Malacca (Malay: Melaka) is a small state in southern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is located between Johor and Negeri Sembilan.
Map of Malacca in Malaysia
Malacca is administratively divided into three districts: Alor Gajah, Central Malacca (Melaka Tengah), and Jasin. Malacca City is located in Central Malacca while the other two districts are mostly rural.
- Malacca — the capital city is rich in history and is the main attraction in the state
- A'Famosa Resort — theme park resort complete with golf course and safari park located near Simpang Ampat
- Pantai Kundor — nearest beach to Malacca City
- Tanjung Bidara — probably the best beach in the state
- Pulau Besar — resort island, now somewhat dilapidated, off the coast south of Malacca City
Languages spoken in Malacca are Malay, English, and Mandarin, as well as various Chinese dialects (with Hokkien or the Fujian dialect dominating). Unique to Malacca is the Peranakan dialect of Malay spoken by the Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya community, Cristao or Kristang, an old version of Portuguese still spoken by the Malacca Portuguese Eurasian community, and Malay patois spoken by the Chitty, which is mixed with many Tamil loan words.
Malacca International Airport (IATA: MKZ, ICAO: WMKM) (formerly known as Batu Berendam Airport) is located about 10 km from the city of Malacca. As of August 2018, Malindo Airways operates to Malacca, Malaysia (MKZ) from Guangzhou, China (CAN), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL), Penang, Malaysia, (PEN), Pekanbaru, Indonesia (PKU), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (SGN), and Subang, Malaysia (SZB)
Kuala Lumpur International Airport KLIA, (IATA: KUL) is the nearest major airport and is about 1.5-2 hr away from the city of Malacca by car.
Malacca is by no means a small city, but exploring on foot is a good idea. You could rent a bicycle, as of March 10, 2016 cartel price for a 24-hour rental period MYR10.00 plus MYR250.00 returnable security deposit and/or custody of your ID card, depending on which rental shop you go to. Be mindful not to hold up traffic while taking pictures of buildings. The locals have generally good driving sense and adhere to traffic laws.
A 1.6-km monorail system along the northern section of the river was opened with much fanfare in October 2010, but it was plagued with problems and promptly taken out of service. As of December 2010, the monorail was not operational. But, in 2012, its suspension was lifted. The authorities allowed it to be run with some conditions, such as no service during heavy rain. However, it didn't take long for the monorail project to be shut down, apparently for good. On December 4, 2017, Malacca Monorail has re-operate with enhanced safety features such as lightning-prevention devices and the addition of a rescue vehicle to attract wagons in the event of a technical problem. The previous incident is believed will not recur as tests had been performed for two months before re-operation. The Malacca Monorail operating hours are 10.00 am to 10.00 pm on weekdays and will be continued until 12.00 midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.
Streets in the older/historical part of the city are very narrow, so they quickly become clogged during peak hours. This is especially so during the weekends, when cars from other parts of Malaysia and from Singapore flood to the city. Finding a car park lot is also extremely difficult during weekends. Most of the roads are also one-way, so plan your route properly.
Taxis are just about everywhere. If arriving by bus at Melaka Sentral, they can be found at the station back entrance close to where the intercity buses stop. However, they are known to be overpriced, unreliable, dirty, rude, aggressive and out to cheat both locals and foreigners. They would refuse to use the meter and charge exorbitant prices for short distances (a ride from Melaka Sentral to the main tourist area at Jonker Street would be about RM 25 and above).
Locals would typically refer to taxi drivers as "samseng" (Malay for gangsters) and recommend using ride-sharking/e-hailing options such as Uber or the local Malaysian company called Grab as cheaper and more professional alternatives. A ride to Jonker would be about RM 8 for a comfortable clean car and friendly local driver. If arriving by bus at Melaka Sentral, head to the main entrance to request a pick up. Do not go to the back entrance where the overpriced taxis wait. You would need to download the apps on your smart phone prior to arriving.
