The Amizade Strip
I first heard the term Amizade Strip from the Wizard of Macau. I’ve not heard it used anywhere else, but I think it’s a fitting name. This is one of the most iconic images of Macau, showcasing the waterfront casinos and Amizade Strip with the Grand Lisboa Casino and company towering behind.
It is home to StarWorld, one of most unique casinos to date in terms of architectural design. The luxury hotel and casino looks like the building is defying gravity to some degree.
In addition to StarWorld and the Grand Lisboa Casino you will also find is within easy walking distance: Grand Emperor Hotel, the original Lisboa Hotel Casino, MGM Macau, L’Arc, and Wynn Resort. As you continue towards the Fisherman’s Wharf area you’ll also find Crystal Palace Casino (inside Lisboa), President Casino, Pharaoh’s Palace and ultimately Rio Casino. After that its a bit murky on where we say Amizade Strip ends and Fisherman’s Wharf begins.
Besides casinos, you will find more jewelry, camera and pawn shops than you’ve probably seen in your entire life.
If you’re preference is slot machines, you should visit the Mocha Club at Macau Tower, located inside the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center. Mocha welcomes you with around 260 gaming machines. The total gaming area spreads over 20,000 sq ft. While you arrive here to try your luck to win a jackpot, you can also spend time at the Mocha Café.
There are a ton of casinos on the Amizade Strip. The list above is just a handful of the casinos in the region.The waterfront on the southern side of the Macau Peninsula is lined with several famous casinos. If you travel further north of Lisboa, you’ll come across many small casinos, along with many hotels and resorts where you can enjoy some finer luxury accommodations.
For a full list of casinos on the strip you can visit our list of Casinos on the Amizade Strip
You’ll find a good list of some of the best nearby tourist attractions below. The city of Macau brings together Chinese cultural traditions and Portuguese influences from the West. Around 95% of the total population of the city is comprised of Chinese people. The remaining 5% includes both Portuguese and people from around the world. Every year, thousands of travelers come to experience the colonial-era architecture, gourmet cuisine, blend of cultures and Macau traditions. The fusion of Portuguese and Western influences and Chinese cultures have made Macau a veritable melting pot of a unique caliber.
Hong Kong is within easy reach from the city. The city of Macau has high-speed ferries that will take you to Hong Kong within an hour.
Though gambling is the biggest crowd-puller, there’s so much more you can see and do during in the Amizade Strip district. First and foremost, there are plenty of historical destinations – colonial buildings, churches, temples, gardens and ancient cemeteries among others. Second, you have busy markets and malls where shopping is a truly unique experience – luxury brands can be found in retail outlets and pawn shops. There is so much to see and do here it would be impossible to see it all without an efficient itinerary.
There’s a lot to discover in the city. To add ease to your trip we’ve listed some of the most raved about tourist attractions in the district. Hopefully this list of destinations helps you make the most of your stay here. Most of these historical attractions that you see below are a part of the Historic Center of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Follow the link to see a full list of Cultural Sites throughout the entire peninsula.
The most popular attraction in the city, the Macau Tower scales up a height of 1,109 ft. The construction of the tower began in 1998 and completed in 2001. You can easily spend multiple hours inside the tower with several excellent options for dining and entertainment. The tower is officially known as Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center.
Igreja da Sé (Macau):
Also referred to as the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady. Originally, there was a wooden chapel where the cathedral stands today. It was constructed out of stone in 1850. A few years later, it suffered from severe damage due to a typhoon. But it was built once again in concrete in the year 1937.
Museum de Macau:
If you want to dig out the history of Macau City, Museum de Macau is a perfect place. Here, you’ll find out how the territory was discovered and how it evolved into a strategic trading port. The cultural heritage of both China and Portugal are displayed in the museum. The history of cricket fighting, which forecast Macau’s gambling industry, is also a major attraction inside the museum.
A-Ma Temple is dedicated to a sea goddess called A-Ma, the word from which the city derives its name. As soon as you step into this temple, you’ll feel engulfed in a spiritual atmosphere. You’ll smell the scent of burning incense rings and hear the sound of firecrackers that are used to keep the evil spirits away. The overall construction of the temple was completed in multiple stages and finalized in 1828.
Lou Lim Ieoc Garden:
Lou Lim Ieoc Garden is said to be the most Chinese garden in all of Macau. Apart from soaking up greenery all around, this is where you can catch up with locals from the city. Every day, local people come to the park to play on Chinese musical instruments. Shade trees, lotus-laden ponds and bamboo groves lend this garden its refreshing feel. The pavilion in the garden is built in Victorian style.
Ruins of St Paul:
The Ruins of St. Paul are a major tourist destination of great historical value to this region. The history of the church dates back to the 16th century. This is the site where St Paul’s College once stood in all its grandeur. What remains of the original structure today are only ruins after a tsunami and fire destroyed the wooden portions of the church leaving only the facade. The ruined facade is built in stone, featuring intricate carvings.
Macau City is so rich in history and culture that the best way to explore it to the fullest is on foot. You can start from the Largo do Senado. Move on towards the north and stand witness to some of the best-preserved forts and churches in the region. It’s recommended to take a travel guide along for more information guidance.
A visit to the Senado Square, also a part of the UNESCO Historic Center of Macau, is a lot of fun for shoppers. It’s a wonderfully Portuguese paved town square and shopping center. Once at the square, several alleyways will lead you to numerous shops selling everything from clothing, jewelry and pharmaceutical items to snacks. Also found here is the Leal Senado Building, where official government activity is conducted to this day.
The next best place for shoppers in the city is the Macau Tower. Here, you’ll see shopping malls selling a wide range of luxurious items from the best European luxury brands. The Macau Creations features luxury artistic pieces and prints from locally famous artists. If you’re traveling with children, you can head straight to the “Toys R’ Us” to buy wonderful toys.
Macau has a warm tropical climate. Though you can travel to the city any time of the year, autumn (October – December) is the most suitable time to visit. During this period, you’ll enjoy warm weather. If you’re traveling during the winter season (January – March), remember to carry along warm clothing. Light cotton clothes are recommended for summer as it does get hot.
In addition to the fun to be had here, it would be wise to mention the best available means of getting here. If you’re coming from Hong Kong, there are regular ferry services available to get you to Fisherman’s Wharf, and from there you’re a short walk away from the Amizade Strip. You can avail yourself of the ferry services from the Hong Kong International Airport among other points in Hong Kong. You can get to the city of Macau from different ports (Jiangmen, Shekou and Fu Yong Ferry Terminal) in mainland China as well.
Travelers coming from outside China can first take a flight to the Macau International Airport located in Taipa. From there you can take a bus to the ferry terminal and then use the ferry services to reach the city of Macau and the Amizade Strip.
Planning Your Trip:
First of all, you could find a car rental or taxi service to get to the mainland districts of Macau. Furthermore, you could always plan your trip based on travel basing priority on location. You could start by making your way to the Cotai Strip in the first leg of your journey. Then, slowly making your way up to Taipa. From there find yourself in either Fisherman’s Wharf or the Amizade Strip. The last leg of your journey to Macau would be visiting the Inner Harbor as it’s the farthest out.
This will all depend on the time you have available here. If you have a long time to spend in Macau you’ll want to see it all.
However, if you’re time or budget are limited here, we recommend the Cotai Strip, Fisherman’s Wharf or the Amizade Strip. If you have to choose one, the Amizade strip is your best choice for its combination of culture and casinos. If you prefer luxurious casino resorts and VIP game rooms, the Cotai Strip is the place to be.