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How to get to Macao’s main attractions from the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal by bus

Coming by ferry from Hong Kong and don’t want to join the crushingly long taxi queue on arrival in Macao? Hopping on a bus into town is simple and cheap
  • From the ferry terminal, you can easily board buses to most places you’d want to go – and yes, they take cash, including Hong Kong coins

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UPDATED: 12 Jun 2024, 3:43 pm

For many travellers, catching public buses in a strange city can be a confusing experience, figuring out timetables, routes, how to pay, and how much to pay. 

Macao is no exception. Bus stops at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, a preferred point of entry for many tourists, lack easy to read schedules. The stops also have long, Portuguese names –  anyone for Avenida Panorâmica do Lago Sai Van/Ponte-Cais da Barra? – which isn’t helpful. (That’s the stop, incidentally, for the A-Ma Temple, one of Macao’s main tourist attractions, but you wouldn’t know it if we didn’t tell you.)

[See more: This is how you catch a public bus in Macao]

While it is possible to get a cab at the ferry terminal taxi stand, you may have to put up with long waiting times because of the chronic shortage of taxis in Macao. There are fewer than 1,400 taxis in town, for a resident population of almost 700,000, not to mention the tens of thousands of tourists who pour into the city each day during busy periods. To add insult to injury, the city has no ride hailing service. Uber was banned in 2017. 

All this means you may need to accept the inevitable and board a bus. Luckily, navigating the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal bus stops can be a cinch with our guide. When you come off the boat and exit the terminal building, here’s what to do.

Public Buses

This is how you catch a public bus in Macao - Macau Pass
Macao’s public bus system isn’t too hard to figure out and offers a cheap way of exploring the city – Photo by Chintung Lee

The public bus station at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal can be found to the left of the arrival hall as you exit the main doors. Just follow the signs. 

Cash and contactless payment are both accepted on buses in Macao. The cash fare is 6 patacas, which is double that of the contactless payment option. Hong Kong coins are accepted as well as local currency, but you’ll need the exact amount as the driver will not give change. 

[See more: How to get the bus from Macao to Hong Kong Airport (and vice versa)]

If you want to go contactless, you’ll need to buy an electronic payment card called Macau Pass. The cards are available at most convenience stores in Macao, including the two that are located on the arrival and departure floors of the ferry terminal. 

Each card costs 130 patacas, which includes a 30 pataca card fee and a 100 pataca initial top up. True, you may not spend all that on bus fares, but you can also use the card for payment in many shops and restaurants and on the Light Rail Transit system. When you pay with the card, your bus fare is just 3 patacas.

Now you need to decide which part of Macao you’re heading to – the peninsula, Taipa, Cotai or Coloane.

Macau Peninsula 

Historic Centre of Macao 

Reaching the Historic Centre of Macao from the ferry terminal by bus is easy can can cost as little as 3 patacas
Reaching the Historic Centre of Macao from the ferry terminal by bus is easy can can cost as little as 3 patacas – Photo by Yuyang Liu

The most convenient and direct way to travel to Macao’s historic centre from the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal is to board the number 3 bus since it has the least number of stops (only seven) and does not require any transfers. You can board it from bay A of the ferry terminal station and hop off at the stop called Almeida Ribeiro/OCBC (M134), which is within walking distance from Senado Square, the Ruins of St Paul’s, St. Dominic’s Church and other major heritage attractions. 

A-Ma Temple and Macau Maritime Museum

Macao’s historic A-Ma Temple. From here, try catching the LRT to Taipa to continue your sightseeing adventure
Macao’s historic A-Ma Temple. From here, try catching the LRT to Taipa to continue your sightseeing adventure – Photo by Constantine S

A number of different buses go to A-Ma Temple and the adjacent Maritime Museum, but the shortest way is to board the number 60 bus and get off at the eighth stop, Avenida Panorâmica do Lago Sai Van/Ponte-Cais da Barra (M198). The temple and museum can be found across the street. 

[See more: How to enjoy Macao on a budget]

Alternatively, you can take the 28B, although you will have to pass through eleven stops before disembarking at Templo A Ma (M203). Similarly, the number 10 is another option if you are willing to sit through 13 stops to the same alighting point. 

