A First Timer's Travel Guide and Itinerary to Macau

Macau has a special place in my heart because this is where I traveled abroad for the first time. I always thought that it is expensive to travel abroad but I managed to make our trip on a budget again. So happy and proud of myself! Haha.

Planning to go to Macau any time soon? Don't worry, I gotchu! I made a travel guide for you and I will also be sharing our itinerary 4D/3N.


Stores and establishments in Macau accept both MOP (Macau Pataca) and HKD (Hong Kong Dollars). Both also have the same value when you spend it in Macau. 1 MOP = 1 HKD However, you cannot use MOP when you go to Hong Kong.

When were at the airport, we tried to exchange our USD to MOP but there were no available MOP at that time so we exchanged it to HKD. Even though they almost have the same value, I feel like it is better to exchange USD and PHP to MOP. Every cents count, right? Haha!

1 MOP = 0.12USD or 6.31 PHP
1 HKD = 0.13 USD or 6.47 PHP
*** (as of November 2019)


We scored a promo fare from Cebu Pacific last March and we paid 2,489.15 PHP per person for our round-trip ticket. Regular rates are from 4,000 pesos to 8,000 pesos depending on the airlines. Since we our tickets are on promo rate, our flight going to Macau and going back to Manila are late at night. You also need to pay 1,620 PHP for the PH Travel Tax. We also paid for our check-in baggage just to be safe because I always overpack. Haha!

If you're from Hong Kong, you may ride the ferry or bus going to Macau. I think it is just an hour away and may cost at around 500 to 1,000 PHP.


Macau's main transportation are buses and taxis. There are also Casino Shuttle Buses that offers free rides from different landmarks like the Macau Tower, etc. Just ask the time of the shuttle.

There are designated bus stops and a lot of bus routes. It may me confusing at first. I know, we've been through that. Haha! What we did is we search our location and destination on google maps and it will tell you which bus stop and bus you will take. There are signage on the bus stop so you can double check. And don't be scared to ask the locals! :)

The Bus Stop at the Airport

Their buses have a fixed fare of 6MOP (42PHP or 0.75USD) per person. If you will pay in cash, you must give the exact amount since the bus driver do not give change.

So, in that case, I advise that you get the Macau Pass or Mpay card for convenience. You may get this for free and you just have to load it. We got ours from the Macao Food Festival, so I'm not really sure where you can get it in other locations. You will not worry about the coins for your fare anymore. You may also use this to pay at the supermarkets or stores. But please take note that one card is good for one person only (at the bus). You can't tap it for two or more persons.

I'm not sure about the taxi because we only get to ride it once. We were from Macau Fisherman's Wharf to Senado Square and we paid less than 50MOP, I think? The bus is still a lot cheaper that's why most people prefer it. There is also no traffic in Taipa, Cotai, Coloane and Macau City.


Commuting in Macau may really be confusing especially if it is your first time. It is best to search on google maps or any offline maps. It will give you the bus routes that you can ride for you to get to your destination. Just be mindful of the name of the bus stop because sometimes the right bus stop is on the other side. It happened to us one time. Haha! Instead of going back to Regency Art Hotel, we end up going to Coloane. So just make sure you are on the right bus stop. :)


Hotels in Cotai Strip and Taipa are more expensive than the hotels in the City Area. There are a few affordable hotels in Taipa that ranges from 3,000 - 5,000 PHP while the rest ranges from 6,000 PHP and above.

For our first night, we stayed at Regency Art Hotel located in Taipa. We booked this for only 3,296.16 PHP per night via Agoda. I chose this hotel because it is one of the affordable hotel in Taipa and it is just a few minutes away from the airport. The bus stop is also near the hotel. They will ask for 500MOP for the deposit which will be given back to you after you check out. There are restaurants and convenience stores near the area.

For our second and third night, we moved to another hotel because we thought that the city are is still a bit far from Taipa. But it is acutally just a few minutes away. Haha! But no regrets, at least we discovered more affordable restaurants near the second hotel.

