What to do in Macau and how to plan a day trip to Macau, for me was very exciting, met me explain why. Macau might not be a big city, but certainly there is a lot more to be explored beyond the historic centre. Often forgotten for those who visit Hong Kong, this Portuguese-flavoured city it’s only one hour away by ferry.
I had been thinking of exploring Macau for a long time. Perhaps because back on those years living in Lisbon, I met a lot of people whose parents once lived in Macau, and I remember my friends talking about the lifestyle, the mix culture, the old buildings and the food.
Macau is one of the oldest European colonies in the Orient, and its colonial cultural heritage is more permanent in Macau than in any other city.
Once you step in Macau, you can’t help but feel that you are in the heart of Portugal, instead of Asia, even though from an administrative point a view, Macau belongs to China.
Interesting things about Macau
- Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century. In 1557 Macau was rented to Portugal by the Chinese empire as a trading port. The Portuguese administered the city under Chinese authority and sovereignty until 1887, when Macau became a colony of the Portuguese Empire. Sovereignty over Macau was transferred back to China on 20th December 1999.
- The name Macau is thought to be derived from the A-Ma Temple. When the Portuguese landed on a sea peninsula near a temple, they asked the local people the name of the land, but the locals misunderstood, thinking that the Portuguese were asking about the name of the temple, in which they answered “Ma Ge”. Later, the Portuguese translated the name into “Macau” and used it to refer to the land.
Macau Currency: Macau Pataca MOP (Hong Kong dollars are accepted)
Macau Visa Requirements: Most EU, USA, AUS & NZ passport holders get a visa-on-arrival. Other must arrange a Visa prior to arrival.
How to get to Macau: Get the ferry from Macau Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong, located at Shueng Wan MTR station. Departs every 15 minutes and after 8pm, every 30 minutes.
Price: HKD$164 (USD$20/GBP£15) single trip, economy class.
A Day Trip Itinerary for Macau
Get ready to explore Macau on foot. It will be a long day, but so worth it! The city is just so beautiful; the saddest part is leaving.
Historic Centre of Macau
- A-Ma Temple
- Barra Square
- Moorish Barracks
- Lilau Square
- Senado Square
- Kuan Tai Temple
- Holy House of Mercy
- The Cathedral & Cathedral Square
- St. Dominic’s Church & St. Dominic’s Square
- Ruins of St. Paul
- Old City Halls
- Na Tcha Temple
- Mount Fortress
- Camões Square
Further reading: Lonely Planet Hong Kong & Macau (Travel Guide) is a complete and all-inclusive guide for those wanting to experience and explore Macau. We strongly recommend reading this guide as it helped us planning our own trip. Happy Travels!
Are you planning a trip to Macau?
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We are Thomas and Telma – the writers, photographers, videographers and founders of Blank Canvas Voyage.
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