Explore Melaka in Malaysia

The UNESCO-listed state, Melaka provides a unique cultural experience with a rich history of colonial occupation. Offering easy access to Kuala Lumpur, Melaka city in recent years has seen a spate of development which makes it an ideal place for a weekend break as several quality hotels are available at very affordable rates. 

If you want to enjoy the authentic Nyonya cuisine of Malaysia and indulge in the rich history of early Portuguese Settlers and Dutch invaders to this part of the world, Melaka should be on your list during your visit to Malaysia. 

How to travel to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur 

How far is Melaka from Kuala Lumpur City?

Melaka is located at a distance of 120 km south of Kuala Lumpur. The shortest route to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur takes you down Highway E2 exiting on M29 towards Ayer Keroh. This is a tolled road, therefore, do not forget to carry your Touch n' Go Car.

Alternatively, you can take Highway 5 from Sepang towards Port Dickson. These two-way road passes through small towns and traffic is considerably slow. The trip is very enjoyable if you want to explore the scenic outback or rural Malaysia. 

A taxi would cost around USD 50 from your hotel in Kuala Lumpur to downtown Melaka. Alternatively, you can catch a bus from Kuala Lumpur Airport or BTS Terminal in KL costing USD 3 to Melaka Sentral.

Book Online: Private Transfer from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka .

From KLIA or KLIA2 catch a bus or taxi to TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan), the main intercity bus terminal in Kuala Lumpur. Bus service is available on the ground floor of both airports to the city with a stopover at TBS Terminal. You can catch a bus to any city in mainland Malaysia from TBS. Book Bus Tickets Online

Driving from KLIA to Melaka

Renting a car from KLIA OR KLIA2 is another interesting option as cheap car rentals are available at both locations. Driving is a great way to explore locations between Kuala Lumpur and Melaka (including Port Dickson). Long-term rentals are generally cheaper. I recommend booking in advance to get the best rates as cars are very hard to find during the peak holiday season. 

The bus is probably the cheapest way to get to Melaka Sentral Bus Stand from where you can catch GRAB or taxi to your hotel. 

TIP If you are driving in Melaka, buy a Touch n, Go Card. This allows you to pass through automated tolls and also provides access to many public parking everywhere in Malaysia. These cards are available at BP or Petronas Service Station. Top up these cards at any service station or 7-Eleven.

The best way to move around the city is to walk or hire a trishaw. For Ayer Keroh take a bus (USD 4.5) from Melaka Sentral, hire a taxi (USD 20) or walk the 7.7 km.

You can take a bus to Port Dickson (USD 10-2.5 hours) from Melaka Sentral to Terminal 1 Seremban and from there to Teluk Kemang. Renting a cab will be expensive (USD 100). 

Heritage & Historical Attractions in Melaka

A visit to Melaka is ideal for a walkabout exploration. The downtown area of Melaka is the heart of tourist activities. Most of the places of interest are located within walking distance of each other. With so many places of interest nearby, the Jonker Walk area has been declared a Melaka UNESCO zone. 


Stadthuys is the centre of the historical part of Melaka

When driving into Old Melaka town from Ayer Keroh Area you will notice bright red-coloured buildings that are typical of Portuguese heritage buildings in Melaka. The area around Melaka River and Jonker Walk has undergone a massive transformation. Walls are painted with murals celebrating the mixed culture of Melaka. A walk along the river and an old town offer plenty of Instagram-able moments. 


Brightly painted buildings are typical of historical architecture in Melaka

Museums of Melaka - Best places in Melaka 

For history enthusiasts, Melaka is a treasure trove of well-preserved museums that offer a fascinating journey through Nyonya History, the History of Islamic Art, and the colonial occupation in Melaka. These museums are a testament to the region's vibrant cultural history and provide a captivating experience for those eager to delve into the past.

Museum in Melaka
Museum in Melaka

Begin your journey at the Studhueys Ethnography Museum, where you'll embark on a captivating exploration into the diverse communities that have called Malacca home since the 15th century. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the Malay, Chinese, and Portuguese cultures as you delve deep into the fascinating history of this enchanting city.

Churches and Cathedrals in Melaka - Best Places in Melaka 

Embark on a short hike up the picturesque St. Paul's Hill and be rewarded with the awe-inspiring remains of the 16th-century Portuguese Church. From this elevated vantage point, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the vibrant city of Melaka. Just downhill, you'll find the magnificent Porta de Santiago, the last standing door of the historic A'Famosa Fort.


