Macau, a former Portuguese enclave, is an astounding mixture of colonial charm, Chinese zest and glitzy casinos just a short one-hour ferry ride from Hong Kong.
With convenient sailings every 15 minutes throughout the day, it is one of the most popular Hong Kong day trips.
It offers something different,
whether it is some enticing Portuguese and Macanese cooking, striking colonial architecture,
a UNESCO World Heritage city center, a hand at the baccarat tables or stint at the slot machines... it is well worth the trek from Hong Kong.
Check it out!
Here's more on our favourite Macau attractions and a map with their locations.
Visiting Macau From Hong Kong
Whether travelling on your own or with a guided tour, you will need your passport to enter Macau and to re-enter
You will need to fill out an Arrival Card when entering Macau, and again a Hong Kong Arrival card upon your return.
A Macau Visa is not required for most visitors. In cases where a visa is required, it can be obtained upon arrival at the immigration checkpoint,
with the exception
of passport holders from the following countries: Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam.
Here's more on Macau Visa requirements.
Money: Macau has its own currency, the Pataca. The exchange rate to the HK dollar is slightly lower, one Macanese Pataca equals
0.97 Hong Kong Dollars at the time of this writing. There are ATM's at the ferry stations, casinos, etc. if you wish to exchange money for small purchases, taxis, meals, etc. although
most everybody will accept Hong Kong dollars (since it is on their favour), any change you receive back will be in Patacas.
DIY Day Trip to Macau
Getting There: The Hong Kong - Macau Ferry
Getting to Macau and back is fast, easy and convenient with the Macau Ferries.
The TurboJET Macau Ferry
Macau Ferries from Hong Kong depart from both Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
The journey takes around one hour.
Ferry Terminals in Hong Kong side
Ferries to Macau leave from two terminals in Hong Kong and arrive at both Macau Terminals, the main terminal and the Taipa Terminal, you can choose whatever is more convenient to where you are staying in Hong Kong:
Ferry from Hong Kong Island sails from the Macau Ferry Terminal in Central/Sheung Wan
The Kowloon Ferry departs from the China Ferry Terminal at 33 Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui
Ferry Terminals in Macau side
There are two terminals in Macau, the main Terminal and the Taipa Terminal.
The Taipa Terminal services the Cotai Strip and is convenient if you are going to the Casinos or to catch a show at one of the fantastic venues at City of Dreams i.e. The House of Dancing Water, a highlight concert or event. For visiting the historical center of Macau the Main Terminal is more convenient.
If you happen to end up at the Cotai Ferry Terminal rather than the main Macau Terminal (or viceversa) there are free shuttle services operated by the hotels and both terminals and they run non-stop so it is not much of a problem, in fact, you get to see a bit more of Macau!
Ferries to Hong Kong leave from two terminals in Macau:
Taipa Terminal services the Cotai Strip
There are two types of Macau ferries:
TurboJET Ferries service the Main Macau Ferry Terminal and the CotaiJet ferries go to the Taipa Terminal.
The Cotai Ferry
How often do Macau Ferries run?
- TurboJET Ferries to/from Hong Kong Island run more frequently, every 15 minutes. Additional sailings with departures every 5 minutes are added during peak hours
- TurboJet to/from Kowloon runs every 30 minutes
- Cotai Ferry to/from Hong Kong Island runs every 30 minutes
- Cotai Ferry to/from Kowloon is least frequent with only a few sailings per day
Keep an eye on the return times as sailings are more sporadic later in the evening.
Different schedules apply during holidays and weekends. It is a good idea to pre-book during busy periods.
How Much Are Hong Kong/Macau Ferry Tickets? Where Can We Get Discount Tickets?
One Way tickets from either Kowloon or Hong Kong Island cost HK200 (US$25) for either TurboJet or CotaiJet, more during weekends and holidays or night sailings.
Remember you can get Turbojet and CotaiJet Macau Ferry Discount Tickets from Klook.com:
TurboJet Macau Ferry Discount Tickets are as follows:
Hong Kong Island to/from Macau Harbour:
- Single Trip (weekday, slightly more on weekends):
HK200 HK168 US$ 21.50
- Round Trip (weekday, slightly more on weekends):
HK400 HK335 US$ 42.89
More information and Booking Macau TurboJet Ferry Tickets ››
CotaiJet Macau Ferry Discount Tickets are as follows:
- Single Trip (weekday, slightly more on weekends):
HK186 HK143 US$ 18
- Round Trip (weekday, slightly more on weekends):
HK310 HK285 US$ 36
More information and Booking Macau CotaiJet Ferry Tickets ››
TurboJet Macau Ferry Discount Tickets also available to/from Hong Kong Airport
Getting There: By Express Shuttle Bus
With the recent opening of the Hong Kong - Zhuhai - Macau Bridge you can now also take the shuttle buses to enter Macau. Here are some considerations when deciding whether to take the ferries vs the Express shuttles:
- The bus ride takes about two hours, might be longer depending on traffic conditions, so definitely longer than the ferries
- With the shuttles you clear immigration on the way but that means you have to get off twice to clear immigration in Hong Kong and in Macau
- The shuttle longer ride and immigration clearance stops are compensated by the fact that once you arrive in Macau, the shuttle will drop you off right in town, either the Cotai strip or the city center at a centrally located hotel (see below) rather than the ferry port, at which you would still have to clear immigration and then hop on some kind of transport to bring you to the city or the casinos in Cotai
- Cost is the same for both, a one-way ticket costs HK200 for either the ferry or the shuttle bus
- One compelling reason to take the shuttles is to experience the fantastic architectural marvel of the bridge, at 34 miles long (55 km) the longest sea crossing in the world
The Hong Kong - Zhuhai - Macau Bridge
- The shuttle buses are fairly new whereas the ferries have been running for ages, ferries have the routine down. With the shuttle buses there were a few hiccups at the beginning, i.e. process of clearing immigration or finding the right bus afterward, but now most wrinkles seem to be ironed out.