Pro tip: The Barra LRT station is within walking distance from A Ma Temple, meaning that after exploring the area, you can board the train to make your way across the water to Taipa and see other attractions, including the Venetian Macau, Galaxy Macau and Taipa Village

Macau Tower

Fancy a bungee jump from the famous Macau Tower? Bus numbers 60 and 32 will get you there
Fancy a bungee jump from the famous Macau Tower? Bus numbers 60 and 32 will get you there – Photo by Diomss

The number 60 and 32 buses are the most direct routes to the Macau Tower from the ferry terminal. If you choose to take the 60, which is the quickest option, you will need to alight at the seventh stop, Torre/Túnel Rodoviário (M182). For those taking the 32, disembark at the tenth stop, Torre de Macau (M177).

Macao Science Centre and Macao Museum of Art

Museums in Macao gear up for International Museum Day
A number of buses service the Macao Science Centre and nearby Macao Museum of Art, but walking from the ferry terminal is also a possibility – Photo by Macao News

To go to the Macao Science Centre, take the 12, 60 or 17S bus and hop off at Centro de Ciência de Macau (M266) after two stops. If you intend to visit the Macao Museum of Art, you can also take the same buses, but get off at Nape/Centro Cultural (M257) after three stops.

Assuming the weather is pleasant, going to either venue on foot is also another option, since they are about a 15-minute walk from the ferry terminal. 

[See more: Insider’s guide to Macao: Top tips every visitor should know]

You will need to get to a pedestrian footbridge via an escalator on the left hand side as you exit the ferry terminal. Walk in the direction of Fisherman’s Wharf, where the bridge will set you down. Turn onto Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and walk until you see a roundabout. The Museum of Art is on your right and the Science Centre dead ahead. 

Guia Hill Municipal Park and Guia Lighthouse

Guia Lighthouse
The Guia Lighthouse is a famous symbol of Macao. Getting there involves a bit of a walk from the nearest bus stop, but the trip is worth it – Photo by Macao News

Getting to the Guia Hill Municipal Park and the famous Guia Lighthouse, can be done by taking the 29, 10 or 32 and getting off at A Praca Flor de Lotus (M241). 

From there, backtrack along Rua de Luis Gonzaga Gomes until you reach the very end of the road. Turn left at Rua de Malacca and keep walking straight until you reach the pedestrian footbridge near the Caltex gas station and Casa Real Hotel. 

[See more: Not just in museums: Where to find Macao’s living Portuguese connections]

Once you are on the footbridge, keep walking in the direction past the gas station to get to the Guia Hill Pedestrian Tunnel, which will take you to the park. From there, you can hike up the hill or take a cable car to visit the Guia Lighthouse. Other nearby attractions that are worth visiting include the Sun Yat Sen Memorial House, Lou Lim Ioc Garden and Tap Seac Square

Taipa and Coloane 

Taipa Village

Traditional Portuguese architecture can be seen in Taipa Village and the adjoining Taipa Houses Museum
Traditional Portuguese architecture can be seen in Taipa Village and the adjoining Taipa Houses Museum – Photo by Jack Hong

The 28A offers the most direct bus service to Taipa Village. Simply hop off at Rua do Cunha (T320) after 12 stops.

Another option is to board the 102X, which only requires six stops, although you’ll need to walk roughly 10 minutes to reach the village. After getting off at Estadio de Macau (T324), walk in the direction that the bus was travelling from for 300 metres until you reach a slip lane. Turn right at the lane and keep walking straight to reach Taipa Village. 

[See more: ​​How to do Rua do Cunha like a pro]

There are also plenty of other attractions in the vicinity that are worth checking out, including the historic Taipa Houses, the Taipa wetlands ecological trail, the Cotai Strip (see “Casino Shuttle Buses” below) and the Taipa Grande Viewing Platform

Macao Giant Panda Pavilion 

Macao’s panda pavilion spans more than 3,000 square metres and is home to four pandas and a variety of other animals
Macao’s panda pavilion spans more than 3,000 square metres and is home to four pandas and a variety of other animals – Photo by Sid Balachandran

The number 56 bus will get you to the Panda Pavilion without any transfers. You will need to pass through 14 stops until you reach the terminal station Avenida Vale das Borboletas/Terminal (C690/6). 