St. Paul's Hill

In the heart of Melaka's historical quarters, you'll discover the well-preserved treasures of Christ Church, St. Paul Church, and Francis Xavier Church. Christ Church holds the distinction of being the oldest Protestant Church in Malaysia, and these remarkable structures have withstood the test of time, witnessing the transformative centuries of Dutch, Portuguese, and British rule in Melaka.

Other Interesting Places in Melaka Malaysia

Bukit Cina or Bukit China is located north of the historical part of the town. Chinese princess Hang Li Po was sent to marry the Sultan of Malacca in the mid-15th century. A wishing well, historically a source of water to the town has never dried up and is used as a wishing well for tourists. Throw a coin in the well and you will return to Malacca!!!

Melaka temple
Temples in Melaka
Temples in Melaka malaysia

Another place of interest is the oldest Buddhist temple, Cheng Hoon Temple. The temple was built around 1645 and has gone through several renovations.

The location of this temple is close to Kampong Kling Mosque and Sri Poyatha Moorthi Temple and covers an area of 46000 sq.m. The structure of the temple is designed by keeping feng shui principles in mind. 

Fort Farmosa

Remnants of A' Famosa Fort

Nearby stands a replica of the Sultan’s 7-tiered Palace (15th Century) constructed without using a single nail! It is a cultural museum now with 1300 artifacts, jewellery, weaponry, ceramics, and art displays. Take a picture at the iconic Christ Church and Stadthuys.

Downtown Melaka near Jonker Walk and Dataran Palawan has many tourist attractions including Rickshaw Rides, Buggy Rides, and Menara Taming Sari (with 360-degree views of Melaka).

The cycle rickshaw ride costs RM 15 and you can choose your favourite jingle or theme bike to enjoy the ride to the Jonker Walk area. 

best things to do in melaka rickshaw rides
coloured cycle rickshaws in melaka
cycle rickshaw in malaysia
tourist attractions in melaka


There are also multi-coloured trishaws- very attractive for kids. Taming Sari revolving Tower (110m) gives a 360-degree bird’s eye view of Melaka and beyond (5.5 USD). The old Eye of Melaka does not exist anymore. 

Views from the top of Taming Sari Revolving Tower

A’Famosa Resort & Melaka Wonderland Theme Park and Resort

Travelling with family? A’Famosa Resort is perfect for having fun with kids or friends. At their three theme parks; feed the tigers, ride the elephants, raft away to the Monkey Island, or experience the ultimate safari in Safari Wonderland (150 species of animals). Visit the Old West theme park to be transported to a different era with Old West shows, restaurants, Red Indian performances, and fireworks!

Another great place to visit for a day excursion is Melaka Wonderland Theme Park and Resort offering a full day of fun and adventure for the entire family. The park has over 11 attractions including tornado chasers and Kamikaze racers. The park has plenty of cafes and restaurants and all amenities for families. 

Enjoy Water World theme park with covered and open slides, family rafting, a wave pool, and the longest slide in South Asia Big Ice Cream. There is also a thrilling seven-story slide for adventure seekers.

A' Famosa Waterpark Melaka

Additionally, you can try horse riding, paintballing, and archery. With their award-winning 27-hole golf course and a shopping arcade with more than 70 fashion brands, there truly is something for everyone here!     

Enjoying the Melaka River Cruise in Melaka

Melaka river cruise - best things to do in melak

Melaka River Cruise

Melaka River provides an idyllic setting as it snakes down the middle of the city. Stroll along the river in the daytime to view life-sized graffiti- a picture-worthy opportunity.

The night transforms into a romantic getaway with twinkling lights. Sit back and relax with your partner as the boat takes you along a sleepy river (RM 25/ person).

Best things to do in Malacca malaysia
Melaka River area
Melaka River Cruise in Malacca Malaysia
Historical places in Malacca Malaysia

In the daytime walk along the river to explore riverside cafes, restaurants, bars, and beautifully decorated walls with cultural murals. The recent development in the last couple of years has given a facelift to this old part of the town and is worth exploring on foot. 

Casa Del Rio  is a 5-star resort located at Melaka River commanding views of Melaka River. A new infinity pool overlooks the Melaka River. 1-minute access to Jonker Walk makes this establishment an ideal place to stay. 

