Macau has more to it than hotels and casinos. This bustling city has a lot of heritage and culture. With Portuguese influences, you and the little ones will have a fun time exploring some of the more historical aspects. Here’s Little Steps’ go to go on cultural activities in Macau.
Let the kids explore Macau's oldest temple! Built-in 1488 this is one cool place to go and visit. The temple is dedicated to Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen. The temple consists of six main parts; the Gate Pavilion, the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence, the Hall of Guanyin, and Zhengjiao Chanlin - Buddhist Pavilion.
A-Ma Temple, Largo da Barra, Macau, www.wh.mo
Located on the highest point of the peninsula, the views of the city are spectacular. Built in 1622, it retains many of its original features. The oldest modern lighthouse in China also stands next door to it. It’s closed to the public but make sure you get your photo taken next to it. Take the cable car from Flora Gardens, Macau’s largest public park. The Guia Cable Car runs from 8am - 6pm every day (except Mondays).
Guia Fortress, Macau, www.wh.mo
The Ruins of St. Paul are also known as Sam Ba Sing Tzik. St. Paul's Church, is built with white stones, had a grand vaulted roof. The façade sits on a small hill, with 68 stone steps leading up to it. There is a steel stairwell that you can climb up and see the view from the top. Make sure you throw coins into the top window for luck.
Ruins Of St. Paul, Macau, www.culturalheritage.mo
Learn about the rich history of Macau at this ship-structured museum. The location of the museum is also believed to be the site where the first group of Portuguese landed. Opening hours: 10am to 6pm. No admittance after 5:30pm. The Museum closes on Tuesdays. Free admission for children under 10 or seniors over 65 years old.
Maritime Museum, Largo Do Pagode da Barra, Macau, +853 2859 5481, www.marine.gov.mo
Visit one of the only traditional villages left in Macau. Restored colonial homes in pastels of yellow, green and blue, make up the Taipa Houses-Museum, showcasing how Portuguese families once lived in splendor in the early 1900s. Pedestrian-only alleys and hole-in-the-wall shops and cafes ensure a peaceful yet fascinating wander back in time.
Old Taipa Village, Macau, www.taipavillagemacau.com
Recently revamped, this hub for wheel lovers is always a hit. It opened in 1993 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Macau Grand Prix. The kids will love the interactive simulators. If you have a wannabe Jenson Button or Michael Schumacher on your hands, then this is the place for them. Let them feel the need for speed!
Grand Prix Museum, B/F, Tourism Activities Centre, 431 Rua de Luis Gonzaga Gomes, Macau, +853 8798 4108, www.macautourism.gov.mo
Senado Square has been Macau's urban center for centuries and is still the most popular venue for public events and celebrations today. It’s on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The square is covered in a wave-patterned mosaic of colored stones, which was inspired by the Portuguese. The square is surrounded by pastel-colored neo-classical buildings, reminiscent of the Mediterranean.
Senado Square, Largo do Senado, Macau, en.wikipedia.org/Senado_Square
The Pandas are the real treasures of Macau. You will find these beautiful animals at Seac Pai Van Park. The Macau Giant Panda Pavilion is home to two rare giant pandas, Kai Kai, and Xin Xin. These pampered pandas live in a state-of-the-art facility, are adorned with gifts from mainland China. Good news, it’s free for kids under 12.
Macau Giant Panda Pavilion, Seac Pai Van Park, Macau, www.macaupanda.org.mo
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