Guide to transportation in Macau

In my previous article, I introduced you to Hiro Ramen, a must-visit spot for anyone visiting Macao, and discussed the city’s unique subdivision into three distinct areas. Today, I want to focus on something extremely practical and useful for both tourists and those staying in Macao for study or work: the transportation options in Macao.

Macao: A Small but Crowded Place

As mentioned before, Macao is divided into three main zones: historic Macao, modern Taipa, and the exclusive island of the University of Macao, accessible to everyone, not just students. Despite seeming expansive, Macao is actually quite compact. Thanks to an efficient bus line system, it’s possible to traverse the entire city in about an hour if you catch the right bus.

Buses in Macao: A Simple Guide

Using buses in Macao is straightforward, thanks to three main apps. Searching for “Macau bus travel” on Google Play Store or Apple Store will direct you to the official app, which is updated in real-time and very useful.

However, Google Maps and Moovit are solid alternatives, with Moovit standing out for its accuracy, despite being somewhat ad-heavy. The main issue I’ve encountered with Moovit is the ads. If you’re in a hurry or unsure whether you’re at the right stop, the ads can cause inconvenient delays (being too long and frequent). Also, remember to always account for double the travel time estimated by Moovit due to Macao’s significant traffic congestion.

Regarding payment, using cash is discouraged due to the need for the exact amount (6 MOP). More convenient alternatives are the “MPass” card and the “MPay” app, offering reduced fares (3 MOP) and more convenience. The “MPass”, available at 7-Eleven stores, is versatile and can also be used in restaurants and supermarkets, while “MPay” is particularly beneficial for long-term residents due to its wide acceptance (unlike MPass, it’s accepted everywhere and for every purchase) and the ability to top up without fees.

While you're navigating the vast ocean of information and entertainment on the internet, it's crucial to ensure your digital surfing is safe and unrestricted. That's where Surfshark comes into play, offering you a seamless and secure online experience.

Surfshark is a cutting-edge VPN, Ad-Blocker, Anti-Virus and Alternative ID service designed to protect your privacy, secure your digital life, and open up a world of content without borders. Whether you're streaming your favorite shows, shopping online, or browsing the web, Surfshark keeps you safe with industry-leading encryption and privacy features. Thanks to TheGameTV, now every plan is discounted

MPass vs. MPay: Which to Choose?

Although MPay might seem more advantageous for transportation, using the contactless “MPass” card is quicker when boarding buses, reducing wait times. It’s important to note that buses can become extremely crowded, especially during peak hours, sometimes making immediate access challenging.

For those planning to stay in Macao for extended periods, it’s possible to link MPay to MPass, transferring credit from MPass to MPay, although as of the time of this article, it’s not possible to transfer in the reverse direction (from MPay to MPass) for purchases.

Andrea Pimpini is a student of Economics and Management at the University of Chieti-Pescara and, from September 2022 to February 2023, he is also an Erasmus+ student at the University of Split (Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism). Andrea has also taken three courses offered by the prestigious CERGE-EI Foundation and, being a Japanese language enthusiast, has taken two courses provided by the Japan-Abruzzo Association. In 2022, Andrea took the courses “Music Business Foundations,” “Copyright Law in the Music Business” and “Building your career in music: Developing a brand and financing your music” offered by Berklee Online on A big hobby of Andrea’s is music and, thanks to his college and web experiences, he manages everything on his own (print and radio promotion, digital marketing, etc.). Media success is not long in coming: in 2020, live streams are shared on national newspapers such as Sky TG24, alongside well-known names from the Italian music scene (Modà, Francesco Renga, Nek, etc.). In 2021, Billboard places Andrea at the top of a chart for 3 consecutive weeks. Finally, in 2022, Il Messaggero, one of the most popular and best-selling newspapers in Italy, interviews Andrea.

Leave a Reply