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7 Awesome Things To Do in Malacca, Malaysia [Malacca Travel Guide]

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor July 5th, 2022 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Destination, Travel Blog 20 Comments

Malacca, an amazingly small melting pot of rich culture, history and arts

Ever since I rekindled this love affair with wanderlust, I have bucket-listed UNESCO World Heritage sites as my must-experience destinations, and I am glad that four to five hours away by bus from Singapore is a perfect weekend sweet escape – Malacca, an amazingly small melting pot of rich culture, history and arts.

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Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Malacca / Malacca City.

I visited this happy place twice in 2014, and I simply cannot get enough of its seemingly laid back sleepy facade that craftily masks a multifaceted beauty.  Because of Malacca’ strong colonial past under the Portuguese, Dutch and British rulers, exploring it gives a feeling akin to time-traveling, like being transported from one century to another fast, really fast, so you would have little time to digest information.  But the good thing is for me, I can easily return for a quick date and more.  Now, if this is not enticing enough for you, allow me to describe Melaka’s awesomeness and how to spend your visit there.

Awesome Things To Do in Malacca
Welcome to World Heritage City – Melaka.

But first prep the Dora essentials.  Read up a bit about Malacca.  Secure a map to plan your routes depending on your interests so you can manage your time and easily find your location, or have fun getting lost if you’re staying longer than 2 days.  Tip: You can lump hotspots together in a single route.  Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hat or umbrella and your smile. Now, you’re ready.

1. Stay at a hostel.

I don’t really fancy staying at hotels unless it is “needed,” and in Malacca, you will find artsy fartsy hostels that are worth your budget, safe, tourist/traveler friendly, and, did I say artsy? Ringo’s Foyer Guesthouse and Tidur Tidur’s Guesthouse where we stayed are fantastic examples of these. Art is everywhere, from café, souvenir stores, resto, galleries, museums, ruins, antique shops, mural-infested buildings, and did I mention hostels? These artsy hostels whetted my appetite for more of Malacca’s entrees, and again shall I return.  I just love and admire the creativity, ingenuity and novelty bursting from every corner of this quiet city.

7 Awesome Things To Do in Malacca, Malaysia [Malacca Travel Guide]
Photo by Stephen Bugno

2. Ride a trishaw and paint the town red.

Found in the heart of the city is the Dutch Square and its equally flamboyant neighbors, Christ Church, Queen Victoria’s Fountain and the Stadthuys.  This area is difficult to miss because of its color, hence the other name Red Square, and the lineup of colorful trishaws in front of the Christ Church.  Package tour price for Beca rides ranges from 25-50RM.  I have not tried this, but it looks fun though with upbeat music blaring and that princess-ey feeling of being in a grand majestic parade.


7 Awesome Things To Do in Malacca, Malaysia [Malacca Travel Guide]
Photo by Jens CederskjoldCC BY-SA 2.0
Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

Powered by 12Go Asia system

3. Walk up to the Bukit St. Paul and down to Porta de Santiago (A’Famosa).

There are two pathways leading to the ruins of the old St. Paul’s Cathedral; you can either go from the Stadthuys (the front part) or the Porta de Santiago (the back side).  Here you can have a semi-panoramic view of Malacca, see old Portuguese tombstones which reminded me of the Ten Commandments tablets, and find local artisans and merchants selling their masterpieces and souvenirs.  So, if you can ascend that hill, why not continue this exercise all throughout your stay? It is the cheapest mode of transport as the likelihood of spending more than your budget is curtailed; even if you have moolah burning a hole in your pocket, you only burn calories.

7 Awesome Things To Do in Malacca, Malaysia [Malacca Travel Guide]
Photo by
Herry Lawford
CC BY 2.0

4. Bike to Villa Sentosa, the Malay Living Museum.

7 Awesome Things To Do in Malacca, Malaysia [Malacca Travel Guide]
Photo by Michael CoghlanCC BY-SA 2.0
When I, my best friends and my brother went to Kampong Morten on two separate occasions, it took us about 30-45 minutes on foot to reach the village.  The first time, we were able to meet the owner and caretaker of one of the houses, and he showed us around, sharing stories, proud of his history, heritage and culture.  Talking to him, his storytelling prowess and how simple life was back then reminded us, my brother and I, of our own grandfather and our childhood, and we realized how terribly we missed him. Yeah, we were a bit emotional that time.  Too bad, it was closed on my second visit.  To save time, I am going to bike, another exercise, for a third one.  Bikes can be rented for a cheap price the entire day and if you’re lucky, your hostel owner might take you up on a free tour.


5. Cruise around Melaka.

For a 45-minute ride on the Melaka River Cruise, you will enjoy a showcase of the picturesque bits of this city from the preserved traditional Malay villages to the lovely murals decorating establishments and houses by the river.

