Home China Guide Hong Kong Tips & Articles How to Plan a 1-Day Trip to Macau from Hong Kong

How to Plan a 1-Day Trip to Macau from Hong Kong

Just an hour away, but quite different  from Hong Kong, is Macau: the mega-resort and casino center that also has interesting historical sights.

Macau's main draw for tourists are the big casinos and hotels. It is the new gambling resort capital of the world with 5 of the world's 10 largest casino resorts. But there are also old Portuguese sites to see. UNESCO World Heritage sites San Ma Lo and Guia Fortress are popular with tourists.

You'll need your passport to travel between these two regions. However, foreign tourists to Hong Kong generally have no problem entering Macau with a free short term stamp on their passport.

Getting to Macau by Ferry

Ferry prices are higher in the evening and highest at night, and higher at weekends and holidays.

Hong Kong Terminals

China Ferry Terminal is in Tsim Sha Tsui. Price: 132 to 172 HKD (economy class). It is about a kilometer north of the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry. You could walk to it through Harbour City Mall, or just take a taxi to 33 Canton Road.

Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal is near the IFC Towers in the Shun Tak Center on Hong Kong Island. Price: 132 to 172 HKD (economy class). It is near the Star Ferry, the IFC Mall, and the Shueng Wan MTR station.

Sky Pier at the Hong Kong International Airport is for transiting tourists only. Price:159 to 172 HKD during the day.

Macau Terminals

Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal is the main northern terminal closest to San Ma Lo, architectural attractions, and about 23 mainly smaller casinos. You can take Bus 3 from San Ma Lo to the Macau Ferry Terminal in about 10 minutes for 2.5 HKD.

Cotai Terminal is to the south, closest to the Cotai Strip area with the biggest casinos such as the Venetian, the City of Dreams across the street, and the Macau International Airport. To go to Cotai Terminal, take the Cotai Jet from any of the three Hong Kong terminals. There are late night returns (after 12 midnight) from the Cotai Terminal to the Hong Kong Macau Terminal.

Macau Local Transportation

Getting around in Macau is easy. Free casino buses line up at both terminals, and pretty
women representing their hotels and casinos stand and hand out coupons and information. Just get on the bus yo u want for free.

Casinos

You can easily get lost in the biggest casinos eating, shopping, and seeing the shows. You could spend the whole day in just one casino, but why not see old Macau before you go back? You might find the casinos overwhelming and want a break.

The Historic Attractions

To get a quick view of the best sites, Monte Fortress and San Ma Lo are the best places to go.

Monte Fortress was built in 1627. The fortress and the Macau Museum in it is probably the best place to go to learn about Macau's history and culture. Museum tickets cost 15 HKD. While there, you might also want to see the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral close by.

San Ma Lo: You can take a short free bus ride from the biggest casinos and hotels, such as the Venetian and go to this historic square. They leave about every 15 minutes.

Until 1999 Macau was a Portuguese colony. San Ma Lo is the old Portuguese square. Old pastel colored buildings line the sides, and a church is at the back. It and about 20 other old buildings and forts are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. If you enjoy Chinese herbs, there are good traditional herb shops around it such as on Da Jie street.

Include Macau in Your Hong Kong Tour