Do you want to know how much it costs to go to Macau? Known as the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau is an interesting mix of historical sites and massive casinos and modern buildings. One minute you can be snacking on Portuguese egg tarts and taking photos of the ruins of St Paul. The next you could be bungee jumping from the Macau Tower or riding a gondola down the canal in the Venetian Hotel & Casino. But what’s the cost to go to Macau and is it as expensive as you think? Read on to find out.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest three days and two nights in Macau. It’s not a huge place and can easily be combined with a trip to Hong Kong. Three days is plenty of time to explore the city and experience the highlights that Macau has to offer.
Please note that this guide is based on the cost of a single person. If you are travelling as a couple make sure to double these estimates (except for hotels).
|Food and drink||$126|
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a generous welcome bonus that’s often worth more than $900 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, and it comes with airport lounge access.
Flights from North America to Macau will cost you about $1,000 return. Keep in mind that flights from the west coast will probably be a little cheaper. There are no direct flights to Macau from North America, so most people will fly to Hong Kong and just make their way to Macau. That said, there are direct flights available from Hong Kong. So use Hong Kong as a base or stopover if you plan on visiting Macau.
You can get a pretty nice hotel room in Macau without spending a fortune which is a major travel perk. There are a number of decent options that come in under $150. That said, if you have a little extra to spend, the rooms at some of the top hotels and casinos in the city aren’t too expensive either. Depending on what time of year you go and how far in advance you book, you can get a room at a top-rated luxury hotel for about $250 per night. With that in mind, here are some hotels worth checking out in Macau.
- Artyzen Grand Lapa Macau
- Studio City Hotel
- Crowne Plaza Macau
- JW Marriott Macau
- The Parisian Macao
- The Venetian Macao
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $300 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus.
Canadians should consider the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, which gives you up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s enough points for a few free nights at some hotels, which could easily have a value of over $500.
Macau isn’t a huge city. Some areas are very walkable (such as the historic part). But if you want to get around and see everything you will need to rely on some transit to get around.
Depending on where you are staying, a hotel shuttle might be all you need to get around. Many of the fancier hotels offer this service which means you don’t need to worry about public transit at all. They even have shuttles that go to the ferry terminal.
If that doesn’t work out, then the cheapest option is to use the local buses. You can get a one-way ticket for under $1, but make sure you have the exact change or get a Macau Pass (which you can also use at convenience stores and vending machines).
If you are only visiting for a couple of days, then you might want to consider one of the hop-on-hop-off buses that will take you to the main areas of interest. These will be more expensive than using the public bus (about $25/day) but can be easier and some travellers enjoy the added commentary.
Another alternative is to use taxis. The taxis in Macau are black and fairly inexpensive.
Macau is an adult playground which means that if you aren’t careful you can end up spending a lot of money here. Some of the biggest highlights of Macau are the shopping malls filled with designer stores and boutiques and, of course, all the casinos. You can still visit these places to see the designs and architecture without spending money and gambling, but most people that come to Macau do like to test their luck.
Other highlights of interest in Macau include the historic centre, which you can explore for free on foot. The historic centre is really interesting because of its colonial history which is a huge contrast to the casinos and malls. Check out the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral, take in the views at Monte Fort. You’ll also be able to see some Portuguese style blue tiles at the Municipal Affairs Bureau and find several bakeries selling egg tarts by Senado Square.
Other things to do and areas of interest in Macau include:
If you don’t plan on going too crazy with gambling in Macau, you can get away with budgeting $200 on attractions. If you do want to gamble, you may need to add more.
Food and drink
The cost of food and drink in Macau will vary depending on what and where you eat. As with many other international destinations, you can find cheaper local meals as well as high-end fine dining. For average meal costs you can expect to pay the following:
- Breakfast – $7
- Lunch – $10
- Dinner – $25
Meaning your daily spend will be about $42. You could end up spending more if you get snacks such as egg tarts, bubble tea and beef jerky. Tipping is not very common here, although adding a little to the bill for your waiter is much appreciated.
It’s always a good idea to have a little extra cash on hand for random spending. Maybe to grab some souvenirs, a nicer meal, or try an extra activity. For your three days in Macau, I suggest an extra $100 should be sufficient for any extra spending.
Macau trip cost
So, how much does it cost to go to Macau? Based on the estimates above, you can expect to pay about US $1,746 for three days and two nights. Keep in mind the biggest portion of that is airfare and you can (and should!) combine a trip to Hong Kong. Macau isn’t big but it’s a cool place to visit for a few days and has a very interesting mix of historical sites and showy, modern attractions.
What time of year should I go to Macau?
Macau does get four seasons and the summer can be very hot and wet. For this reason, it’s recommended to visit Macau between October and April for cooler, drier temperatures.
How do I get from Macau to Hong Kong?
The best way to get between Macau and Hong Kong is a ferry. You can purchase your tickets ahead of time or just go early. The ferry runs regularly and takes less than an hour. You can also take a bus.
What currency do they use in Macau?
Macau has its own currency, the Macanese Pataca. In Macau they will also accept Hong Kong dollars, however, any change you receive will be in Macanese Pataca. Note that the Macanese Pataca is not widely accepted in Hong Kong so best to spend it all while in Macau.