7 Awesome Things To Do in Malacca, Malaysia [Malacca Travel Guide]
Photo by Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy OoiCC BY 2.0

6. Stroll around Jonker Street.

Your Melaka trip is incomplete without the Jonker Street happening. During the day, you can learn from the city’s heritage and history by visiting some of its museums of which I highly recommend Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum and Cheng Ho’s Cultural Museum, temples, and the World Heritage Park.  But what you should not miss is the party vibe and fun atmosphere every Friday and Saturday Night Market where the souvenir shops, bars, food stalls and the likes sell their products and all sorts of thingamajigs, so you have an array of goodies to choose from and bring home while you feast nonstop.

7. Promise to come back for a different taste, a different feel, a different touch, a different side of Malacca.

7 Awesome Things To Do in Malacca, Malaysia [Malacca Travel Guide]
Photo by Ah Wei (Lung Wei)CC BY-SA 2.0
With all of its assortment and mixture of modern and traditional ways that have been greatly influenced by colonizers yet somehow managed to keep intact by the locals, Malacca never runs out of surprises and treats, thus never fails to pique my interest and inspire me to aspire for a well-lived life.  Botanical Garden, Public Library and batik making are a few of the items on my to-visit list.

8. Find accommodation in Malacca

About the Writer:

Awesome Things To Do in MalaccaI am Lorelyn, Balot/Lo for short.  A perpetually curious crabby dragon, a chocolate diva whose favourite sins are forgetfulness, wordplays, art galleries, books, extra (brown) rice, haiku, ice cream, red, masturdating, running, laughing, and a crazy imagination.  I am changing the chaotic order of my universe by clocking in early.

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20 thoughts on “7 Awesome Things To Do in Malacca, Malaysia [Malacca Travel Guide]

  1. It’s the another side of Malaysia that I usually see. It seems like a suburban community. It looks like same community like other Asian country but you can clearly see their culture. Nice to visit.

  2. The place looks promising and indeed artsy. I really like hotels that show culture and arts rather than the modern designs we are used too. I really wanted to visit St. Paul Cathedral too! Melacca is indeed a very historical pace. Hope I can visit this place soon too.

  3. I’ve been to Malaysia, but I still haven’t been to Malacca. It’s nice to know the things to do there. I want to go on that cruise. Finally, I also want to experience a different taste of Malaysia.

  4. Very artistic 🙂 people , I believe. I love that red painted quarter , looks so friendly . Your photos are good , the one in the ruins is funny . Lovely post , it’s nice to get a vague idea about Malaysia. You’re so far away from here.

  5. I’ve never been to Malacca. The only place I’ve been to in Malaysia is Legoland. Haha! This culture-rich Malaysia seems so much more worth going to.

  6. How are able to travel to all these places! hahaha. the pictures remind me of Thailand.. and yes, accommodation.. hostels always give a value for money.. i haven’t been to malaysia but we’ll visit kuala lumpur next year.. and im quite excited! i might squeeze in malacca if we have more time.

  7. This place is cool! I wonder if we’ll ever even be able to go to Malaysia someday (I’ve never been anywhere outside the PH, so, haha). But who knows, right? That’s why I’m applying for passport renewal soon, and God willing, we’ll be able to travel outside the country. *fingers crossed*

  8. Correct me if I am wrong but Malacca looks like a city from several decades ago, as in like in the past? The influence of Dutch/British can be seen, but it appears to be more like a town? I agree with you, the hostels do look decent enough and I am pretty sure offers value for money. I have a thing with accommodations and I need a very clean bathroom and aircon. I assume the hostels in Malacca are more than adequate.

    Looking at the photos. I think I will definitely enjoy a boat ride. I always have. Shopping though is not really my thing. Ummm I actually prefer sitting down in an outdoor cafe and just watch the scene unfold before me.

  9. I thought by the sound of its name Malacca is situated in the east. 🙂 Anyway, I think this place is especially great for artsy people… you have the hostels, museums and local artists on the street. And that cruise for sightseeing is a really nice addition.

  10. This is your first travel post that I could relate to. I had been to Malacca couple of years back and it was one of my many amazing trips. And you seem to have enjoyed just as much.. lovely pics 🙂

  11. I would love to visit Malaysia. I didn’t know about the Dutch square. Do you know why it’s called that way? I would love to do the cruise. Jonker street looks nice as well. It seems there’s a lot to do and explore in Malacca!

  12. The cruise and living museum look awesome! I’d definitely love to go here, somewhere so cultural, and I’d probably be OK with staying in a hostel. I think it’s all part of the experience! X

  13. Malaysia is a place that I want to go and this guide is so useful too, that red square looks really cool x

  14. Malaysia looks so interesting but I must admit i won’t do a hostel, maybe I’m too old! I bet the food in Malacca is fab!

  15. I think staying in a hostel is something you should do in every country to experience it x

  16. My friend lives over there and I always get so jealous of his photos, I would absolutely love to visit asia!

  17. I love reading your posts, they are so informative. I really would love to visit Malaysia one day x

  18. I’ve not been to Malaysia yet…though I love the food…and this has certainly given me a taste for it. It seems like a fun place to visit for people who enjoy arty and active holidays. (Like me!)

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