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If you’re visiting Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Singapore, or both, you need to visit the City of Melaka, also known as Malacca, because you will not be disappointed by this unique Malaysian City.
Melaka is a colourful and fun City and although it is a big City, the tourist centre is only very small which makes it very manageable compared to the likes of KL and Singapore. It also means you only need to spend one or two days maximum Melaka in order to see it and enjoy it, so it’s a great short trip from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore or as a middle point between the two.
Kuala Lumpur to Malacca by bus is 2 hours, and Singapore to Malacca by bus is 4 hours with the overland border crossing included, and Malaysia offers a 90day free visa to most nationalities so it is easy to pop into Malaysia and Melaka for a few days from Singapore.
What’s really handy is that you can book your Malaysia buses in advance on 12GO Asia to save you time when you get there and so you know you have a confirmed booking!
Melaka has a mix of cultures, just like so many other places in Malaysia including Georgetown, another City I love in Malaysia. There’s big Malaysian and Chinese influence in terms of the locals who live in Melaka and the food, but it also holds a lot of history with different architecture as it was colonised by the Portuguese after it boomed as a port town back in the early 1500’s, then it was taken over by the Dutch, and then you guessed it, the British!
There are a number of things to do in Melaka and they don’t take long to do as the tourist centre of the City is so small. Based on my two days in Melaka, here are the best places to visit in Melaka and things to do in Malacca which you can easily do in one day in Melaka or two days in Melaka.
1. Jonker Night Market
This has to be the top Melaka Attraction! Jonker Street is one of the main tourist streets in Melaka and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening it turns into a night market full of food stalls, clothes stalls and so many other things!
I won’t lie to you, it’s gets busy! But its worth it and a great way to spend the evening in Melaka so do try and plan your trip to Malacca for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night for one of the best night markets in Malaysia!
2. Street Art
The street art is what makes Melaka so colourful and will give you lots of photo opportunities on your Melaka trip. Lots of street art can be found around the River and it’s all in perfect condition too! Visit Melaka must be taking care of it as they know the street art is now one of the top places of interest in Malacca and it’s become so famous for it!
As well as looking along the river be sure to head off into some side streets around Jonker Street to find the best street art in Melaka.
3. Cafe Hop
Adding to the fun and colourful charm, the cafes in Melaka are really good! There is a mix of local cafes and restaurants and also fancier cafes that could be taken straight from London or Melbourne!
My favourite cafe in Malacca was Navy Navy thanks to their awesome breakfasts and smoothie bowls and Geography Cafe for their good local Vegetarian food.
For more ideas of which cafes are the best, have a look at my friend Rose’s cafe guide to Melaka.
Do be prepared for a queue and wait though at one of the fancier places, especially around breakfast and lunch on the weekend! Also be prepared for not-so-great wifi in the cafes!
4. Cheng Hoon Temple
Cheng Hoon Temple is just off of Jonker Street and worth a quick visit. There are a few Buddhist Temples in Melaka but this is famous and on my list of Malacca things to do as it is the oldest working Buddhist temple in Malaysia and I read on a sign there it’s the oldest temple in South East Asia. It’s very pretty from the outside and inside.
For more ideas on what to do in Malacca, I really recommend going to a museum. There are many different museums in Melaka, I saw a Stamp Museum, Kite Museum, Architecture Museum and Democratic Government Museum, I feel like these are more niche museums..
In terms of more popular museums and interesting places to visit in Melaka there’s the Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum which is recommended highly, the Maritime Museum which I went to and I throughly enjoyed learning about the history of Malacca as a port city and the colonisation of the Portuguese, Dutch and British.
There is also Cheng Ho Cultural Museum which is about the Chinese Ming Dynasty admiral, Cheng Ho (Zheng He) and one of the best museums to visit in Melaka.
Above all one the the best things to do in Melaka Malaysia is to enjoy it’s food!!
