NAPE is no ordinary neighbourhood
Unless you visited Macau in the 90s you wouldn’t know that the area known as NAPE, is in fact all reclaimed land. The original waterfront was right where Wynn Macau sits today. This area is under 20 years old and so most people don’t really take the chance to explore the area, as it doesn’t have the same ancient charm to it that most quarters do. But if you scratch just under the surface, you will find this is a gem of a neighbourhood, home to schools, residential buildings, commercial office spaces, five star resorts, museums and a booming restaurant scene.
Read more: Sassy’s Guide to Calçada do Amparo, Macau
What to do:
Kun Iam Statue
This beautiful big bronze statue is right on Macau’s waterfront and if you ever wanted to be on the edge of Macau- this would be the place to go! The tiny man-made island on which the statute sits is connected to the waterfront. Dedicated to Kun Iam, the goddess of mercy in Chinese Buddhism, it is stunning and worth a detour over to see. The statue is placed on a lotus-shaped dome that houses many small exhibitions on Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism that are free to see. This is a great place to view Taipa Island from on a clear day.
Av. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, Macau, China opens daily (except Friday) 10am-6pm.
Located along the same road as Kun Iam statue, The Macao Science Centre houses 12 permanent Galleries that span a range of fields of education. The structure is shaped like a space rocket and is a 5,800m2 learning facility and aims to showcase science in an interactive and engaging way for adults and children. Macao Science Center has been awarded the highest resolution 3D planetarium in the world by Guinness World Records. They have a planetarium and many interactive exhibitions.
Tip: Don’t forget to snap a photo outside at the back of the Museum- there is a large heart shaped tree just waiting to be in your next instagram post.
Macao Science Center, Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, +853 2888 0822. Open daily from 10am – 6pm closed on Thursdays.
Macao Museum of Art
The Macao Museum of Art is a beautifully modern building housed inside The Macau Cultural Centre. It is the largest museum and building dedicated to art in the city and regularly has local and visiting artist exhibitions. It’s comprised of five floors each dedicated to a different kind of gallery both old and new. It’s a small museum and you can easily get yourself around all the rooms in an hour. But if you are time sensitive and still want to take a look, take the elevator and head to the top floor, home to the ancient relics and beautiful watercolor paintings on the third floor. Entrance is free and they are open Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00 to 19:00 last entry at 18.30.
Avenida Xian Xing Hai S/N, NAPE, Macau + 853 2870 0699
Handover Gifts Museum of Macau
Located right next to the Macao Museum of Art this is a surprisingly interesting and worthwhile place to visit. I consider this place a hidden cultural gem and you wont be disappointed. While I think they could have thought of a catchier name, it is what it says it is. Home to 56 different handover gifts, each tell a story from the province in China that gifted it to Macau. You will see paintings, mosaics, sculptures, carpets and much more. The museum was created to house the gifts Macau received when it became part of the Special Administration Region in 1999 after its handover from Portugal back to China.
Avenida Xian Xing Hai S/N, NAPE, Macau + 853 2870 0699, Daily 10am-7pm
One Central Shopping Complex
Home to every designer brand you could imagine, One Central is a luxury residential compound with a three-story shopping mall below. Connected to both MGM Macao and Mandarin Oriental and located across the road from Wynn Macao, The Ascot hotel and StarWorld Hotel it is almost impossible to miss or avoid. This is definitely somewhere you shop if you won at the casino.
One Central Macau, Avenida de Sagres, Nape, Macau +853 2822 9838, Sunday – Thursday 10:30 am – 11:00 pm, Friday, Saturday, and Public Holidays 10:30 am – 12:00 am
Where to Drink Coffee:
BLACK By Single Origin.
BLACK by Single Origin is, without a doubt, one of the best places that serve coffee not only in NAPE, but also all over Macau. The sister shop to Single Origin, they are serving up a great range of coffees and some light breakfast options such as avocado toast and pastries. Perfect spot for those staying over in Macau with no breakfast included at their hotel or a great mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-up.
