If you’re thinking about holidaying in Asia with the family, it’s worth taking a closer look at Macao, which is a Special Administrative Region of China packed with family-friendly attractions. You’d be surprised at how many things there are to put on your Macao itinerary when holidaying with the family.
The other big plus about holidaying in Macao is that as Macao is a small place, most Macao attractions are easy to get to. Macao’s compact size is a huge advantage if you’re travelling with children.
A few days of exploring Macao’s treasures, seeing dazzling shows and taking part in fun activities adds up to a memorable family holiday. Here is a suggested Macau itinerary to help you plan your three-day trip to Macao with the family.
- 1 Macau Itinerary
- 2 Day 1 – Discover World Heritage Treasures in Macao
- 3 Day 2 – Macao Family adventures
- 4 Day 3 – Themed Fun for Families in Macao
- 4.1 Venetian Gondola
- 4.2 Studio City Attractions
- 4.3 Kids’ City at City of Dreams
- 4.4 House of Dancing Water
- 4.5 Wynn Macau
- 4.6 Discover Macao
- 4.7 Getting from Hong Kong to Macao
- 4.8 Best family rooms and suites in Macao
- 4.9 1- Venetian Macao Famigla Suite
- 4.10 2- Parisian Macao Famille Room
- 4.11 3- St Regis Macao
- 4.12 4- Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel
- 4.13 Discover Macao
Day 1 – Discover World Heritage Treasures in Macao
Learning about the history of a destination while you’re there is one of the best ways to broaden your knowledge. It’s not surprising that visiting the Historic Centre of Macao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the top things to do in Macao. In the 16th century, Macao was the gateway between the Western world and China.
Senado Square and the Ruins of St Paul’s
The ruins of St Paul’s are Macao’s most recognisable landmark and a Macao sightseeing trip is not complete without a trip to St Paul’s. St Paul’s was a college for Jesuit priests and a cathedral. However, the buildings were destroyed in a typhoon and burnt down.
The 16th-century facade is a good spot to snap a family selfie. Admission is free and the site is only a short walk from Senado Square, a piazza with Portuguese cobblestone paving.
Even after so many centuries, Senado Square has managed to hang on to its European look. Colourful Portuguese buildings adorn the square and there are plenty of shops if you’re after a spot of shopping.
Suggested time: Two hours (take a leisurely walk around and snap lots of photos)
Museu de Macau
To tie it all together, it’s worth spending a bit of time at the Museu de Macau. This museum is in Mount Fortress, which was built in the 17th century as Macao’s defence fortress and is right next to the Ruins of St Paul’s.
Macao Museum has three floors of galleries and exhibitions with interesting and educational displays of Portuguese and Chinese culture and folklore. There are activities for kids of all ages so check the website to see what’s on.
Suggested time: Two hours
After wandering around on foot, the family will be ready to tuck into a decent meal. There’s a range of choices of cuisines in Macao, from traditional Chinese to the unique flavours of Macanese cuisine. Here are some other suggestions for lunch spots.
Back in 1488, Macau’s most famous Taoist temple was built into the side of a rocky hill. The view at the top of the hill is fantastic.
A-Ma Temple is a delight to explore and the kids love wandering along the winding paths through moon gates and prayer halls, pavilions and courtyards.
It’s the place to watch local traditions as it’s a working temple where locals come to burn incense and pray for good fortune.
Suggested time: Two hours
Macao Science Centre
A visit to the Macao Science Centre is an eye-opening contrast to exploring Macao’s historic sights. The centre is housed in a contemporary structure and has futuristic displays, a planetarium and an IMAX theatre.
The galleries are filled with high-tech and hands-on exhibits and the kids will love learning about a wide range of subjects, from robotics to space travel.
Suggested time: Two hours (or if it’s a rainy day you could spend the entire afternoon here)
After grabbing a bite at your hotel or at the Sands Cotai Central, head to the Sands Cotai theatre for the Monkey King Show.
Monkey King Show
The Monkey King (8 pm) is a famous Chinese legend about a Tang Dynasty (602 to 664) monk, Xuan Zang. It’s a large-scale stage production adapted from Journey to the West, which is one of China’s four most influential works in classical literature.
The show is in the purpose-built theatre in the Sands Cotai created which has a giant 15m Buddha hand. It’s a blend of acrobats, ballet and martial arts that are sure to impress.
Day 2 – Macao Family adventures
You can bungy jump in several cities but there’s nowhere as special as Macau Tower, hold the title of the world’s highest bungy jump.
The bungy jump is a thrilling 233m leap at 200km/hour for age 10 and above (parental consent is required for anyone under 18). There are several other options for adventurous travellers at Macau Tower, including tethered sky jumps, climbing the masthead and walking around the exterior of the tower.
The Skywalk is a two-metre wide platform that is fun for all ages, while the Mast Climb is a thrilling climb from the 61st floor to a height of 338m. Find out more about the thrilling activities at Macau Tower here.
Families with younger kids will get a thrill out of seeing the view of Macao from the Observation Lounge and there’s a huge Toys “R” Us store on the second floor.
Suggested time: Three hours (including the bungee jump, which takes about two hours from the time you register).
