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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > China > Macau > Macau city

Macau city Weather

26°C

Local time Macau city

Currency

MOP$

Getting around Macau city

Public transport

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).

Taxis

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.

Driving

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.

Car hire

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.

Bicycle hire

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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Featured Hotels

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Harbourview Hotel

Drawing rather incongruously on 18th-century Prague as a basis for its style and design, this 389-room hotel is nevertheless a smart, well-rated place to stay. Perks include a Jacuzzi and indoor pool, as well as a cocktail bar. It offers good value for money, and sits close to the Sands Macao.

Grand Emperor Hotel

With a gilded chariot at the entrance, doormen dressed as Buckingham Palace guards and myriad chandeliers, the Grand Emperor doesn't go in for subtlety. The rooms are more restrained, with wall-mounted plasma screen TVs and large bathrooms with walk-in rainforest shower. Facilities include a business centre, fitness centre and five floors of gaming.

Hotel Royal Macau

This newly renovated Macau hotel may be a little removed from the action, but it's all the more attractive for that reason. It's just up the hill from the wonderful Clube Militar de Macau restaurant and offers some good-value packages. It sits at the foot of Colina da Guia, Macau's landmark hill and the site of the historic Guia fort and lighthouse.

Ole London Hotel

This very pink, six-storey block with 60 rooms near the Inner Harbour boasts smart and spotless (if small) rooms. All rooms have private bathroom with hair dryer, TVs and a mini bar. Breakfast is included. Given its location and rates, the Ole London Hotel offers one of the best deals in town.

Parisian Macao

Open on the Cotai Strip since mid-2016 (and echoing its Gallic namesake in Las Vegas), the Parisian Macao features a half-size replica Eiffel Tower, complete with observation decks and nightly light shows. The hotel itself has a mind-boggling 3,000 rooms and suites, all furnished to a high standard, and there are numerous dining, shopping and entertainment options.

Grand Coloane Resort

Formerly the Westin Resort Macau, this five-star getaway overlooks gardens and a sandy beach on Coloane Island. It's long been favoured by visitors seeking a bit of peace and quiet in upscale surrounds. Each room has a sea or beach view, and there's an excellent spa and an adjoining golf course.