Macau is a tiny place, so tiny that it’s not even half the size of Hong Kong so getting around it is pretty much easy. It is small that car rental will never thrive and that you can get around it without having to spend a penny. Yes, that is right. Getting around Macau is cheap or sometimes even free.
Do not get me wrong though, it is not an inexpensive city. Hotels are much more expensive than accommodations in other parts of Asia and the food is quite pricey, too. That is, if you do not know how and where to look.
One of the most common questions we get from tourists wanting to visit Macau is whether it is necessary to book a tour to explore it. The answer is Yes and No. Yes, for convenience. No, because it is expensive and can pretty much be done DIY style. After all, getting around Macau is easy. To better acquaint yourself with the ins and outs of Macau, read first the Ultimate Macau Travel Guide before continuing.
Like any other cities in the world, there are different mode of transportations to choose from depending on your needs and preference. If you are a budget traveler, take advantage of complimentary shuttles or make use of public buses. If you are on a short visit and time is of the essence, taxis are everywhere.
There is no scarcity of taxi in Macau. Taxi can bring you to wherever you want to go fast. The flag down rate is MOP19 which is approximately USD2.5 and additional MOP2 for every subsequent 240 meters. Beware though, Macau is infamous for having a rampant taxi scams, so extra precaution is required. Take taxis only at the official taxi stand and know your rights as passengers. To prevent from being scam by taxi drivers, continue reading here: How Not To Get Scammed by Taxis in Macau.
Taking the public bus is a cheaper alternative to taking taxis though not as fast. If you are in no rush, then this is the better option. Public buses is available for 24 hours with day and night buses. Make sure that you have exact fare as it doesn’t give any change. The minimum fare is MOP3.2 when you are taking buses within Macau Peninsula. MOP4.2 if you are coming from Macau to Taipa island and MOP6.4 if from Macau to Coloane. To know more about public buses in Macau and bus stops click here: Macau Public Bus.
From Venetian Hotel, Parisian, Four Seasons, Studio City, City of Dreams or Galaxy Hotel, you may take Bus No. 26A to go to the city center. The city center is where the Senado Square and the Ruins of St. Paul’s are located. Take 26 if you are going to A-Ma Temple or Macau Tower.
Big hotels in Macau offer complimentary shuttle service not only to their hotel guests but to the public. Almost all hotels in Macau have free shuttle service to all ports of entry in Macau such as; Macau International Airport, Macau Ferry Terminal, Taipa Ferry Terminal, and the Border Gate to China.
If you are going to Senado Square or Ruins of St. Paul’s, the city center, take free shuttle service of Studio City, City of Dreams, and Wynn Palace to Macau Peninsula near the Grand Emperor Hotel. The drop off point is a 10-minute walk away from the city center. If you are coming from Hong Kong and getting off by ferry from either Macau Ferry Terminal or Taipa Ferry Terminal, take the complimentary shuttle service of Grand Lisboa Hotel or Wynn Hotel Macau as these hotels are also walking distance to the city center.
Uber service is sadly and unfortunately suspended in Macau until further notice.
I’ve mentioned above that Macau is a tiny place so walking is a famous mode of getting from one place to another. The Cotai Strip is home to over 5 gigantic hotels and is within walking distance. The city center is full of famous landmarks, old churches, temples, and casinos that a full day can be spent without taking any automobile. Walking is probably the best option to see Macau as it should be seen.
True to its promise of modernization, Macau’s train system is already on its way and expected to operate in 2018 making the transportation easier than ever.
Indulge on beautiful resort hotels and spend on good food because transportation expenses may not be a part of your overall expenses if you know how to get around it. Proper research and asking questions can make your Macau transportation expenses out of the question.
For some other travel tips in Macau read here: Travel Tips for Travelers Going to Macau