Senado Square in Macau

Why is Senado Square in Macau So Special?

  1. Senado Square is one of the Top 4 squares in Macau.
  2. Senado Square is listed as part of the Historic Center of Macau UNESCO World Heritage, and it is one of the best places to see the old Macau.
  3. Part of Macau’s UNESCO Historic Center, Senado Square is generally packed with tourists who come to admire the famous wave-like mosaic-tiled pavement and colonial facades of the surrounding buildings.

Brief Introduction of Senado Square

Located in central Macau Peninsular, Senado Square (in Portuguese: Largo do Senado) is commonly known as Fountain. Covering an area of 3,700 square meters, it is a main city square of Macau. It was inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List as part of Historic Centre of Macau in 2005. Walking along the Largo do So Domingos to the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, visitors find one of the most well-known and prosperous business and cultural center of Macau, namely the Senado Square. Located just opposite to the Government House (Leal Senado), the Senado Square is wave-like tiled with small black and white stones, reflecting Portuguese’s “maritime complex”. The tiled road extends to St. Dominic’s Church and Ruins of St. Paul’s. The whole square is in a shape of funnel, getting narrower as you go further.

History of Senado Square

The square is so named as since Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) it has been in front of the Leal Senado Building. During the era of Portuguese control this is where the local authorities used to review the troops on their inaugurations. In 1940, there was a statue of a Portuguese soldier named Mesquita in its centre. He was responsible for the deaths of many Chinese soldiers during the hostilities with the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Understandably, the statue has been destroyed by Chinese people and replaced by a fountain; this is why the square is also called “the Fountain”.

In the early 1990s, the authority hired some Portuguese experts to pave the Senado Square with a wave-patterned mosaic of colored stones. From then on this area has become a popular place for cultural activities in Macau. The buildings around the Senado Square have a long history and have many western features, so they have been well protected by the authority and no one is allowed to alter the facades of these buildings.

Must-See Buildings Around the Square

The notable attractions of the square are its old buildings. But there are also notable Chinese herbal medicine stores just to the north of St. Dominic’s Church that offer a good value in terms of quality, price, and selection. The square is actually shaped more like a triangle with St. Dominic’s Church sitting at the apex and San Ma Lo (Av. de Almeida Ribeiro) forming the base. The wavy black and white tile pattern gives a dreamy feeling.

This square contains three buildings to note that are on the Historic Center of Macau UNESCO World Heritage list of about 20 buildings and several plazas: Leal Senado, Holy House of Mercy, and St. Dominic’s Church. Also of note is the old Post Office is the first building on the plaza on the right side.

The Leal Senado Building

The Leal Senado Building is on the other side of the San Ma  Lo Road from the plaza. It is the old senate building and dates from 1784. 

The Holy House of Mercy

The Holy House of Mercy is on the right side of the triangle. 

St. Dominic’s Church

St. Dominic’s Church sits at the apex in its own little plaza. You can’t see St. Dominic’s Church from San Ma Lo Road, so you’ll have to walk to it. It is presently open from about 10 am to 6 pm daily. It is listed 13th of Things to Do in Macau on TripAdvisor. It was built in 1587 by Dominicans and is the oldest church building in Macau.

Other Attractions

Around the Square, there are other attractions. To the east of the square, there lies the Macau Cathedral. At the end of the paved road, there is the St. Dominic’s Church. On the third floor of the church there is a museum of paintings, sculptures and liturgical ornaments that illustrate the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Asia. Walk to north of the church and you will arrive at the Ruínas de S. Paulo (Ruins of St. Paul’s). This is the most famous landmark in Macau. Right at the east of the Ruínas de S. Paulo is the Museu de Macau (Macau Museum), in which historical relics of Macau are exhibited. The Lou Kau Mansion is located to the northeast of the square. Walk to the southeast along the Av. De Almeida Ribeiro (San Ma Lo) from the square, and you will find the Casino Lisboa, a famous casino in Macau.

Best Seasons to Visit Macau

The best time to visit Macau is the autumn season started from October to December, this period boasts most fine days without rain and typhoon.

  • Spring in Macau (March – May) is a typical oceanic monsoon climate with mild March, Rainy April and humid May. It rains a lot, making May the wettest month of the year. The changeable weather in spring will cause few sunny days while few rainy days later. Umbrella is necessary in this seaon. Clothes to pack – A light sweater and a light coat are generally enough, but if it gets hot you’ll need summer clothing such as a T-shirt.
  • Summer in Macau (June – August) is generally high temperature, humid climate with summer showers, typhoons and thunderstorms occasionally.
    Clothes to pack – cummer clothes such as T-Shirts and shorts.
    Swimming in the sea and have a leisure day on the beaches can be recommended activities in Macau.
  • Autumn in Macau (September – December) is the best time to travel to Macau. Bright sky and cool temperature with rare typhoon weather makes tourists have a joyful Macau tour in this period.  
    Clothes to pack – besides summer clothes such as T-Shirt and shorts a sweater for evenings is needed especially towards the end of the autumn.
  • Winter in Macau (Jan to February) is not a harsh cold season. Snow is unheard of in Macau and frost occurs only one once or twice a year.December is a peak travel time for Macau, and the 20th is an important day for people from Macau to return to the motherland. Many celebrations and activities fill this day. December is also a Christmas period so you also can get touch with the festival atmosphere there.
    Clothes to pack – Sweaters, a light jacket or coat for evenings. Gloves and scarves are only needed by those particularly susceptible to the cold.

How to get to The Senado Square

Travel with ChinaDragonTours (top recommended)

If you want to get out of the traffic and hassle of navigation, you can book a private tour package that includes visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local guide and driver will escort you to Senado Square in Macau in the fastest and most convenient way and take care of all the details. You just have to focus on the visiting.

Independent Traveler

  • Free hotel buses: The major hotels near the square such as the Grand Lisboa offer free bus rides from Macau Ferry Terminal. We suggest take a Grand Lisboa bus, go to the hotel, and walk down Av. De Almeida Ribeiro (San Ma Lo Avenue) for about 12 minutes.
  • Public bus: From the Macau Ferry Terminal, 3, 3A, 10, and 10A go to Senado. The small bus stop is just outside the ferry terminal building and immediately to the right of the main exit. The price is about 3 MOP.
  • Ferries to/from Hong Kong: You can take bus 3 from San Ma Lo to the Macau Ferry Terminal in about 10 minutes for 2.5 HKD. Fast ferries ply the route to/from Hong Kong in about an hour.

Useful Travel Tips

  1. Shopping Around
    It is said that Macau can enjoy the best shopping fun in the Asia Pacific region, because the goods here are not only various, but also cheaper than some neighboring regions. Jewelry, Chinese antiques, porcelain, electronic products and other goods are very affordable, you can buy some back.
  2. Food
    Many local cake shops sell a variety of delicious sweets and cakes. The most famous and special pastries are Almond Cake, Omelet, Sweetheart Cake, Portuguese Egg Tart, most coffee shops and bakery have.
  3.  Tourist Facilities
    The plaza would have a very old world look, but the Chinese signs and milling crowd of mainlanders takes away the Old World feeling. Tourist shops and a McDonalds now occupy the old pastel facades. You can find the official Macau Tourism Board Office with free maps and information on the right side near the base.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Bella Ren/任新月