The Historic Center of Macau

Historical Highlights in Macau

Tourists can have a quick tour of most of the major UNESCO designated buildings by visiting San Ma Lo Road, Senado Square, Monte Fort and the remains of St. Paul's Cathedral in about two or three hours. A quick tour would be an enjoyable and educational diversion during your Macau visit.

The Historic Center of Macau is a UNESCO World Heritage listing of about 30 places and buildings in Macau, highlighted for their historical value and to be protected.

The sites include many firsts for China: the ruins of the oldest Western burial ground in China, the first Western military fort, the first Western theater, the first modern lighthouse, and the first Western university in China.

Macau was the first European colony on the mainland of Far East Asia, and these places witness the communication between the West and East Asia over the last 400 years. The contact of cultures is evidenced in the architecture. Western, Chinese, and Japanese architectural details merge together.

Quick Tour of the Main Sites

Going to San Ma Lo Road

The major hotels such as the Galaxy offer free bus rides to San Ma Lo (Avenida De Almeida Ribeiro in Portuguese). The whole avenue is a mile long or so, but just head to Senado Square for the highlights. Or take a public bus such as 3, 3A or 4 or a taxi.

The triangle shaped Senado plaza has a black and white wavy tile pattern. From San Ma Lo, when you are facing the apex, to the left is the Leal Senado (1784) government building and to the right is the Post Office.

At the apex of the plaza is St. Dominic's Church (1587). It was built by Dominicans and is the oldest church building in Macau.

Going to Monte Fort

Then walk about half a kilometer or take a cab and go up to Monte Fortress. You'll see the remains of St. Paul's Cathedral (1627). The impressive Jesuit-built Monte Fort (1627) affords a good view of Macau and the night lights in the evening.

You can finish your tour of the highlights by visiting the Macau Museum in Monte Fort.

Tour Macau with China Highlights

A visit to Macau is best combined with a Hong Kong tour. Spend 2 nights and 3 days in Macau with our 3-Day Essence of Macau Tour, or visit Macau from Hong Kong in a day. Our experts can help you customize your personal tour package.

Questions and Answers About The Historic Center of Macau

mike. g. 2010-10-08
Show Answer
My daughter recently visit the island of Macau, she was told that thre were sharks around the island, what kind were they.
Hi mike I never heard there were sharks around the island. I cannot find any information about it. But if your daughter will swim around the island, she need to be careful too. Thank you Nero Hou replied on 2010-10-11
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Hi, I'm Gavin Van Hinsbergh
I updated this article on February 9, 2014
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