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Just an hour away, but quite different from Hong Kong, is Macau: the mega-resort and casino center that also has interesting historical sights.
It is popular to travel from Hong Kong to Macau. In this article, you will find out how to travel to Macau from Hong Kong and what to see in Macau.
From Hong Kong to Macau, there are three modes of transportation: sea, land, and air. We suggest that you travel to Macau by ferry, which is the most convenient and economical.
By ferry (most recommended): It takes about 1 hour by boat from Hong Kong to Macau. The one-way fare is about 170KD. The fare for night ferries or holidays will be slightly more expensive.
By bridge (a new and comfortable way): Take the bus over the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge from Hong Kong port to Macau in just 40 minutes.
By helicopter (the coolest): It takes only 15 minutes to take a direct flight from Hong Kong to Macau, however the price is 4,300 HKD one way.
See detailed information about Hong Kong to Macau transportation.
1. Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal (preferred, most frequent ferries)
Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal is near the IFC Towers in the Shun Tak Centre on Hong Kong Island. You can take the subway and get off at Shueng Wan Station. During the daytime, there is a boat every 15 minutes.
2. China Ferry Terminal (recommended, good location)
China Ferry Terminal is in Tsim Sha Tsui. 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.
3. Sky Pier at the Hong Kong International Airport (for transiting tourists only)
The terminal is located next to the Hong Kong airport. If you plan to take a boat directly from Hong Kong airport to Macau, you can choose to depart from this terminal.
4. Tuen Mun Ferry Terminal (Generally not recommended, inconvenient location)
This terminal is located in the New Territories, which is not popular for tourists. There are less than 10 ferries traveling between Hong Kong and Macau every day. This terminal is only practical if you are staying nearby.
See more details about Hong Kong ferries.
It doesn't matter which port to go to Macau because Macau is not big. No matter which terminal you arrive at, there are free shuttle buses that can deliver you to any hotel or casino.
1. Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal (close to downtown Macau)
Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal, also known as the Outer Harbour 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.
2. Taipa Terminal (close to casinos, hotels, airports)
Taipa 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 the Taipa Terminal, take the Cotai Jet from any of the three Hong Kong terminals. There are late night returns (at 1 AM) from the Cotai Terminal to the Hong Kong Macau Terminal.
Ferry prices are higher in the evening and highest at night, and higher at weekends and holidays.
You can buy ferry tickets at every ferry terminal as well as online. Usually, it is no problem to buy tickets on the spot except on some festival days. If you would like to skip long lines, you’d better arrive early or buy tickets online.
The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, the longest sea-crossing in the world, connects the cities of Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macau. This crossing is open 24 hours.
There are shuttle buses going from Hong Kong to Macau at all hours, they cost 65 HKD normally (70 HKD at night: 12-6 AM). The buses take around 45 minutes.
In Hong Kong, there are direct shuttle buses starting from Hong Kong Airport, Tsim Sha Tsui and Central to Macau via the bridge.
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. See 10 Ultimate Things to Do in Macau.
The ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral which was built in 1580, are now the most representative landmark in Macau. They combine the style of European Renaissance and Oriental architecture, reflecting a blend of Eastern and Western culture.
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.
Until 1999 Macau was a Portuguese colony. Senado Square was an 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.
Walking around the square, you will feel like you are in Europe, with such a beautiful view and ambience. You can see so many shops selling Macau snacks like Portuguese egg tarts, puddings, and pork sandwiches.
The A-Ma Temple is a symbol of Macau's Mazu culture. With a history of over 500 years, it is one of the oldest temples in the city as well as a World Heritage attraction.
The A-Ma Temple was one of the first places the Portuguese saw when they arrived in 14th and 15th centuries and it still functions as a spiritual beacon in Macau.
The Venetian Macao
The Venetian Macao is a super large resort with the theme of Venetian waters, with 3,000 luxury suites, more than 30 restaurants, more than 330 retail stores, 4 outdoor swimming pools, and an 18-hole rooftop golf course. It is one of the largest casinos in the world, with no less than 640 gaming tables and 1,760 slot machines.
At the same time, it is also a must-see for tourists and one of the most well-known places in Macau.
The building of the Grand Lisboa is like a giant golden lotus flower. It is the landmark of Macau and is very eye-catching. There are not only luxurious suites, but also Michelin restaurants, outdoor pools, and spas.
It is owned by the world gambling king, Alan Wynn. It is said that this resort costed 4 billion USD and attracts a lot of tourists not only for its luxurious outside, but even the decoration inside.
Getting to the casinos in Macau is easy. Free casino buses line up at both ferry terminals, and pretty women representing their hotels and casinos stand and hand out coupons and information. Just get on the bus you want for free. You can easily get lost in the biggest casinos eating, shopping, and seeing the shows.
If you have two days in Macau, check How to Get the Most out of Macau in 2 Days.
If traveling with kids, check Top Things to Do with Kids in Macau.
Due to the massive demonstrations happening in Hong Kong this year, you can enjoy Hong Kong's great services and accommodations at very low prices this Christmas, New Years, and Chinese New Years.
Hong Kong's big events may be all cancelled, but Macau provides an alternative place to go for fireworks, parades and celebrations that is fairly convenient. Right now is an excellent opportunity for a Christmas or winter visit to these nearby regions enjoying Hong Kong's low prices. For more detailed Hong Kong travel information, see our Hong Kong Winterfest and Christmas pages.
1. Most nationalities don’t need a visa to travel to Macau. You'll need your passport to travel between Hong Kong and Macau. Foreign tourists to Hong Kong generally have no problem entering Macau with a free short-term stamp on their passport. Check whether you need a visa or not.
2. Hong Kong dollars can be used in Macau. You don’t need to exchange them.
3. If you easily get seasick on ferries, take some medicine or use seasickness band. It takes about one hour by ferry at a speed of 35-50 knots.
We understand that most tourists would like to visit Macau in an efficient way at a competitive price. Based on these needs, we offer a seat-in-couch one-day tour to Macau from Hong Kong: see below.
Duration: approx. 8 hours
Available: every day
Price: only $139 per person (USD$ 69 per infant under 2 years old)
Note: 1 day before departure, you will get a fax with detailed information about pick up time, pick-up place (and directions if no free pick up at your hotel), itinerary, sightseeing information, and emergency number of the tour operator in your hotel in Hong Kong.
Around 8am: Your guide in Hong Kong pick you up from a designated hotel in downtown Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay, or North Point.
Around 9am: Arrive at Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Port and depart for Macau by comfortable Turbojet. Your Hong Kong guide will give you your Turbojet tickets and see you off at the pier.
In the morning: After one hour you arrive at Macau. You will be met by your Macau guide and led to the coach. Explore the Ruins of St. Paul, Monte Fortress, including a section of the old city wall, and Senado Square. See the Border Gate and do shop for local souvenirs at the sidewalk stalls.
Simple buffet lunch in a local restaurant: Choose from a selection of main dishes, soup, vegetables, desserts, and drinks.
In the afternoon: Continue city sightseeing with a visit to the A-Ma Temple, from which Macau gets its name! Visit the famous casinos for a look around if time permits.
Around 5pm: Your Macau guide will see you off at the Macau –Hong Kong Ferry Pier and you return to Hong Kong by comfortable Turbojet. Guilde and driver in Hong Kong meet you and drop you off at the designated hotel.