Things To Do in Malacca (Melaka), Malaysia

Things to do in Malacca Nomad Everyday

In this article, we will cover the top things to do in Malacca, Malaysia.

Malacca or Melaka in Malay is a city on the west coast of Malaysia which is located south of Kuala Lumpur.

Many travelers come to visit Malacca, which makes it one of the most visited cities in the country.

Rich of its colonial past, Melaka is a must if you plan to visit Malaysia. Here, over the centuries, Portuguese, Dutch, and English colonies followed one another.

Today, Melaka is a cosmopolitan city, widely open to tourism and worth a visit. It is also listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

Whether it is for its historical richness or for its small gastronomic treasures, let us guide you in the discovery of this place full of history.

Top 9 Activities you shouldn’t miss in Malacca

Like the rest of Malaysia, Malacca is a city with a rich colonial past.

In the 16th century, it was a strategic port for trade with the rest of Asia.

Today, we still find this cultural and religious diversity in the colorful streets, the monuments, and also the cuisine. Malacca

Invaded first by the Portuguese in the 16th century and then by the Dutch in 1641, the city also welcomed people from India and China.

The English did not arrive until 1824 and stayed there until Malaysia’s independence in 1957.

There is an eclectic atmosphere, with colorful neighborhoods but also a mixture of various cultures: Indian, Chinese, and Malay.

This mixture of influences can be seen in the facades, the historical and religious monuments.

You will find a Buddhist temple, next to a mosque, itself next to a Hindu temple. Here are the top 9 things to do in Malacca.

Malacca city
Malacca city
City Map of Malacca (Melaka)
City Map of Malacca (Melaka)

Red square (Dutch square)

This downtown square is a place full of history and it’s the unmissable thing to see in Malacca.

It is the most famous place in Malacca. It is an attraction for tourists and a place to gather. The square is often lively even at night.

To be able to admire it quietly, it is better to go there early in the morning as it is always crowded with tourists.

Its brick-red monuments, including Christ Church, have earned it the nickname of Red Square. Also named Dutch Square, it dates back to the Dutch period.

On the square, you will also find Queen Victoria’s fountain. It was erected in 1904 in memory of Queen Victoria. It is also the place where the trishaws park.

The view is sublime, this reddish has a particular charm and the colors of the trishaws embellish the place even more.

You will also find the local tuk-tuk who offer a ride to tourists in their vehicle decorated like Spiderman or Hello Kitty.

Red Square Melacca
Red Square Melacca

Jonker Street Night Market

Only open on weekends, on Jonker Street, There is nothing better to discover the different aspects of a culture than a stroll on a market.

You can’t go to Malacca without seeing the night market of Jonker Walk Street, it is one of the top things to do in Malacca.

Note that it’s a bit crowded, it is the most animated place of Malacca,

It gives you an appointment every evening around 7 pm and gathers various stands between souvenirs, clothes, and food.

You will be able to shop and nibble on some local specialties. There is not really a place to sit and eat, except for the terraces of the many restaurants.

But this being said, if you walk through the parallel streets, you will find some good restaurants for a very cheap price.

Spend good moments to discover new flavors such as delicious traditional cakes and varied and cheap catering, there is for all the tastes sweet, salty, spicy….

Street Art all around Melaka

Although Penang is the street art capital of Malaysia, local artists have taken over the streets of Malacca to color the old dilapidated facades.

After the emergence of urban art in Malaysia, Malacca jumped on the opportunity and beautified the city to attract tourists.

In this small, peaceful, slightly bohemian town lazing around and discovering art is an activity on its own, as you wander through the narrow streets and come face to face with a fresco.

On foot, by bike, or by boat, the River Art Project gives pride of place to a booming local art scene.

A beautiful and totally free showcase to visit during your next road trip in Malaysia!

Stroll on Harmony Street and visit the different temples and mosque

Just like in Penang, Melaka has a street that perfectly reflects its cultural richness.

Jalon Tokong, also known as Harmony Street, is a not miss during your visit to Malacca.

It includes a mosque, a Chinese temple, and an Indian temple located a few meters from each other.

