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Budget Food And Accommodation Options In Macau

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Macau prices

The bad news is that Macau is not necessarily a budget friendly place. Some statistics even show that Macau is nearly twice more expensive than Las Vegas (one of many things we were surprised by in Macau). There are plenty of pricey casino hotels and posh restaurants around, however budget accommodation does exists as well. The problem is that even a single tiny room remotely located from the city center costs a minimum of  MOP200 ($25)! It is still cheap in comparison to casino hotels, believe me.

Macau City Center

In terms of food,  the prices are not that high. You can eat like the locals (mostly street food) and you will be filled up for cheap. Cheap is around $3-$5 for lunch and $5-$10 for budget dinner. If you cut down on alcohol (a bottle of beet costs around $2-$3) and parties, Macau does not have to be super expensive.

An example of MOP20

Macau has its own currency called Macau Pataca (MOP), MOP1 = $0,13, but you can also us Hong Kong dollars here since they are essentially the same value.

Cost of random food and transportation in Macau

  • Meal in an inexpensive restaurant – 60 HK$ ($8)
  • A basic McDonald’s meal – 30 HK$ ($4)
  • A bottle of imported beer – 30 HK$ ($4)
  • Small bottled water – 11 HK$ ($1.50)
  • Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) – 29 HK$ ($4)
  • One-way ticket (local transport) – 3 HK$ ($0.40)
  • Taxi (1km) – 15 HK$ ($2)

We try to “survive” in Macau as cheap as possible. Here are the budget food and accommodation options we went for:

Best budget accommodation options

1. Vila Universal.

Price: Around MOP360 ($46) per double room (weekend price).

Location: Rua da Felicidade, n.0 73, r/c e Kuoc-chai, Macau, China.

Pros/cons: The location is perfect, nearby the Senado Square. Although the staff were not very friendly, the rooms were very clean. Wi-Fi was available only at the reception.

Vila Universal inside
Our room. Pretty small, but comfy

2. Vila Hou Va.

Price: Sunday-Thursday at MOP380 ($48), Friday at MOP430 ($55), and Saturday at MOP480 ($61 ), double room.

Location: Rua da Ribeira do Patane, no.86D, 1o andar , Macau.

Pros/cons: This is the place where we stayed the longest. It was located in a very cozy area, about 2-3 km from the city center. There was Wi-Fi available in our room and there was a local supermarket and bakery nearby. It is owned by Chinese lady, extremely friendly. She didn’t speak much English, but Filipino cleaning lady did so there was never a problem with communication.

Vila Hou Va, Macau, China
A cute cat sitting on the TV
Our room in Vila Hou Va

3. Ko Wah Hotel.

Price: Fridays for 350 HK$ ($45), Saturday 400 HK$ ($51) and weekdays 280 HK$ ($36) for single room.

Location: 3F, No.71 Rua da Felicidade, Macau, China.

Pros/cons:  The hotel location is good, very close to Senado Square and other famous attractions. Note: Hotel only accept cash in HKD, no MOP money accepted. There is also Wi-Fi available at the reception, bad quality though.

Our room in Ko Wah Hotel

Best budget food options

 1. Kebab – MOP25 ($3).

Nearby the Vila Universal Hotel (Rua da Felicidade, n.0 73, r/c e Kuoc-chai) there is a kebab stand where you can fill yourself up with a kebab meat wrapped in a pita bread topped with garlic sauce and served with veggies. It’s cheap and delicious!

Local kebab stand

2. Street seafood – MOP20 ($.250).

A small bowl of seafood costs only MOP20 ($2.50) and you can get it anywhere. I would recommend to try some veggies if you are a vegetarian. If you find it tasteless, you can have them with some sauces (there is a great variety of them – from garlic, tomato to meat and mushroom sauce).

Local seafood stand

The seafood stands are available all over Macau, in every street corner. You can’t miss it.

Eat as much as you want

The food is ready in 2-3 minutes and there are no queues.

A great variety of seafood from grabs to fish balls

3. Cafe Ou Mun – Portuguese Cafe, Restaurant and Bakery.

Location: Travessa de Sao Domingos, No 12 R/C. Business hours: Tuesday to Sunday 08.00 – 23:00. Closed on Monday.

Cafe Ou Mun

We had our first traditional Portuguese breakfast here: a glass of Galao (Portuguese coffee with milk), a cup of green tea, Sandes de Ovo com Queijo, Fiambre, Tomate e Afece (egg, cheese, ham, tomato and lettuce sandwich) followed by Serradura (Portuguese sawdust pudding). Heaven in our mouth. This Portuguese c@fe is called Cafe Ou Mun and it’s just right in the corner of Travessa de Sao Domingos. We paid MOP117.00 ($14).

