Four Must-See Sites In Macau

Beyond the glitz of the casinos, Macau is teeming with interesting spots that give a glimpse into its colonial past. Check out these historic sites.

Ruins of St Paul’s

The Ruins of St Paul’s are marked by the façade of this once grand church, the only one of its walls that remains. Perched on the hillside, just below Monte Fort, it was originally constructed from wood in the early 1600s before it burned down in 1835, leaving only its granite face and 68 stone steps.


St Dominic’s Church

The most famous intact religious structure in Macau, this Baroque-style Catholic church in Senado Square was built in 1587 by three Dominican priests. The church’s main hall has a soaring wooden ceiling, an enormous altar and is embellished with hand-carved ivory statues of Catholic saints.


Dom Pedro V Theatre

With its elegant, mint-green and white façade, this 19th-century theatre stands out in old Macau. This was the first European-style cinema in China when it was established in 1860. The 41.5m-tall theatre is famous for its beautiful Neoclassical design, marked by tall columns and a large portico. Today, it’s still used regularly for public meetings and festivities.


Senado Square

The heart of old Macau, the sprawling 3,700m2 Senado Square is perhaps the most photographed location in the city due to its swirling, black-and-white floor tiles, and the bright colors and grandeur of the Portuguese architecture surrounding it. It’s flanked by the Leal Senado Building, a graceful white structure that was the seat of the Portuguese Macau government for more than 200 years up until the handover to China.


This story first appeared in the November 2019 issue of Smile magazineCebu Pacific flies to Macau from Manila.

Written by

Ronan O'Connell

Photographed by

Ronan O'Connell

We use cookies for a number of reasons, such as keeping Smile website reliable and secure, personalising content and ads, providing social media features and to analyse how our Sites are used.