From the main terminal entrance, walk to the very end of the road, in the direction of the traffic, until you reach a bend. Continue down the bend until you reach a T-intersection. Turn left and continue walking in the direction of the unmissable large red building (the mothballed Hotel 13). Veer left at the junction and follow the footpath until you reach the entrance of the Panda Pavilion. 

[See more: These are the best things to do with kids in Macao]

There’s another way that requires less walking, but you’ll have to transfer buses. From the ferry terminal, board the 102X to Chun Lai Garden (T402), which is just three stops away. Then, transfer to the 21A or 25 bus and get off at Parque de Seac Pai Van (C655), which is 12 stops away. 

Cheoc Van Beach and Hac Sa Beach

One of only two beaches in Macao, Hac Sa makes for an enjoyable excursion from the city
One of only two beaches in Macao, Hac Sa makes for an enjoyable excursion from the city – Photo by Filcorz

There are no direct public buses to either one of these beaches from the ferry terminal, meaning that a transfer is unavoidable. 

One possible route is to take the 102X bus and hop off at the third stop, Chun Lai Garden (T402). From there, you can transfer to the 21A or 26A bus and alight at Praia Cheoc Van (C667) or Praia de Hac Sa (C669) depending on which beach you wish to visit.  

[See more: Government plans ‘world-class adventure park’ in Hac Sa]

Another option is to take the 28A, get off at seventh station, Esparteiro/Regency (T403) and transfer to the 21A or 26A, alighting at the stops for either one of the beaches. 

Coloane Village

Its Portuguese style buildings and sleep charm make Coloane Village a must-see for visitors
Its Portuguese style buildings and sleepy charm make Coloane Village a must-see for visitors – Photo by Zen S Prarom

The easiest option to reach sleepy Coloane Village is to take the 102X and transfer to the number 25 or 21A after disembarking at the third stop, Chun Lai Garden (T402). 

If you’re on the 25 bus, alight at the fourteenth stop, Coloane Village (C686). If you get the 21A, get off at the fourteenth stop, Associacao de Moradores de Coloane (C660) and backtrack to the roundabout to reach the main part of the village. 

[See more: More than 40,000 trees will be planted in Coloane this year]

Taking the 28A bus is another possible option and it involves alighting from the seventh station, Esparteiro/Regency (T403). From there, transfer to the 25 bus and get off at Coloane Village (C686). 

Casino Shuttle Buses

All the big casinos run free shuttle buses, connecting their establishments with different parts of Macao, including the ferry terminals, airport and Border Gate
All the big casinos run free shuttle buses, connecting their establishments with different parts of Macao, including the ferry terminals, airport and Border Gate – Photo by drown_ in_city

Free casino shuttle buses can be found just across the street from the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal by walking down a pedestrian underpass near the main entrance of the arrivals floor. 

These buses run roughly every 15 to 30 minutes and will take you to the main casinos and resorts, both on the peninsula and out in Cotai. Shuttle buses also depart from the casinos to other parts of Macao like the Border Gate and airport. Click on the links below for their schedules and bookmark this page to keep them handy. 

[See more: Here’s a guide to the hotel and casino shuttle bus services in Macao]

For everything you need to know about free shuttle buses in Macao, check out our comprehensive guide

Pro tip: Even if you don’t plan to set foot in the casinos, you can still hop on their shuttle buses to reach nearby attractions. For example, taking the free shuttle to Grand Lisboa will put you within 10-15 minutes from the Historic Centre of Macao by foot. Likewise, if you travel to Galaxy by complimentary shuttle, you can easily walk to Taipa Village within 15 to 20 minutes. 

Casino shuttle bus timetables 

Sands ChinaMelcoWynnMGMSJMGalaxy
Sands ChinaCity of DreamsWynn MacauMGM MacauHotel LisboaStarWorld Hotel
The Londoner MacaoStudio CityWynn Palace CotaiMGM CotaiGrand LisboaGalaxy Macau
The Parisian MacaoGrand Lisboa Palace
The Venetian Macao

UPDATED: 12 Jun 2024, 3:43 pm

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