Macau is a small city with deep history under both China and Portugal's rule back in the day. Consequently, you can still find much evidence of this in both its architecture and culture.
It might not be worth a trip on its own but I would definitely recommend stopping by for a day trip if you have plans to travel to Hong Kong or other nearby cities!
Here is our one day guide to exploring Macau for a day:
1. Pork Chop Bun and Milk Tea
After you get off the plane/boat, stop by 大利來記 (Tai Lei Loi Kei) for breakfast- Macau is known for pork chop buns and this restaurant is famous for it. You get a choice of what kind of "bun" you want and their milk tea is self serve. They give you the filter and you poor the milk in yourself, don't worry the condensed milk is already at the bottom! I really liked their milk tea for their strong red tea flavour.
2. Explore Rua do Cunha (官也街)
This is a really small street in Taipa village that's also close to Tai Lei Loi Kei (where you had breakfast). The pork chop bun might not fill you so can keep eating here! This street is known for street food and other Macau delicacies that are perfect for souvenirs. However, make sure you make your way to the end of the street to try a Michelin awarded sawdust pudding. Just look out for a shop that has a big Michelin man poster on the front!
3. Senado Square
By this time, you've probably had your fill of food (at least for now) and are ready to go exploring! Take a taxi (or if you can find a free hotel shuttle bus that will take you to Grand Lisboa hotel- from there it's a 10 minute walk) to Senado Square. This is an old square that used to be where government buildings were and the Portuguese styled architecture is evident here. The cobbled stone streets and water fountain, as well as traditional styled Catholic churches make this a must visit for any tourist in Macau!
4. Ruins of Saint Paul
About a 10-15 minute walk from Senado Square is the famous Ruins of Saint Paul (just follow the street signs). This is the iconic place to snap a photo of the only wall that is left standing after a fire that burned down the rest of the church. You will have to be patient (or come super early in the morning) to get a picture without any people!
5. Monte Fort
If you want an even better view of the city from up top, Mont Fort is right by Ruins of Saint Paul. However it is a good 10-15 minute climb up some steep stairs so it would be wise to wear comfortable shoes!
6. Hotel Exploring + Dinner
The number of hotels and casinos in Macau are astounding - but some hotels are worth visiting if you have the time. The Venetian hotel is one of them with its famous Shoppes on the Grand Canal (for all you Korean drama fans, remember Boys Over Flowers?). The shops aren't anything special but you should definitely check out Lord Stow's Bakery and Cafe for a quick Portuguese tart:
The Venetian is on the Taipa side of Macau so you can either choose to eat dinner inside the Venetian (or one of the other many hotels) or head back to Rua do Cunha for an authentic Portuguese dinner.
If you're up to spend a bit (starting at $100USD ~ for a 4 course meal) to experience a 3-star Michelin restaurant, the lunch set at Robuchon au Dome inside the Grand Lisboa Hotel is definitely worth it! Read our previous post for our experience!