Over a decade ago, the once sleepy fishing port of Macau, China surpassed Las Vegas as the world’s leader in gambling revenue. Couple this active scene with cobblestone roads, colonial-style mansions, art deco buildings, and quiet parks and you’ve got yourself one heck of a tourist destination.

What’s more is that Macau is just a one-hour ferry ride from vibrant Hong Kong. And because the city is so compact, you can explore it in a matter of days or hours (if you’re really strategic).

Here’s some necessary information you’ll need to know if planning a trip to Macau.

The Best Time to Visit Macau

The best time to visit Macau is during the autumn months of September through December. Bright skies and comfortable temperatures make it ideal for getting out and exploring all that Macau has to offer.

The average high in Macau during September is 86 degrees Fahrenheit with an average low of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. December, one of the colder months, is still quite comfortable with an average high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 56 degrees Fahrenheit. If traveling to Macau during autumn, you can pretty much pack summer clothes like shorts and T-shirts. Just be sure to toss a hoodie or sweater in your bag for the cooler evenings.

Macau Itinerary

Weather during the spring is a typical oceanic monsoon climate, so expect lots of rain. Summer tends to be hot and humid with temperature up in the high 80s. Winter is also an excellent time to visit as it is not a harsh cold season, and snow is unheard of in Macau.

Wi-Fi in Macau

Chinese (also known as Mandarin) is one of the hardest languages to learn, so asking locals for directions may be a pretty daunting task. Fortunately, Portuguese is one of Macau’s official languages, so if you took Spanish, Italian, or some other Romance language in high school or college, you may be more successful at getting directions and finding your way around.

If neither of those describes you, you’ll be pleased to know that Macau is one of the most “connected” cities in the world. Wi-Fi is offered in many hotels and casinos. Additionally, the territory-wide Wi-Fi Go service can be accessed from almost anywhere in Macau including ports, museums, libraries, sports and activity centers, and tourist information centers.

Here’s a list of Wi-Fi Go locations. You should also check out this map to pinpoint other free Wi-Fi services near you. If you plan on exploring some areas where Wi-Fi is not readily available, just screenshot directions on your phone, and you’ll be good to go.

How to Get to Macau

Getting to Macau is super simple. You can book a flight into Macau International Airport and call it a day. If you’re coming from Hong Kong, just hop aboard a ferry and take the one-hour trip into downtown Macau.

The most frequent ferry route is from the Shun Tak center in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island to downtown Macau. These ferries depart from Shun Tak every fifteen minutes from 7 AM until 11:59 PM with seven additional sailings throughout the night. Extra ferries are available during peak hours, holidays, and festivals to accommodate the increased demand. You can purchase tickets at the ferry terminals. Some hotels and casinos also offer ticketing options as well.

For your convenience, you can also make reservations online. Expect to pay a minimum of $21 per traveling adult. Cotai Water Jet, one of the leading ferry transportation companies, allows each ticketed customer a 44-pound carry-on bag. For a schedule of additional applicable fees, click here (note that all of the prices listed on the website are listed in Hong Kong dollars).

Macau Itinerary transportation getting around

Getting Around Macau

Visitors to Macau are often surprised as to how orderly traffic flows in this small city. Approximately 80 percent of the roads are one-way, ensuring that there is little congestion outside of morning and evening peak periods. Taxis are plentiful in Macau, especially at the airport and ferry terminals. This combined with an excellent public bus service makes getting around Macau extremely easy.

Bus

Two bus companies – TRANSMAC and TMC – are responsible for operating all public and minibusses within the city limits. The bus lines are well laid out and cover almost all attractions and hotels on the Peninsular as well as the main scenic spots on the outlying islands of Taipa and Coloane.

Because the buses operate on a one-way circuit, you won’t necessarily have the same stops on a return trip, so keep that in mind before mindlessly hopping onto a bus. The majority of coaches are air-conditioned and capable of carrying over 20 people, but be sure to have correct change in coins before getting onboard as there are no conductors.

To state the obvious, we suggest avoiding the bus lines during peak morning and evening traffic hours as people going to work or returning home crowd the bus making it a little uncomfortable.

The signs at all bus stops have route descriptions in both Chinese and Portuguese. You can obtain an English version of the local map from the information desks at the Tourist Bureau on Senado Square in the downtown area of Macau.

