Macau Feature

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Exploring Macau's Culture

Macau's historical reputation may have been eclipsed by an ever-expanding matrix of casinos, but this former Portuguese colony has much to offer in the way of heritage and beauty. From the cobblestone streets to colonial facades, museums to Moorish architecture, fortresses to street food, Macau remains a city of color, character, and top-notch cuisine.

Planning

Where to stay: Pousada de Sao Tiago, Altira Macau, Wynn Macau

Where to eat and drink: A Lorcha, Margaret's Café e Nata, Fernando's, MacauSoul

What to see: Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul, Guia Lighthouse, A-Ma Temple, Moorish Barracks

Itinerary

1. Leitaria i Son. Sip on fresh juices while munching on an egg tart at Literati, one of Senado Square's most beloved cafés.

2. Largo do Senado. See everything or just the standouts, which include the House of Holy Mercy, St. Dominic's Church, The Cathedral and, of course, the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral, and neighboring Na Tcha temple.

3. Macau Museum and Fortress. Head inside to see how Macau has evolved.

4. Margaret's Café e Nata. Heading northeast along Avenida da Amizade, pop in for a quick lunch. Choose from flaky egg tarts, pastries, and made-to-order sandwiches.

5. Guia Hill Lighthouse and Fortress. Take the short cable car ride up Guia Hill, or lace up your sneakers and hike past quirky shrubs manicured to resemble dragons.

6. Largo do Barra. Anchoring Barra Square, the A-Ma Temple was built in 1488 for the goddess of the sea. This tiered Taoist temple is one of the oldest in Macau. Next door, find The Mandarin's House—a complex showcasing traditional Guangdong architecture—and the Maritime Museum.

7. Pousada de São Tiago. If you're feeling peckish, stop by The Terrace for a tipple or high tea.

8. Penha Hill. From there, head straight for the dominating facade of Bishop's Palace and the Chapel of Our Lady Penha.

9. Moorish Barracks. Originally housing a regiment from Goa to bolster local police, this neoclassical and Moghul complex has stood since 1874.

10. A Lorcha. Just off of Barra Square, the ever-popular Macanese eatery serves up hearty favorites in a friendly atmosphere. Best to make reservations.

11. Macau Soul. Digest over Portuguese wine and live music at this jazzy venue.

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