What To Do In Melaka? Best 3-Day Travel Guide for 2024!

what to do in melaka

Introduction to ‘What to do in Melaka?’

Located on the southwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Melaka (or Malacca) is a historic city that contributing to Malaysia’s rich and diverse heritage. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, Melaka is famous for its well-preserved buildings, ancient landmarks, and the stories of nations that have left their imprint on this enchanting city.

History of Melaka

Its history stretches back over 600 years, involving the reign of the powerful Malay Sultanate, and subsequent colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. This melting pot of cultures has given birth to a unique architectural and cultural landscape, making Melaka a captivating destination for historians, culture enthusiasts, and travelers alike.

One of the city’s most fascinating historical tidbits is its origin story, which is as enchanting as the city itself. Legend has it that the name „Melaka“ was inspired by an incident involving a prince, Parameswara, who was resting under a tree while hunting.

He witnessed a tiny mouse deer outwitting his hunting dog, which he took as a powerful omen of the weak prevailing over the strong. Moved by this, he decided to establish his kingdom on this very spot, naming it after the tree under which he had been sitting, the Melaka tree.

Melaka Today

Today, Melaka is not just a relic of the past but a vibrant mosaic of cultures, evident in its historical sites, mouthwatering cuisine, and the harmonious blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences. Its history tells a story of trade, colonial ambitions, resilience, and cultural exchange, making it an essential stop for anyone seeking to understand Malaysia’s complex tapestry of history and culture.

This introduction to Melaka offers just a tiny insight into the city’s historical and cultural landscape. From the iconic red-bricked Dutch Square to the lively Jonker Street Night Market, and the serene Melaka River, each corner of the city is ready to be explored by you!

Let’s dive into this helpful guide on what to do in Melaka, where to stay, getting around and many many other aspects.

How to get to Melaka?

Before we are getting to the topic about what to do in Melaka, the first step is to get to the city, obviously! Here are some ideas how to get to this charming town.

From Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2) is the primary gateway for international visitors, offering various transport options to Melaka. You can either take the bus which is the most economic way to get to Melaka. Opt for bus companies like Transnational MY and StarMart Express as they provide comfortable rides directly to Melaka Sentral, the city’s main bus terminal. Prices are starting at roughly RM 24 (~ 5$), and the travel time is approximately 2.5 hours.

From other Malaysian cities

I tried to research for national flights operating from all over Malaysia to Malacca. However, I found that there are no flights going to the airport of Malacca. If anyone of you has more detailed knowledge about that, feel free to let me know!

From Singapore

Singapore, located south of Malacca, also offers direct bus services, making it an accessible destination for those looking to explore beyond the city-state. The journey from Singapore to Melaka takes about 3 to 4 hours and starts at 5$. Buses depart from several locations within Singapore, including Queen Street Bus Terminal and Golden Mile Complex, delivering passengers to Melaka Sentral.

From Indonesia

If you are on Sumatra (North West of Indonesia) you can take a direct ferry from Dumai to Melaka for about 30$ which takes around 2 hours.

Want to fly to Malaysia but you only have a limited budget? Check out WayAway, your ultimate flight comparison tool, and discover how easy it is to find unbeatable deals. Get the iOS app or android app here.

How to get around Melaka?

Once you’ve arrived in Melaka, the real adventure begins. Exploring this historical city is an amazing experience and you should consider using different modes of transporation for that.


Melaka’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is best explored on foot. Walking allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the city’s rich history and culture. Walking through the narrow lanes, you’ll stumble upon hidden gems, from cute little shops selling traditional crafts to centuries-old buildings that tell the tales of Melaka’s past. The areas around Jonker Street, the Dutch Square, and the Melaka River are particularly pedestrian-friendly, offering many sights within short walking distances.