Rail Transit

Depending upon when you choose to travel to Macau, you may be able to enjoy their up and coming light rail transit. This subway line will connect the Border Gate and Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal and will consist of 21 stations via Macau International Airport (MFM).

The projected opening of this rail system is in 2019 or 2020.

Taxis

If you find map reading and hopping on and off buses more stressful than exciting, taxis are the way to go, and Macau has about 1,100 within the city limits. Taxis are usually white or yellow; their yellow ones can accommodate four passengers at most whereas the white ones can generally hold up to six people.

Just be mindful of the fact that hailing a taxi at the airport or Border Gate may be a little tricky. Also, expect to pay more for a taxi ride than you would on the bus. In general, the first mile will run you about 2.12 USD. Following that, each quarter of a mile will run you approximately 25 cents. For more fees associated with taxis, see this taxi charging standard.

Also, be sure to ask the concierge at your hotel if they offer free shuttles to nearby attractions. Many of them do.

Macau has many things to do and explore, so if you’re in town for a limited amount of time, we suggest checking out some of the places we’ve listed on our one and three-day itineraries.

Macau - One Day Itinerary

Time

Day 1

9 am to 10 am

Arrive in Macau

10 am to 11 am

Check in at Conrad Macau, Cotai Central

11 am to 1 pm

Walk (0.2 miles from hotel) to The Grand Canal Shoppes for window lunch, window shopping, and a gondola ride

1 pm to 3 pm

Take a taxi Macau Tower

3 pm to 4 pm

Walk to A-Ma Temple (one mile, approx.. 20-minute walk)

4 pm to 6 pm

Take a cab to the JW Marriott Hotel Macau for dinner at Urban Kitchen

6 pm to 7:15 pm

Casino hop and get drinks

7:20 pm

Catch free shuttle from City of Dreams, Wynn, Galaxy, Venetian, Studio City, or Sands Cotai Central to The House of Dancing Water

8 pm to 10 pm

Enjoy the show

10 pm to 10:30 pm

Take free shuttle back to Conrad Macau

10:30 pm

Take yo ass to sleep!


Macau Egg Tart Itinerary

Macau - Three Day Itinerary

Time

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

9 am to 10 am

Arrive in Macau

Walk to Grand Orbit for breakfast buffet (2-min. walk)

Rise and shine!

Breakfast at Yum Cha (Sands Cotai Central)

10 am to 11 am

Check in at Conrad Macau, Cotai Central

Walk to Wynn Palace to catch free shuttle to Taipa Village

Take a cab to Fisherman’s Warf for sightseeing and shopping (15 minutes)

11 am to 1 pm

Walk (0.2 miles from hotel) to The Grand Canal Shoppes for window lunch, window shopping, and a gondola ride

Tour and eat at Taipa Village

Take a cab to Zhuhai Port Plaza for shopping, sightseeing, and lunch

1 pm to 3 pm

Take a taxi Macau Tower

Take cab from Taipa Village to Senado Square (15-min. ride)

Take a cab back to Macau and visit Seac Pai Van Park, Sun Yat Sen Park, and Camoes Garden

3 pm to 4 pm

Walk to A-Ma Temple (one mile, approx.. 20-minute walk)

Visit Ruins of St. Paul’s and Macau Museum

Walk to Puffin Café for dinner

4 pm to 6 pm

Take a cab to the JW Marriott Hotel Macau for dinner at Urban Kitchen

Walk to Kun Iam Statue (less than 10 minutes) Exhibition Center closes at 6 pm

Take a cab to Hac Sa Beach to catch the sunset**

6 pm to 7:15 pm

Casino hop and get drinks

Walk to Hotel Lisboa/Wynn Macau/MGM Macau 10 minutes)

Take a shuttle to the Venetian Macau for casino hopping, drinks, and shows

7:20 pm

Catch free shuttle from City of Dreams, Wynn, Galaxy, Venetian, Studio City, or Sands Cotai Central to The House of Dancing Water

Take shuttle to Venetian Macao/Four Seasons/City of Dreams/Sands Cotai Central/ Galaxy Macau

8 pm to 10 pm

Enjoy the show

Eat dinner, casino hopping, shopping

10 pm to 10:30 pm

Take free shuttle back to Conrad Macau

Check out some of the bridges of Macau

10:30 pm

Take yo ass to sleep!

Good night!

**For ease and convenience, we have suggested taking a taxi, but remember that Macau has an excellent bus system, so if you’re up for the task, hop aboard a bus instead.