View of Malacca city from Bukit Melaka

A Complete Guide to Malacca: 12 Best Things To Do

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Melaka, or Malacca, is a city where historic significance seeps out of every brick. It is located south of the Malay capital, Kuala Lumpur. Malacca is a UNESCO world heritage site that attracts hordes of tourists all year round. It is a must-visit place in Malaysia, and it has numerous interesting activities to engage visitors. This guide details all the necessary information for travelers to plan a trip to Malacca, along with other tips and the best things to do to get the most out of it.

When the city was under Portuguese administration, its name was “Malaca.” Under the Dutch administration, it was “Malakka” or “Malacka.” Under British rule, it was “Malacca.” Now, people spell Malacca or Melaka.

12 Things to Do in Malacca

How to Reach Malacca?

By Air

Malacca International Airport (Airport Code: BKZ, 11 km) is the nearest airport. From there, you can hop on a bus or taxi to the city center.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, 38 km from Malacca. Taxis and buses from Tampin can be used to reach Malacca.

By Bus

It is the cheapest and easiest way to reach Malacca. Buses run frequently between the TBS bus station in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. A 2-3 hour journey will cost anywhere from RM 10 – RM 25. From the Malacca Bus Sentral, you can walk to the historical city or take a Grab to reach the city center.

Best Time to Visit Malacca

Melaka or Malacca world heritage city, Malaysia

Malacca can be visited at any time of the year. Malacca is vibrant and energetic during the weekends. On Mondays, all the museums and prime spots remain closed.

Commuting Around Malacca

The historic spots are easily walkable, so it is easy to roam around on foot. Local bus services operate from the Malacca Sentral bus station to the city center. Bicycles can also be rented at some guest houses and shops.

Parking Facilities

A few mini streets have a narrow lane where only one four-wheeler can pass. People usually park their vehicles by the side of the road. Paid parking services are available at certain places across Malacca. If you plan to travel by car, check the parking space availability before booking confirmation.

Where to Eat?

Malacca has several restaurants that serve Indian, Malay, Italian, French, and Chinese cuisines. On weekends, you can also try different types of street food at the Jonker Street Night Market.

Where to Stay?

 

Since Malacca is a popular tourist destination, numerous accommodation options are available. From budget hostels to luxury hotels, you can find them all. We stayed at Sleep Here Hostel, Melaka ($). Here are a few other recommendations.

13 Top Things To Do In Malacca

1. Go Museum Hopping

Maritime museum or Flor De Lamar
Maritime Museum (Flor De Lamar)

Several museums are located within walking distance of the city of Malacca. Learn about the local history, culture, tradition, and various community and ethnic groups. The interesting ones include the Prison Museum, the Submarine Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Royal Press Museum. The entry price for each museum varies. Check the timings from the official website. Here’s a comprehensive list of museums you could visit in Malacca.

  • Malacca Youth Museum
  • History and Ethnography Museum
  • Maritime Museum
  • Royal Malaysian Navy Museum
  • Malacca Islamic Museum
  • People’s Museum 
  • Malacca Stamps Museum
  • Malay & Islamic World Museum
  • Governer’s Museum
  • Malacca Literature Museum 
  • Malacca Educational Museum
  • Hang Tuah Museum
  • Submarine Museum
  • Cheng Ho’s Cultural Museum
  • Jayanagar Knife Story Museum
  • Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum

2. Get a Bird’s Eye View of Malacca

Taming Sari tower

Taming Sari Tower is a 360° gyroscopic viewing tower that provides a breathtaking view above 80 m. The 7-minute ride offers a spectacular panoramic view of Malacca from the 43rd floor. The revolving glass cabin has a passenger capacity of 80 people. Do not miss this attraction during your visit to Malacca.

  • Timings: 10 AM – 11 PM daily
  • Ticket price: RM 23 for adults and RM 15 for children. Show your MyKad for discounts.

The Shore Sky Tower also offers 360° aerial views of the city from the glass deck on the 43rd floor. A telescope is also placed at this level to get a closer view of your favorite spots. The glass floor gives a thrilling view.

  • Timings: 10 AM to 10 PM, last admission at 9:30 PM
  • Ticket price: RM 25 for adults during weekdays, RM 35 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. RM 18 is for children, senior citizens, and handicapped people on weekdays, and RM 25 is for weekends and public holidays.
  • Extra RM 40 for taking pictures on the glass bridge.

3. Take a Trishaw ride

Trishaw ride in Malacca

The three-wheeled rickshaws, called Trishaw, can be spotted near Stadthuys. With its vibrant lights (after sunset), decoration, and music, a trishaw ride is one of the best ways to enjoy Malacca. You can view all the prime hotspots in Malacca’s historic city center from the comfort of a trishaw.