Trishaw Rides

For a touch of local flavor and a unique way to see the city, hop on one of Melaka’s brightly decorated trishaws. These traditional three-wheeled bicycles, adorned with flowers and often equipped with a small music system, offer a leisurely and picturesque mode of transport. A trishaw ride not only supports local livelihoods but also provides a personal and close-up view of Melaka’s charming streets. Rates for trishaw rides are around RM 50 for an hour, accommodating up to two passengers, making it a perfect option for couples or small families looking to explore the city in style. I really enjoyed spotting differently decorated Trishaws like the one here with Pikachu theme!! Apart from that I spotted Spiderman and Frozen Trishaws too 😉

melaka malaysia
melaka malaysia

Grab and Taxis

For destinations that are a bit further afield or when the tropical heat becomes too much (which happens most often) , Grab and local taxis offer convenient and efficient transportation options. Grab is widely used in Melaka and provides a safe, cost-effective, and reliable way to navigate the city. Taxis are also available, although it’s advisable to agree on the fare before setting off.

Melaka River Cruise

Another not-to-be-missed experience is the Melaka River Cruise. This leisurely boat ride offers a different perspective of the city, where you will drive by past historic buildings, modern cafes, and vibrant murals that decorate the riverbanks. Operating daily, the river cruise is a relaxing way to see the sights while enjoying the breeze off the water. Prices vary for locals and foreigners, making it an inclusive attraction for all visitors

Whether you choose to explore the historic streets on foot or trishaws, or navigate the waters of the Melaka River, each option offers its own unique view of this city. As you plan your days in Melaka, consider mixing and matching these transportation methods to fully experience this historic Malaysian gem.

For seamless travel across Malaysia, consider using 12AsiaGo and Busbud to book your transportation. Whether it’s trains, or buses, these platforms offer convenient options to ensure you reach your destinations comfortably and on time.

What To Do In Melaka?

Now that we have covered transportation, you will probably still ask yourself, what to do in Melaka? I have all the answers! Thanks for your patience, I promise it was worth the wait. In the following you will finally find 15 things to do in Melaka.

1) City Tour with Melaka Duck Tours

One of the most unique and entertaining ways to explore Melaka is through its Duck Tours. This amphibious vehicle tour allows you to see the city from both land and water, offering a different perspective of Melaka’s historical and modern attractions. The tour is conducted in a specially designed vehicle that drives through the city streets before splashing down into the water for a scenic river cruise.

As you embark on this adventure, you’ll get to see iconic landmarks, including the Dutch Square, St. Paul’s Hill, and the Melaka River, all while enjoying traveling in a vehicle that doubles as a boat. It’s an ideal activity for families, groups of friends, or anyone looking to add a splash of fun to their Melaka visit.

  • Operation Times: Tours typically run throughout the day from 9am to 6pm , but it’s best to check the current schedule for the most up-to-date information. Here is a link to a helpful website.
  • Entrance Fee: Prices for the Duck Tours vary. For locals (MyKad holders), there are specific rates, while international visitors might see different pricing which is higher for sure. Recently, prices were cited around 8,5$ for adults and 6$ for children, with special rates for teenagers and senior citizens. There’s also a family package available for 2 adults and 2 children at 20$. It’s advisable to confirm the latest prices and availability directly with the tour providers as these can change.

For a broader selection of tours and activities beyond the ones highlighted here, explore platforms such as Viator, GetYourGuide, and TripAdvisor to tailor your adventure to your preferences and interests.

2) Explore the Dutch Square of Melaka

At the core of Melaka’s historical narrative is the Dutch Square, identifiable by its striking red colonial buildings that date back to the Dutch occupation in the 17th century. The Stadthuys, believed to be the oldest Dutch building in Asia. Along with Christ Church and the Melaka clock tower, they form a picturesque scenery that reminds of a bygone era. The square is not just super beautiful but also a hub for cultural exploration, with trishaw rides offering a unique perspective of the city’s historic sites.

  • Opening Times: Open daily, 24 hours
  • Entrance Fee: Free to explore the square; fees for museums and attractions vary
what to do in melaka
what to do in malacca
what to do in malacca

3) Go on a Melaka River Cruise

The Melaka River, once a bustling trade route, has transformed into a serene artery that flows through the city, earning it the nickname ‚Venice Of The East.‘ A river cruise offers a leisurely way to appreciate Melaka’s charm, with views of heritage buildings, vibrant murals, and the daily life of locals. The riverbanks feature various cafes, bars and shops, making it a perfect spot for an evening stroll or a quiet moment to soak in the city’s ambiance.

