Malacca is a definite addition to any trip to Malaysia and is a place no stranger to many travelers coming to Malaysia. It is highly recommended to spend the next 2 nights here if you are passing through Kuala Lumpur or heading to Penang.

This city is filled with history and culture dating back to the 15th century as it served as a major port for foreign traders around the world to trade mainly for gold, silks, ceramics, and spices. It has been colonized for more than 400 years by the Spanish, Portuguese and the British Empire before Malaysia declared its independence on 31 August 1957. This city has been granted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 7 July 2008.

Getting There

Malacca is about 150 km south of Kuala Lumpur. Traveling to Malacca by bus is the most popular mode of transportation. The journey from Bersepadu Selatan Terminal in Kuala Lumpur takes approximately 2.5 hours to Malacca Sentral. You can get to the bus terminal by KLIA Transit from KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur city center or KL International Airport (KUL). Bus tickets can be purchased online in advance via Easybook or Redbus.

If you are coming from Penang, the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia, buses will depart from Penang Sentral, Sungai Nibong (Penang’s mainland), or Komtar Terminal (Penang Island) and it takes about 7 hours to Melacca.

There are also buses that depart from Johor Bharu and most of them leave from Larkin Bus Terminal which takes about 3 hours.

Getting Around

Those buses will arrive at Melaka Sentral and you can take bus 70, Grab car or Air Asia e-hailing car to the town or Jonker Street, where the historic sites are all within close walking distance near Malacca River. You can either go on foot or rent a bicycle to explore the town. (Remember to download the Grab or AirAsia Super app to your phone beforehand)

The Best Things to do for 3 days in Malacca

Malacca is rich in history dating back to the 15th century. Every corner of the city lies with UNESCO Heritage Sites, museums, and delicious food. It is recommended to spend at least 2 days and 3 nights in Malacca to explore its history.

Visit Kampung Kling Mosque

Kampung Kling Mosque is one of the traditional mosques in Melacca, which still retains its original design. Its original structure was built with wood in 1748 and later reconstructed with brick in 1872. The mosque remains central to the Malay community life.

The mosque’s architecture is a Sumatran style with strong Hindu and other influences. An unusual blend of English and Portuguese glazed tiles, Corinthian columns with symmetrical arches in the main prayer hall, a Victorian chandelier, a wooden pulpit with Hindu and Chinese-style carvings and a Moorish cast iron lamp post in the pre-prayer cleansing area was evident in its mixture.

Location: Jalan Tukang Emas

Opening hours: Daily from 8 am- 5 pm

Entrance fee: Free

Visit Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

Situated close to Jalan Tukang Emas with its proximity to Kampung Kling Mosque and Sri Poyatha Moorthi Temple (Hindu temple), Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia and practices the Three Doctrinal Systems of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.

This temple is known as “Green Clouds Temple”, which was founded during the era of Dutch Melacca in 1645. It was dedicated to the goddess of mercy (Guan Yin), gods of wealth, longevity. and propagation.

Location: 25, Jalan Tokong

Opening hours: Daily from 7 am to 4 pm

Entrance fee: Free

Explore Jonker Street

Wander around the historical houses that dating back to the 17th century. These houses were once lived by the Dutch servants during their occupancy and the rich Peranakans family also settled and do business here.

Jonker Street is well-known for having many art galleries, antique shops, goldsmiths, watch repairs, clog makers and beaded shoemakers. Many houses had been converted to food and dessert stalls. There is a night market here every Friday and weekend from 6 pm until midnight. You can try all sorts of delicious local delicacies and desserts and shop for antiques, second-hand books, clothes and souvenirs in the market.

Taste of Baba Nyonya dishes

For your dinner, try out some of Baba Nyonya dishes at Baba Freds Nyonya Restaurant such as egg omelet and beef rendang served with white rice. You can also add on other food like the smelly tofu (who is up for the challenge?).

Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 9 pm

Chicken Rice Ball

Start the day with breakfast at Chop Chung Wah Hainese Chicken Rice. Located next to Hard Rock Cafe, this coffee shop served their popular chicken rice unlike any others in Malaysia. The rice comes in a ball-shaped like and is usually very filling.

Travel Tips: Always be there as early as you can or take your breakfast here because the queue and waiting time in this restaurant after 11 am will be very long.

Opening hours: Thursday to Tuesday from 9 am to 2 pm

Spot the Malacca Tree

This Malacca tree located near the Tan Kim Seng Bridge and close to Christ Church and the Stadthuys is some of these trees are left to be found in Malacca.

According to the popular legend, Parameswaara (last king of Singapura) was resting under this tree during his hunting. When one of his dogs cornered a mouse deer, the mouse deer defended itself and pushed the dog into the river. Impressed by the deer’s courage, he decided there and then to found an empire here and named the town after the tree.

Admire the Christ Church

The Christ Church Melaka is the oldest Protestant church in Malaysia which was built by the Dutch in 1753. It took 12 years to complete and the handmade pews were originated back in the old days.

Location: Jalan Gereja

Visit The Stadthuys

The town hall was built between 1641 and 1656 by the Dutch after taking over from the Portuguese. It is the oldest “still existing VOC building” in Asia and was used as the Governor’s residence. At the present, the Stadthuys had been converted into a museum to exhibit old artifacts, weaponry, arts and traditional costumes throughout Malacca’s history.

Location: Jalan Gereja

Opening hours: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

Wander through the Ruins of the St Paul’s Church

Taking the slope behind the Stadthuys will lead to an old Catholic church that was built by a Portuguese sea captain, Duato Coelho. The chapel was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was named “Nosa Senhora- Our Lady of the Hill”.

