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Macau became a home to Portuguese traders in the 16th century and remained under Portuguese influence until it was handed back to China in 1999. Over the years, Portuguese and Chinese cultures blended, giving rise to interesting cuisine, architecture and cultural practices. Today Macau has a definite Cantonese flair but it maintains its own identity distinct from both China and Hong Kong.
Wander the streets of the World Heritage-listed Historic Centre to see some gorgeous colonial architecture. The bright colours and neoclassical designs on Senate Square, the heart of the old town, could leave you thinking that you’re in Portugal.
One of the city’s best-known landmarks is the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral. You’ll see statues and immaculate gardens as you approach its intricate façade which, along with the stone stairs, is the only remaining part of the building.
Just near the cathedral ruins is Monte Fort, which the Jesuits started building in 1617 for protection against attacks from the sea. It was later adopted as Macau’s main defense structure. You can still see old cannons and fortified walls. Inside, at the Museum of Macau, you’ll find detailed exhibits and an excellent bookstore.
More examples of colonial architecture are over at the Guia Fortress. This historical fort, chapel and lighthouse sits on the highest point of the Macau Peninsula and has excellent views.
For classical Chinese architecture, visit the A-Ma Temple, the oldest temple in Macau. History buffs don’t need to stop there, though. Macau is home to dozens more historical buildings and institutions that range from old Chinese libraries to the Maritime Museum. See the more modern structures of the city as you take in the views from Macau Tower.
In the evenings, check out the Cotai Strip, home to some of the biggest and most impressive casinos in the world. Be sure to see a show at one of many in-house theatres of the casinos, or shop in the upmarket boutiques. When you get hungry, sample some of the local cuisine. Macanese food is some of the most delicious and interesting in Asia.
Macau is one of China’s most unique cities. Its colonial history has left a fascinating legacy around which modern casinos have flourished.
This family-friendly Cotai hotel is located on the Strip, within a 15-minute walk of The Grand Canal Shoppes and Cotai Arena. Cotai Strip is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away.
Situated near the airport, in Cotai, this luxury hotel is close to Venetian Macao Casino, City of Dreams and Cotai Strip. Also nearby are The Grand Canal Shoppes and Rua do Cunha.
Located in the city centre of Macau, this luxury hotel is near the airport and within walking distance of Yuet Tung Ferry Terminal and Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral. Also nearby are Luis de Camoes Garden and Grotto and Cineteatro Macau.
Situated in Cotai, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Macau East Asian Games Dome and City of Dreams. Venetian Macao Casino and Cotai Strip are also within 2 miles (3 km).
Situated in Cotai, this spa hotel is close to City of Dreams.
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The Grand Canal Shoppes and Cotai Strip. Macau Olympic Complex (Macau Stadium) is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) away.
Located in the heart of Macau, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cineteatro Macau and Senado Square. Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral and Macau Fisherman's Wharf are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Located in the centre of Macau, this family-friendly resort is within a 10-minute walk of Grand Prix Museum and Macau Fisherman's Wharf. Macau Ferry Terminal and Senado Square are also within 1 mile (2 km).