Are you heading to China soon? Here is our presentation of the best neighborhoods to stay in Macao (or Macau) for an unforgettable holiday!
Officially described as the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (MSAR), Macao is a former trading post of Portugal that administered the city for over 400 years and was, until recently, the last European colony in Asia. Macao’s population stood at 650,834 in 2016, the majority of whom were Chinese. A former free zone, Macao’s free-market economy is mostly oriented towards gambling and luxury: it is known worldwide as the “Gambling capital of the world.” Macao’s gambling turnover (45 billion dollars) far exceeds that of Las Vegas (6 billion dollars)! As such, the average income per inhabitant is among the highest in the world. As a result, housing in Macao can be expensive. You are wondering where to book accommodation in this small islet in Southeast Asia?
Macao is divided into four areas: the Macau peninsula (connected to the Chinese continent, Taipa, Cotai, and Coloane, on the southernmost and most mountainous part of the island. Thanks to its savory blend of Chinese and Portuguese culinary traditions, its subtropical climate, its Western-influenced lifestyle and the freedom enjoyed by Macanese people, the city attracts many expatriates and visitors who come to stay in Macau. Read our selection of the best places to stay in Macau.
Comprising the former freguesias of Nossa Senhora de Fátima, the Freguesia de Santo António, the Freguesia de São Lázaro, and the Freguesia da Sé, the peninsula is a real melting pot of different cultures, sitting at the crossroads between the West and the East. When traveling to Macau, you will encounter a unique blend of European and Chinese lifestyles, cuisine, religious traditions, and architectural styles. Macao Peninsula’s many colonial buildings, as well as its old cobbled streets, churches, fortresses, and gardens, illustrate the strong influence of Portuguese cultures.
This is the oldest part of Macao, home to must-see Buddhist temples, an array of green spaces – including Mong Ha Municipal Park, Jardim da Montanha Russa, Monte da Guia Municipal Park, Jardim do Monte do Forte -, two lakes (Nam Van Lake, Sai Van Lake), and museums: Macao Museum, Macao Maritime Museum, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial, Macao Art Museum, etc. Macao Peninsula is a convenient place to stay in Macao as it is home to most hotels. As everywhere else in Asia, you will find restaurants and street markets everywhere, offering delicious and inexpensive food to delight your taste buds.
Taipa, Cotai, and Coloane
Stay in Taipa, Cotai, and Coloane in the southern part of Macao, and immerse yourself in the modern part of Macao, home to gleaming casinos. If you’re keen to stay in Taipa or south of Macao, be aware that the area offers rather expensive accommodation rates: though it is home to one of the largest hotel complex in Asia, these hotels are aimed at a wealthy, well-heeled clientele. But southern Macao is not exclusively dedicated to luxury and entertainment: the area also features small hills with hiking trails, accessible from Seac Pai Van Park and the beaches of Cheoc Van and Hac Sa. Again, while hotels or apartments to stay in Macao offer high accommodation rates, you can still go shopping for souvenirs to bring back home, or eat cheaply on the street and enjoy beautiful urban or rural walks.
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