melaka malaysia

Melaka, an amazing heritage city in Malaysia

Melaka, an amazing heritage city in Malaysia 1024 543 Ali Mobin

Melaka is one of Malaysia’s most popular tourist destinations for family holidays. If you are travelling from Pakistan to Kuala Lumpur, Melaka can be an ideal location for a day trip or a weekend break. Melaka is a UNESCO heritage declared city with a rich cultural history of Dutch and Portuguese settlers which is evident in a well-preserved building in the historical quarters of the city. Melaka offers a wide range of accommodations at very economical rates as compared to Kuala Lumpur or other places in Malaysia. With fun-packed theme parks for children, resort-styled hotels, and amazing shopping Malls, Melaka must be on your list for your next trip to Malaysia. 

How do I travel to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur city?

For a memorable day trip from Kuala Lumpur, consider arranging your own transportation for a hassle-free adventure. Opting for a premium taxi service will cost approximately RM 400 for a full day excursion to Melaka from the bustling Kuala Lumpur City.

Alternatively, you can hop on a bus to KLIA or BTS, the main bus terminal in Kuala Lumpur. As Melaka City sprawls across a wide area, be prepared to utilize the GRAB ridesharing app or local taxis for convenient navigation.

For a more personalized experience, driving yourself around the city is a fantastic way to uncover its hidden gems and most captivating sights.

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For a weekend getaway, consider booking a hotel near Jonker Walk in Melaka, as many attractions are conveniently located within walking distance. Having your own transportation offers the flexibility to explore other must-see spots like A’Famosa Resort, Malacca Straits Mosque, or even Port Dickson at your own pace.

What are some of the most interesting things to do in Melaka?

Melaka has a lot to offer for travellers who are interested in exploring the cultural history of Malaysia. Here are some must-do activities while you are in Melaka:

Jonker Walk – late-night street market and cultural events

Strolling through the charming Jonker Walk area, a beautifully preserved neighbourhood from the colonial era adorned with picturesque shophouses is a delightful experience. As day turns to night, the street comes alive with bustling roadside stalls offering local delicacies, unique gifts, and souvenirs.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the crowded street, where vendors tempt you with sizzling BBQ treats and traditional delights. Indulge in a culinary adventure at the modern cafes that line the street, serving up a mix of Malaysian favourites and international cuisine.

For a refreshing escape on a hot summer day, seek refuge at the Geographer cafe, where you can savour Malaysian delights and innovative chilled beverages. As night falls, be serenaded by live music performances from talented local artists, adding to the enchanting ambience of the lively street.

Geographer cafe in Jonker Walk Melaka

Many of the traditional shophouses have been transformed into charming antique and souvenir stores, offering a treasure trove of historical artifacts dating back centuries. Melaka’s rich heritage, influenced by Dutch and Portuguese settlers over the past five centuries, has profoundly shaped the architectural and cultural landscape of the region.

Along the scenic Melaka River, you’ll find resorts adorned with enchanting Spanish-Moorish designs, adding a vibrant flair to the waterfront scenery. The area boasts a variety of dining options, including popular spots like Hard Rock Cafe and Gravy Baby, perfect for indulging in delicious fare at the start of your Jonker Walk adventure.

Exploring the Jonker Walk district on foot reveals a picturesque enclave of symmetrical shophouses adorned with intricate facades and colorful designs. Some of these historic buildings have been transformed into boutique hotels, offering a unique stay experience. For a deeper dive into the region’s vibrant history, a visit to the Baba Nyonya Museum is a must, providing insights into the fascinating Peranakan culture of the area.

Baba Nyonya Museum near Jonker Walk

Stadthuys & Fort Famosa – A bit of history

Stadthuys is the old part of the town and administrative center during Dutch Colonial rule. The building is painted red and is a well-preserved piece of Dutch architecture. A museum adjacent to the building has a number of historical artifacts, pictures, maps, and documents. Visit Stadthuys is a must to learn about the interesting history of Melaka during colonial occupation. 

Walking up the hill behind Stadthuys is a historical remnant of Fort Famosa which was built in 1512 by the Dutch. The Fort has suffered destruction in many battles over the last 4 centuries. A partial restoration is underway since 2006 to preserve the original structure of the fort. 

Melaka River Cruise

Melaka Rickshaw and Buggy Ride – more Touristy things

Catch a richly decorated rickshaw from the entrance of Dataran Palawan Shopping Mall to the entrance of Jonker Walk and Tourist Information Centre. The rickshaw driver will play your favourite tunes and jingles while you enjoy the scenic ride through the interesting quarters of the city. The ride lasts 15 minutes and costs around RM 15. This is a must-do activity in the daytime or nighttime. The rickshaws are running till midnight. 

Shopping in Melaka Dataran Pahlawan & Mahkota Parade

The Dataran Pahlawan Shopping Mall is located within walking distance of the Jonker Walk area. This is a modern shopping Mall with plenty of international outlets as well as local brands.

Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall is another mid-range shopping mall located opposite Dataran Palawan. Enjoy the local food from across Malaysia in the mall’s first-floor food court. The massive malls have supermarkets, hair salons and several services and shops in one place.

Kidzoonia, a kid’s play zone is located on the first floor where children can enjoy indoor sports and learning activities. Shopping in Melaka is relatively cheap and you can find great deals at hundreds of stores in these two shopping Malls.

A walkway connecting Hatten Place to Dataran Pahlawan has local markets called “Heritage Walk” selling Melaka handicrafts, clothing, cultural certificates, and a large number of locally manufactured products. 

Menara Taming Sari in melaka malaysia

This revolving tower is located right next to Pahlawan Dataran Shopping Mall and commands a 360-degree view of Melaka City. The ticket is RM 15 per person. Once the tower reaches the top, you will be able to see the original layout of the city along the banks of Melaka River, the linear structure of shophouses with red roods which are lined symmetrically. 

Visit Melaka Straits Mosque 

Situated along the picturesque Melaka waterfront, the Melaka Straits Mosque offers breathtaking views of the ocean, creating the illusion of the mosque gracefully floating on the water’s surface. Reflecting Malaysia’s deep fascination with Muslim history and intricate designs, the architecture of the mosque stands out with its captivating motifs and structures, showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Melaka Straits Mosque Malacca
Melaka Straits Mosque

Where to stay in Melaka for a family holiday?

Melaka is popular for resort-style accommodation as the city is popular for family travel. Most Malaysian families travel as large groups therefore, serviced apartments and resort-type accommodation are quite popular. I have stayed at a number of heritage hotels and family-styled resorts during my visits to Melaka from 2009 onwards. 

Shore Hotel and Residence Melaka
Shore Hotel and Residence, Melaka

During my recent visit to Melaka, I stayed at the Shores Hotel and ResidencesThis 48-story building is located adjacent to the Swiss Garden Hotel Melaka. The establishment is popular with families, as there are a number of attractions for kids including:

  • Indoor swimming pools and waterpark on 6 floor
  • Aquarium
  • An observation deck on the top floor – The Shore Sky Tower
  • Restaurants with 
  • Shore Oceanarium
  • Cafes, Bars, and Restaurants
  • Kids jumping castle on the ground floor


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