  • Opening Times: River cruises operate from 9:00 AM to 11:30 PM daily
  • Entrance Fee: Approximately 6$ for adults and 5$ for children
what to do in melaka
what to do in malacca
what to do in malacca

4) Visit Jonker Street Night Market

When to Visit: The Jonker Street Night Market is open on weekends, starting from Friday evening through Sunday. The bustling atmosphere is best experienced as the sun sets, usually kicking off around 6 PM and lasting until late into the night.

What to Expect: This vibrant night market transforms Jonker Street into a lively bazaar, filled with stalls selling everything from local delicacies and street food to handicrafts, antiques, and souvenirs. It’s a place where the rich cultural tapestry of Melaka is on full display, offering a taste of the local lifestyle and traditions.

Culinary Delights: Food is undoubtedly a major highlight of the Jonker Street Night Market. Visitors can indulge in an array of Malaysian street food favorites, such as chicken rice balls, Nyonya laksa, satay, and desserts like cendol and kuih-muih. Don’t miss the chance to try the famous Durian Puff, a treat for the adventurous eater. I personally can’t even stand the smell of durian but other people adore this stinky fruit.

Shopping and Souvenirs: Beyond the culinary offerings, the night market is a treasure trove for shoppers. You’ll find everything from traditional Malay clothing and accessories to handmade crafts and vintage collectibles. It’s an ideal place to pick up unique gifts and mementos of your trip to Melaka.

Entertainment and Culture: As you wander through the market, you’ll be entertained by street performers, live music, and traditional dances, adding to the festive atmosphere. The market is not just a shopping destination but a cultural experience, reflecting the vibrant spirit of Melaka.

Tips for Visitors

  • Arrive early to avoid the biggest crowds and fully enjoy the market.
  • Bring cash, as many vendors do not accept credit cards.
  • Be prepared for the heat and crowd; staying hydrated and wearing comfortable clothing is key.
  • Bargaining is common, so don’t be shy to negotiate prices, especially for non-food items.
melacca travel guide
what to do in melacca

5) Wander Around St. Paul’s Church

Perched atop St. Paul’s Hill, the ruins of St. Paul’s Church are a reminder of Melaka’s colonial history. Built in 1521, it is the oldest church structure in Southeast Asia. A visit here is not just a step into history but also offers panoramic views of Melaka, a reward for those willing to climb the steep steps to the summit.

  • Opening Times: Open daily, 24 hours
  • Entrance Fee: Free

6) Have Fun at the A’Famosa Water Park

For those traveling with family or friends, the A’Famosa Water Park promises a day filled with laughter and excitement. With a wide variety of rides and attractions, from high-speed slides to lazy rivers, the park caters to thrill-seekers and leisure lovers alike. It’s a refreshing break from historical explorations, offering fun for all ages.

  • Opening Times: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM; closed on Tuesdays except during Malaysian school & public holidays
  • Entrance Fee: Starts from 8$ for adults and 7$ for children

If you want to book your tickets in advance, check out Tiqets, a user-friendly platform offering access to a world of experiences.

7) Safari Adventure at A’Famosa Safari Wonderland

Adjacent to the water park, A’Famosa Safari Wonderland invites visitors on an adventure among wildlife. From the grace of giraffes to the majesty of tigers, the safari provides a close encounter with creatures from around the globe. It’s an engaging experience for animal lovers and families, enriching Melaka’s diverse attractions with a touch of nature.

  • Opening Times: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily
  • Entrance Fee: Starts from 8$ for adults and 6$ for children

8) See the Skyline of Melaka at Menara Taming Sari

For a bird’s eye view of Melaka, the Menara Taming Sari is an unmissable attraction. This revolving tower lifts visitors 110 meters above ground, offering 360-degree views of the city’s landscape, including historical landmarks and the Malacca Strait. It’s a perspective of Melaka that combines its past and present in one sweeping vista.

