best places to visit melaka

Melaka is obviously one of the must-visit states in Malaysia. If you ever travel to Malaysia, plan and schedule a couple of days in this historical state.

Located in the southern region of the Peninsula Malaysia, Melaka or formerly known as Malacca, is famous tourist spot with many attractions and delicious local foods.

Melaka is about 200km away from Kuala Lumpur. If you drive, it will take you about 2 hours to reach the city center.

In year 2008, Melaka has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since then, it has attracted plenty of tourists from all over the world to visit this historical place.

Besides foreigners, the locals also love to visit Melaka, for two main reasons – food and convenience.

There are a lot of amazing foods in Melaka, plus, because it is located about just 2 hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, a lot of locals prefer to come to Melaka rather than going up north to Penang, which is farther than Melaka.

So, if you’re planning your trip to Melaka, what are the best places to visit and where should you be going?

Here are some of the best places and attractions in Melaka that you should consider:

1. The A’Famosa Fort (Porta de Santiago)

afamosa fort gate

This is an ancient fort built by the Portuguese back in 1511. it was meant to be the gate of the fortress to protect Melaka from enemies invasion during the old times.

However, only the gate of the fort managed to survive. It is considered one of the oldest European architectural remains in the Southeast Asia.

Visiting the A’Famosa Fort is easy because it is located right behind the Pahlawan Shopping Mall. You can walk from the shopping mall to visit the fort.

When you’re there, you will notice that the remains of the fort are still well preserved and you can still clearly see the stone carvings and the structure from history.

There are also canons placed in front of the fort, but they are replicas and not the real historical canon.

There are walkways up to the hill to St. Paul Church…

2. St. Paul’s Church

st paul church melaka

This is another ancient building that was built in 1521. Located above the St. Paul’s Hill and it was part of the Melaka Museum Complex.

There is an armless statue in front of the church, the statue of St. Francis Xavier. According to Wikipedia, Xavier used the church as his base for his missionary journeys to China and Japan.

After his death in Shangchuan island, Xavier’s body was disinterred and temporarily buried at St. Paul’s Church before shipped to Goa.

You can see Xavier’s old Portuguese tombstones inside the church.

After visiting the A’Famosa Fort, you can take the walkway up the hill to St. Paul’s Hill. The church is on top of the hill.

And when you’re at the top, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the city of Melaka.

You can see a large part of the Melaka city from St. Paul Hill, and that was the reason the Portuguese chose this hill to build the fort and set their base here.

3. Christ Church and Dutch Square

melaka christ church dutch square

After sight-seeing on top of St. Paul Hill, you can take another route down to Christ Church Melaka and the Dutch Square.

The Christ Church is the oldest functioning Protestant church in Malaysia. It was built by the Dutch.

Surrounding the church are the Dutch buildings in red and there is a central fountain located right in the middle of the square – the Queen Victoria’s Fountain.

Take a close look at the tip of the fountain and you will find these words carved on it:

“Victoria Reign 1837-1901.”

When you get into Christ Church, do checkout the sacramental silverware and the intricate painting of the Last Supper on the tiles of the altar.

Right in front of the fountain, you can see that there is a clock tower there – the Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower.

It was built in 1886 by a wealthy Chinese family as an honour for the Chinese cemetery land.

4. The Stadthuys

the stadthuys melaka

The Stadthuys is the buildings adjacent to Christ Church, which also located at the Dutch Square.

The building was once served as the official residence for the Dutch governors and was also used as a town hall during the British administration.

Today, the Stadthuys is a building comprises of a few museums. You can find the Islamic Museum, the Peoples Museum, and Architecture Museum there.

When you’re there, make sure you spend some time checking out the inside of the Stadthuys. The inner of the building is beautiful in white with high windows and monumental staircases.

Overall, the building is very well maintained and don’t forget to take some nice pictures there.

5. Jonker Street

jonker street melaka

The Jonker Street, which can also be known as the Jonker Walk, is the Chinatown of Melaka. After the Dutch left, the rich Peranakans started to move there and did business along the street.

The street is located right opposite of the Dutch Square. You just need to walk across the bridge and you will see the historical houses and shops on both sides of the road.

If you travel to Melaka without visiting the Jonker Street, it is as good as you have never been to Melaka. The Jonker Walk is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in Melaka.