Municipal Council's official portal can be accessed through the link below (there's a rather sketchy route map for public buses as well) 
- Malacca Town Bus No 17 (destination: Ujong Pasir): goes from Melaka Sentral Bus Terminal to the historic centre and Portuguese Settlement (via Jalan Taming Sari then Tun Sri Lanang,) Mahkota Parade (stopping between two big new shopping centres), Melaka Raya and then on to Ujong Pasir, which is a suburb 5km east of Malacca. The fare from Melaka Sentral to Makhota Parade is RM 1.50 . The last bus from Melaka Sentral leaves at 8:30PM, after which you would have to take a taxi (RM 25) or Grab/Uber (RM 8) to Mahkota Parade. Note that this is a circular route so it can take up to an hour longer to get back if you take it the wrong way and it charges extra also, at RM2. To avoid this, note that on the way back it goes along the main road (Jalan Syed Abdul Aziz) to the south of the Makhota Parade shopping centre, across the big brige over the harbour and then its turns north on the road with the same name and right again before stopping next to the Tamil Church next to Jonkers Walk. From this stop, it takes just 10-15m back to the bus station rather than 1 hour if you take it going the other way.
- Malacca Town Bus No 18: Melaka Sentral Terminal to Plaza Hang Tuah, Jalan Tengkera and onwards to Pokok Mangga (a suburb to the west of Malacca)
- Malacca Town Bus No 19: Melaka Sentral Terminal to Ayer Keroh (Melaka Zoo and Taman Asean/Malaysia). The fare from Melaka Sentral to Ayer Keroh (Melaka Zoo and Taman Asean/Malaysia) is around RM 3
Taking a taxi is expensive since the meters in the taxis are generally not used, and the drivers like to overcharge foreigners and apparently give kickbacks to reservation agents at hotel concierge desks. Grab/Uber are prices are fair with clean and professional vehicles and drivers. However, it is best to get a bus in and out, and choose a hotel in the centre from where you can walk to the main attractions rather than pay RM25 every time you want to go somewhere.
A bike share system was opened in September 2016. The three initial stations are around A Famosa. Further stations are planned.
- Trishaws, complete with blaring pop music and fake flowers are available as well for short trips between tourist spots or circular tours. The drivers are very cheerful and friendly. The going rate is RM 40 per hour, but settle any price in advance.
- Bicycle, hire a bicycle or join a cycling tour group, see the Do section for cycling hire and groups. Some of the hostels, homestays and hotels either provide loan or rental bicycles to their guests for local sightseeing. Major local attractions have an extensive internal road or track system often have bicycles available.
Airlines and destinations
- Wings Air, Pekanbaru in Sumatra, Indonesia. . Daily services to/from Pekanbaru. (Wings Air are a subsidiary regional feeder airline for Indonesian Lion Air).
- Firefly, Medan in Sumatra. . As these services are seasonal they do not always appear on the airlines schedule.
Many long-distance express buses connect destinations in Malacca state with Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and other cities in Peninsular Malaysia.
Most express bus companies start and end their journeys at Malacca City's Melaka Sentral bus terminal, located about 3 km from the historic core of Malacca city. However, some companies also run buses from, or do pick-ups or drop-offs at other towns and locations in the state, such as Alor Gajah, Masjid Tanah, Jasin and the A'Famosa Resort.
- Transnasional is the largest long-distance bus operator in Malaysia. It links the state with a host of destinations in Peninsular Malaysia like Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Singapore and further afield. Transnasional buses depart from Malacca City (Melaka Sentral), Alor Gajah, and Masjid Tanah.
Malacca state can be accessed via the North South Expressway by exiting at the Alor Gajah-Tampin (officially Simpang Ampat), Ayer Keroh and Lipat Kijang (Jasin) exits. Ayer Keroh exit is the nearest to Malacca City.
Malacca City is on the Coastal Trunk Road (Federal Route 5). Those using the Main Trunk Road (Federal Route 1) must turn off at Simpang Kendong or Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, about 40km away from Malacca City.
Malacca is 150 km from Kuala Lumpur, 216 km from Johor Baru, 90 km from Port Dickson.