Rethink Coffee Roasters
The white and light blue colors are hard to miss as you make you way along the back end of NAPE. A regular on Instagram feeds, many people come by to take photos of their coffee cups from inside and outside the shop. Each time you buy a coffee you get a different quote written on your cup. The beautifully designed coffee shop is not just a hit with tourists but with locals alike. I regularly bump into people I know who are enjoying an afternoon coffee with a cinnamon roll. They also have a yummy soymilk! A rarity in Macau, so for those needing their soy cap fix- this is the place to go!
Café Time After Time
A delightful little café nestled in the middle of NAPE and I love their coffee. This is a great place to recharge your phone, sit down and relax for a coffee and plan your next location to see. All their coffee servings are handpicked Italian roasts, and the ground floor coffee bar brings in the foot traffic to this charming café.
Tom n Tom Coffee
The first thing you notice in this very modern, South Korean-inspired décor coffee shop are its neon lights, graffiti, and street style signage. The décor is so cool, you will want to hang out here all day. Food wise though, we love their garlic butter toast with melted butter and cheese in between. I know what you’re thinking- that sounds weird, but if you love a toasty cheese melt, this will change your world. When it comes to coffee, they really do have everything but we love their iced coffee and hazelnut frappe.
Where to Eat:
There are so many options in this area for dining that I can’t possibly list them all. Walking around you will see an array of cute little noodle shops, hot pot restaurants, five star hotel dining options, Portuguese food and many fusion cafés. I haven’t tried them all but the more ‘tourist’ friendly options are most likely not going to have the experience you are after. The few mentioned below are tried and tested favourites of mine
Café Esplanada at Wynn Macau
Café Esplanada is a local favourite and regular hangout for Macau’s in-the-know crowd. Although a hotel restaurant seems an odd choice as my number 1 pick, I’ve eaten here over 20 times and it never disappoints. With plush inside seating options and outdoor al Fresco options by the pool, it has something for everyone and all seasons. They feature a menu that includes Asian, Macanese, Mediterranean and international cuisines and the menu is affordable and reliable. I always order one of their salads, usually the Mediterranean one and their breadbasket deserves a special shout out, yum!
Wynn Macau, G/F , Avenida de Sagres, Macau +853 2888 9966
Popular among locals you will find this place packed at lunchtime, dinnertime and the weekend. It’s minimalist and casual, with a modern feel, wooden tables, beer bottles decorating the bar top, and large windows with black frames. It’s an eye-catcher from the outside. A casual menu to match a very casual dining experience this place is great for families and those who are fussy eaters as they have a good menu and an adaptable kitchen team. Its dishes are intended to be shared and we love their nachos, baby back ribs and range of ciders.
HEA Fu Tat Garden Building, 46-118 Rua de Paris, Macau, +853 6644 7225, www.facebook.com/heaisgood
This is one of the best Italian restaurants in Macau. Going back over 30 years of operation, it would be hard to find an expat living in Macau who hasn’t been here over the years. Fresh, authentic, affordable and so very Italian, it is truly a memorable experience to dine here. Reservations are a must and their tortellini with meat sauce is what pasta dreams are made of! It’s located just across the road from MGM Macao and makes for a lovely dining option outside of the Casinos.
Vista Magnifica Bldg, 1st fl, 40-46 Avenida Sir Anders Ljungstedt, +853 2875 5102, www.facebook.com/anticatrattoriamacau
Passion by Gerard Dubois
This branch of Passion by Gerard Dubois has just opened its doors and it’s a great addition to the dining scene in this area. Located on the ground floor of StarWorld hotel, its entrance is directly onto the street, so you don’t need to go into the Hotel in search of it. They have everything you could possibly want from snacks, coffee, pasta, salad, sandwiches, desserts etc. They do both dine in and takeaway which is great if you would rather grab something to go and eat along the waterfront.
StarWorld hotel, G/F. Avenida de Amizade, Macau, China +853 2838 3838, www.passionbygd.com
Where to stay:
NAPE is home to many of the first wave of new casinos and hotels that popped up in Macau. MGM Macau, Wynn Macau, Sands just to name a few. There are now more options in this area such as Star World Hotel, The Ascott (which has a great open air bar on the sixth floor) Mandarin Oriental, Macau and Hotel Lisboa is just across the street. All are in walking distance to everything mentioned in this article but where you stay comes down to personal preference.
*Please note that this area unfortunately sustained damage during Typhoon Hato, so please check with hotels directly for its most up to date status on its available facilities during your stay.