous casinos.
First off Macau is quite small, it’s about the 10th of the size of Hong Kong, so it doesn’t take long for one to walk the core center of the city. Macau draws travelers over because of the Portuguese-inspired Chinese food, the historic city, the European-inspired architecture, the little bit of shopping it offers, and of course, gambling in one of the dozens of casinos.
In less than one full day, I was able to explore the following historical sites and attractions, sample some local cuisine, and gamble for a good chunk of the evening. Included in my one day itinerary was:
- Walked the Monte Forte/Fortaleza do Monte (30 mins)
- Took photos at The ruins of the Church of St. Paul (20 mins)
- Walked Senado Square (20 mins)
- Had delicious egg custard tarts from Margaret’s Cafe e Nata
- Toured St. Dominic’s Church (10 mins)
- Gamble at Grand Lisboa (5 hours)
- Ate African Chicken at Cafe Litoral (2 hours)
- Snacked on street food from Kam Wai Beef Offal
- Walked around the interior of the Mandarin’s House (20 mins)
- Getting started on Red Flush Online Casino
- Explored some of the neighborhoods (25 mins)
And these are all the more memorable things I did in Macau. Again, all of the above was done at a leisurely pace. We arrived at 4:15PM on Thursday afternoon and departed on a 2PM TurboJet ferry the following day. I think another few hours to further explore Taipa and go to the The New Yaohan Department Store would have been nice, but felt good about boarding the ferry when we did.
If you’re in Macau to get a sample of what the city has to offer, this will do. I wouldn’t argue with anyone that wanted to catch a later ferry. However I would rather spend time exploring,shopping in HK, and gambling on Red Flush Online Casino than investing more time in Macau. Nothing against Macau, it’s what it is. It’s a day trip.
Then again, you can always play it by ear with Macau as it’a a short ferry ride back. If you have the flexibility, plan for 3 days and 2 nights. If you change your mind; it’s easy to get a ferry back over to Hong Kong.