  • Cost: RM 25 for a shorter ride for 15 minutes and RM 45 for a long ride for 30 minutes.
  • Timings: Available throughout the day from 10 AM – 12 PM

4. Watch Cultural Performances

The Malacca people are a close-knit community who practice Islam and are steeped in traditions. The locals perform cultural performances every Saturday in front of the Maritime Museum (Flor De Lamar) at 8 PM, 9 PM, and 10 PM. Watch the professional dancers dressed up traditionally while serving the local music and dance flavor!

5. Shop at Jonker Street

Jonker Street shopping

Jonker Street Night Market becomes a flea market for food and shopping enthusiasts every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6 PM to midnight. On other days, the small street vendors do not set up the stalls. Jonker Street is well known for its art galleries, food outlets, antique shops, and many more. It is a place where the culture and traditions meet the vibrancy that feels native to Malacca. 

6. Cruise the Malacca River

Malacca Water cruise, Malaysia

Malacca is also referred to as the Venice of the East. Visiting the historic city of Malacca is incomplete without taking a 45-minute cruise along the Malacca River. Trade and commerce thrived along the river back in the day. To know everything about the river cruise, including the water taxi services, refer to the water cruising in Malacca blog for more information.

7. Visit Masjid Selat Malacca

Masjit Selat Malacca

Built in 2006, the Masjid Selat Malacca is a river-side mosque. With a mix of Middle Eastern and Malay architecture, it looks like a floating structure when the water level is high. The mosque compound has a 30 m tall minaret that also serves as a lighthouse. Just outside the mosque is a viewpoint from where you can see the full view of this beautiful mosque.

Other noteworthy historic places of worship include Kampung Hulu mosque and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple.

  • Timings: 9 AM – 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM – 4:15 PM, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM during weekdays, while during weekends, 9 AM – 10:30 AM, 3 PM – 4:15 PM, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
  • Entry Fee: Free

If you plan to visit the mosque, kindly adhere to the stipulated dress code. Entry to the mosque will be prohibited if your dress does not cover from your shoulders to your knees. You can buy a robe/ scarf and sarong for RM 5 at the entrance.

8. Stroll Along the Picturesque Selat Avenue

Selat Avenue, Malacca Malaysia

Located en route to the Masjid Selat Malacca, Selat Avenue is a vibrant food court and live music spot nestled between the Riviera Hotel and Kaizen Hotels on Malacca Island. Established in 2022, the pastel walls make the street a paradise for avid Instagrammers and photography enthusiasts.

While the food options are diverse and tantalizing, the price is also higher. Although the food court is closed during the day, you can still roam the street, take nice pictures, and have a great time.

  • Food court timings: 6 PM to 12:30 AM, closed on Wednesdays.

9. Admire the Mural Arts

Mural arts along the Malacca River

The city of Malacca is so colorful, with several murals. Along the riverfront, the walls of cafes and homes are painted with colorful art. We also visited the Orangutan House, the residence and studio of artist Charles Cham, who creates magnificent art based on the concept of Yin-Yang.

10. Stay in a Malacca Traditional House

Malacca traditional house

‘Rumah Melayu Malacca’ or Malacca Malay House is the traditional style of Malay residence used even today. The architecture of the traditional houses was mainly adopted from traditional Chinese architecture. These houses are built with bricks or wood and have a stilt and a unique sloping roof. A few of these houses accept guests and serve as homestays. Below are a few traditional Malacca houses where you can stay.

11. Experience Malacca Duck Tours

Malacca duck tours

Unlike the name, the ducks are amphibious vehicles that offer a unique experience of traveling on both land and sea in Malaysia. Malacca has the most technologically advanced flock of ducks in the world. These amphibious vehicles show a tour of the prime spots in the city for about 45-60 minutes. The tickets can be purchased from Mamata Taming Sari (Kiosk)

  • Timing: 9.00 AM – 6.00 PM
  • Cost: For MyKad holders, the cost is RM 42 for adults, RM 25 for Children between 2 and 12, and RM 30 for seniors above 55. For non-MyKad holders, the cost is RM 48 for adults and RM 30 for children between 2 and 12.

12. Explore the Iconic Places in Malacca

As you know, Malacca has a rich historical past because of which it is recognized as a world heritage site. Beyond the museums, Malacca has so many historic places that are worth visiting. We have listed five must-visit historic places in Malacca that you shouldn’t miss. Do check it out.

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