 Jonker Walk Night Market in Melaka City

Just landed in Melaka and thinking what do in Melaka?  Start with exploring Jonker Walk Night Market (Fri-Sun) on Jalan Hang Jebat is going to knock your socks off with the level of activity. Here you will find antiques, souvenirs, electronics, clothes, and whatnot.


Jonker Walk in Malacca Malaysia

Jonker Street is the centre of activity in the historical quarters with hundreds of walkers exploring souvenir shops, and antique stores. Drop in one of many cases on Jonker Street to enjoy local drinks and snacks. Geographer Cafe, in particular, attracts large crowds on Jonker Street 

The best merchandise at the market is the thriving cuisine! Fish head curry, baked cheese tarts, and stuffed rice balls are rather famous, wash it all down with the famous chilled cendol dessert. Being the first contact of the outside world with Malaysia, this city is pretty much the birthplace of classic mixed cuisine!

World heritage city of Melaka

Interesting Wall Murals at the Entrance to Melaka

Jonker Walk has plenty of modern cafes like the Hard Rock Cafe, Backlane Cafe, The Daily Fix Cafe etc. 

You’ll also see several temples, mosques, and museums along the way. If you are with kids check out the Mamee Jonker House where the kids can create their noodle snacks and you can enjoy delicious café food.  

For bargain shopping, try the Jonker Walk night market while the Little Nyonya gift shop is great for local products and souvenirs.  Jonker is one of the major attractions in the city with a historical night market that is open till late.

Several nice cafes and restaurants are giving you a chance to relax and cool down before heading on to your adventure. I have visited Geographer Cafe several times and enjoyed local drinks and snacks. Jonker Walk is a great place to buy souvenirs, bargain for local antiques, and enjoy Melakas Street Food. A trip to Melaka will be incomplete without a visit to Jonker Walk. 

Geographer cafe Melaka - best places in malacca

Geographer Cafe at Jonker Walk 

Shopping Malls in Melaka Malaysia

Makhota parade shopping mall melacca

Dataran Pahlawan & Makohta Parade Shopping Mall in Melaka

Dataran Pahlawan and Mahkota Parade located on Jalan Merdeka (walking distance of St. Paul’s Hill) are a one-stop shop for clothing, fashion brands, movies, and food. The latter also has factory outlets. Other malls close to Dataran Pahlawan are Makota Parade Shopping Mall and Terminal Pahlawan.


A Heritage Gallery undercover shopping complex underneath the grounds next to Dataran Palawan offers great low-budget and traditional shopping including souvenirs, batik, t-shirts, and plenty of local produce and popular items. Just walking through the galleries and checking out local wares is an interesting experience and gives a local touch to Melaka and Malaysian culture. 

Food & Nightlife in Melaka

If you experience places through your palate, you are in for a rich gastronomical extravaganza at Melaka. Jonker Walk is a good start. Some of the must-go places include Geographer’s café (mid-range price), Kedai Kopi Chung Wah for chicken rice balls, and for Nyonya cuisine head out to Nancy’s Kitchen and Kocik Kitchen (halal) both flavorsome and reasonably priced.

Ringo’s Café is a great place (open only Friday-Saturday) with live music and never-ending pints of beer! Live it up at Hard Rock Café with a classic Tex-Mex menu, a memorabilia store, a bar, and live rock music.

Mixx Club (closed on Sunday-Monday) is the place to be if you want to see the trendsetters- located in Mahkota Parade it houses Paradox (a dance club with techno beats) and Arris (a café with live performances). It is a bit heavy on the pocket though.   

Exploring Ayer Keroh in Melaka

Ayer Keroh just 11km from the city is known for tourist attractions like a go-kart track and Malaysia’s longest golf. Visit the Taman Mini Malaysia Complex showcasing 13 traditional houses representing Malaysian states and Taman Mini ASEAN with houses of Asian nations.


Lake in Ayer Keroh Melaka

Melaka Zoo, with a night safari and the Melaka Butterfly & Reptile Sanctuary, is the place that will appeal to both families and solo backpackers.

Driving from Port Dickson to Melaka

Only a 1-hour drive from KL (approx. 30 minutes from Melaka) is the ideal getaway for water sports enthusiasts, beach lovers, and forest trekkers. The drive itself is rejuvenating with beaches all along the coastal road.


