Despite its small size, Macau has a fairly efficient and affordable public transport system that covers most of its territory. Visitors of the city are often surprised by the competent and orderly system of how traffic moves in the small city. This makes getting around Macau extremely easy without the hassle.
The Macau network has two main bus companies that cover most of its territory, Transmac and TCM. All buses are air-conditioned and comfortable, and charge fairly low fares that are based on the passenger’s travelled distance. Macau buses require exact change but it’s good to know that local passengers usually help you out if you don’t have small change. Final destinations and their route numbers are displayed on the top-front panel of the buses while the destination, itineraries and stops are all found at the information panels on every bus stop.
The Macau Pass is a contactless prepaid smartcard that is Macau’s version of Hong Kong’s Octopus Card. Using such passes save the hassle of needing exact change plus can save on fare transport as well. These cards may be purchased at any Royal Supermarket branch or at Transmac’s customer service centers.
Taxis are plentiful around the territory as they are easy to find near the airport, ferry terminals and major gaming venues and hotels. Like any other city, finding one during rush hour may be difficult. There are two types of cabs that roam around the city, the black bodied ones with a cream colored top and the entirely yellow ones.
Although many of the drivers speak some English, the Tourist Office has expended effort to enhance the quality of taxi services by eliminating the language barrier between the taxi driver and passenger. Most taxis have been equipped with a destination guide that now includes the names of the most visited destinations in Macau in languages such as Chinese, Portuguese and English.
Although not entirely considered as a means of transportation, pedicabs are human-powered tricycles that can seat two people. Also called Cycle Rickshaw or Trishaw, they mostly work a circuit around the old Lisboa and the Ferry Pier that offer tourists the chance to see the city from a different angle. Make sure to seriously bargain before boarding pedicabs as the drivers have a reputation of asking for ridiculous prices. Other than for the tourist experience, getting around Macau on land using pedicabs is not recommended.
Renting a car is also not advisable. Although road conditions rate fairly well, many streets remain narrow and congested, especially those around the city center. Parking is also hard to find. However, if you do wish to rent a car in Macau, you must be at least 21 years old and hold a valid international driving license. Registration is also required at the Police Traffic Department of Macau SAR.
Although the Macau Peninsula is considerably small, there are many sites worth seeing and many claim that the best way to see them is to walk by foot. It may also be a quicker option than to take a bus or taxi with the numerous one-way roads around the metropolis. Strolling along the main street is not only an eco-friendly way to getting around Macau but visitors will be able to enjoy the fresh sea breeze of the city.