Malacca city is not served by any railway lines. The closest railway station is at Pulau Sebang (Railway station ☎ +60 6 3411034), about 9 km from Alor Gajah Town and 30 km from Malacca City . The station is actually located in Malacca territory. See Malacca City article on how to get there or away.
There are no ferries from any destination inside Malaysia. However, there are daily ferries between Dumai and Pekanbaru in Sumatra, Indonesia and Malacca City. See the Malacca City article for more details.
The Stadhuys and clock tower at the heart of the historic quarter of Malacca
The Baba Nyonya Museum in Malacca which is in a typical Peranakan house
The older part of the city proper has, in addition to the old palace and the large buildings left by the Europeans, many private houses and shops from nearly a century or more ago, put up by Chinese traders. Many of these have beautiful details such as moulded porcelain tiles and painted plaster reliefs on the front. Unfortunately, they tend to be not well preserved and the city government decided to paint all the buildings in the historical district a bright brick red some years ago, as the constant spitting by passers-by was proving a nuisance, which detracts from their aesthetic value. There is a tourist map provided by Malacca.[][]
Note that on Tuesdays, many museums, shops, restaurant are closed, especially in the Jonker Street area. If you have only one day to spend in Malacca, do not go on Tuesday!
- Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum. ☎+60 6 283 1233. Opening hours: 10AM-12:30PM, 2:30PM-4:30PM. Closed on Tuesdays - Step back in time with a visit to this museum which is an actual Peranakan heritage town house and is a great example of Peranakan culture. It is on Heeren Street (now known as Tun Cheng Lock Street). The entry fee is RM15 per person and everyone has to follow a guide-led group. Photography is forbidden.
- Cheng Hoon Teng Temple.  25, Jalan Tokong. ☎+60 6 282 9343. Opening hours: Morning to 7PM - Oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia and has an inscription dating 1673 commemorating the deeds of by Kapitan China Li Wei King.
- Christ Church - this church was built between 1741 and 1753. It replaced a Portuguese church, which was shattered. Bricks were shipped from Zeeland in the Netherlands. On the floor of the church you will find Dutch tombstones. It is the oldest protestant church in Malaysia. On the altar you will see sacramental silverware, still bearing the Dutch coat of arms. 8:30AM-5PM Mon-Sat, free admission; photography is forbidden.
- Dutch Square - Beautiful square around Christ Church and the Stadhuys. On this square you will find the Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower, it looks Dutch, but it is not. It was built in 1886.
- Jonker, Heeren and adjacent streets - This is the residential heart of Old Malacca just west of the Malacca River, with its narrow winding streets, beautifully decorated houses, tiny shops, temples and mosques. The whole area is undergoing a renaissance with new shops, restaurants and hotels catering to tourists mushrooming everywhere. However, the area still has a lot of atmosphere and is worth having a look around. One of the streets in this area is Harmony Street (officially Temple street or Jalan Tokong), so called because it contains the prayer houses of Malaysia's three main faiths - the Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese temple, the Sri Poyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Hindu Temple, and the Kampung Kling Mosque.
- Malaysian Navy Museum, across the road from the Maritime Museum
- Malay and Islamic World Museum, Jalan Kota (beside the Porta de Santiago) - it also currently houses a Museum of Torture (European medieval period) for a limited duration on the ground floor. Entrance fee 15 RM for adult foreigners.
- Masjid Kampung Hulu Built in 1728, it's one of the oldest functioning mosques in Melaka together with Masjid Kampung Kling and Masjid Tengkera (Tranquerah), Jln Tengkera see the mixed architecture of Chinese, Javanese and Arab on the minarets and the roofs.
- Muzium Budaya/Sultanate Palace - Below the hill you will find this museum (Melaka Cultural Museum). It is a reconstruction of the istana of the sultan Mansur Shah. It was built in 1985. It is open daily from 9AM to 6PM except on Tuesdays, and on Fridays from 12:15PM-2:45PM. Entrance fee RM 2.