  • Opening Times: 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily
  • Entrance Fee: Approximately 5$ for adults and 3$ for children

9) Stroll Along Jonker Street

Jonker Street, or Jonker Walk, is the lifeblood of Melaka’s cultural scene, bustling with antique shops, museums, cafes, and street food stalls. The night market, open on weekends, is a culinary and shopping paradise, offering everything from traditional delicacies to handmade souvenirs. It’s a place where the city’s heritage and modern vibrancy converge, creating an atmosphere that’s both nostalgic and electric.

  • Opening Times: Night market available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings
  • Entrance Fee: Free
things to do in malacca
what to do in melaka

10) Visit Mamee Jonker House

In the midst of Jonker Street’s historical allure, the Mamee Jonker House stands out with its playful nod to Malaysia’s beloved snack brand. The house offers a quirky exploration of the snack’s history, interactive workshops, and even a chance to create your own Mamee noodle cup, making it a fun detour for families and snack enthusiasts.

  • Opening Times: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM; closed on Tuesdays
  • Entrance Fee: Workshop prices vary, starting from 5$ per person

11) Visit Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum

The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum provides a window into the world of the Peranakan community, known for their rich cultural traditions and hybrid cuisine. Housed in a beautifully preserved 19th-century building, the museum showcases the intricate lifestyle and heritage of the Baba-Nyonya, blending Chinese, Malay, and European influences in a fascinating display of art, architecture, and daily life.

  • Opening Times: 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily
  • Entrance Fee: Approximately 3$ for adults and 2$ for children

12) Explore Another View Point At Shore Sky Tower

Rising 163 meters above the city, The Shore Sky Tower offers another panoramic view of Melaka, with an open-air observation deck that’s not for the faint-hearted. Its glass-floored sky deck presents a thrilling perspective of the city below, especially stunning at sunset when Melaka is bathed in golden hues.

  • Opening Times: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily
  • Entrance Fee: Approximately 5$ for adults and 4$ for children

13) Explore Streetart

While Georgetown and Ipoh, two other well-known cities in Malaysia, are famous for their streetart, Melaka is also a hotspot for streetart lovers. There are several spots all over the city where you can marvel at colorful paintings and drawings of talented artist. Two examples can be found in the following pictures which were my favorites.

what to do in melaka
things to do in malacca

14) Visit Different Temples At Chinatown (Near Jonker Street)

There are several Chinese temples around Jonker Street that can be visited for free. We have been to Melaka right during Chinese New Year so for us it was a special experience as Chinese people came to the temple for praying. It was so crowded here but we really enjoyed the vibe. If you have the chance to visit during Chinese New Year (most often in the beginning of February) – do it! If not, don’t worry. I bet the temples always looks nicely decorated. The two temples I visited are Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and Melaka San Duo Temple.

melaka travel guide
what to do in malacca

15) Last but not least: Beach Day at Pantai Klebang

Just a short drive from the city center, Pantai Klebang offers a peaceful retreat with its wide, sandy beaches and gentle waves. It’s a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike to relax, enjoy picnics, and watch the sunset, adding a tranquil finale to the adventure that Melaka offers.

  • Opening Times: Open daily, 24 hours
  • Entrance Fee: Free

Now that we have answered the question what to do in Melaka it’s time to move on with another important aspect for everyone who is into food, especially veggie food.

Don’t want to travel alone and do a fully guided trip instead? Check out Tourhub, a platform offering guided tours all around the world. Do not forget to use my code SALLY1GURU for a 5% discount.

Where To Eat In Malacca?