Our breakfast at Cafe Ou Mun
Enjoying the food

We would like to highly recommend this place to anyone who is seeking a decent Portuguese breakfast option. The food is fresh and extremely delicious. We enjoyed every bite of it. The prices might be higher, but it’s worth it. There are also plenty of Portuguese cakes and pastries sold there. You can go for an egg tart, chocolate cake, croissant or cheesy bun.

A great option of desserts and hot drinks at Cafe Ou Mun

The place itself looks very cozy. We liked its design and the typical Portuguese atmosphere.

Cafe Ou Mun

4. Cafe Free. 

Cafe Free was our favorite bakery in Macau where we picked up some delicious cakes and fresh croissants every morning from.

Location:  南灣大馬路 (We could find only Chinese location on the Internet).

Example of prices: Denmark Miscya Bread (MOP13, $1.60), Japanese bread filled with bananas (MOP10, $1.25) and a cheese bun with garlic and basil (MOP6, $0.75). You can also grab a large cup of coffee for MOP20, $2.50.

Our favourite cake at Cafe free
Our favourite breakfast option at Cafe Free: chocolate croissant, had bun, garlic bread and mini cheese soft baguette

5. Cafe E.S.Kimo.

Cafe E.S. Kimo is a Macao-invested western food restaurant.  It is a good place for afternoon tea or a dinner at reasonable price.

Location: Rua do Regedor, no.175 R/C, Vila de Taipa, Macau, China.

Cafe E.S.Kimo

Most of dishes are Chinese (Sichuan style) and Taiwanese. The typical menu includes such dishes as Spicy Beef Rice (32 HK$/ $4) or Spicy Pork Rice (30 HK$/ $4). We went for Diced Chicken with Hemp Pepper Rice  for 32 HK$/ $4. We shared the plate together as we were not super hungry. The food was spicy, yet so delicious.

Diced Chicken with Hemp Pepper Rice
Diced Chicken with Hemp Pepper Rice
Enjoying the food

This cafe also offers plenty of hot and cold drinks. You can order a cup of green tea (20 HK$/$2.50), yogurt soda, green mango smoothie or blueberry shake (each for 28 HK$/ $3.60). We enjoyed a glass of strawberry yogurt shake.

We don’t need much to make us happy – just a strawberry shake!

6. Chinese local restaurants.

We don’t know the exact name of this restaurant, but it was a typical Chinese local place where you can have a nice breakfast for a really low price. It was located a few steps from the Vila Hou Va Hotel (Rua da Ribeira do Patane, no.86D, 1o andar, turn right after leaving the building). The food was nice and fresh, the menu was in English with local prices attached, one waitress spoke great English and we didn’t have to wait for the food long.

One of Chinese local restaurants we had a breakfast at

This time we ordered Macanese iced coconut juice with red beans and agar-agar jelly (15 HK$/ $2), a mug of hot chocolate ( 9 HK$/ $1), fish toast (11 HK$/ $1.40) and ham, fried egg and cheese sandwiches (20 HK$/ $2.50). Cheap, isn’t?

Hot chocolate, cheese toast and fish toast
Red beans and agar-agar jelly, ham, fried egg and cheese sandwich

7. Supermarkets.

If you can’t afford the street food, you can always go to local supermarket and buy some stuff there. The sweets, fizzy drinks and raw veggies and fruits are cheap. I visited supermarkets every day to buy some water and snacks. You can find them anywhere. Here are our two favourite ones:

Supermarkets in Macau

Summary

Macau is an expensive place,we must admit it. This time we were extremely lucky as the school paid for our stay here. Otherwise, you would never spend there more than 2 days in this place. We were waiting for our visas for 7 days and spent around MOP6000 ($751) during this time. We still strongly believe you can make it for $25 per day as long as you stay at your friends and cook your all meals :).

Is Macau an affordable place to travel for you?

Agness Walewinder @AgnessTramp

Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"

View Comments

  • Last week is visited Macau, and your advice really came in handy for saving money. Thanks! :)

  • Gotta agree, Rua de Felicidade is a great location with a lot of inexpensive guesthouses. Were you able to take a peek into Hotel San Va?

  • Why is it that the price in agoda for vila universal is way more expensive it is 73.89 usd or 590 mop(without additional taxes)for a single bed for 2 people? Is it way cheaper if i do a walkin?

  • Hey Agnes, do you have email address of those villas? I will go to Macau at May. But, still looking for cheap accommodation. Very difficult for foreigner to contact some hotels. Do you have advise for me? Thank you Agnes.