Macau Tower has several options to choose for lunch, from cafés to Macau’s only 360° revolving restaurant. Another option is to head to one of the family-friendly dining options at Galaxy Hotel, before diving into your next adventure.
Kids of all ages will love the Grand Resort Deck at Galaxy Macau, which is an impressive aquatic park with exhilarating waterslides and the Skytop Wave Pool.
The giant man-made pool is fringed by a sandy beach (great for building sand castles) and the kids will have a blast surfing the 1.5m simulated waves.
If you’re not staying at one of these five hotels, you have the option of booking the Grand Resort Deck Day Pass (MOP888 for two people includes free admission for two children under age six).
Escape to Paris at The Parisian Macao
Experience French flair at the Parisian Macao, where you can dine at a French brasserie, Chinese restaurant or European-style buffet and see the Eiffel Tower’s Grand Illumination Show from the Observation Deck on Level 37.
Day 3 – Themed Fun for Families in Macao
Macao is one of the fastest growing cities in Asia. The past few years have brought many new themed hotels and attractions to Macao and each year the attractions are bigger and better. There are several new Macao resorts opening throughout 2018 so keep an eye on this space.
A visit to the Venetian Macau is a delightful experience for all the family. Canals flow beneath foot bridges, past a colourful Venetian streetscape and the gondola tour comes with a serenading gondolier.
At Venetian, drop into Qube, which has a massive playground with attractions for kids. There’s a six-metre climbing attraction with slides and nets, video games, computer games and themed party rooms.
For a quick snack, the Venetian Food Court has a wide choice of food, from hamburgers and pizza to wanton noodles. Studio City also has some cafes and western fast food outlets.
Studio City Attractions
Studio City’s trifecta of attractions is entertaining for the whole family.
First, there’s the House of Magic, which is a mesmerising journey through three theaters where top-notch magicians perform dazzling illusions.
Studio City is also home to the world’s highest figure eight Ferris wheel, the Golden Eye, from which you can admire a bird’s-eye view of Macao.
Then there’s the exhilarating Batman Dark Flight. The 4D flight simulation ride is an action-packed adventure through Gotham City.
It has a minimum height requirement of 120 centimetres and kids shorter than 140 centimetres need to be accompanied by an adult.
Kids’ City at City of Dreams
With four zones packed with facilities for kids, Kids’ City at City of Dreams caters for a range of interests.
From Peak Adventure, the giant futuristic slide, and Outdoor Explorers climbing area to artistic workshops and a Magic Wardrobe with hundreds of costumes that kids can choose from to act out their fantasies in the Dream Theatre.
The minimum session at Kids’ City is two hours and costs 120MOP for an adult and a child.
House of Dancing Water
The House of Dancing Water at City of Dreams is an extravaganza that is part acrobatics, part water and light display, part stunt show and totally awesome. The production took five years and USD250 million to develop and has plenty of wow moments.
The display of 300 water fountains shooting out jets synchronised to music is particularly captivating at night, when illuminated by coloured lights. The climax of the show, in front of Wynn Macau, is the wondrous bursts of flames.
Also at Wynn Macau, in the Rotunda atrium, the Dragon of Fortune is a dramatic display of sculptured art, lighting and audio effects. The giant dragon emerges from a mist, with its eyes glowing and blowing smoke from its nostrils. Wynn Macau from 10 am to midnight, every half hour.
Getting from Hong Kong to Macao
If you’re flying through Hong Kong, check your luggage through to Macao and transfer to Macao on the Hong Kong to Macau ferry from Hong Kong International Airport. TurboJET and CotaiJet offer regular Jetfoils and TriCats between Hong Kong and Macao.
Best family rooms and suites in Macao
Most hotels in Macao have rooms and facilities that cater for families and extended family groups. When choosing a Macao hotel, look out for special packages for families. Here are some hotels that offer some nice touches for a special family holiday.
1- Venetian Macao Famigla Suite
The Famigla Suite in the Venetian Macao is an open-plan suite with a king-sized bed and a separate play area for the kids. The kids’ area has bunk beds, bean bags and a second television set. The Famigla Suite’s marble bathrooms come with toiletries for both parents and kids. Robes and slippers are supplied for the whole family.
2- Parisian Macao Famille Room
Escape to Paris in a Parisian Macao Famille Room, which has colourful bunk beds, blankets and movies for the kids. The Parisian Macao is one of the city’s newest hotels and home to Macao’s version of the Eiffel Tower.
3- St Regis Macao
St Regis Macao offers a 24-hour babysitting service and family photo tour with a personal tour guide and chauffeur. The Family Traditions programme at St. Regis Macao offers experiential holiday experiences, such as a family cooking class where you can learn to make a variety of popular dishes, such as dim sum, Chinese roasts and Macanese dishes.
4- Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel
Sheraton Grand Macao’s Family Suites are themed with DreamWorks characters like Shrek, Po from Kung Fu Panda and Alex from Madagascar. The adjoining kid’s rooms are decked out with pint-sized furniture, toys, cushions, game consoles and flat-screen TVs. When checking into the hotel, the King Julien’s Jungle Hut is the place for the kids to have popcorn and sweets. There are weekend movie nights and seasonal children’s activities.