As I am a vegetarian, each of these restaurants offer at least a small variety of veggie dishes. Some of these spots are even pure vegetarian restaurants! Here’s a mini guide to some of the best spots for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that we all visited and enjoyed to the fullest:

Breakfast Places

  • Eggxtra: This café is a breakfast spot known for its cozy ambiance and delicious, hearty meals. While not exclusively vegetarian, they offer a range of vegetarian-friendly options that are perfect for kick-starting a day of exploration.
  • The Daily Fix Café: Nestled within a historic shophouse, The Daily Fix Café offers a charming setting for breakfast. Their menu features a variety of vegetarian options, including pancakes, pastries, and local delicacies, all crafted with fresh, local ingredients.
  • Toasthouzz: Toasthouzz is a favorite for its modern take on traditional breakfast dishes. Vegetarians will find plenty to love here, from avocado toast to a selection of vegetarian sandwiches and wraps, all paired with excellent coffee or tea.
things to do in malacca
things to do in melaka
melaka travel guide 3

Lunch and Dinner Places

  • Botanist Café: This café is a haven for those seeking vegetarian and vegan cuisine. With a focus on fresh, organic ingredients, the Botanist Café serves up a range of dishes that are as nutritious as they are delicious, making it a must-visit for a wholesome lunch.
  • Lutan 21: Offering a contemporary dining experience, Lutan 21 presents a fusion of flavors that will delight vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Their inventive menu is fully vegetarian and showcases the best of local produce.
  • Vege Good Vegetarian Restaurant: True to its name, Vege Good specializes in vegetarian cuisine, offering a vast selection of dishes that highlight traditional Malaysian flavors made from plant-based ingredients. It’s a great spot for both lunch and dinner.
  • Chiang Mai Thai Foods Restaurant: For those craving Thai cuisine, Chiang Mai Thai Foods Restaurant offers a variety of vegetarian dishes infused with authentic Thai flavors. From spicy salads to flavorful curries, there’s something for every palate. You can basically order almost every dish in vegetarian here.
  • Indian Restaurant (Baba & Kaur Northern Cuisine): Offering a taste of northern Indian cuisine, this restaurant provides a vegetarian-friendly menu that includes a variety of flavorful curries, biryanis, and bread. It’s an excellent choice for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
melaka travel guide

Where To Stay In Malacca?

Here’s a curated list of accommodations in Melaka across four categories: botique hotels, luxury hotels, budget stays and hotels near the city center:

Boutique Hotels

Budget accommodations are ideal for travelers looking to save money without sacrificing comfort and location. Prices start from 35€ per night.

Luxury Hotels

Luxury hotels provide top-notch amenities, exquisite dining options, and impeccable service for a pampering stay. Prices start from 100€ per night.

Budget Stays

Budget accommodations are ideal for travelers looking to save money without sacrificing comfort and location. Prices start from 13€ per night.

Near City Centre Accommodations

Staying near the city centre offers convenience and easy access to Melaka’s main attractions and dining options. Prices start from 40€ per night.

melaka travel guide

When it comes to finding the perfect stay, Booking.com and Agoda have got you covered! Explore a variety of accommodations, from cozy guesthouses to luxurious hotels, making your journey even more comfortable.

3-Day Itinerary for Malacca

Now that we covered all aspects about what to do in Melaka, where to stay, how to get there and around and where to eat, the time has finally come to make an example 3-days itinerary for you. We have stayed in this amazing city for 3 days and this was our itinerary:

Day 1: Melaka River Cruise, Cheng Hoon Teng Tempel, Jonker Street, Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park, Stadthuys,

Day 2: Walk along the Melaka River and Breakfast at a riverside Café, Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum, Portuguese Settlement, Jonker Street Night Market

Day 3: 3D Art Museum, Melaka Straits Mosque, Melaka Botanical Garden

FAQ about Malacca

Conclusion About ‚What To Do In Melaka‘

Melaka is a city where history and culture are alive in its streets, buildings, and the smiles of its people. This guide took you through Melaka’s heart, showing off its beautiful old buildings, tempting your taste buds with delicious food, and letting you chill by the scenic riverside. Hopefully you now got a broad overview about your question on what to do in Melaka!

In just three days, you can step back in time, feast like kings and queens on local delicacies, and just soak up the chill vibes of the city. Melaka is not necessarily a big city to spend a lot of time at but it has its own vibe which makes it such a unique town that we really loved wandering around.

If you liked this guide, I would be happy if you share it with family and friends and follow us on our journey around the world on our socials. And don’t forget to check out our other blog articles about Malaysia.

Until next time!

I hope you enjoyed this guide on ‚what to do in Melaka‘ and will come back to my blog soon!

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