Essential Travel Information to Melaka
Overview of Melaka
Melaka, also known as Malacca is located in the southern part of Malaysia and is a popular spot for travelers to the country. As a Malayan town founded by the Portuguese, ruled by the Dutch, and later controlled by the British, it boasts a fusion of several cultures in its coloured history. If you are looking for a unique cultural experience in Malaysia, Melaka is your best bet.
Today, it is home to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka.
Come, experience wonder and excitement in historical Melaka!
What to Do in Melaka
If you are into the performing arts, you will love Encore Melaka, the largest theatre for the performing arts in Asia.
The theatre offers some impressive features such as an automatically rotating platform that rotates at 360 degrees facing a 240-meter-long stage. It has state-of-art technology to give audiences a full-immersive experience. The show lasts 75 minutes and it will take the audience through the stories of Melaka in a unique experience that is enhanced with great audio, lighting, and 3D projection mapping, amongst other impressive features.
A Famosa Resort
The A Famosa Resort in Malacca is considered by some to be the top leisure and resort destinations in South East Asia. It has numerous fun-filled activities to offer visitors, which include the renowned Water Theme Park and numerous other fun activities for families and friends.
A Famosa Resort is situated on 1300 acres in Alor Gajah and it is surrounded by a scenic, panoramic landscape of rolling hills. Some of the amenities at the resort include the World Safari, villas, condotels, Cowboy Town, and many other features.
Melaka River Cruise
The Melaka River Cruise is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of Melaka without spending too much. The cruise gives you a chance to see the origins of the town in style, as you sail down the original trade routes between China and Europe that the town was founded to serve. Even the new buildings feature colorful murals telling the story of the town’s rich history.
Skytrex Adventure Melaka
If you are looking for a fun-filled adventure during your trip to Malacca, this is the place to be. It is full of challenging but fun obstacle courses, located inside scenic rainforest surroundings. All the latest international safety standards are adhered to at the park. Some of the things you can do include zip lining, ladder climbing, bike riding, tight rope walking, swinging from ropes, crawling through net tunnels, and negotiating canopy walks.
The Shore Sky Tower & Oceanarium
The Shore Sky Tower is the tallest building in Malacca. It has an observation deck that is 163 meters above the street level. Visitors will be able to enjoy a 360-degree breathtaking view of this panoramic city. If you are not afraid of heights, consider visiting the glass-bottom ledge overhanging from the side of the building.
While at the Shore Sky Tower, you should also visit The Shore Oceanarium. It is a fun and educational attraction where the kids will have a lot of fun. It prides itself on offering the latest in aquarium technology, including 3D movies and information boards.
Menara Taming Sari
If you want to view all the interesting historical sites of Malacca from a high vantage point, you should visit Menara Taming Sari. The tower is 110 meters high and it is located in the middle of the city. It offers visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the whole city.
At the time of opening, it was the first tower in Malaysia to have a revolving structure. The viewing cabins are air-conditioned and they accommodate up to 66 people at a go.
The Upside-Down House Melaka
If you are looking for a quirky and fun experience while in Melaka, you should visit the Upside-Down House. Located only a short walk from Jonker Walk, this lets you take lots of creative photos from inside the different sections of the upside-down rooms. This attraction is family friendly, and will give you lots of Insta-moments to brag about!
Melaka Wonderland Theme Park
This water theme park will have you gushing in excitement as you thunder down the high-speed water slides, while you cool off in the tropical heat. With over 16 attractions, this is a good place for families to enjoy
What to See in Melaka
A trip to Malacca would not be complete without a stroll down Jonker Street. It is known as the Chinatown area of the historical city. The walk is free but make sure you carry along some cash because you will want to buy souvenirs and handicrafts unique to the city.
From the main street, you can visit the many other streets that branch out from it where you will find many interesting things to do and see.
Famous for its crimson façade, the Stadthuys is believed to be the oldest structures in Melaka. Built between 1641 and 1660, it served as the official residence of the Dutch governor and the administrative center of the city during Melaka’s colonial era.