- You could take the express shuttle bus to Macau and the ferry back to Hong Kong. Ferries run more frequently than the shuttle, so might make your return trip easier and more flexible.
Shuttle buses from Hong Kong depart and arrive from the Kowloon side at two locations:
- Prince Edward
- Elements Mall in Kowloon Station
At the Macau side, you can have departures/arrivals at both the city center and the Cotai strip at predetermined hotels:
- City Center: Sands, Hotel Lisboa, MGM Macao
- Cotai Strip: Galaxy Macao, The Venetian Macao, MGM Cotai
How often do Macau Express Shuttle Buses run?
Macau Express shuttles run every hour with additional departures added during peak hours
- First bus departs Hong Kong at 8:15 am
- Last bus departs Macau at 7:45 pm
How Much Are Hong Kong/Macau Express Shuttle Bus Tickets? Where Can We Get Discount Tickets?
One-Way tickets to/from Hong Kong / Macau cost HK200 (US$25) for either the city center or the Cotai Strip.
Remember you can get Express Macau Shuttle Bus Discount Tickets from Klook.com:
Getting There: Private Transportation
Can you get there with your own vehicle? Not likely, there is a limited number of permits issued to private cars which also works under some kind of daily quota system for vehicles that are authorised to use the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HKMB).
Your best bet is to hire one of the private vehicles with existing permits that provide this service and it is the best option for door-to-door transfer to Macau.
Prices for transfers in vans or SUVs which will accomodate up to 6 passangers start at HK 2,750 (US$ 350) for a transfer to the city, HK 2,300 (US$295) to the Macau checkpoint. This is a one-way transfer and does NOT include any touring or sightseeing once in Macau.
If you would like to be taken around for the day and tailor your own itinerary, once you are in Macau, vans with English-speaking drivers can be hired for the day (7 hours), cost is HK 3,000 (US$385) for a 7-seater van, 9-seater also available. If coming with the private limo transfer, you can be picked up at the Macau checkpoint.
This Private Van charter is also available if you are arriving with the ferries or the shuttle bus. If you are arriving with the ferry they can pick you up at the Ferry Terminals or at any of the hotels if arriving with the shuttle.
More info and Booking Private City Transfers Between Macau and Hong Kong ››
More info and Booking Macau Private Limo Charter ››
Getting around in Macau is relatively easy and inexpensive. Taxis and buses are plentiful.
Check out what Macau attractions you would like to visit and their locations on
this map and decide on a plan.
From the Ferry terminal getting into town is easy with Bus #3, which will bring you to the main square in the center of town. From there, the Ruins of St. Paul are
within walking distance and just around in the area there are many alleys and lanes worth checking out for trinkets and some great local food.
And of course there are the free shuttles that run from the different hotels and casinos
and the Ferry Terminals. You can't miss them as you exit the station.
Shuttles for the Grand Lisboa bring you close to the center of town. For the Cotai Strip, take the Venetian or the Galaxy Shuttles.
The Hop On Hop Off Open Top Bus
This is a wonderful way to see all that Macau offers, conveniently departing from the Macau Ferry Terminal, so you can hop-on as soon as you arrive and start exploring.
There are 16 stops which will cover Macau's best sights as you hop-off at your leisure. To go the entire loop non-stop takes approximately 70 minutes and buses depart every 45 minutes.
The bus route covers both the historical center as well as the glitzy Cotai strip. All of the above highlights are covered in the loop: Kun Iam Statue, Grand Lisboa, Largo do Senado, Ruins of St Paul, Macau Tower, A-ma Temple, and the Casinos at the Cotai Strip.
When? Daily 9:20 am - 4:05 pm
Where? Departs and ends at the Macau Ferry Terminal
How Much? One Day Sightseeing Pass Adults (12+)
HK$150 HK$125 US$16, Children (2-11) HK$100 HK$84 US$11
More Info, Booking and Route - Macau Hop On Hop Off Open Top Bus Tour ››
The Macau Day Trip Guided Tour
Everything is arranged for you, all the transportation and sightseeing is
taken care of. No guessing which ferry or bus to take, what could be more convenient?
Tour Highlights include:
- Transport to/from Hong Kong hotels
- Ferry transport to/from Macau
- Sightseeing by coach covering:
- City center and Ruins of St. Paul
- Kun Iam Temple
- Macau Tower
- A-Ma Temple
Macau Day Trip from Hong Kong US$102 - More information and Booking ››
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