The religious diversity of the city can be seen in its buildings. A walk on Harmony Street will allow you to quickly take the measure of it.

Here are the buildings that you can find:

  • Cheng Hoon Teng Temple: 25, Jalan Tukang Emas
  • Kampung Kling Mosque: 17, Jalan Tukang Emas
  • Xiang Lin Si Temple: 40, Jalan Tukang Emas
  • Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple: 5-11, Jalan Tukang Emas

Walk on the docks of the Melaka River

Once out of the Red Square, you will quickly find yourself in a quiet place along the quays of the Melaka River.

The walk is pleasant with the rhythm of the colored facades and the boats which pass. It is also the favorite corner of the monitor.

A wooden bridge allows you to walk along the bank almost from one end to the other of the city, which makes the walk a very nice moment.

Take a River Boat Ride in Malacca

The next things to do in Malacca are a bit similar to the one above but also very pleasant. It’s to take a riverboat ride.

It cost RM 15 on weekdays per person for a ride.

A boat that crosses the city by the river for more than two kilometers.

And when you see how well maintained the banks are, you think that this boat ride is worth it.

Go up to the Saint-Paul Church

We recommend going up to the top of the hill where St. Paul’s Church dominates.

A true vestige of the Portuguese occupation, St. Paul’s Church is the oldest church in Southeast Asia.

Built-in 1521, it has crossed the centuries. It was first used as a chapel before being converted into a church by the Dutch.

During the English occupation, the place was used as a shelter for ammunition.

However, it will require some effort since it is located on top of a small hill.

From there, you will be able to admire the sunset surrounded by all the locals who spend their end of the day there or go there early in the morning, when the temperatures are still mild.

The view of the city of Malacca is very pleasant.

Visit the Melaka Straits Mosquee

The floating mosque of Malacca is a small jewel that you could just see by car, unfortunately.

The Melaka Straits Mosquee, built on the water, offers a fantastic show at dusk.

You can also find an acceptable spot to admire the beautiful colors of the setting sun. A precious souvenir!

Melaka Straits Mosquee by night source:
Melaka Straits Mosquee by night source:

Visit the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

The Baba Nyonya heritage museum reproduces the interior of a traditional residence from the 19th century.

The museum is an old building that housed the first expatriate Chinese family in Malaysia.

The term Baba Nyonya refers to the first Chinese immigrants to settle in Malaysia. Baba means “father” in Chinese and refers to the men. Nyonya comes from Portuguese and refers to women.

The entrance fee is 16RM per person.

The Baba-Nyonya (or Peranakan) are part of a culture-specific to Malaysia (and Indonesia).

This last one appeared in the XVth century, was born from the various marriages between Chinese and Malay.

Today, they have their own dialects, customs, and culinary specialties.

How to go from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca?

  • From downtown Kuala Lumpur to Malacca: You will have to go to Bandar Tasik Selatan station in Kuala Lumpur, which is easily accessible by subway.

    The price of the ticket is RM 10 or about 2€ per person. Departure every hour. It takes about 2h30.

    Once you arrive at the bus station (Melaka Sentral) you can take a cab to the city center or the local bus number 17 for 30 cents per person.

    However, it is crowded, the bus is usually full and it takes about 20 minutes to get there.
  • From Kuala Lumpur KLIA and KLIA 2 airport: There are several airlines that offer departures to certain cities.

    The most common is Transnasional which offers several direct connections per day for RM10. Travel time is about 2.5 hours.

    There are buses about every 1h30 from KLIA international airport and even from the low-cost airport KLIA 2

What is there to do in Malacca for a day trip?

  • Visit the Red Square
  • Take photos of the street art in Malacca
  • Stroll on Harmony Street
  • Take a river boat ride
  • Finish the day by going to the Jonker street night market (if its the weekend)

What is Malacca known for?

The city’s port is the oldest in Malaysia, many people came from all over the world.

It was the most important port in the region because all ships passed through the Strait of Malacca. It was the strategic point of the Asian maritime trade.

The city was populated by Malays and also foreign residents such as Javanese, Chinese, and Tamils.

Discover more of our articles about Malaysia:

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