  • Hi, those hotel, is the price per person or per rm? How far is it from the airport? And can we book online or walk in? We're going there this nov. What cn recommend for a group of 3? Tnx

  • very nice blog! i am planning to go phucket. so i am searching batter accomodation there. Last time we visit to greater noida for expomart. i stay there hostel in greater noida. it was a good exprience with cheap rate.

  • Great informative post. Wish I'd had something like this before I went to Macau, the photos are clear and make the food look delicious. Is that cheap chicken kebab place still going btw? Either way, excellent post and cheers.

  • thanks for sharing guys! i've been to hk a few times but never made it across to macau. i'll be saving this for when i go

  • I can't believe you had French fries for breakfast!!!
    Anyway, I'm salivating over that chicken with peppers and rice. It really looks yummy!

  • I went to Macao last year and it was one of those places where I thought value superseded the maximum cheapness.
    I stayed at the Golden Crown China Hotel which went for 60 bucks, but was a 4 star and literally across the street from the airport. If you went out the front door, you just go across and check in. This was very convenient since we could leave our stuff in their storage and use the free casino buses to the city and just pick our stuff up when we were due to fly out.

    I didn't find Macau that cheap or that expensive, but to be honest, kind of disappointing. I am not a huge Vegas fan, but I do like the atmosphere of free shows, paid shows, cheap tables to gamble, good food, and an overall fun atmosphere. Macau has none of that and people are just there to gamble big bucks from mainland.

    Overall, what did you think? Were you thrilled, so-so, or disappointed?

    • As for my first visit, it was ok, but I stayed there only for a day or two, but the second visit was amazing. Me and Cez stayed there for more than a week and we had this amazing opportunity to fully experience authentic Portuguese and Chinese cultures mixed together. We didn't fancy casinos though, not our thing, but the atmosphere and historical buildings we were surrounded by were unforgettable!! Definitely thrilled! :-D

  • I wish I knew all this a couple of years ago!! Macau is such an intriguing little place, especially if you can see the culture past the casinos (although the casinos are a social study unto themselves!!). And Macanese food yummmmmm- make my milkshake in chocolate, and give me a Portuguese (egg) tart, I'll be a happy man!!

    • So true Tim! Macanese food is great and these egg tarts were amazing. To be honest, I prefer Portuguese cuisine over Chinese :).

  • Awesome recommendations! I've been interested in Macau for a while, but the price has definitely been a deterrent - particularly since pretty much all the other countries nearby are so cheap by comparison. If I have to survive on only kebabs in order to make it work, though, that wouldn't be worst punishment ever :).

    • It's not that expensive as you can see. Besides, you can do some couchsurfing to save up money on accommodation.

  • That iced coconut juice with the red bean looks so refreshing and delicious!

  • You have my head spinning and stomach roaring with all of the food teases, Agness. I would absolutely love to try that fish toast! :)

    • Mike, you would certainly fall in love with the local food in Macau. It's a great mixture of Portuguese and Chinese cuisine.

  • I'm definitely surprised at the prices in Macau! I would have thought it would be cheaper. All the food looks amazing!

  • It's always a bad idea to read your posts like these when I'm hungry - so much yummy food! I enjoyed Macau, but yes it is indeed rather expensive. Luckily it's very small, so you don't need much time to see the main sights!

  • Those cafes look so cute! We splurged when we went to Macau and didn't have the best time so maybe we just did it the wrong way. Would love to go back and try again!

  • Nice pics and excellent tips. Your blog is a useful resource for any one who intends to travel around the world on a budget.

  • I really want to visit Macau and am kicking myself that we didn't do so when we were back in Hong Kong (we got really sick and couldn't think of leaving our room never mind heading to a different country). Whenever I've thought of stopping back in for a few days, I've always been turned off by the prices, so it's good to have some resources for cheaper options. We were paying $50US to spend the night in a dorm in HK, so getting a private room that seems like quite the steal!

    • Yes, Macau is expensive, so the best option for you guys would be couchsurfing. There are plenty of Portuguese and Chinese hosts out there.

      • Dear Agness:

        How did you contact these budget hotels? We will be going this August. Do I need to reserve first? Do you have the contact numbers?

        Thanks.

        • Hi Shin. All info is in the post. I found these hotels when I was in Macau. I bumped into some locals who recommended them to us.

  • The food looks great. As far as the hotels- sometimes you have to splurge. Looks like you had a good time in Macao.

  • What an awesome post. So detailed. Thanks for giving us some ideas for our futurr travels. We had no idea that it was twice as expensive as Las Vegas.

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