Even during weekdays, the street will be crowded with people and there are many interesting things to see and to buy. And don’t forget about the food there too.

And the best time to visit Jonker Street is at night.

The street will be closed for pedestrians and off-traffic. Stalls and hawkers will start their businesses there. You can find shops selling souvenirs, textiles, antiques, and of course, foods.

It is best to visit at night because the entire street will light up beautifully with ancient buildings on both sides of the street.

And don’t worry because the market operates until late night.

6. Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

baba nyonya heritage museum

Next, we have the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum on our list. The museum was built in 1896 and was once belonged to the Baba Chan family.

Baba Nyonya is the name for Peranakan Chinese, the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago between 15th and 17th century.

The main difference between Baba Nyonya and the local Chinese is that the Baba Nyonya adopted the Nusantara customs.

This museum showcases the blend of the east and west cultures and also illustrates the lifestyle of Baba Nyonya at the end of the 19th century.

7. Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

cheng hoon teng temple

The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is known as the “Temple of Green Cloud” in Chinese.

It is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia that practices the system of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.

The temple was built in 1646 and was dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy or the Kuan Yin.

A lot of locals pray in this temple and you can see many tourists also visit this temple due to its age and amazing architecture.

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is considered as the “treasure of Melaka” by many and also won the award by UNESCO for outstanding architectural restoration.

8. Melaka Straits Mosque

melaka straits mosque

There is a famous mosque in Melaka because it is built on sea, the Melaka Straights Mosque.

The mosque is modernly designed and blended perfectly with the Malaysian and Middle Eastern architecture.

The location of the mosque is also worth mentioning because it is located on Pulau Melaka, a huge man-made island.

Take a look at the mosque and you will see that it has unqiue design and the walls are decorated with beautiful glass windows.

Looking from afar, it looks like the mosque is floating above water, a stunning sight!

And if you take the Duck Tour, you will ride the amphibious vehicle on land and sea. When it goes to the sea, you can clearly see the Straights Mosque in a clear sight.

9. Flora de la Mar Maritime Museum

flor de la mar maritime museum

If you love history, you should definitely visit the Maritime Museum. It will take you hundreds of years back and showcases you the history of Melaka.

The building of the museum itself is a huge Portuguese ship. You can find exhibits of silk, textile, porcelain, and also spices used by the seamen in the past.

Besides, the Naval Museum is also there. If you love ships and sea travels, you should visit the museum.

10. Melaka Sultanate Palace

melaka sultanate palace

The Melaka Sultanate Palace is another great place to understand the history of Melaka better.

It is a wooden museum with the replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s 15th century palace. The building was constructed without any nail and was supported with beautifully carved wooden pillars and zinc roof.

The museum can also be known as the Cultural Museum or Muzium Kebudayaan in the Malay language. Inside, you will find over 1,000 artefacts, photographs, prints, and drawlings regarding the Malay Sultanate’s history and cultural heritage.

11. Encore Melaka

encore melaka live performance

The Encore Melaka is one of the latest attractions in Melaka that just opened its gate in 2018. Basically, it is a live show performances that storytells the past, present, and the future of Melaka.

Do expect the high-energy choreography, amazing creative lighting and stage effect, and a performance that will hold you captivating.

Not only the performance, the design of the building is also a work of art. Encore Melaka has quickly became a new landmark in Melaka with its fish scale-like LED panels that reflect light to the sky of Melaka.

if you want to see the show performance, do check out their official website for ticketing info and other updates.

12. Waterworld and Safari Theme Park

afamosa resort waterworld safari

If you have extra days in Melaka, you may want to consider dropping by to the A’Famosa Theme Park.

It consists of a few attractions, the Waterworld, Safari Wonderland, Old West Cowboy Town, golf course, the Freeport Outlet, and more.

Located in Alor Gajah, about 45 minutes drive from Melaka city center. A perfect getaway with your family and children.

Hence, if you’re visiting this place, make sure you plan your trip wisely.

13. Sky Tower at The Shore

the shore sky tower view

The Shore is currently the tallest building in Melaka. It is an integrated building with shopping mall below, with residence tower and also the Swiss-Garden Hotel.

The Sky Tower comes with an observation deck on the 43rd floor, with 163 metres above sea level. It gives you a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of the entire historical town of Melaka.

