Like reflections in a kaleidoscope, admire Malacca in many ways as you twist and turn through its historical city streets. Malacca gives you the opportunity to see how a city can thrive by mixing traditional cultures and modern society, like a symphonic harmony. Deeply rooted in its history, Malacca puts their heritage proudly on display; preserving cultural heritage, colonial structures, as well their tantalizing traditional, century-infused delicacies. Influenced by their expanded cultural landscape, it also has one of Malaysia’s most lively street art scenes. Whether you’re a first time visitor or a long time resident, Malacca will always charm you with its eclectic blend of traditional culture and modern urban society.
These are the 10 Best Things to do in Malacca.
1. Explore the rich culture of the land through your stomach
Take a more palatable approach to exploring Malacca’s heritage by sampling its diverse culinary landscape. Influenced by centuries worth of multi-ethnic assimilation, Malacca has evolved itself to be one of Malaysia’s top food destinations! Highly praised as Penang’s vibrant food culture, Malacca offers some of Malaysia’s most unique fusions of flavour, with cuisines from Malay, Chinese, Indian and Baba-Nyonya cultures. Passionate about their food as they are with their antiquity, food is a universal language here, you can easily integrate yourself the community by tasting its many prized dishes.
Unsure where to start? Here’s a list of 8 great Malaccan foods compulsory for every visitor to try!
2. Go cafe hopping around town
Bridging the gap between Malacca’s heritage past with Malaysia’s modern culture, go around town ‘Cafe Hopping’ as they’ll serve you Malacca’s best coffees and heritage infused western food. Putting their state’s past on full display, Malacca’s cafes are often quirky and inviting, being decorated with historical memorabilia with a touch of contemporary accents. Exploring Malacca’s heritage sites, be sure to squeeze a cafe or two in between your itinerary!
3. Discover the vibrant local art scene
Relatively underrated and undiscovered, Malacca’s walls are painted with inspired murals by artists from all walks of life. Take a leisurely stroll through Malacca’s alleyways and you’ll stumble upon a labyrinth of lively murals painted on facades of shop lots, rusty garage doors in back alleys, and in trendy cafes.
To get the best view of the colourful Malacca landscape, take a 45-minute river cruise through Malacca’s two parts of towns, that’ll bring you amazing views of historic buildings, old warehouses (godowns), highly decorative Chinese temples, churches, and traditional villages. Bring your camera, because there is so much to be discovered here!
Melaka River Park & Cruise
Address: Jalan Laksamana, 75000 Malacca (next to Quayside Heritage Centre, close to the Maritime Museum)
Price: Adult, 3.50 USD, Child, 1.50 USD
Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m - 12:00 a.m
Duration: 45 Minutes
Website: Melaka River Cruise
4. Admire Malacca's rich history through its heritage architectures
Malacca’s heritage architecture is nothing short of magnificent. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008, be amazed by Malacca’s ability to sustain centuries-old architectural wonders. Walk through its streets where you can admire some elegantly decorated Winged Chinese Temples, magnificent Churches, majestic Mosques and aesthetically beautiful, worn-down colonial buildings among others; you’ll feel like you’re walking through another century!
There are many historical sites you should visit, but a great starting point would be the Ruins on St. Paul’s Hill or bright terracotta red 18th Century Christ’s Church, both being walking distance to other historical attractions, you’ll find it easy to branch your way out from there!
St. Paul's Church
Address: Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Contact: +60 17 202 6037
Address: Gereja Christ, Jalan Gereja, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Contact: +60 17 824 6391
5. Wanderlust through Malacca on wheels
With all the major attractions close to each other, with specialized internal road or track systems, you would find ease biking to and from these places, breaking a minimal sweat. Usually some hostels, home stays and hotels would generously provide a bike loan or a bike rental for their guests, but you could easily rent a bike for about 1 USD an hour from multiple places in the city (just double check their brakes!). If you aren’t into cycling, you could also take an hour’s ride through the town on one of their famous, festively decorated trishaws (USD 8)! After you’re done hitting all the ‘touristy’ attractions, go off the beaten path, cycling through rural areas of lush paddy feels and rubber tapping estates. Experience the everyday 'kampung’ life, while locals show you some true Malaccan hospitality! Your guided group bicycle tour will bring you to the outskirts of Malacca, where you’ll find breathtaking, ever-changing views, there won’t be a dull moment!
