It’s February – the time of year for love. As a former Portuguese colony, Macau’s enchanting European-style architecture and traditional Portuguese-style paving create the perfect ambiencefor romance. If you are taking a getaway with your loved one in Macau this month, here are a few suggestions for where to go and what to see.
The iconic fortress, built between 1622 and 1638, overlooks the southern part of the Macau Peninsula and provides a spectacular view of many of the city’s landmarks, such as Macau Tower and the Grand Lisboa Hotel. It is also one of the best spots from which to watch the sun set with your Valentine.
In addition to offering panoramic views of the city, the fortress also features an elegant chapel and a lighthouse – the first modern lighthouse ever built on the Chinese coast – finished in cream yellow and white. A Unesco world heritage site, the fortress and lighthouse have been used as a backdrop for love scenes in movies such as Hong Kong romantic comedy Look for a Star, starring Andy Lau and Shu Qi, and Sisterhood by Macau director Tracy Choi, starring Gigi Leung.
Chapel of Our Lady of Penha
The city houses a number of beautiful chapels that were built by the Portuguese. Situated atop Penha Hill at the southern end of the Macau Peninsula is the Chapel of Our Lady of Penha, which has almost 400 years of history. First built in 1622, the photogenic and serene chapel is tucked away from the busiest areas of the city. It is a popular spot for pre-wedding photos, and has been used as a shooting location for many movies and TV drama series, such as Hong Kong TV series Return of the Cuckoo and Korean TV series Princess Hours. You and your loved one can slow down and enjoy some peaceful moments here.
Travessa da Paixão
Nestled in the western part of the Macau Peninsula, the alley has acquired the romantic Chinese name “Love Lane”. Lying between Rua de S. Paulo and Rua da Ressurreição, the location was named “Paixão” in 1925, which, in Portuguese, means love, infatuation and suffering. Because of its Chinese name and its European-style buildings – decorated in pink, yellow and light green – the lane has become a hotspot for couples.
The lane is also where the three-storey art movie centre, Cinemetheque Passion, is nestled. From February 10 to 25, its theatre house will put on eight screenings of Macao Stories 2: Love in the City, which comprises six short films by local directors about love and the city.
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Taipa Grande Hill elevators
Opened in Taipa in October last year, the city’s first ever incline elevators give access to the circular viewing platform at Taipa Pequena – part of the pedestrian circuit connecting Jardim do Lago and Taipa Houses Museum, beginning at the overpass on the Governador Nobre de Carvalho Road. You and your sweetheart can enjoy a pleasant walk along the pedestrian circuit in the morning and take in the spectacular views of the Taipa area – old and new – from the elevators and the viewing platform. The elevators operate from 7am to 6pm.
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Eiffel Tower, The Parisian Macao
When it comes to love and romance, many people automatically think of Paris. To experience a sense of Parisian romance in Macau with your love, the Eiffel Tower at The Parisian Macao – half the size of the original in The City of Love – is just the place for you.
Every night from 6.15pm to 2am, the tower runs a light show every 15 minutes, accompanied by some jazzy music. You can also go up to the observation deck on the 37th floor to appreciate the flashy night-time views over the Cotai Strip.