3 Ways To Spend A Perfect Day In Macau

The perfect day trip in Macau.

UNSPLASH katie manning

Despite the distance (both cultural and physical) between Europe and the Southeast Asian countries, a small island exists near the metropolis of Hong Kong that serves as an adequate and refreshing dose of both Europe and Las Vegas for those living in the Asian region. Macau, along with Hong Kong, is one of the People’s Republic of China’s two special administrative regions. A former Portuguese colony, Macau retains a tangibly distinctive air of European influence while also adopting a contemporary fast-paced lifestyle through its array of Vegas-like casinos. As a former Hong Kong resident, my visits to Macau generally spanned for merely a day or two.

For those who have yet to visit Macau, here are the must-see spots for a day trip.

1. Ruins of St. Paul’s

One of the many religious landmarks scattered around Macau, the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral are a captivating sight. Located at the end of a series of steps from one of Macau’s more traditional streets, the ruins create an elevated and majestic scene. Perhaps the most interesting part of the cathedral is that the only part left is its façade, an eerie sight when visitors learn of the typhoon-induced fire that destroyed it in 1835. The cathedral dates back to an ancient 1602 as one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia at the time. Other details include its intricate carvings done by Japanese Christian stonemasons fleeing persecution in the 17th century, designs which juxtapose Catholic and Asian themes.

2. Senado Square

For the more European side of Macau, an ideal spot to visit is Senado Square. Its surrounding buildings contain arches and neo-classical architecture, all in rich pastel colors typical of the Portuguese. The square itself, like any good European plaza, holds an elegant fountain, trees, and benches for a relaxed vibe. Personally, my favorite part of the square is that it’s one of the most thought-provoking and easily notable contrast of cultures I’ve ever witnessed— specifically its distinct Asian touches (such as neon signs of Chinese characters) over its strong European backdrop.

3. Casinos

Despite Macau’s deep history, its current world recognition comes from its concentrated assortment of casinos. The largest of these is the Venetian Macao, characterized by its indoor Venetian architecture and blue sky-painted ceilings. The Venetian’s casino spans the hotel’s lower floor and is definitely worth a visit for those 18 and over. Other famous casinos include Wynn Macau, Sands Macau, City of Dreams, and Grand Lisboa. Although ten of Macau’s casinos are on Taipa Island and the other twenty-three are on the Macau Peninsula, there are several free shuttles between the bigger casinos that will easily transport visitors from one island to the other.

Fabiola Perez

Fabiola grew up in many places, including: Venezuela, Northern Virginia/Washington DC, and Hong Kong. As a traveler, she believes that while visiting major landmarks is essential, additionally seeking out the more traditional spots shows the true ambiance of the country.

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