A Detailed Melaka Itinerary

Melaka is a city filled with color, history, and delicious food. Founded in the 15th century, this gem of a city attracts visitors from across the world, thanks to its grand colonial buildings, local art scene, and heritage buildings. Its history has been affected by its rulers, namely Malay, colonial Portuguese, Dutch, and British.

The city is such an integral part of Malaysia’s history that it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Spending time here offers up the chance to sleep in carefully curated boutique hotels set in old shophouses, stroll along the river to see street art, and sample street food by night.

Planning to visit Melaka in Malaysia? In this Melaka itinerary you will find the best things to do in Melaka in one or two days.

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A One or 2 Day Melaka Itinerary

How many days do you need in Melaka?

Melaka is a super fun place to spend some time exploring. Although it’s packed with cultural heritage and history, thanks to its relatively small size, you can tick off a lot of the big hitter sites in one or two days.

It would be best to stay for a night or two, however, so that you can have a chance to experience the night markets and get a good understanding of what makes the city tick.

How to get to Melaka

From Kuala Lumpur

Buses bound for Melaka leave Kuala Lumpur (KL) regularly throughout the day from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, the main bus station in the city. There are several bus companies you can choose from, including Kesatuan Express, Delima Vision, KKKL Express, and Mayang Sari Express, offering varying levels of comfort. Prices begin at RM 10 and the journey takes around 2 hours.

Alternatively, you can take the train. This also takes 2 hours, but there’s a catch. While there are two daily services that travel from KL’s Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station, these only travel to Pulau Sebang/Tampin Railway Station, not Melaka itself.

Getting to Melaka from there involves either a relatively expensive taxi (nothing under RM 70), an Uber, or walking along the main road to Mydin Pulau Sebang Hypermarket. Here you can catch the local public bus to Melaka (RM 5), however, it takes an additional hour or more depending on the amount of stops and detours.

From Singapore

Getting from Singapore to Melaka by bus takes around 4 to 6 hours. There’s a choice of bus companies, including WTS Travel, KKKL Express, and Cityline, which cost around RM 80.

Depending on the time of day you travel, and with which company, the bus leaves from a number of locations in Singapore, including Ang Mo Kio, Our Tampines Hub (OTH), and Bishan MRT Station. While some buses arrive at Melaka Sentral Bus Terminal, the drop-off points for these buses tend to be hotels, e.g. Hatten Hotel Melaka and others.

There are no direct trains from Singapore to Melaka. You can get near enough by train travel, but it’s quite longwinded, leaving from Singapore’s Woodlands Train Station and involving a change at Johor Bahru. Even then, with no train station itself, getting to Melaka requires a taxi, Uber, or local bus.

Day tour from Kuala Lumpur

Meleka is easy to reach to KL but even so, it’s possible to make your journey even easier by joining a tour. This day trip takes the hassle out of the trip, meaning you won’t have to worry about bus timetables or getting to the bus terminal on time.

This day trip sees you getting picked up from your accommodation in KL and being whisked to Melaka. Once there, your guide will lead you around the city’s famous sites, including Saint Paul’s Church, Red Square, and the Melaka Museum.

The tour also includes a local lunch. Overall, it’s a good option if you’re short on time and want some insight into this interesting city.

Click here for more information and to book this tour.

How to get around Melaka

On foot

Melaka is for the most part a pedestrian-friendly city. Not only that but many of its famous sites are located within easy walking distance of each other. The UNESCO-recognised city is well used to travelers and a number of the streets are pedestrianized, making it easy to get from A to B.

Trishaw ride

If you don’t want to walk around, there are the trishaws. These fun three-wheeled rickshaws make exploring the city a colorful adventure. While they are used for timed rides around the city, they can also be used like taxis to go from one place to another. Other than that, you can also use riverboats to get around.

Best Things to Do in Melaka

Cheng Hoon Temple

For a slice of Chinese culture in Melaka, look no further than Cheng Hoon Temple. Founded in 1645, it’s the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia. The attractive temple complex is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Enter through the impressive main gate and explore the sizeable temple grounds, where you’ll find a number of different prayer halls, with the main hall dedicated to Guanyin (the Buddhist goddess of mercy). It’s open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays).

Dutch Square

Dutch Square - Things to see on your Melaka itinerary

Dutch Square, also known as Red Square (thanks to the color of the heritage buildings) is a bustling center in Melaka. Here you can find the history of the city all in one place, reflected in both Dutch-era and British colonial architecture.

Dutch Square Melaka

One of the main sights here is the 17th-century Statdhuys, once the center of Dutch power, it turned into a school under British administration and now houses the History and Ethnography Museum (open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Church of Saint Paul

Church of Saint Paul - detailed Melaka itinerary

Built in 1521, the Church of Saint Paul is the oldest church in Malaysia, however, it is not still in use — mainly because today the church lies in partial ruin. Located at the top of Bukit Saint Paul, the church overlooks the city of Melaka, offering up some great views of the townscape below.

A statue of Saint Francis Xavier stands inside the church grounds; Xavier himself was a regular worshipper at the church in its heyday. In fact, his remains were interred here for a number of months before being moved to Goa.

