Hong Kong isn’t exactly a budget destination. But after several winters of traveling to cheaper countries, we wanted to switch things up. As a reminder, Andy and I are not luxury travelers, but we’re also not bare-bones budget travelers. We tend to be somewhere in the middle, mostly opting for comfortable hotels and transportation. Here’s a look at how much we spent for almost two weeks so you can work out your budget for how much to spend in Hong Kong and Macau.
Total Macau and Hong Kong Trip Cost
Amounts are listed in euros and US dollars. Hong Kong uses the Hong Kong dollar, and Macau uses the pataca.
1,514.02€ / $1,877.38 – accommodation
142.12€ / $176.24 – transportation
965.10€ / $1,196.72 – food and alcohol
312.90€ / $387.99 – activities
2,934.14€ / $3,638.33 – total
This does not include our round trip flights to Hong Kong from Berlin.
Hotel costs for Hong Kong and Macau – $1,877.38
Andy and I spent 9 nights in Hong Kong and 3 nights in Macau. We split our time in Hong Kong, so we had 4 nights on the Kowloon side and 5 nights on Hong Kong Island, with Macau in the middle. Since Hong Kong tends to be a bit expensive, finding hotels that looked good and fit our requirements ended up being a little more expensive than we’d normally pay. For 12 nights in Hong Kong and Macau, we averaged about $156.44 per night, or about $78.22 per person per night.
Where to stay in Hong Kong and Macau
As with most places, location is really important. Hong Kong is big, so I recommend checking Google maps and making sure that any hotel you choose is within about 10 minutes walking distance from the MTR (metro/subway). And luckily, food is pretty easy to find just about anywhere in Hong Kong.
In Macau, where you stay depends on whether you want to be in a big casino or just be able to get a ride to one. Our hotel was next to a big one where we could get the free shuttle to several other big casinos.
Kowloon: We stayed at the Royal Plaza Hotel, which averaged out to $144.70 per night.
Hong Kong Island: We stayed at the Butterfly on Wellington Hotel, which averaged out to $174.40 per night.
Macau: We stayed at the Grand Lapa Macau, which averaged out to $142.19 per night.
Transportation costs in Hong Kong and Macau – $176.24
Hong Kong’s MTR is really easy to use, and it’ll get you to just about any attraction you’re interested in. We paid 300 Hong Kong dollars, which is about US$38.94, for two Octopus cards. That gave us HK$100 per person in travel credit, and the other HK$50 per person was part charge, part deposit for the card. We were able to use some of that deposit towards our airport express tickets to get back to the airport at the end of the trip, plus we paid for airport express tickets at the beginning before we had our Octopus cards.
The other major item here is the ferries to and from Macau. Getting to Macau cost $44.38 for the two of us, and getting back to Hong Kong cost $39.70. I’m not sure why it was a different price for each direction.
Cost of food and alcohol in Hong Kong and Macau – $1,196.72
Food prices in Hong Kong are all over the place. You can definitely find cheap places to eat, and we certainly had some meals that were less than $10 per person. But you can also pay a lot for nicer meals in some restaurants. We had some expensive cocktails, but sometimes we bought drinks at 7eleven when we wanted alcohol. We also didn’t have breakfast included with any of our hotels, so Andy occasionally bought breakfast, and I usually had fruit and a granola bar. For 12 days in Hong Kong and Macau, we averaged about $99.72 per day, or $49.86 per person per day, on food and alcohol. Definitely a splurge kind of trip.
Cost of activities in Hong Kong and Macau – $387.99
Andy and I booked a handful of tours in Hong Kong, including a food tour, a cooking class, and a tram/trolley tour. We also paid to go up Victoria Peak. I’ve also included the roughly $5 we spent gambling at slot machines in Macau as entertainment expenses. Take a look at the tours we booked for our trip:
Kowloon food tour: This was a fun tour. The guide took us to street food stalls, markets, and little hole in the wall restaurants. He told us about the food traditions, and we got to try lots of interesting things. Taking the tour on our first full day helped us feel more confident in finding food for the rest of our trip. Note that the price is a little lower than a normal food tour because it’s covering the guide, but not the food itself. You get to choose what you want to eat and pay along the way. Book the Kowloon food tour here.
Cooking class: Andy and I loved this half day cooking class! We met near a market and learned about traditional ingredients while walking around a neighborhood we definitely wouldn’t have found on our own. Then we learned how to cook dumplings, a chicken dish, and dessert. I’m so glad we booked this one. Book the cooking class here.
Ding-ding (tram/trolley) tour: The trolleys, or ding-dings as they’re affectionately called, have a long history in Hong Kong. We took this tour to do something fun and see a section of the city from a different perspective. Book the ding-ding tour here.
Hong Kong probably doesn’t make many budget destination lists. For almost two weeks in Hong Kong and Macau, we averaged $303.19 per day, or $161.60 per person per day. To spend less, look for cheaper hotels or even hostels. Skip the cocktails and pricey meals, and stick to the less expensive meals. Macau is a strange place, and Hong Kong is like nowhere else. It’s worth a little extra money to enjoy this gem. Hopefully this post has helped you plan how much to spend in Hong Kong and Macau.
You might also enjoy:
- How We Spent One Week in Hong Kong
- How We Spent 3 Days in Macau
- How Much I Spent Traveling in Malaga, Spain
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Slovenia and Croatia
- Or check out more real travel budget posts