Tanjung Tuan is a coastal rainforest branching out into mangroves. Smack in the middle is a crescent-shaped water body- the Blue Lagoon a haven for swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling and just relaxing in a secret hideaway of the forest.


To the left of the Blue Lagoon is Cape Rachado the bird-watching forest reserve, ideal for trekking in the wilderness.  Just walk up the hill to the Lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views from the cliff (entry is restricted). Port Dickson is a great weekend getaway that offers all the lush greens and sparkling blues of Malaysia without venturing far from Melaka.

Where to stay in Malacca City?

Melaka offers affordable hotels and resorts in all price ranges. Holiday Inn Melaka  (RM 220) is recommended for families with pool facilities and an ideal central location. Bayview Hotel (RM 90) will provide a clean modern living option in central Melaka.   

If you plan to stay near the major attractions, choose a hotel near Jonker Walk and Dataran Pahlawan Shopping Mall. There are several budget hotels available in the area with basic amenities. Ayer Keroh is popular for resort-styled accommodation. This area, however, is not close to the city center. 

Hotel Mirage (20 USD) and Bayfront  (33 USD) are the budget options for Port Dickson. For a luxurious family experience, Lexis Hibiscus Hotel (175 USD) offers archery, yo-yo car rides, a kid's pool, outdoor pools, banana boating, kayaking, and jet skiing. You can opt for the pool villas and enjoy a secluded one.

Explore best attractions in Melaka with Klook


The place has all kinds of cuisine and a top-class spa facility but what your family will enjoy the most is the private helicopter ride (49 USD/person) to take in the beautiful vistas of Port Dickson. 

Resorts & Theme Parks in Melaka Malaysia where I stayed during my visit

For family fun, it is best to book a resort with a water park. During my last visit to Melaka, I booked Bayou Lagoon Resort  in the Ayer Keroh Area of the town. The resort is reasonably priced and equipped with a beautiful water park adjacent to the residential complex. 

Staying at Bayou Lagoon Park Resort in Malacca

I explored another interesting location on my recent trip to Melaka "The Shores Hotel & Residences" located in Alan Persisiran Bunga Raya.

This is a great option if you are traveling with kids, as the complex comprises three 43 stories buildings housing Shores Residences, Swiss Garden Hotel and Resorts, and a common shared kids pool area, infinity pools, a sky deck, and plenty of kids attractions including kids jumping castle, aquarium and 3-D Virtual Reality experiences, all housed under the same roof. 

Enjoy Indian and continental Food at the pub on the ground floor called Rock Bottom.


Staying at Shores Hotel and Residences Melaka

The accommodation is within 2.5 km driving distance from the main areas of Melaka and offers all facilities including restaurants, bars, laundry, money exchange, and other amenities within walking distance from the property.  

Shore Residence is also popular for Shore Sky Tower, an observation deck on the top floor of the building. Sky Oceanarium with an amazing collection of sea life is located on the ground floor. With such interesting activities on-premises, Shore Residence is an ideal location for a family holiday. 

Uncovering Melaka's Hidden Gems: Exploring Off-the-Beaten-Path Spots

Beyond the popular attractions, Melaka is also home to hidden gems that are off the beaten path. The Submarine Museum is one such gem, where visitors can explore a real decommissioned submarine and learn about its history. The Kampung Hulu Mosque, also known as the Green Mosque, is another hidden gem, featuring unique architecture and serene surroundings.

Venturing into the outskirts of Melaka, visitors can discover the scenic beauty of the Malacca Tropical Fruit Farm, where they can taste a variety of tropical fruits and learn about organic farming practices. The Al-Khawarizmi Astronomy Complex is another hidden gem, offering stargazing sessions and educational programs about astronomy.

Exploring these off-the-beaten-path spots will provide a unique and memorable experience, away from the crowds and touristy areas.

shaukat ozasiatravellerAbout the Author
I am Shouket, creator of the Ozasiatraveller Travel Blog. I have traveled extensively across Malaysia in the last 20 years and most of the content on my website and blog comes from my road trips across Malaysia. 
I am passionate about Malaysian cultural history and enjoy exploring new locations on every trip to Malaysia. Melaka is one of my favorite spots because of its proximity to Kuala Lumpur. 
I  enjoy local cuisine and stay at the new hotels and resorts during my visits to various destinations across Malaysia. 
Join my adventure!!!
info @ ozasiatraveller.com

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