Melaka Straits Mosque

The Top 18 Things To Do in Malacca, Malaysia

Amongst the popular tourist spots, Malacca has a lot of hidden treasures that one must see when visiting the city. Here’s our pick of the 18 best spots in the city of Malacca, designed to take you through the entire city and give you a glimpse of this country's history.

The Top 18 Things To Do in Malacca

The city of Malacca, located in Peninsular Malaysia, is filled to the brim with history, culture, and arts. 

This colorful city has lots to offer if you’re looking at the right places. It offers an insightful glimpse into Malaysian history and is an ideal spot for anyone looking to connect to the country on a deeper level.

Amongst the popular tourist spots, Malacca has a lot of hidden treasures that one must see when visiting the city. Here’s our pick of the 18 best spots in the city of Malacca, designed to take you through the entire city and give you a glimpse of this country’s history.

Let’s begin with a quick overview of Malacca and what it’s all about!

An Overview of Malacca, Malaysia

Malacca is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Malacca. 

With a population of about 579,000, it has the reputation of being one of the cleanest cities in South East Asia. 

It’s also the oldest Malaysian city, gaining its fame and name after being ruled by the Malacca Sultanate.

What’s most interesting about Malacca is the fact that it has been previously colonized by the Dutch, Portuguese, and British. While touring you will find influences in food, architecture, language, and the arts from all these cultures.

Cameroon Highlands

Sitting gracefully on a river with scenic views that will take your breath away, Malacca is a must-visit on your next trip to Malaysia. 

Without further ado, let’s get right into the top 18 places you must visit when in Malacca!

Things to do

1. Malacca Sultanate Palace

A modern reconstruction of the palace of the Malacca Sultanate, this palace is made up of wood. 

Constructed in 1984, it became a cultural museum after the end of the Sultanate, showcasing the Sultanate’s history and culture. 

The palace is marked with lush green gardens that bring out the beauty of this wooden palace. 

Interesting Fact: What makes this ancient piece of architecture so stunning is that no nails or any metal are used to hold the structure together. Wooden pegs have been used instead. 

Step inside and get a sneak peek of royalty and insights into the history of this region, all while admiring the strength of this marvelous palace!

Admission Fee And Timing

The palace is open for visitors between 09:00 hrs – 18:00 hrs. 

The admission fee is RM 2.00 for Adults and RM 1.00 for Children.

2. St. Paul’s Church

St. Paul’s Church sits atop St Paul Hill. Originally a chapel, it was known to the Portuguese as the Chapel of Mother of God. 

Getting up to the church is quite a walk as you will have to go up the hill, with countless museums along the way distracting you. However, this small hike will be worth it! 

Upon reaching the site, you will be blown away by the breathtaking view of the entire city of Malacca and its coastline.

famosa fort

3. A Famosa Fort

Another architectural marvel is the A Famosa Fort. 

Malacca is a place known for its cultural fusions and one of the many examples of this fusion is this notwithstanding fort. 

It’s probably one of the most pronounced Portuguese influences in the region. It was built in 1511 by the Portuguese before being badly demolished when the Dutch took over. 

One of the things you will get to see mostly intact though is the main gate of the fort, known as Porto de Santiago. You will get to unpack a lot of knowledge about the European occupation while visiting this fort, so make sure to read up before you go!

4. Prison Museum

If you’re interested in the history of the penal system, this place is an absolute must-visit. 

The museum is housed in a former prison built by the British in the 19th century. This realistic museum gives a glimpse into what life must have looked like for the 19th-century prisoner.

In addition to graphic and gruesome yet fascinating details about prison life, there are galleries dedicated to other jails in Malaysia, including the notorious Pudu Jail in Kuala Lumpur.

taming sari revolving tower

5. Taming Sari Revolving Tower

The Taming Sari Revolving Tower is the only gyro tower in the country. The tower provides a stunning panoramic view of the city and its coastline. 

It’s 24-stories, 110 meters tall, the first and the tallest gyro tower in Malaysia. 