Opening hours: Daily for 24 hours

Entrance fee: Free

Visit A’ Famosa

A’ Famosa also known as Porta de Santiago is a former Portuguese fortress built in 1511 under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque after the conquest of the Portuguese. It is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains of the fortress’ small gate.

Back then, the fortress was built around the hill near the sea and established as an outpost and used as an ammunition storage room, the captain’s residence and an officers’ quarters.

Location: Jalan Parameswara

Opening hours: Daily for 24 hours

Entrance fee: Free

Visit Melaka Sultanate’s Palace Museum

This beautiful Sultanate’s Palace Museum was built as a replica of the palace during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah (1456- 1477). The palace walls are decorated with beautiful carvings of floral and faunas motifs. You can learn about the history of Melacca by viewing the dioramas of the Balairong Seri, the Roal Bedchamber, the battle between Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat, and other exhibition materials.

Location: Jalan Kota

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm

Entrance fee: Adults: RM2 and Children: RM1

Visit Proclamation of Independence Memorial

The Proclamation of Malaya’s independence was made by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman in Padang Pahlawan. Take a self-guided tour inside the museum to see the invaluable exhibits related to the struggle of the country to gain its independence. Those exhibits include relics, manuscripts, videotapes, films and slides.

Location: Jalan Kota

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm, except Friday from 9 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm

Entrance fee: Free

Maritime Museum

Visit the Maritime Museum, a replica of the Flor de la Mar’s Portuguese ship believed to have been carrying loot plundered from Melacca when it sank off the coast of Malacca on its way back to Portugal.

This museum displays artifacts and documents from the Melacca Sultanate, Portuguese, Dutch and British-era to reveal the importance of political control over maritime dominance of the region.

Location: Jalan Merdeka

Opening Time: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm

Entrance fee: Adults: RM3/ Children: RM1

Dutch Graveyard

The Dutch Graveyard is a Dutch mausoleum at St Paul’s Hill. It was first used between 1670 and 1682 and later between 1818 and 1838. It became the resting place for 5 Dutch and 33 British naval personnel and wives of those army officers.

Location: Jalan Kota (There is no shortcut from Malacca Sultanate Palace. You will need to walk through the back of Christ Church, turn right and walk around 200m)

Opening hours: Daily from 8 am to 6 pm

Entrance fee: Free

Hang Li Poh’s Well

This well was built under Sultan Mansor Shah’s order in 1459 for Hang Li Poh, the wife of the Sultan. The well was never dry up and become the only source of water supply during the dry season. The Dutch surrounded it with stout walls in 1677 to maintain its ultimate into a wishing well. It is said that those who throw coins into it will return here time and again.

Location: Jalan Puteri Hang Li Poh, Kampung Bukit Cina (next to Poh San Teng Temple and this place is quite a distance from Jonker Street. The fastest way to get here is by Grab car or Air Asia car).

Opening hours: Daily for 24 hours

Entrance fee: Free

Visit Villa Sentosa

Experience the atmosphere of Villa Sentosa, a Malay Living Museum built in 1920 by Tuan Haji Hashim bin Dato’ Demang Haji Abdul Ghani, a pioneer of Kampung Morten. You will be happily welcomed by the resident of the kampung house with open arms. The owner who is the descendent of the family will guide you through his personal family history, mementos and traditional Malakan way of life.

Location: Kampung Morten (This place is quite a distance from Jonker Street. It is faster to take Grab or Air Asia e-hailing car to Villa Sentosa)

Opening times: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

Entrance fee: Free, but a donation is most welcome as the owner used them to maintain this museum.

Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple

Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Malaysia. It was dedicated to Lord Vinayagar (Ganesha), the deity revered for his wisdom and ability to remove challenges so one could accomplish their desire or goal. The Dutch had made an influence on the architecture of the temple which is noticeable by the look of the entrance, walls, columns, vaulted domes, and roof tiling.

Location: Jalan Tukang Emas

Opening hours: Daily from 7 am to 11.30 am and 6 pm to 9 pm

Entrance fee: Free

Hang Jebat Mausoleum

Hang Jebat Mausoleum is a burial ground to dedicate to the legendary warrior Hang Jebat. This Acehnese-style tomb predates the 1512 Portugese occupation, but the actual date of the construction remained unknown.

Hang Jebat was the second most skillful among the five warriors in his village. One day, he ran amok and was killed after suffering a fatal injury from a dagger of his friend, Hang Tuah. He has been given a warrior’s burial despite his murderous rampage at the palace.

Location: Jalan Hang Jebat

Opening hours: Daily for 24 hours

Entrance fee: Free

 Street Art

Walk down the small alley near the Hang Jebat Mausoleum to admire the beauty of Melacca’s street art painted by the locals.

Visit the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

Discover this unique heritage museum that has been preserved by the family of Babas and Nyonyas of Melaka. A guide will walk you through and explain their fascinating artifacts and mixed lifestyle, culture, and food.

Note: This museum and tour group only operate at a certain hour of the day and is advisable to arrive early. Photography and videography are not allowed inside the premise (Click here for more details)

Location: 48 & 50 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock

Opening hours: Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 12.30 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm

Entrance fee: Adults: RM16/ Children: RM11 (additional RM4 for a guided tour)

Going Elsewhere in Malaysia?

If you are planning to stay longer for more adventures in Malaysia, you can check out my other posts:

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