Open only to pedestrians and paved in shiny black-and-white tiles, this has been the charming hub of Macau for centuries. Largo do Senado is lined with neoclassical-style colonial buildings painted in bright pastels. The Edifício do Leal Senado (Senate Building), which gives the square its name, was built in 1784 as a municipal chamber and continues to be used by the government today. An elegant meeting room on the first floor opens onto a magnificent library based
on one in the Mafra Convent in Portugal, with books neatly stacked on two levels of shelves reaching to the ceiling; art and historical exhibitions are frequently hosted in the beautiful foyer and garden. Alleys adjacent to the square are packed with restaurants and shops. Visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds, and try to come back at night, when locals of all ages gather to chat and the square is beautifully lit.