If you love heights and you want to enjoy the view of this little town, I strongly suggest you go up the SKy Tower.

And if possible, visit the place in the evening to enjoy the sunset and the night view of the light-up beautiful Melaka city.

14. Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park

mini malaysia asean cultural park

This is a cultural park where you can find very impressive replicas of traditional Malaysian and ASEAN homes.

Malaysia is a developing country. And you can’t find much traditional houses in town now, unless you’re going to the outskirt.

But in Mini Malaysia, you can find all the traditional houses from all 13 states of Malaysia.

It is a great place to learn about the Malay culture and your kids can also learn to play the traditional games, like the Congkak and Iban blowpipe.

15. Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary

taman rama-rama butterfly park

This park is also known as Taman Rama-Rama, located at Ayer Keroh, just nearby to Mini Malaysia and ASEAN Cultural Park.

The park is built on an 11-acre jungle land. Inside, you will not only see hundreds of butterflies, but also reptiles such as crocodiles, koi fish, snakes, and lizards.

If you need more information about this park, visit their official website here.

16. Malacca Crocodile Farm

crocodile farm melaka

Do you know that Ayer Keroh has some of the most stunning attractions in Melaka? Not only that the Butterfly Sanctuary is here, the Mini Malaysia, Zoo Melaka, and you can also find that there is a crocodile farm here.

The crocodile farm is famously known as Taman Buaya, is just 10 minutes away from Ayer Keroh toll plaza.

Here, you can find over 100 species of crocs. They also feature incredible live shows performance with the crocodiles. So make sure you check out the show time before you visit.

17. The Submarine Museum

submarine museum melaka

Love submarine? Never seen a real one before? Now you can do so when you visit the Melaka Submarine Museum.

The museum features a decommissioned French submarine called the Ouessant that was once used by the French Navy before the Royal Malaysian Navy bought it over.

The sub is about 67m in length, 11m in height, and 6.5m in width. Plus, it weighs about 1,300 tonnes and it was transported by sea.

You can get into the sub and check out the cockpit, the platform, torpedo bays, engine room, and some other navigational and communications equipment too.

Visit the official website here.

18. Melaka River Cruise

melaka river cruise

There is another better way to explore and see the sights of Melaka – using boats.

Yes, you can take the Melaka River Cruise and see Melaka from the river in a more leisure and comfort pace.

The Melaka River is where the history of Melaka began. In the past, people who are living in Melaka used the water from the river for daily activities and also as a means of transport.

Today, the river has been transformed to a tourist attraction with beautiful traditional houses on both sides of the river.

The cruise ride is about 45 minutes and the boat moves along the Melaka River, which allows you enjoy the awe-inspiring sights.

You will be able to see the Stadthuys, Jonker Street, Water Wheel, Kampung Mortem, and also pass under the bridge like Tan Kim Seng Bridge and the Kampung Jawa Bridge.

For more info and ticketing detail, visit this website here.

19. Cape Rachado

cape rachado

Of all the attractions, this is the furthest away. Cape Rachado Lighthouse is located at the edge of Melaka State, in the Alor Gajah District, at Tanjung Tuan.

Many people have never heard about Cape Rachado because it is a little far from town. It is one of the oldest lighthouse in the country. Although the history of the lighthouse is unverified, its constructions can be traced back to the Portuguese administration in 1511.

The lighthouse is located above the hill and when you get to the top, you can enjoy the stunning view of Melaka Straits.

If you ever want to visit this place, try to drop by around 5pm for the sunset. It view will be beautiful and captivating.

20. Portuguese Settlement

portuguese settlement melaka

Portuguese Settlement in Melaka is another attraction that you may want to visit. This small village by the sea is located not too far away from the town, in a place called Ujong Pasir.

It is a small community of about 1,000 people and they are the descendants from their early portuguese settlers.

The best time to visit the place is during Christmas celebration. The local settlers, the Portuguese are Christians and they will decorate their houses into beautiful and heart-warming sight with colourful lightings.

However, during the Christmas and New Year period, the entire village will be jam-packed. It will be extremely crowded.

If you are visiting the Portuguese Settlement on any ordinary day, make sure you plan for your seafood dinner here.

Written by 

Shawn Lim is the founder of He loves to travel and likes to share his experience and talks about his trips.

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