Melaka On Bike Day Tour
Address: 117, Jalan Tiang Dua, 75460 Tiang Dua, Melaka, Malaysia
Price: from 30 USD
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.
Duration: 3 - 4 Hours
Contact: +60 6 2671539, Mobile: +60 19 6525029
Website: Melaka On Bike
6. Go antique shopping at jonker street
A treasure trove of historical memorabilia, why don’t you skip the commercialized souvenir shops and buy ornamental antiques down at Jonker Street as a sentiment for your visit? Having immigrants from China & India, along with colonial ruling by the Dutch, British and Portuguese through the centuries, there’s no telling what historical artifacts you would stumble upon there!
On Weekend Nights, explore Jonker Street under a different light at its famous Jonker Street Night Market. Having a family friendly chilled atmosphere, hang with locals, eating finger-licking street food while surveying a range of stores, selling multitudes of trinkets and souvenirs!
Jonker Street Night Market
Address: 75200 Malacca, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 6.00pm - 12.00pm on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
Contact: +60 83 940 962
7. Have a thrilling time in the jungle canopy
Especially for all the thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, the Skytrex Adventure Course will send you soaring through Malacca’s lush canopies. It will ensure you a thrilling time in the jungle, taking up 3 hours, for less than 10 USD. Being the best way to burn all those calories from food adventures and cafe hopping, you will have no regrets and no extra weight added when you end your holiday in Malacca!
Address: 75450 Durian Tunggal, Malacca, Malaysia
Price: from 12 USD
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 6.00pm
Duration: 3.5 Hours
Contact: +60 18 909 5679
Website: SkyTrex Adventure
8. Enhance your cooking arsenal with authentic Peranakan recipes
What’s travelling to a different country without gaining some new knowledge? If you enjoyed the exotic flavours of the Peranakan cuisines on your food trail, head on to Nancy’s Kitchen Cooking Class to learn and add some authentic recipes to your cooking arsenal! Your new found skill and flavours will surely impress your family and friends back home!
Nancy's Kitchen Cooking Class
Address: 13, 13-1, 13-2, Jalan KL 3/8, Taman Kota Laksamana, Seksyen 3, 75200, Melaka,
Price: from 40 USD Per Person
Opening Hours: Conducted on weekdays, prior booking required
Duration: around 3 hours required.
Contact: +606 2836099 / +6013 6183608
Website: Nancy’s Kitchen
9. Get a taste of local exotic fruits
Fun for the whole family, have some informative learning experience with the kids at Malacca’s Tropical Fruit Farm. Offering plenty of activies such as tropical fruit picking & tasting, kayaking, while also having petting zoo, have a field day with your family in Malacca’s 65 acre agricultural land!
Tropical Fruit Farm
Address: 76300 Sungai Udang, Malacca, Malaysia
Price: From 2 USD
Opening Hours: 9.00am - 12.00pm
Contact: +60 6 351 6916
Website: Tropical Fruit Farm
10. Help revive the endangered Hawksbill Turtle population
One of the last strongholds in Malaysia, Malacca plays an important role in reviving the Hawksbill Turtle population. Participate with the local communities to safeguard turtle hatching, where 400 - 450 nestlings are annually recorded. Hatching season spans from March to September. Known for being one of the main landings for Hawksbill, Padang Kemunting contributes 20% - 25% of the total nesting numbers in Malacca. Lend a helping hand to the local community to revive the population of this endangered species, as Hawksbill Turtle plays a vital role in maintaining the health of coral reefs and the marine ecosystem!
Address: Padang Kemunting, 78300 Masjid Tanah, Melaka, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 9.00am - 4.00pm (Closed on Sundays & Mondays)
Contact: +60 19- 644 3925
More than a holiday destination
Visiting Malacca in Malaysia is unlike visiting any other holiday destinations, on every turn you’ll find yourself being immersed by their culture through architectures, food and culture. Whether you’re a fan of history, glutton for some good food or an avid protector of mother nature, Malacca can cure all forms of wanderlust. It’s no wonder Malacca’s historical state attracts returning guests locally and internationally!
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