As I mentioned above there’s the Jonker Night Market in Melaka offering lots of street food, there’s also some really nice cafes whether you want a cake and coffee or local food, especially Nyonya food in Malacca which is a mix of Malaysian and Chinese I believe!
However there’s also lots of picky bits to try which are sold along the street and especially Jonker Walk. For example Portuguese tarts are on offer, Cendol which is a shaved ice dessert is served all over Malacca and seems like one of the best foods to try in Malacca and so many Durian products from Durian puffs to Durian ice cream!
Another really popular food in Malacca is their Chicken Rice Balls!
I’d say in your one day in Melaka, instead of eating in for lunch, just head down the street and pick up lots of different foods!
To SEE my time in Melaka, have a watch of my YouTube video here:
7. Crazy Tricycle Ride
This is where Melaka get’s even more fun and colourful! There are themed tricycles in Melaka which have been totally covered and now resemble Hello Kitty, Pokemon and Frozen Tricyles, it’s crazy! Well actually if you think it’s crazy in the day, you should see them at night as they light up and have music blaring from them!
You really do not need a tricycle to get around and see all the Malacca attractions however these are basically an attraction in themselves!
Day or night you can get a crazy tricycle ride in Malacca however if I was you, I’d wait until night time and get one back to your Melaka Hotel after a long day of walking!
If you’re travelling with Children visiting Melaka from Singapore with Kids would be a lot of fun as it’s very child friendly.
8. River Boat Ride
The tourist centre of Melaka is split by a river and a river boat cruise is something you can do if you need more ideas of what to do in Melaka.
Boats run all day and evening, I heard an evening boat ride is extra special and I can imagine it is as the cafes and restaurants along the river are open and lots of lights turn on by the river.
9. Walk Along the River
Another great way to see more of Melaka by foot is to walk up the river. You’ll pass lots more street art and nice cafes and it’s a good way to get away from the crowds of Jonker Walk in Melaka, especially if you visit Melaka on a weekend where it get’s very busy.
The footpath up the river goes quite far however I felt like it got a bit industrial after walking for a bit so you can walk as far as you want and then turn back or cross the river on one of the many bridges and walk back the other side.
10. Church of St Pauls
Finally, another one of the popular places to go in Malacca is to the Church of St Pauls, or the ruins of the Church of St Paul’s to be precise.
I liked walking here as it isn’t far from the river and the Clock Tower where Christ Church is however it is a bit hidden and once you’re there it opens out into the Fort and you’ll end up seeing much more than just the Church. St Paul’s ruins are up a hill with a fair few steps but there’s a good view and you can even see the sea!
How to get to Melaka.
The best way to get to Melaka is by bus whether you’re coming from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. I recommend 12GO Asia to book buses in Malaysia.
From Melaka Sentral bus station to the centre you can get a taxi to which is the most expensive at about 20RM, a grab taxi which is much less expensive at about 7RM or get local bus 17 from stand 17 from Malacca Sentral to the Clock Tower for 2RM.
Related Post: If you’re going to KL before or after Melaka be sure to look at these unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur!
Hostels and Hostels in Melaka.
There is lots of accommodation in Melaka- hostels, homestays, guesthouses and hotels. I would really recommend staying near the river and near Jonker Walk Street as you’ll be in a great location and it will make it even easier to see Melaka in just one or two days.
For more hotels in Melaka, click here!
Enjoy this really unique place in Malaysia!
To SEE my time in Melaka, have a watch of my YouTube video here!
For more of my posts on Malaysia see:
I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a total travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010 and has visited over 55 Countries. (Yes I’m a Country Counter!)
I love travelling, visiting new places and meeting new people but what I also love is sharing my experiences to help you travel better which is why I pour so much love into this travel blog.
I hope to inspire you to visit new places, make you realise you don’t need to spend that much money to travel and give you helpful tips on how to get to places and what to do there!
In the Summer of 2018, I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time so if this is your dream too, follow along because I post lots of content around how I did it. And it really is amazing!
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