Getting around Macau city
The centre of peninsular Macau is compact, and most of the sights and attractions are easily reached on foot. Other attractions, such as the Macau Tower, A-Ma Temple, Guia Hill and Coloane and Taipa islands are further afield and require jumping on a bus or hailing a taxi, both of which are cheap, readily available and efficient.
Branches of the Macau Government Tourist Office, including the one on Senado Square, distribute the excellent (and free) Macau Tourist Map, with bus routes marked.
City buses are operated by the state-owned Transmac (tel: +853 2827 1122; www.transmac.com.mo) and the smaller Transportes Colectivos de Macau (tel: +853 2885 0060; www.tcm.com.mo). These operators also run frequent buses to and from the adjacent islands of Taipa and Coloane as well as Cotai, the strip of reclaimed land adjoining them. They are accessed by any of three bridges across the bay. Passengers need to carry the correct fare, as no change is given.
Alternatively, the MACAUpass is an electronic payment system installed on all public transport in Macau (www.macaupass.com).
For faster travel, hail a cab, with your directions written in Chinese characters to show the driver. Taxis are plentiful, safe and metered, and can be flagged down throughout the city.
Calling a cab company should only be attempted by guests who speak fluent Cantonese, as little English will be spoken. There are yellow (tel: +853 2851 9519) and black (tel: +853 2893 9939) taxis.
Car hire is not popular in Macau given the territory's high population density and small size. Roads however are generally in good condition and directional signs are in both Chinese and Portuguese. Unlike in mainland China, International Driving Permits are accepted in Macau, and traffic moves on the left side of the road with most cars being right-hand drive.
The streets of peninsular Macau are a gridlock of vehicles but you might rent a Moke, a brightly coloured Jeep-like convertible, from Happy Rent A Car (tel: +853 2872 6868), based in the Macau Ferry Terminal. Car hire is offered by Avis (tel: +853 2833 6789; www.avis.com.mo), with an office in the same building.
Cyclists are almost never seen in Macau, as the integrated road network becomes more congested and hazardous. There are a couple of places renting them on the islands though, including Iao Kei (tel: 2882 7975) at 36 Largo Governador Tamagini Barbosa in Taipa village.
A limited number of tricycle rickshaws, called triciclos in Portuguese or pedicabs, ferry tourists around the historic old city. You can hire these opposite the Grand Lisboa casino on Avenida de Amizade, but agree on a fare beforehand.
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