We stayed at Hou Kong Hotel for our last two nights. We paid 2,551.58 PHP for our first night while we paid 3,385.47 PHP for our second night, both via Agoda. I booked it on a different month so the rates varies. So that's 5,937.05 PHP for two nights. We upgraded it to triple room so we added 150MOP per night (around 950.00 PHP). They will ask for 200MOP deposit and will be given back after you check in.

Hou Kong Hotel is just a few meters away from the bus stop too. Aside from that, there are also more affordable restaurants near this area and you can just walk to Senado Square from the hotel.

TIP: Look for a hotel that is near the bus stop.


WiFi is also not a problem in Macau. Most hotels, casino, restaurants and establishments even the buses have free WiFi. We bought one sim card with data load for 5 days at the airport for 120MOP (757 PHP) so we can still navigate if there's no WiFi available.

If you are in a group, I recommend that you get just one sim card like what we did during our trip. We divided the 120MOP to two. That would be just 60MOP per person.


Aside from its rich culture and history, Macau is also known for the egg tart and beef jerky, though they have it in Hong Kong as well.

Egg Tarts at Parisian Macau

We didn't get to try Lord Stow's because it was still closed when we went to Venetian Macau. We bought one in Parisian Macau instead. It costs 10MOP (63PHP) per piece. I think Lord Stow is much pricey than this one. I also bought a dozen and a half box of egg tarts at a shop near Senado Square before I went home. It is also good but I think I like the one from Parisian more.

Beef Jerky at Senado Square
It is my first time to try beef jerky. The price is not the same for all the shops who sell this one. We mostly saw 100MOP and above on the first stalls. We found the cheaper ones at The Ruins of St. Paul's. I bought mine for 78MOP (492 PHP) for one pound of pork and 62MOP (391 PHP) for a piece/strip of beef.

Aside from Beef Jerky and Egg Tarts, there are also a lot of cookies in varieties and they also tastes good. It is like pulvoron here in the Philippines.

Shops near Ruins of St. Paul's

If you're going to buy pasalubong, I recommend that you buy them at the Ruins of St. Paul's. They are much cheaper there than the ones outside and in Senado Square. They offer free taste samples so you could decide which one you really like. Mabubusog ka sa free taste, mga besh! Haha.

Menu of a Restaurant in Taipa near Regency Art Hotel

For small restaurants, most of them do not have a menu in English but they have photos on the wall or they will give you a card of photos which I really do appreciate.

A Small Restaurant near Hou Kong Hotel

There are a lot of affordable restaurants in the City Area. Cotai Strip is more known for the buffet of the hotels and casino. So if you're really wanna go on a budget or you'll be staying here a bit longer, I suggest you book a hotel at the City Area and you'll find affordable restaurants there.

So here's a sample of our meal. At the City Area, you can have a meal at around 30 to 50MOP (190 to 315PHP). If you're not a heavy eater, I suggest you can just order one and share with a friend. Most of the restaurants have a big serving. That'll help you also cut your expenses.

Congee with Century Egg (Left), Toast/Smoked Salmon (Right)

We found a small restaurant that serves congee. We ordered just one because it is already big enough for two person (for a midnight snack). As far as I remember, it only costs 25MOP. Their seasoning are on the next level. It made the congee taste really good and the congee comes with century egg. It's my first time to try it! Haha. :) We also found a Western themed restaurant near Hou Kong Hotel. I ordered a meal for 42MOP (265PHP) and an Almond Oat Milk for 7MOP (44 PHP).


Macao Food Festival happens every year in the month of November. We didn't know that actually. We were browsing the internet, searching for the places we can visit when we saw an article that there will be a food festival. There are so many foods from different countries, even Philippines! :)

It opens at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. It is crowded actually but people just come and go. You can easily find a seat. We ate here for dinner twice. The food here is a bit expensive I think. Every day we spend like 150 to 200MOP per night, good for 3 pax. Though we ordered a lobster and seafoods! Haha. The food was really good though!