Today, visitors will find relics and traditional bridal costumes spanning over 400 years of Melaka’s history on display in this modern day museum for History and Ethnography.
St Paul’s Church
St. Paul’s Church in Melaka is set up on a hill with the same name giving tourists a chance to experience great views over the city. The church stands alongside ruins that were built in the year 1521, making it the oldest in Southeast Asia. The church is a popular attraction and is worth visiting when in the city.
Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum
Formerly home to several generations of the Chan family of Peranakans, this heritage museum was previously home to 4 generations of descendants before its conversion. Step into the rich culture of a pre-WW2 Peranakan home and learn about the Peranakans and their lives while admiring the blend of european architecture with Eastern tradition and history.
Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park
If you’re into anthropology and culture, Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park feature a closer look at the traditional Malaysian and ASEAN way of life, through replicas of architecture from each of the different states, and handicraft showing the variation in artistic styles of the different States in the country. A place for families to visit, learn to play traditional Malaysian games too!
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Built in 1646, the “Merciful Cloud Temple” is the oldest functioning Temple in Malaysia. Serving the Chinese Hoklo community back then, today the temple has been awarded a UNESCO award for its restoration efforts in preserving and is open to all.
Perigi Hang Tuah
This well is said to be dug up by the legendary Malaccan warrior Hang Tuah himself. Legends say that his spirit dwells within the well in the form of a white crocodile, which can be seen only by the purest of hearts.
Melaka was originally a Portuguese colony founded in 1511. Visit this quaint settlement where the original Portuguese settlers intermarried with locals and produced a mixed Eurasian Community. Visit this place in the evening for their unique blend of food, and over the weekend for their cultural shows.
Beaches, Islands, and Places of Nature in Melaka
Klebang Beach is a popular tourist attraction in Malacca. It is a great place to hold beach picnics, go kite flying, and enjoy the local cuisine offered via the numerous food trucks along the beach.
If you would like a scenic location to pose for some photos, the Klebang Sand Dunes are quite popular. The dunes are popular with bridal photo sessions, especially for those looking for dramatic photo shoots.
Those looking for an interesting day destination around Malacca should visit the island of Pulau Besar. The water around is quite clear and you can see tiny sea creatures as you walk along the beach.
If you love nature, you can also take a jungle trek through the island to view some of the interesting flora and fauna. Other interesting features include an old well that is claimed to contain salty water when the tide comes in and freshwater when the tide goes out.
A place far from the madding crowd, Masjid Tanah features a Turtle Management Centre, nice long peaceful beaches, and the Durian Daun recreational park. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, this is the place to go.
Ayer Keroh Recreational Forest
Ayer Keroh is a town located about 13 kilometers from Malacca city. It offers visitors the tranquility of nature and it will be an opportunity to sample the delicious local cuisine.
The city is of historical significance and there are several UNESCO world heritage sites. You can also visit the Ayer Keroh Lake, Malacca Zoo, and Melaka Bird Park.
Melaka Zoo and Night Safari
The second largest zoo in Malaysia, feed elephants and watch the bird show in the day, while you witness nocturnal animals come out to play at night.
Melaka Bird Park
This The first open aviary in Malacca, see over a hundred species of birds and watch them fly on the sky bridge. Get a chance to feed the macaws, and get personal with the parrots!
Where to Shop in Melaka
Jonker Street Night Market
The place to be on Friday and Saturday nights, the night market features everything from tasty treats to tiny trinkets that make perfect souvenirs. You can even find quality clothes or tech gadgets and accessories. When you’re done shopping, chill out at some of the best pubs in Melaka, all at Jonker Street.
Hard Rock Cafe Melaka
Chill out at the Hard Rock Cafe Melaka, listening to live music from local artists, or world famous rock stars while gazing at the Melaka river in the calm night.
Check out the wardrobe and guitar selection of rock stars that have donated their personal artifacts to the Hard Rock Cafe. A place to go for the rock fan.
