The best things to do in Malacca include an abundance of breathtaking sights and the rich heritage of this quaint city. Malacca is easy to get around on foot or trishaw to explore the many places that make it unique. As the unofficial historic capital of Malaysia, Malacca’s most prominent contribution to the Malaysian cultural landscape is the Baba-Nyonya or Peranakan culture.

    Possessing an eclectic blend of customs, traditions, food and lifestyle, the Peranakan still thrives in Malacca with a mix of old and new with historical buildings standing side by side with ultramodern shopping malls. From Ayer Keroh’s lush greenery to Malacca City’s urban landscape, here are the top places in Malacca that no visitor should leave out on their travel itinerary.

    What are the best things to do in Malacca?

    1

    A Famosa Fort

    • History
    • Photo

    The A Famosa in Malacca used to sprawl across a whole hillside but now only a lone gate (Porta de Santiago) remains. The fortress was originally constructed in 1511 by Alfonso de Albuquerque, who led the Portugese invasion of the Malacca Sultanate. 

    In the 16th century, A Famosa housed the entire Portugese administration. The complex included hospitals, 5 churches, elongated stockades and 4 key towers. Today, the remains of the fort is a preserved whitewashed gatehouse. You can find the fort around 600 meters east of St Paul’s Church.

    Location: Jalan Parameswara, Bandar Hilir, 78000 Alor Gajah, Malacca, Malaysia

    Open: 24/7

    Map
    2

    Jonker Street

    • Shoppers
    • History

    Jonker Street, also known as Jonker Walk, is an atmospheric thoroughfare in Malacca. A highlight is the Jonker Walk Night Market, where you can find a wide array of stalls, polite and friendly hawkers, ubiquitous bargains as well as live music coursing throughout the area. 

    Jonker Walk comes to life in full color with a lively street party-like atmosphere. A handful of bars along this avenue has tables and chairs spilling out onto the 5-foot walkways. You can also find many stalls selling broiled meat on skewers, bak chang (sticky rice stuffed with meat and wrapped in bamboo leaves), dim sum, and popiah (fresh spring rolls).

    Map

    photo by Jonathan Lin (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Christ Church Melaka

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Christ Church Melaka is a historical landmark built by the Dutch when they took possession of Malacca from the Portugese. Today, it stands as one of the most defining structures along Jalan Gereja (also known as Church Street).

    It's an instantly recognizable brick-red building with a huge white cross at the top. The cathedral's interior has 200-year-old handmade pews, decorative fanlights, and plaques that honor Dutch soldiers and locals. Behind the church, you can find a gift shop where you can pick up some interesting souvenirs.

    Location: Jalan Gereja, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Malacca, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm

    Map
    4

    The Stadthuys

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    The Stadthuys is a massive bright terracotta-red riverfront building and landmark in Malacca. Once the official residence of Dutch governors and officers, it's believed to be the oldest-surviving Dutch building in the East.

    Built between 1641 and 1660 on the ruins of a Portugese fort, The Stadthuys of Malacca was the focal point of several successive European governments until 1980. Inside, you'll find the Museum of History & Ethnography which showcases Malacca's rich history, local customs and traditions. Behind it is the Museum of Literature, where historical accounts and local legends are detailed in maps, prints and photographs.

    Location: Jalan Gereja, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Malacca, Malaysia

    Map
    5

    St Paul's Church

    • History
    • Photo

    St Paul’s Church in Malacca are ruins built on the site of the last Malaccan sultan’s istana (palace) in 1521. It was constructed by Portuguese fidalgo (nobleman) and captain, Duarte Coelho, in honor of the Virgin Mary for saving his life during a storm at sea.

    Roofless and covered in ferns, it was originally called the Nossa Senhora da Annunciada (Our Lady of the Annunciation). Though it has been in ruins for more than 150 years, it is a beautiful, breezy sanctuary set near the remains of the A Famosa. You can reach the ruins after climbing a steep flight of stairs to the top.

    Location: 1935, Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Malacca, Malaysia

    Map
    6

    Melaka Sultanate Palace

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    The Melaka Sultanate Palace is a wooden replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s 15th-century palace, set at the base of St Paul’s Hill in Malacca. It was painstakingly constructed in 1985 using traditional construction techniques and materials, based on accounts in the 16th century, Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) text.

    According to the annals, Sultan Mansur Shah’s 7-tiered palace was built entirely without nails and supported with carved, wooden pillars and featured a copper and zinc roof. The 3-storey museum is divided into 8 chambers where you can see a variety of weaponry, decorative arts, traditional costumes, brassware, jewelry and more.

    Location: St Paul’s Hill, Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Malacca, Malaysia

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +60 (0)6-282 6526

    Map
    7

    Menara Taming Sari

    • Families
    • Photo

    Melaka Menara Taming Sari (Taming Sari Tower) is a modern landmark in Malacca. Measuring 110 meters in height, it's known as the first gyro tower in Malaysia. It has an observation deck overlooking Malacca town and beyond.

    The tower is named after the Taming Sari keris, a weapon said to possess mystical powers belonging to the legendary warrior, Hang Tuah. You can find it in the popular district of Bandar Hilir on Jalan Merdeka. Melaka Menara Taming Sari is within a 5-minute walk from the Mahkota Parade Shopping Complex and Dataran Pahlawan Megamall. 

    Location: Jln Merdeka, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Malacca, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +60 (0)6-288 1100

    Map
    8

    Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum

    • History
    • Photo

    The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum comprises 3 beautifully restored houses arranged to resemble a conventional 19th-century Straits Chinese residence. Built in 1896 as excellent examples of Chinese-Palladian style, these townhouses were transformed into a traditional Peranakan museum in later years. Connected by a covered footway, the museum features hand-painted tiles, elaborately carved teakwood swing doors, and a sturdier internal door that provides extra security.

    The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum's upper level has a short canopy of Chinese tiles above the portico, which frames the almost-Venetian shuttered windows. Inside the house, there’s a collection of gold-leaf fixtures and black wooden furniture inlaid with mother of pearl. The museum staff are more than happy to share old tales with noticeable Peranakan wit during guided tours.

    Location: 48-50, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Malacca, Malaysia

    Open: Friday–Sunday from 10 am to 4.15 pm (closed Mondays to Thursdays)

    Phone: +60 (0)6-282 1273

    Map
    9

    Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    The Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park is an open-air museum with full-scale models of traditional homes. Each house contains furnishings, fixtures and works of art depicting the culture of each state or country.

    Exploring the park is a good way to spend an afternoon. It’s especially popular with families – kids can learn to play traditional Malay games such as congkak (traditional mancala games) or hone their skills on an Iban blowpipe. Weekends often feature cultural dance shows. Entrance to both Mini Malaysia and ASEAN Cultural Park are included in a single ticket.

    Location: Exit Lebuh Ayer Keroh, 75450 Malacca, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +60 (0)6-234 9989

    Map

    photo by Chongkian (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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