The 7-minute ride on the tower takes you all the way to the top giving views of sights including St. Pauls Hill, St. John Fort, Portuguese Square, and the Melaka River Cruise.

6. Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

The Cheng Hoon Teng temple is a Chinese temple practicing the Three Doctrinal Systems of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. 

It’s the oldest functioning temple in the country and dates back to the 17th century. 

The temple still remains an important part of Buddhist culture, with people coming to visit and worship from all parts of the world. 

If you want to learn more about the Buddhist Chinese history of Malacca, this temple is a must-visit!

7. Malacca River Cruise 

The Malacca River that runs through the entire city gives it the title of “Venice Of The East.”

Apart from being breathtakingly beautiful and scenic, the Malacca River played an important role in Malacca’s rich history. It was the key passage for trade with various countries all over the world. 

Today it hosts an array of different tourist attractions that can be best enjoyed by hopping on a River Cruise that takes you back in time. 

You can find more details about tickets and options available here.

melaka river cruise

8. Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum also known as the Flora de Lamar is a replica of the Portuguese ship that sank on the coast of Malacca. 

It’s a staggering 34 meters in height and 8 meters wide. 

The museum is enriched with Malacca’s maritime history during the Sultanate days. It holds myriads of displays, exhibitions, and exhibits of articles such as silk, textiles, and spices that were traded by Malaccan tradesmen. 

For the ship enthusiasts, there is also a collection of different ship models on display, to learn more about their types and kinds. 

All in all, this museum offers a great experience for people looking to learn more about Malaccan history.

9. Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Temple

Malacca is home to a variety of different religions, cultures, and ethnicities. While there are strong European influences in the city, there also exists a considerably large Hindu and Muslim community.

If you wish to learn more about the Hindu community existing in Malacca, we’d suggest you pay a visit to the Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Temple.

10. Baba And Nonya Heritage Museum

The Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum is home to archives of ethnic Chinese Malays, Baba Nyonya or also locally known as the Peranakan. 

The museum was built in 1986 in the UNESCO old heritage area.

This establishment has become a must-go for tourists to take a journey back in time to get familiar with the rich history and culture of the region.

11. Clock Tower

The Clock Tower or also known as The Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower or Red Clock Tower, was built by the British in quaint Redstone using a stately Dutch style.

The Red Clock Tower was gifted to the citizens of Malacca by a wealthy Chinese philanthropist Tan Jiak Kim who had named it after his father, Tang Beng Swee. 

The millionaire family had also donated the bridge close to it as well as the Chinese cemetery.

12. Dataran Pahlawan Mall

Taking a break from the ancient heritage and stepping into Malaccas’ only shopping mall provides an immersive and modern luxury experience. 

The Dataran Pahlawan Mall offers you a diverse selection of food, fashion, and entertainment centers as well as specialty shops both local and international. 

Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall

13. Church of St. Francis Xavier

Built-in the 19th century and named after the great Christian missionary, St. Francis Xavier, the neo-gothic style building symbolizes the Roman-Catholic history of the region.

The structure was designed and put into a form by French reverend Jean Barbe. Stepping inside the Church showcases basic whitewashed walls beautifully ornamented with colored stained glass windows.

14. Proclamation of Independence Memorial 

The Proclamation of Independence Memorial building exhibits the struggle for Malaysian independence. 

The original building is a Dutch colonial mansion style, symbolizing the initial years of the Malay Sultanate.

This well-maintained and preserved building is located adjacent to the popular A Famosa Gate which makes it hard to miss. 

The establishment houses numerous ancient artifacts and documents making it a must-go for history enthusiasts.

15. Hang Li Poh’s Well

The Hang Li Poh’s well, also referred to as the King’s well, is the oldest water well in the entire country. It dates back to the 15th century as the primary source of water for the town. 

The Portuguese and Dutch both utilized it as a crucial water source. 

It was only until later on during British rule that the well became damaged to an unrepairable level. Ever since then it is no longer used other than just a tourist wishing well.