A Famosa Fort

A Famosa Fort- Melaka itinerary

Translated to “The Famous”, this fort was built back in the days of Portuguese power in Melaka. However, it is intrinsically linked to the history of the city, with the Dutch and later the British leaving their mark on the defensive structure. Originally the fort was made up of a number of buildings and walls, but today only a small portion of this remains.

Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum

Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum - things to do in Melaka

The Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum is set inside a wooden building that replicates the one used by Sultan Mansur Shah in the 15th century. It’s the ideal setting to give an insight into the Malay Peninsula and the history of Melaka as a trading hub.

The museum exhibits over 1,300 items including illustrations, photographs, and presents offered by foreign visitors to the sultan. The admission fee is RM 2; it’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day (closed on Mondays).

Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum

For more of an insight into Melaka’s cultural history, look no further than the Baba & Nonya Heritage Museum. This museum showcases the Peranakan culture of Melaka, a multiracial community reflecting the settlers to the Malay archipelago throughout its colonial history.

Here you can get a better understanding of this rich local history through a lavishly restored shophouse, complete with ornamental tiles, antique furnishings, and textiles. Definitely one for those who love history and design. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (admission RM 18).

Muzium Samudera (Flor de la Mar)

Muzium Samudera (Flor de la Mar) - Melaka itinerary

The Muzium Samudera, or Maritime Museum, allows visitors to delve into the seafaring heritage of Melaka. The museum is made up of three different parts, but the main draw is the replica of a Portuguese galleon, Flor de la Mar.

Visitors can climb onto the ship itself and experience what it was like to set sail on a wooden vessel centuries ago. Elsewhere there are other traditional vessels and an array of nautical instruments. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily (admission RM 3).

Menara Taming Sari (Malacca Tower)

Menara Taming Sari (Malacca Tower) - things to do in Melaka

Menara Taming Sari, otherwise known as Melaka Tower, is the ideal place to get a good bird’s-eye view of the city from above. The tower sees you take a seat inside a rotating platform that slowly rises to a height of 110 meters. The admission fee is RM 17; opening hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Jonker Street Night Market

A must-visit for foodies and hungry travelers alike, Jonker Street Night Market is where it’s at when it comes to food in Melaka. The street itself is attractive, with 19th-century heritage shophouses lining the road.

The shops here sell an array of textiles, antiques, and souvenirs during the day, but as night falls the street is pedestrianized and all manner of food stalls pop up. Come here to pick up tasty street eats (more towards the western end) and colorful souvenirs.

Walk by the river

Escape the busy streets in the center of town by taking a peaceful stroll along Melaka’s eponymous river. With an attractive promenade on each side of the river, lined in parts by cafes and food stalls, it’s a particularly pleasant way to explore. There’s street art and murals along the river too, so don’t forget to come with your camera battery fully charged.

Take a river cruise

If you don’t feel like walking along the riverside, why not take a river cruise instead? Taking a river cruise along the Melaka River allows you to take in the heritage buildings that line the river, and see local life playing out along the promenade. It’s possible to go on a night cruise along the river, which offers a different aspect thanks to illuminations.

Cruises leave from 9 a.m. till 11 p.m., costing from RM 30 (you can buy your tickets in advance online, too).

Melaka Trishaw Ride

Melaka Trishaw Ride - things to add to your Melaka itinerary

It’s hard to miss these colorful creative vehicles traversing the streets of Melaka. Once simply just a way of getting around, like a taxi, these three-wheeled rickshaws (trishaws) have become a tourist attraction in themselves.

Each trishaw is unique, an expression of its owner: think bright pink Hello Kitty designs, boomboxes blasting music, and trishaws decorated with Pikachu plushies. Rides cost from RM 25 for 15 minutes.

Where to eat in Melaka

Wild coriander

Melaka is famous for its food culture, so it’s not too difficult to find somewhere to dine on delicious dishes in the city. However, one particular restaurant you shouldn’t miss out on is Wild Coriander. Serving up Nonya cuisine, this riverside eatery boasts a menu of colorful traditional dishes made with fresh ingredients. Take your seat in the quaint shophouse setting, soak up the laid-back ambiance, and get ready to enjoy their delicious menu.

Where to stay in Melaka

Hatten Hotel Melaka

This polished accommodation option is located in the center of Melaka, right near Jonker Street. Replete with 4-star facilities, staying here means relaxing in style thanks to rooms decorated with elegant, modern furnishings.

Elsewhere you’ll find a swimming pool and spa for guests to make full use of, as well as a fitness centre and a chic onsite restaurant. There’s a range of different room sizes on offer too.

Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Liu Men Melaka

Located inside an old shophouse that’s been lovingly refurbished into a modern boutique hotel, Liu Men Melaka is a design lover’s dream. Throughout the property, elements of traditional features have been utilized alongside modern monochrome design details for an eye-catching finish.

Alongside a fresh breakfast available each morning, the onsite restaurant also serves dinner. It’s an excellent location too, being situated just a short walk to most of the city’s sightseeing attractions so you’ll never have to travel far.

Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

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