3 Day Macau Trip Plan
The following trip plan is intended for visitors who plan to visit Macau for 3 days.
3 Day Macau Trip Plan: Day 1
Lisboa Hotel—Avenida da Praia Grande—Avenida da Republica—Maritime Museum—Historic Quarter—St. Lazarus Quarter—Taipa Village
(Reminder: The Taipa Houses Museum is closed on Mondays, while the Maritime Museum is shut on Tuesdays, and Mandarin’s House is closed on Wednesday. Therefore it’s best to follow “Day 1” on a day between Thursday and Sunday.)
8:00 am – 8:30 am: Start at the Lisboa hotel. It’s Macau’s oldest casino, the city’s most famous hotel and an important city landmark. Check out the kinds of things a billion dollars can buy when you’re Stanley Ho and you built a gambling empire out of a failing Portuguese colony.
In my opinion, the lobbies inside the Lisboa and Grand Lisboa hotels are the two best in the city, so don’t miss them.
8:30 am – 9:30 am: Take a nice leisurely walk along Avenue da Praia Grande and Avenue da Republica. Stop in at the Pousada de Sao Tiago, built in the ruins of an old fort, for a look at St James Chapel, one of the city’s oldest churches.
A stay at this very romantic hotel will cost around $3000 per night, and for a review of my time there, please follow the link to Trip Report II.
**As of 2020, the Pousada de Sao Tiago is currently closed for renovations **
Next, continue walking until you hit A Ma Temple.
9:30 am – 9:50 am: Check out A Ma Temple. A Ma Temple is the most appropriate place to begin any trip in Macau. Before the Portuguese settled here in 1560, Macau was home to local fishermen from Fujian and Guangdong and two temples. One of the two temples was A Ma Temple, built to honor A Ma, the goddess of seafarers.
9:50 am – 10:35 am: Have a look at the Maritime Museum, one of my favorite museums in the city. I think they do a great job balancing information about the local fishing industry with that of world seafaring and its history.
It’s definitely worth your time and the $5 MOP it takes to get in.
10:35 am – 12 pm: Continue on your UNESCO 25 heritage site tour. From A Ma Temple check out the Moorish Barracks and Lilau Square. After Lilau Square make the steep climb up to Penha Church for amazing views of the city.
(Just follow the road that winds up behind the white building on the left hand side of this picture below. And then follow the signs.)
After the church, return to Lilau Square then cross the road for the Mandarin’s House, the home of prominent 19th century writer prominent writer Zheng Guangyu. Afterwards, follow the signs to St. Lawrence Church.
Go out the back gate of St. Lawrence Church to get to St. Joseph’s Church.
12:30 pm – 12:55 pm: Check out St. Augustine’s Church, Dom Pedro Theatre and Robert Ho Tung Library. Interesting facts: Bruce Lee’s mother was one of Ho Tung’s relatives, and Dom Pedro Theatre was the first Western style theatre in China.
1:10 pm – 1:40 pm: Lunchtime!! After walking back to San Ma Lo (AKA Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro), go South toward the Lisboa for Chan Kong Kei. Turn left on Pedro Lobo to get to the restaurant. Chan Kong Kei serves amazing roasted goose and roasted duck, two Cantonese staples. For a look at my restaurant review, check here: Chan Kong Kei.
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm: It’s a beautiful afternoon. Head up Rua do Campo for the St. Lazarus District.
Move north for St. Michaels Cemetery, then check out Tap Seac Square to see what exhibitions are on, and finish up at Lou Lim Ieoc Park, Macau’s most beautiful garden. The adjoining Tea and Culture Museum may also be worth a visit as well as the building in the middle of the park, which is home to frequent exhibitions.
Afterwards, cab it down to Taipa Village.
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Make sure to check out the Taipa Houses Museum and everything between Sam Po Temple and Tin Hau Temple. There’s a ton to see in the Village and just getting lost on its narrow streets is very enjoyable too.
Take a pass on the Museum of Taipa and Coloane History though, since it’s one of the most boring museums I’ve ever been to.
Friendly reminder: Start at the Taipa Houses Museum since last admittance there is at 5:30 pm.
Dinner suggestion: Try out A Petisqueira and be sure to order the garlic prawns – they’re just amazing! A Petisqueira is a down home Portuguese joint with good affordable prices and a great wine selection. Enjoy!
3 Day Macau Trip Plan: Day 2
Luis de Camoes Park—Patio de Chon Sau—Macau Museum—Senado Square—Street of Happiness—Cotai Strip
(Friendly reminder: Macau Museum is closed on Monday, so make sure “Day 2” falls on a day between Tuesday and Sunday.)
9:00 am – 9:40 am: Start off at (Luis de) Camoes Park and take a nice stroll around. Whether the one eyed poet ever wrote any of O Lusciadas here in Macau is up for debate, but there’s no doubt that as early as 1631 Jesuit priests referred to the bouldered hill on top as the “Rocks Of Camoes”.
Casa Garden is beside Camoes Park but there isn’t much to see there – it’s probably a little overrated. The nearby St Anthony’s Church (“Church of Flowers”) and Protestant Cemetery are much more interesting.
9:45 am – 9:50 am: Head toward St Paul’s down Rua de Sao Paulo. Just before the you get to St Paul’s, take a quick detour down the staircase onto Calcado do Amparo for Patio de Chon Sau, Macau’s latest and greatest Instagram hotspot.