- Porta de Santiago - You will find this remains of the old Portuguese fort A Famosa on Jalan Kota, around St Paul's Hill. What you can see nowadays is a mostly Dutch reconstruction, bearing the VOC coat of arms.
- Saint Paul's Church - take a path up the hill and it will lead you to this church. It was originally built in 1521, by the Portuguese. It became a fortress in 1567, until 1596. After the Dutch siege it became St Paul's, before it was known as Nossa Senhora da Annunciada (Our Lady of Annunciation). It has been used as a burial ground for the Dutch. You can still see the tombstones, along the walls of ruins of the church.
- Stadthuys - completed in 1660. It is a reproduction of the former Stadhuis (town hall) of the Frisian town of Hoorn in the Netherlands which existed from 1420 until 1796. Nowadays, it houses the Museums of History and Ethnography. This is one of the oldest Dutch buildings in the east.
- Stamp Museum, Jalan Kota (sandwiched between the Muzium Rakyat and the Malay and Islamic World Museum)
- UMNO Museum, Jalan Kota (between the Islamic Museum and the Muzium Rakyat) - museum about the United Malays National Organisation.
- Youth Museum/Melaka Art Gallery, Jalan Laksamana, beside the Christ Church. The Youth Museum is on the ground floor, the Art Gallery on the second level. You can have a bird's eye view of Dutch Square from a window on the second level. Open Wed to Sun 9AM-5.30PM; combined admission for adults - RM2
- Bukit China - Bukit China is the one of the largest Chinese cemetery outside of mainland China. Graves can be found here that go back to the late Ming dynasty (mid 17th century). The earliest grave found so far dates to 1622, but unfortunately many graves were exhumed during the British occupation of Malaysia. Bukit China is a famous jogging spot for the locals and jogging tracks are available all over the hill. When you climb on top of the hill, you will have a nice view of the town.
- King's Well - Legends have it that Hang Liu was a Chinese princess from the Ming dynasty who was sent to Malacca to wed Sultan Mansor Shah in the 15th century when the Malacca Sultanate was at its zenith. She had 500 followers who were all settled on Bukit China, which means Chinese Hill, and this well, at the foot of the hill, was where they got their water.
- Melaka River - Take a relaxing stroll down the river from Jalan Munshi Abdullah. The route takes you along a boardwalk and past a number of sheek looking houses decorated with large paintings. You also get a good view of Bukit St Paul over the town.
- Malacca Straits Mosque - a newly built mosque on the man-made island Pulau Melaka located just off the cost of the city. Spectacular at evening and night.
- Poh San Teng Temple - This temple is located at the foot of Bukit China and next to the King's Well, was founded in 1795 by Kapitan China Chua Su Cheong as a graveyard temple. The main deity is Fu-te Zhen Shen. the temple was built to allow the descendants of those buried on Bukit China to conduct prayers to their ancestors away from the heavy rain and strong winds.
- Portuguese Settlement - Here is where the descendants of the Portuguese who conquered Malacca in 1511 live today. The settlement, located just southeast of the city centre, consists of tidy rows of mostly wooden houses leading up to the Portuguese Square (Malay Medan Portugis) and Hotel Lisboa (sorry, unlike its Macau namesake, there is no casino here) on the waterfront. The people here may look Malay but peer into their houses and you'll see the characteristic altar with status of Jesus and Mary perched high on their walls. Quite a few still speak Cristao (or Cristang), a Portuguese patois. There are also many restaurants for you to sample Portuguese fare. The most interesting times to visit is during Intrudu - usually in February - when the you'll get a Songkran-like drenching with buckets of water thrown at you; Festa San Pedro to commemorate the Feast of Saint Peter in June, where there are processions, cultural shows and general merry-making; and Christmas when the whole settlement is decked in decorative lights. Getting there/away: Malacca Town Bus (green) No. 17 (destination "Ujong Pasir and Bandar Hilir") from Melaka Sentral will bring you right into the Settlement.
- St John's Hill and Fort. Malacca's other fortress located on top of St John's Hill in Bandar Hilir, south of the city. Pretty views of the surroundings from the top. Malacca Town Bus (green) No. 17 passes by this fort.
