Macau is a now a mega-resort and casino center, but before 1999, it was a small Portuguese colony. The Largo do Senado square was once the governmental center of the colony. It is listed as part of the Historic Center of Macau UNESCO World Heritage, and it is one of the best places to see the old Macau.
The square's notable attractions are its old buildings including the Senate Building, the Post Office, and St. Dominic's Church. The Chinese herbal medicine stores just to the north of St. Dominic's Church are also notable for the quality, price, and selection.
You can take a short free bus ride from the biggest casinos such as the Venetian to the historic square on San Ma Lo.
The square is actually shaped more like a triangle with St. Dominic's Church sitting at the apex. At the base near San Ma Lo Road (Av. de Almeida Ribeiro), there is the old senate building (Leal Senado, 1784) and the old post office. The wavy black and white tile pattern gives a dreamy feeling.
You can't see St. Dominic's Church from San Ma Lo Road. It sits in its own small square, and is presently open only during mass. Just follow the wavy tiles to the church.
It would have a very old world look, but the Chinese signs and milling crowd of mainlanders takes away the Old World feeling. Tourist shops and a McDonalds now occupy the old pastel facades.
The nearby cluster of the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral (1627) and Monte Fortress (1627) are about 400 meters northeast of the square. Macau Museum (15 HKD ticket), in Monte Fortress, is the best place to learn about Macau's history and the Portuguese era.