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The Historic Centre of Macau is a testament to its heritage as a former Portuguese colony. Located in the heart of the peninsula, this UNESCO World Heritage Site features 20 landmarks that reflect the amalgamation of Chinese and Portuguese cultures represented in its architecture. These include temples, churches and squares that have been well-preserved over centuries. The A-Ma Temple is said to have inspired the city's name, and along with the 16th-century Ruins of St. Paul's, is one of the most visited attractions in Macau. Others include Cathedral Square and Senado Square, as well as the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady, the Moorish Barracks, Mandarin's House, St. Joseph's Seminary and Church, and Dom Pedro V, each a different facet of Macau's history.
Eye-catching tiles make up the floor of the Largo do Senado (Senate Square), which provides the city's focal point and is the start of most people's exploration of Macau. From the central fountain, visitor's glance falls upon stunning colonial architecture, including the imposing Leal Senado, the Santa Casa da Misericordia, and finally Sao Domingos Church. Lanes leading away from the square unveil markets, vibrant streets and rows of gift shops.
Tucked away behind the Leal Senado is a narrow old street named Happiness Street. And way back in time, when this street was part of the red light district, there was happiness for some. Nowadays Rua da Felicidade provides more wholesome pleasure for the whole family. The pretty shop houses have been renovated, and the street is home to all manner of enterprises, including restaurants, guest houses, iron mongers, convenience stores and many more.
Located in the historic centre of the city lies the St. Augustine Square, a favorite spot of locals in the city of Macau. Traditional historic Chinese and Portuguese buildings can be viewed here and visitors can take a glimpse of some notable ancient architecture in a peaceful and calm atmosphere. Attractions like St. Augustine's Church, Dom Pedro V Theatre and Sir Robert Ho Tung Library are some of the more popular stops on the tourist trail. However, the best way to explore this place is by participating in one of the walking tours that take place here regularly. Frequented by visitors and locals alike, St. Augustine Square is one of the best places around for those who wish to immerse themselves in Macau’s history and culture.
Rua do Cunha is one of Macau's most famous streets, named after the legendary Portuguese explorer and naval commander Tristão da Cunha. This is one of the best places to get your hands on some of Macau's local cuisine, as it is home to a horde of small-scale eateries. O Santos, Koi Kei, Ginger Candy, Pastelaria Fong Kei and Mok Yee Kei are some of the most trusted and popular eateries that you will find here. There are also a lot of souvenir and gift shops here, making it a popular destination among tourists.
Located on what once was Taipa's southern shoreline, Taipa Village now overlooks a long stretch of reclaimed land following years of natural siltation. Nevertheless, the village still has a lot to offer. The Taipa House Museum is an excellent place to see how a Portuguese family might have lived here during the 1900s. Not far away, the Our Lady of Carmel Church overlooks the former coastline from its elevated perch. The presence of temples such as Pak Tai, I Leng, Sam Po, Po Tai Un and Kun Lam lends the entire place a little ethnic elegance. Taipa is also known for its high-end shopping scene and is home to some of Macau's swankiest malls and esplanades.
An oasis of calm, the dainty Coloane Village is a jewel embedded on the coast of Coloane Island. Steeped in antiquity, this is one of the very few villages left on the island. What was once a centerpoint of the island’s fishing activities, stands today as a charming, historic pocket which yet reminisces the glory of its heyday. Interspersed with winding, cobbled lanes that are lined with vibrant Portuguese buildings, this village is the perfect embodiment of idyll. With the Eduardo Marques Square at its heart, the village affords a view of the distant hills from the Avenida de Cinco de Outubro, while also proffering splendid vistas across the Hengqin Island. Marked by a number of hiking trails, this remote village bears a string of interesting sites like the Taoist Tam Kung Temple, the unblemished Hac Sa and Cheoc Van beaches, and the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier.