Hong Kong and Macau are modern megacities in the southeastern part of China, which are the special administrative regions of this country. Cities are located relatively close to each other, have liberal visa requirements and have a lot in common. At the same time, Hong Kong and Macau differ significantly from each other, therefore, many tourists dream of visiting both metropolitan areas during one trip. The good news is that it is not difficult to do this, because you can get from Hong Kong to Macau quickly and inexpensively throughout the day. Below on the page you will find useful information about transport from Hong Kong to Macau, its timetable and cost, as well as points of departure and arrival in both cities.
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Distance between Hong Kong and Macau
Due to the fact that Hong Kong is not only a modern metropolis, but also a vast territory, including more than 260 islands, measuring the distance from Hong Kong to Macau is not easy. Therefore, the distance of 60 km (37 miles) from the center of Macau to the central part of the city on the Kowloon Peninsula is usually taken as the distance between Macau and Hong Kong. Of course, the distance from Macau to other areas of Hong Kong can be much less, and much more. For example, the distance from Macau to Lantau Island (one of the largest islands in Hong Kong) is only 30 km. While the distance from Macau to the eastern part of the Kowloon Peninsula is about 90 km.
If we talk about the distance between the airports of Hong Kong and Macau, it is 36 km (or 22 miles). The truth in this case is to take into account the fact that both airports are located on separate islands in the South China Sea (in the Pearl River Delta). In connection with such a short distance, air communication between cities is impractical to use when it comes to passenger aircraft. Therefore, to find flights from Hong Kong to Macau or back will not work, but you can use passenger helicopters for air traffic, although this method will not be affordable for everyone.
Hong Kong to Macau Ferries – timetables and prices
Despite the launch of a new road bridge between Hong Kong and Macao (Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao) in 2018, it is sea ferries that remain the most popular mode of transport between cities. First of all, because of their speed and convenience for passengers. Depending on the time of day and the point of departure from Hong Kong), the sea route between Macau and Hong Kong takes from 55 minutes to an hour (due to difficult weather conditions, it is possible to increase the duration of the trip by 10-15 minutes).
Currently, there are several ferry terminals in Hong Kong used to travel between cities, but not all of them are equally convenient for travelers. The most popular and convenient ferry terminal is located in the northwestern part of Hong Kong Island and is called the Hong Kong Macau Terminal. Already from the name it becomes clear which route is the main one on this ferry terminal.
The main advantage of this terminal is practically round-the-clock work, the minimum travel time to Macau, a lot of flights during the day. To get to the Hong Kong Macau Terminal, you can use the Hong Kong blue metro line (MTR), also called the “island line”. The desired station is Sheung Wan. You can also use ground transportation – buses or trams. You should use a transport that moves in the direction of Kennedy Town. In this case, you need to get off at the bus stop called Macau Ferry Terminal.
Between Hong Kong and Macau works ferries of several companies fly, but the most popular are the high-speed ferries of TurboJet. The cost of travel when buying online will be from 180 HKD (or 23 USD). Given the fact that Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities in the world, this is a very affordable price. At the same time, the cost of a Hong Kong-Macau ferry ticket differs depending on the time of day and the class of the cabin. Below on the page you can see the difference in the cost of tickets for the same ferry, depending on the class – Economy Class, Super Class, Premier Grand Class. This difference is very significant – the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive ticket for the same ferry exceeds 2.5 times.
Since the duration of the trip from Hong Kong to Macau or back is about 1 hour, and the level of comfort even in the Economy Class is quite good, the cheapest tickets may be sold out and you cant buy cheap ticket to the right ferry. However, ferries run frequently and if you want to save money, but do not want to buy tickets online, you may be lucky to buy a cheap ticket for the next flight in the terminal building. Also note that even the cheapest ferry tickets have a different cost depending on the time of day.
The ferry travel from Hong Kong to Macau during the day ranges from 15 minutes to an hour, and at night ferries depart from Hong Kong Macau Terminal to Macau every 2 hours (from midnight to 7 am). Ticket offices do not work at night, but if you are not afraid to use local self-service terminals, this is not a problem. There is a waiting room, a small shop and a cafe in the ferry terminal (it does not work at night). Everywhere there are information signs, so you will find the exit to the right ferries without any problems. All ferries arrive at the main pier in Macau – Macau Outer Harbor Terminal.
