Macau is the Las Vegas of Asia, a gambling mecca that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Many people plan to spend only a day or two in Macau as part of their travels around Asia.
But, that way, there is going to be a lot that you will not have time to see or do. Macau may be relatively small, but it is packed with high-quality attractions you will not want to miss.
Here is our guide for how to go about planning a week in Macau.
Arranging your trip to Macau
First and foremost, you need to set aside plenty of planning to arrange your trip to Macau.
While it is a part of China, you cannot assume your visa will suffice to get you into Macau. Due to the fact that Macau sets its own immigration rules, you may need separate documents.
An increasing number of people now choose to travel to Macau by air, with the airport handling a growing amount of flights. These are from within Asia, though, so if you are heading for Macau from further afield you will have to make a stop.
The boat is the traditional way to reach Macau and it is arguably the best too, due to the sights you get to see during the journey.
Those with plenty of cash to splash could even get a helicopter from the mainland to Macau, although this is expensive, as you would expect.
The Golden Ticket
Traveling around Macau
You will want to save your money for the many casinos, so it is just as well that you can quite easily travel around Macau for free.
Shuttle buses are available to take people between the big casinos and most of the other things you will want to see can be reached from this route.
In fact, Macau is so compact that many people opt to walk, although this can be a crowded way to get around as there will always be a lot of people doing the same.
There are some cycle rickshaws around too, which can be a novel way to get around Macau. Getting on one of them for a brief trip could be the best way to see the UNESCO World Heritage architecture that is dotted around Macau.
Choosing your casino
Of course, if you are going to Macau, the chances are you are going to want to make the most of its location as one of the gambling capitals of the world.
And there is plenty of choices, with a handful of massive super-casinos to try out. You could easily spend a whole day in each of them – if you are lucky enough at the tables, at least.
The Grand Lisboa is probably the most famous of the Macau casinos, so this can be a good place to start. As with all of the casinos, everything you need is within the building.
At 47 stories, the casino towers over the Macau skyline and this is where The Star of Stanley Ho is on permanent display. There are 800 gaming tables and 1,000 slot machines to try too.
Those who prefer to gamble online can use this site for some of the best deals available.
The Grand Lisboa is being rivaled by the City of Dreams for the title of Macau’s most famous casino, with guests able to watch the spectacular House of Dancing Water show.
Enough water to fill five Olympic-sized swimming pools is used in the show – and if you are sat in the first few rows of seats then you are likely to get wet! The House of Dancing Water is a must-see if you are planning to spend a week in Macau.
Away from the Grand Lisboa and the City of Dreams, the Venetian Casino and Galaxy are two of the other big casinos available in Macau, so save some time to check them out too. And if greyhound racing is more your scene, head to Canidrome for the action.
Things to do in Macau
If you want a break from gambling during your stay in Macau, there is a lot of choices for things to do so you will certainly not get bored.
Within the Venetian Casino, for example, there is a mini-canal you can take a boat ride down. It is a unique experience to be taken down a canal in the middle of a casino and shopping mall.
The Macau Tower is another attraction you really ought to be adding to your list of things to do. Extreme sports fans will find this to be a very memorable day trip, as you can take a bungee-jump from the top of the building, or test your bravery with the tower’s skywalk. You can even climb 100 meters up the vertical ladders on the towers masts if you are feeling fit.
The largest 3D movie theatre.is also to be found in the tower, along with a 360° revolving restaurant that serves local Portuguese and Indian dishes. There is certainly more than enough to do at Macau Tower to spend a whole day of your trip here.
Culture and historic sites in Macau
Culture vultures will find a lot to keep them busy during a trip to Macau as well.
Senado Square is perfect for shopping fanatics, while the Ruins of St. Paul is a must. Check out the nearby Monte Fort and Macau Museum at the same time to tick a few places off your list.
While a lot of Macau is shiny and new, a trip to the Old Taipa Village allows visitors to get a sense of what the area used to be like a long time ago.
The oldest Western burial ground in China can be found in the Historic Center of Macau, which has a wide array of fascinating sights. Among them are Carmel Garden and Our Lady of Carmel Church, both of which are free to visit.
I always wanted to go to Rome but never had the chance? Head to the Fisherman’s Wharf to see a replica of the Italian city’s famous Coliseum. Shopping centers and restaurants are available here as well, so this is another part of Macau where you can spend a whole day quite easily.
If you want to spend some time relaxing, Macau has a couple of beaches to choose from – Hac Sa and Cheoc Van – although they do both get very busy in the peak tourist season.
All in all, Macau has so much to do it is a wonder so many people only come for a day. Spend a whole week here and you will still find there are things you miss. You’ll have to come again!