- Melaka Chinese Mosque - The mosque is designed with a unique Chinese architecture with pagodas and Chinese calligraphy from a combination of architectural design of several mosques in Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an in China. Located in Jalan Solok Hilir, Paya Rumput near Hang Jebat Stadium.
- Geok Hu Keng Temple - Located at the junction of Klebang and Jalan Pokok Mangga, about 3km from town centre. This temple has a history of 130 years. Managed by local communities, the temple was incorporated under the management of Cheng Hoon Teng in 2000. Major celebrations - 3rd day of Chinese New Year, Hien Tian Siong Teh's birthday on 3rd day of 3rd lunar month and the birthday of Geok Hu Tai Chong on 29th day of 6th Lunar Month. To get to the temple, you may hop in any of the Patt Hup Buses and stop slightly opposite the temple or you may take Town Bus No 18 which stop beside the temple.
- Kampung Morten - a village of traditional houses, it is on the west bank of the Malacca River.
- Melaka Zoo - Located in Ayer Keroh, along the main road from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to Melaka town. The second biggest, one of the best, if not the best, zoo in Malaysia. Even better than the National Zoo. The zoo is in a reserved forest where the animal enclosures more resemble the animals' natural habitat. The trees within the zoo compound provide ample shades for visitors during hot and sunny days. There is a lake in the zoo. Dattime admission for adults - RM22.5 (9AM- 6PM), night entry - RM22.5 (8PM-11PM)
- Padang Kemunting Sea-Turtle Sanctuary - Located in Pantai Padang Kemunting beach, about 28 km from Melaka Sentral. You can see the most beautiful sea-turtle in the world, the Hawksbill turtle. Relax to the sound of the Straits of Malacca as the are lots of kampong type of resorts (budget) for you to choose. Admission for adults is free, open daily 10AM-4PM. Close on Monday and Malaysian public holidays.
- Recreational Forest Ayer Keroh - The 359 ha (887 acre) Ayer Keroh Recreational Forest was opened on April 17, 1984 and offers visitors peace and tranquility within its cool green surroundings.
- Melaka Botanical Garden, Ayer Keroh - Located next to Ayer Keroh Recreational Forest.
- Taman Mini Malaysia and Mini ASEAN - Located in Ayer Keroh, along the main road from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to Melaka town, about 1 km from Melaka Zoo between the Zoo and toll plaza. It has full-size reconstructions of typical houses from all 13 Malaysian states and all the members of ASEAN. There are daily cultural shows at 11AM and 2PM. Admission for adults is RM12, open daily 9AM-6PM.
- Go fly a kite, literally - Go to Klebang Beach and buy a cheap kite (fighter-style, but nowhere near that well-constructed) with Japanese cartoon characters on it for RM1.50, or a styrofoam airplane for RM5 if you don't have the necessary kite-flying mad skills.
- Melaka on bike, 117 jalan tiang dua (pick up anywhere in town), ☎ +60 19 652 5029, . 3hrs. RM100. edit
- Malacca Duck Tour, Malacca Duck Tour, Jalan Merdeka, 75000. Melaka (Beside the Taming Sari City View Tower). 3. This is a old military amphibian vehicle that has been adapted for amphibious tourist trips around Melaka city and moving towards the sea and come back up. Very interesting, like a joyride! RM30-40. edit
- Melaka River Cruise - a 45 min cruise along Melaka river where once it was a main trade area of Melaka during its Golden era. It takes passengers from the jetty beside the Maritime Museum to just beyond Kampung Morten and then back. Night cruise is more interesting as we can see lights lit on the riverbank's buildings, water fountain show and bridges. You will pass through many boardwalk cafes along the way. Wave "hi" as you cruise along happily. The Honky Tonk Cafe will be located along these river bank. Tickets: Adult RM10, Child RM5. Hourly cruise 10AM-11PM daily. Note that dual-pricing is in effect on this boat, foreigners pay more than the prices listed here.
- Pirates of Melaka - located beside the Eye on Melaka, this consists of a pirate ship that you can climb.