The second ferry terminal is located on the mainland of Hong Kong and is called the China Kowloon Terminal. This terminal is less convenient for trips from Hong Kong to Macau for three reasons. First, the cost of tickets to Macau is about 15-20% higher (depending on the class of the cabin on the ferry). Secondly, this terminal is used as an inland for ferries on the Zhuzyan River. As a result, there are always many tourists and even more locals at the terminal. Ferries constantly arrive and depart to various destinations inside Hong Kong. All this makes the China Kowloon ferry terminal a very crowded and noisy place where it will be more difficult for you to find the right ticket or a ferry, which you need to travel to Macau.
Thirdly, China Kowloon Terminal does not work around the clock: the first ferry leaves for Macau at 07:30 in the morning, and the last at 23:30. Travel time is also 1 hour, and TurboJet speed ferries also arrive in Macau for the main ferry terminal (Macau Outer Harbor Terminal). Another difference is the tickets of only two categories – Economy Class and Super Class, the difference between which is also almost 100%. By tradition, cheaper tickets are purchased first, and tickets to the Super Class can almost always be bought even a few days or hours before the trip.
How to get from Hong Kong Airport to Macau
There are situations when you need to get to Macau directly from Hong Kong airport. In such situations, you can come to the aid of the ferries of the same TurboJet company, which depart for Macau from a separate pier. The pier is called Hong Kong Airport Sky Pier and is located near the Hong Kong International Airport on Chek Lap Kok Island. As mentioned above, the distance from Hong Kong Airport to Macau is much less than the distance directly between Hong Kong and Macao. Unfortunately, less distance does not mean cheaper ferry tickets and less travel time.
Ferries from Hong Kong Airport Sky Pier are on the way to Macau for 1 hour, and their price starts from 290 HGD (or 37.5 USD). On the one hand, it is more expensive than ferries from Hong Kong to Macau, which are written above. On the other hand, the cost of a direct ferry from Hong Kong Airport to Macau is lower than the cost of transfer from the airport to Hong Kong and the ferry from Hong Kong to Macau, so there is a sense in using a direct ferry. However, there is another disadvantage: only 4 ferries to Macau depart from Hong Kong Airport Sky Pier every day. The first ferry is at 11:00 am, and the last one is at 10:00 pm. There are also ferries to Macau at 13:15 and 17:00.
If your plane arrives at night or early in the morning, then it will take many hours to wait for the nearest ferry to Macau. Ferries from Hong Kong Airport arrive at Macau Outer Harbor Terminal, from where you can easily reach any area in the city. When leaving Hong Kong, you will be given an exit stamp in your passport right at the ferry terminal, and at the entrance to Macau – a stamp about entry. This procedure usually takes only a few minutes.
Buses from Hong Kong to Macau – fast and cheap (from 20 USD)
In the fall of 2019, there was an opportunity to buy online a cheap tickets for buses from Hong Kong to Macau and from Macau to Hong Kong. The cost of a bus ride between these Asian cities is only 20-22 USD. This is less than the price of the cheapest ferry between Hong Kong and Macau. It is also very important that the bus ride will not be too long. Depending on the departure point in Hong Kong and the arrival point in Macau, the duration of the bus ride is from 1 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours. You can also see the current timetable and departure and arrival points in cities using the transportation in Asia website (direct link to the route, English version).
This travel option between cities is served by the Chinalink bus company, and you can choose one of three departure points in Hong Kong. This is East Point City in the eastern part of the city, TST West Elements on the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong and Wan Chai Station in the northern part of Hong Kong Island. You can also choose one of three destinations in Macau. Two arrival points are located in the Macau International Airport area. The third point is located a little north, on the Macau Peninsula. Thus, you can always choose the departure and destination points convenient for you in Macau and Hong Kong.
Thus, ferries and buses from various parts of Hong Kong are very fast, convenient and inexpensive (by local standards) ways to get from Hong Kong to Macau. If you are interested in the schedule and cost of ferries and buses in the opposite direction, we advise you to familiarize yourself with the materials on a separate page “How to get from Macau to Hong Kong.” We wish you pleasant and safe trips between cities.