Freeport A Famosa Outlet
This is the place to go if you need a shopping fix. Designed as a colonial Dutch town themed on Melaka’s heritage, the open air mall carries over 70 brands of fashion and sporting goods.
This area is the place to go for a sampling of Melaka’s nightlife and bars. With a large plethora of restaurants mirroring the multi-cultural history of Melaka, you’ll find something for your palate in this gastronomical heaven.
Where to Stay in Melaka
If you aren’t planning to stay at one of the resorts in Melaka, there are 3 main areas to consider staying when visiting Melaka:
This location is for the travellers that enjoy an exciting busy nightlife, with the night markets and pubs in the area. This area is particularly popular with budget and luxury travellers alike due to the large variety of accommodation options. This place puts you in the center of the action.
This is the place to stay to be near landmarks and attractions in Melaka, while having access to good restaurants and nightlife options. This is also the closest location to most of the shopping malls.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city, get acquainted with nature by staying near Ayer Keroh. With close proximity to many of the parks and nature attractions, this is a favourite for families looking to have a quiet trip to Melaka.
What & Where to Eat in Melaka
Melaka is a food capital that attracts food lovers from all over the world. The city has a wide array of spots that offer a variety of Malaysian foods worth sampling. Jonker Street is one such spot, where vendors sell snacks and desserts like chicken rice balls, waffles, pancakes, and cendol.
Other popular cuisines are Nonya food, Chinese and Malay which include dishes such as popiah and sup kambing (mutton soup).
With a varied colonial past, find interesting blends of Western and local foods in and deserts all around Melaka!
Don’t forget to wash your meal down with a glass of sugarcane juice to cool off in the tropical heat.
How to Get to Melaka
Melaka is located on the southwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is 144km from Kuala Lumpur, 90km from Port Dickson and 224km from Johor Bahru. Travel options are numerous as the state is accessible by air, road, rail or sea.
International travellers typically fly down to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, before taking a bus to Melaka Sentral, or a connecting flight to Melaka airport.
If you are travelling from Malaysia, Singapore, or Thailand, you might also have direct flights to Melaka airport from your local airport. You can also consider driving there, via the North-South Highway.
If you are a local traveller, there are many bus companies making multiple daily trips to Melaka at affordable prices. International travellers to Malaysia typically take buses to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur, and even from Singapore. Be sure to book your bus at least one day in advance.
This is the scenic and most relaxing route, but also the slowest way. You’ll get to watch the countryside roll by as the train crawls toward Tampin, a town 38km away from Melaka. Then, take a bus or taxi from Tampin down to Melaka Sentral.
By Taxi / Grab
Grab or MyTeksi is the local version of Uber. There are many Taxis and Grab cars available to take you to Melaka from anywhere in Malaysia, especially from Kuala Lumpur. Do note though that taxis may refuse to travel too far especially just before mealtimes, as they want to get home for dinner.
If you are already in Malaysia, you can drive down to Melaka if you’re in Kuala Lumpur. Rent a car, get to the North-South Highway towards Seremban, and then towards Melaka. Petrol is fairly cheap in Malaysia, so you won’t break the bank with this option.
How to Get Around Melaka
You can travel around Melaka by bus, taxi, Grab, or even trishaws for a more unique experience. You can even rent a car for as low as MYR 70 and drive around town.
Do note that driving in Melaka could be tricky due to the many one-way roads that could leave you turning in circles to get to your destination!
When is the Best Time to Visit Melaka
Visit Melaka during the dry season from April to May and later in the year in October. At these times, you’ll avoid the seasonal Haze and the raging summer heat, as well as the heavy monsoon rains in the middle and end of the year.
Who Will Be the Best Travel Companion to Melaka
Melaka is the perfect destination for a short or long vacation trip. It is a great place to visit as a family with many activities for adults and children.
Honeymooners will also find Melaka a perfect spot for a getaway with their loved one.