It’s not a place I’m into at all, but to each their own, I suppose.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Go back up the staircase and walk to St. Paul’s, Macau’s most famous landmark. Check out the crypt behind it then hit Mount Fortress. Take a good hour at the Macau Museum for their excellent exhibits that focus on daily Macau life, with special attention paid to their architecture, customs, food, dress and religion.
12:15 pm – 1:30 pm: Time for lunch! Seek out Ou Mun Cafe, and don’t forget the sangria! Serving tasty fusion Portuguese at reasonable prices, Ou Mun Cafe is the best place to eat around Senado Square. To find it, walk to St. Dominic’s Church then be on the lookout for a McDonalds on the corner. Head down the street that McDonald’s is on (Travessa de Sao Domingos) and Ou Mun Cafe will be on the right hand side.
1:30 pm – 3:35 pm: Check out all of the sites in Senado Square (Leal Senado Building, Sam Kai Vun Temple, Holy House of Mercy, Cathedral, Lou Kau Mansion, St. Dominic’s Church), before going to the old red light district, the Street of Happiness, where you can pick up some fabulous local snacks.
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Cab it down to the Cotai Strip, and have a look at the Parisian, Galaxy, City of Dreams, Venetian, MGM Cotai and Studio City hotels/casinos. Each is spectacular in its own way and worth the time and attention. Don’t bother with the Sands Cotai (until it becomes the Londoner) or Wynn Palace – they’re just not worth your time.
For more information on hotels, activities and attractions in Cotai, please follow the link to the Cotai Strip.
For dinner, try one of my favorite restaurants in Macau, the Golden Peacock, which serves out of this world Indian cuisine at very affordable prices.
3 Day Macau Trip Plan: Day 3
Saec Pai Van Park (Giant Panda Pavilion)—A Ma Cultural Village—Coloane Village—Cheoc Van Beach—Hac Sa Beach—Ka Ho Village—Sam Seng Temple—Church of Our Lady of Sorrows
(Friendly reminder: The Giant Panda Pavilion is closed on Mondays so make sure “Day 3” falls on a day between Tuesday and Sunday.)
Day 3 will be spent cycling around Coloane, taking in all of its major sites. Maybe this trip won’t be everyone but I personally enjoy the challenge of seeing the whole (former) island on bicycle as well as swimming in between.
How fast or how slow you want to go is completely dependent upon you, but I think for most people the trip will take around 8 hours. Therefore I recommend starting around 8:30 am. I usually rent my bicycle from this shop beside Pak Tai Temple in Taipa Village – I believe the price is 20 to 30 MOP per hour.
Begin by cycling out toward the Venetian then turn right on Estrado de Istma. Follow it straight all the way down before turning right onto Estrada de Seac Pan Vai. Stop in at Saec Pai Van Park for the pandas, who should be enjoying a tasty leaf and bamboo breakfast.
Continue towards Coloane then stop again at A Ma Cultural Village. Just lock your bike up when you see this gate beside the gas station then wait for the free bus to take you to the top.
After returning, continue cycling south on the main road toward Coloane Village. Coloane Village has one church, two main temples as well as a lot of quaint picturesque streets.
The Village is so small that it doesn’t even have a supermarket, residents have to go to Taipa to buy their things! For lunch, try out Espaco Lisboa or Nga Tim and follow it up with a sweet scandalous egg tart (or two) from Lord Stow’s Bakery.
After lunch, take the scenic route and wind around the southwestern tip of the island, all the way until you reach Cheoc Va Beach. Take a quick look around before continuing East down Estrada de Hac Sa toward Hac Sa Beach.
Take a much needed respite here. Have a nice walk around the beach and surrounding area, hit the water for a refresher, and reload with some tasty barbecue snacks if you’re hungry.
After Hac Sa Beach, return to Estrada de Hac Sa and follow the road until you reach a traffic circle just after the Grand Coloane Resort. Take the road that is the furthest right and proceed toward Ka Ho Village, and make sure to dodge all the wandering livestock!
Ka Ho Village is the most isolated of all Macau communities, a small rural pocket tucked away on an island that development forgot. Home to all manner of friendly and not so friendly dogs and hogs, cats and goats, I have the feeling that if Ka Ho Village had a middle finger, they’d be sticking it up at the rest of Macau and what it’s become.
After leaving Ka Ho Village, have a quick peak at Sam Seng Temple, before finally making it to the last stop of the day, the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows. This is another area where few tourists dare to tread and you’ll probably have the church all to yourself when you arrive. Interesting note about all the abandoned houses next to the church: they were built for those unfortunate souls afflicted with leprosy who were quarantined there, and were in use all the way up to the late 1990’s.
After visiting the church retrace your steps until you make it back to Estrada do Altinho de Ka Ho. Follow that road all the way down until you hit Estrado do Istmo, where you hang a right. At this point of the afternoon, you should well appreciate it because its all downhill and quite the easy ride down. After you turn right on Estrado do Istmo continue cycling straight until you hit the Cotai Strip.
Dinner Suggestion: I highly recommend the Four Seasons signature Cantonese eatery, Zi Yat Heen. I am honestly in love with three of the waitresses who work there, so you won’t have to worry about great customer service. And as an added bonus, the food there is pretty darn good too!
If you have more time to spend in Macau, please click the link below for the 5 Day Travel Plan.