- Panorama Melaka bus. It will sure bring a whole new experience to tourists. These imported ever popular London double-decker red buses will show you Melaka City London style. Sit on the open air upper deck, feel the city air and watch Melaka lights in the night (no commentary, however). You can hop on and off at any of the stops. RM 5 per day. Service starts at 7AM.
- Sound and Light Show - (lights went out early 2010, and something wonderful and unknown is being developed there as of mid-2011 with typically undeclared purpose or launch date) this 1-hour show is about the history of Malacca. It is held in the big field between the Sultanate Palace and the Proclamation of Independence Memorial Museum. Daily shows are in English at 8:30PM, RM10. Buy your tickets at either end of the field. In late 2009, the show was suspended due to renovation works.
The City View Tower Of Melaka
- Taming Sari Revolving Tower. Jalan Merdeka. The 110 m-tower seats 66 people at a time, taking them on a 7-min ride for a view of Malacca. The ascent takes 1 min, you have 5 min on the top and 1 min for the descent. Offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the historic city and the coastline. Do it after taking a stroll of the town, and it will give you a whole new perspective of Malacca. Admission fees for MyKad holders: RM10 for adults, RM5 for children below 12 years old, and RM7 for senior citizens above 55 years old. Admission fees for visitors without MyKad: RM20 for adults, RM10 for children below 12 years old, and RM17 for senior citizens above 55 years old. Operates every 30 min on the hour and half-hour, 10AM-11PM daily.
- Yoga Retreat Malacca, . Enjoy a fun yoga retreat program in Malacca. Short 4 day program (half week) and 1 week relax programs. Plus special programs by travelling teachers. Learn, meditate, share, beginners to advance. Great value for money compared to Bali or Thailand. Starts at RM250 for twin sharing (per person), includes accommodation, swimming pool access. Nearby to amenities, main bus route (bus 17), night market, fresh fruits. RM250. edit
Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya (Straits Chinese) cuisines are popular among tourists. Most of the Peranakan eateries are located in Melaka Raya and Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street). Baba-Nyonya cuisines are mostly sweet and spicy. Some will serve Durian Cendol, a sweet traditional desert made from palm sugar and durian.
For eating options outside Malacca City, many head to two popular seafood eating areas, namely Umbai and Pengkalan Balak. These places only come alive in the evening.
Umbai is located about 11 km south of Malacca City on the coastal road to Muar and Johor. If coming from Malacca City, turn right when you see the signboard "Jeti Pulau Besar Pernu" just before Umbai town. A row of stalls selling seafood cooked Malay-style located at the end of the road. Catch a Merlimau- or Muar-bound bus from Melaka Sentral and tell the conductor to let you off at "Medan ikan bakar".
Pengkalan Balak is located about 35 km north of Malacca City on the road to Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. It is located just next to Tanjung Bidara, Malacca's best stretch of beach. Getting is quite complicated - involving a drive to Masjid Tanah and then to Pengkalan Balak - and almost impossible by public transport.
"Satay Celup" is unique to Melaka. These are meats, seafood and vegetables skewered on sticks and dunked into a nutty spicy sauce to boil and cook. The "satay celup" shops are only open in the evening. The best "satay celup" are said to be located in Jalan Ong Kim Wee or Lorong Bukit Cina.
- Pure Bar, Taman Melaka Raya Melaka, Malaysia, ☎ +60 6 281 4309, . Open 4 days/wk from Wed-Sat and during special events. edit
Melaka is a very safe place with a low crime rate. However watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas and bags snatching on the roadside by motorbikes.
Carry your identification papers (passport) with you always because there are random checks by the police for illegal immigrants.
- Tanjung Bidara
- Johor Bahru
- Kuala Lumpur
- Gunung Ledang - Most climbed mountain in Malaysia with some nice waterfalls to go swimming. Can be reached by bus to Tangkak and from there with local bus towards Segamat. The bus will drop you off 1km before the park entrance (RM 1). Depending how long you have to wait for the bus a trip takes about 2-3 hours.
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