16. Malacca Straits Mosque

Also known as the floating mosque, the Malacca Straits mosque is built on stilts above the sea. 

Located at a short drive from the center of the main town, the mosque is truly a sight to behold, especially at dusk and at dawn. 

Make sure to catch it at the right time for a unique experience! (sunrise or sunset)

Things To Note

Visitors must be dressed modestly when visiting the holy site. Shawls are available on-site if needed. Take a grab taxi to this location.

17. Kampung Kling Mosque

This gorgeous mosque is located in close proximity to the Sri Poyatha Moorthi Temple and the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. All three of these holy places of worship are situated on “Harmony Street”. 

The Kampung Kling Mosque is one of the few ancient mosques in Malaysia that retain its original design and architecture. A mix between Sumatran, Chinese, Hindu, and the local Malays.

18. Christ Church

Last, but not least. The Christ Church is one of the main tourist attractions in the city of Malacca. Built-in the 18th century it still stands strong on what once was a Portuguese Church. 

What makes this church so attractive is its all-red brick exterior. 

Other key features to look out for when you’re visiting are the Dutch tombstones. The Christ Church also holds the title of being the oldest Protestant church in all of Malaysia!

Make sure to pay these 18 wonderful sites a visit to do this colorful city justice! Let me know where you’re going first!

Where to stay

yote 28

For backpackers and digital nomads, I highly

I recommend Yote 28  the hostel has a few nice common areas, and even capsule style beds. I found that there were many digital nomads here, so it was easy to work.

Common Questions about things to do malacca

It is recommended you spend minimum 2 days, the town is small.

There are many buses that go to the area, take the one that is going to the Hatten Hotel, that one is close to the main city.

I recommend Yote 28  the hostel has a few nice common areas, and even capsule style beds. I found that there were many digital nomads here, so it was easy to work.

Some must-visit attractions in Malacca include Jonker Street, St. Paul’s Church, A Famosa Fortress, Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, and the Maritime Museum.

Yes, Malacca is rich in history. Visitors can explore historical sites such as St. John’s Fort, Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Christ Church, and the Dutch Square.

Some unique experiences to have in Malacca include taking a river cruise along the Malacca River, visiting the Upside Down House, trying local Peranakan cuisine, and exploring the street art scene in the city.

 Yes, Malacca offers several family-friendly activities. Families can visit the Malacca Zoo, enjoy a day of fun at the Melaka Wonderland Theme Park & Resort, and explore the interactive exhibits at the Shore Oceanarium.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as visiting the Taman Botani Putrajaya, exploring the Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary, hiking up Bukit China, and taking a relaxing stroll along the Malacca River Walk.

Yes, Malacca hosts several cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Some notable ones include the Malacca River Festival, Jonker Street Night Market, Malacca Chitty Cultural Festival, and the Malacca Food Festival.

Thanks for reading. Any suggestions? comment below

I hope you enjoyed reading about the top destinations in Malacca. Comment your favorite one, and let me know if I missed a spot!

And while you’re in Malaysia, definitely visit the Batu caves in Kuala Lumpur!

Start Planning Your Malaysia Trip Now!

Book Your Flight:

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flights. A travellers favorite way to book flights, as it searches websites and airlines around the world with one click.

Book Your Bus or Transportation Within Malaysia:

There are two ways to book your transporation, ask your hotel or hostel, go to the local bus terminal, or book online, for a less stressful trip using Easybook or

Book Your Accomodation: 

Find the best hotels or hostels at HostelWorld,, Perks include with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out and Free cancellations.

Dont Forget Your Travel Insurance:

Two popular choices are SafetyWing and WorldsNomads. A traveler should buy traveler’s insurance to protect themselves against unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and lost or stolen baggage. It provides peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Usefull Apps?

Grab/Uber – Local Transportation

Food Panda/Grab – Food Delivery

Whatsapp – Communication

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Be sure to check out my nomad travel guide on the Malaysia for even more tips.

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Justin Gonzalez

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