Klook offers a lot of activities for Macau but we only availed the Afternoon Tea Time at the Macau Tower. I wanted to try the Golden Reel but it was closed already when we went there. Maybe next time!

The bus tour is okay if you only have a day to tour around and take a quick glimpse of the city. But if you will be staying here for two or more days, I recommend you to just commute and explore the places (go inside, take photos). I heard that the day tours are also pretty expensive.

For the Eiffel Tower at the Parisian, we did not avail the observation deck since we are already going to the Macau Tower. There's a park in front of it where you can take good photos.

I did not anticipate the walking here! Haha. So please always wear shoes for comfort and convinience. I don't really walk often but during our trip, we walked 10,000 steps to 20,000 steps per day (as my phone says. haha!).


We really didn't have an itinerary when we went here. We just listed the places we want to visit but I made our itinerary just in case you need a sample. There are still some places that we didn't get to see though! Maybe next time :)


6:45PM Boarding Time
7:05PM Depart from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3
8:55PM Arrived at Macau International Airport
10:20PM Late Check-In at Regency Art Hotel (6MOP fare)
11:00PM Late Dinner (35MOP, one meal)


8:30AM Head to Cotai Strip (6MOP fare)
9:11AM Venetian Macau
10:20AM Parisian Macau
11:30AM Coloane, Macau (6MOP fare)
12:00NN Brunch at Coloane (30MOP)
12:30NN Travel Back to Hotel (6MOP)
2:30PM Check in at Hou Kong Hotel (6MOP fare)
3:45PM Afternoon Tea Time at 360 Cafe Macau Tower (1,000 PHP via Klook)
5:00PM Macau Tower Observation Deck (Included at Klook)
6:20PM Macao Food Festival (50MOP)
8:00PM Free Shuttle from Macao Tower to Studio City
8:09PM Back to Hotel (6MOP fare)
10:42PM Beer night (75MOP)

Day 3

10:00AM Breakfast at MS Blossom Cafe (50MOP)
11:00AM Senado Square (Free Entrance)
12:00NN Ruins of St. Paul (Free Entrance)
1:30PM Walk Back to Hotel
4:10PM To Panda Pavillion, Coloane (12MOP fare)
4:52PM Arrived at Panda Pavillion, Coloane (Closed)
5:36PM Travel to Food Festival (6MOP fare)
6:45PM Macao Food Festival (50MOP)
7:30PM Congee and stroll around (28MOP)
10:00PM Back to Hotel

Day 4

11:48AM Brunch + Check Out (35MOP)
12:35PM Senado Square (Free Entrance)
2:45PM Travel to Macau Fisherman's Wharf (6MOP fare)
3:49PM Macau Fisherman's Wharf (Free Entrance)
4:15PM Travel to Senado Square via Taxi (40MOP)
4:45PM Back to Hou Kong Hotel
5:00PM Travel to Macau International Airport (6MOP)
10:00PM Flight back to Manila


Airfare: 2,489.15 PHP
PH Travel Tax: 1,620.00 PHP
Hotel for 4D/3N: 6,264.69 PHP
Macau Tower via Klook: 1,000PHP
Total: 9,725.76 PHP

The rates of the hotels and airfare also vary on the date and promo. Since we booked our flight in March, we booked and paid our hotel months in advance so we can still save for the trip in November.

Fare: 100MOP (630 PHP)
Meal: 400MOP (2,600 PHP)

This is just an estimate. I did not include other food and pasalubong. Also, we are used in eating twice a day so it will add up if you will eat three times a day or dine in a buffet. Nevertheless, 5,000PHP is enough for transportation and food (on a budget). The pasalubong is another issue. Mas magastos yung pasalubong, tbh! Haha. And wag masaydo magconvert, kasi mahal talaga sya compared sa Philippines kasi iba yung currency natin.


I hope this post will help you on your trip to Macau. :)


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