Known as the Vegas of Asia – Macau is an exciting place to visit in Asia. This Macau Travel Guide covers everything you need to know before a visit.
Macau is thriving with both eastern and western tourists. Just a short ferry ride from Hong Kong, Macau sparkles in the glitz and glamour of Vegas alongside its Portuguese buildings. Browse the different themed hotels or visit the old town of Macau for some culture and history – don’t forget to check out the SkyWalk. You can pay in Pataca (MOP) or Hong Kong dollars in most places.
Budget: As a growing city, it offers very few hostels with private rooms starting at MOP$344.
Midrange: Chains and smaller hotels start at MOP $738 whilst rooms at top themed and/or Vegas styled hotels cost upwards of MOP $921. Most hotels offer great deals when booked directly and in advance.
Luxury: Luxury suites are available at the top hotels in Macau, with suites starting at around MOP $1700+.
Transport: Bus journeys start at MOP$3.20 whilst taxi’s start at MOP$15 for the first 1.6km and an additional MOP$1.50 for every 230m after that.
Average cost of food:
Local street food costs between MOP$3-$5 for lunch whilst dinner will cost $5 -$10.
A bottle of beer costs around $2-$3 whilst a meal at one of the top hotels will cost upwards of MOP$300.
Cost of Travel in China full guide
Best time to visit Macau
With a subtropical climate, you can visit Macau all year round. However, the best time to visit is during the spring time, from March to May, when the temperature is cool and pleasant.
Autumn also offers similar temperatures too but rainy season runs from May to October so bring a raincoat and/or umbrella.
Whilst planning your trip, you also need to avoid the Chinese national holidays – Golden Week runs during the first week of October and Chinese New Year lands around February, with a handful of long weekends throughout the year.
Where to stay in Macau
5footway.inn Project Ponte 16 is a modern boutique hotel with great reviews and private rooms starting at MOP$392.
The Holiday inn Macau Cotai Central is a popular choice for those wanting to stay in the centre of Macau; where all the action is. Rooms start at MOP$810.
For those looking for a themed hotel, check out the Rio Hotel, with rooms starting at MOP$664 and offering a host of amenities.
A wonderful thing about Macau is the cheaper hotel rates for top luxury hotels.
A favourite of mine is the Venetian Macau, a fabulously decorated themed hotel influenced by the beauty of Venice, with every room a suite, starting at MOP$1,118.
Save money in Macau
As a gambling destination, Macau is not the cheapest place to visit in Asia. However, there are ways you can save money whilst visiting.
- Free buses – Macau is home to many casino hotels but you can travel between the hotels using the free shuttle buses. This is the best way to get to and from the airport, even If you aren’t staying in one of the hotels.
- Street food – avoid eating in the restaurants and instead, stick to the street eats. Try the Portuguese Egg Tarts from just MOP$7.
- Food Samples – In the tourist areas, you will find many stores offering free samplings. Almond cookies, egg rolls and peanut brittle are popular items to try in Macau.
- Free attractions – There are free attractions to take advantage of whilst you are in Macau. The hotels themselves are gorgeously themed with incredible decor and attractions. Hop between the hotels and take in the free entertainment each has to offer. The historic centre of Macau is also home to many heritage sites and landmarks, also free.
- Shop in the right places – Avoid shopping in Senado Square or in any of the hotels. Instead, head to the quieter streets and less touristy areas for shopping and food.
- Budget hotels – One of the best parts about visiting Macau are the themed hotels but you don’t have to stay in them. Choose a 2 or 3 star hotel instead of the luxury options for cheaper rates.
- Hotel deals – If you do want to stay in one of the luxurious hotels, make sure you compare prices directly on the hotel websites. You can often get discounted rates if you book one or two nights at least 30 days in advance.
- Free museums – There are lots of museums that you can visit for free in Macau. Head to the Treasure of Sacred Art Museum, the Macau Tea Culture House, The Macau Museum or The Grand Prix Museum.
- Free Wifi – Macau offer free Wifi for citizens and visitors. Pick up the free WiFiGO service locations map at the airport or ferry terminal so that you can find the hotspots around the city.
- Free water – Whilst you are in the casinos, ask for bottled water. The casinos offer free bottled water, either from a server or from a cart which you can take from. You don’t need to be playing or betting at the time. Some casinos also offer coffee and tea too.
Best things to do in Macau
Macau Tower’s Observation Lounge
Ruins of St. Pauls
St Dominic’s Church
The House of Dancing Water
Golden Reel Ferris wheel at Studio City
Batman Dark Flight 4D Ride
Old Taipa Village
Macau Eiffel Tower at the Parisian Macao
Warner Bros. Fun Zone
How to get to Macau
Fly – Flights are available from most China airports to Macau International Airport with some direct flights from the bigger airports around Asia.
Ferry – The country is linked directly to Hong Kong international airport by Turbojet as well as Hong Kong ferry terminal.
Helicopter – An increasingly popular choice for residents and tourists, the sky shuttle runs a 15 minute helicopter shuttle service between Macau and Hong Kong – costing HK$4100.
Bus – Buses are available into mainland China, with buses 3, 5 and 9 taking you to the border gate, allowing you to walk across.
How to get around Macau
The casino offer free shuttle buses between areas of the city and their hotel as well as to and from the airport. Using these buses is the best and cheapest way to get around.
Public buses are also available with bus fares listed on the bus stops. Just make sure you have coins to pay for journeys.
You can also opt for a taxi to get around, first 1600meters cost MOP$19 and every 240meters after that costs MOP$2.