Famously dubbed as “The Historic State”, stationed in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula and only an hour or two drive from KL—depending on how fast you drive, of course—Malacca (aka. Melaka) is one of the most culturally rich states here in Malaysia. With unique historical sites from the continuously burgeoning Baba Nyonya and Perakanan heritage, Melaka harbours various exciting places and delicious foods you would be happily obliged to explore!
From tourist attractions like A’Famosa and Jonker Street to 7D technology adventures at Melaka Thousand Tales of Adventure, there is no shortage of things to do in Melaka for adults and kids alike! Here is a complied list of places to visit during a short getaway to this beautiful state.
1. Visit The Stadthuys
The Stadthuys is a famous landmark that is quite hard to miss, as it is a vibrant terracotta-red riverfront building located in the heart of Melaka town square, known as the Red Square. It is also hard to miss as you’ve probably seen this red building in your history textbooks a million times if you’re a local!
Alleged to be the oldest-surviving Dutch building, the Stadthuys was built in 1650 and served as the official residence of the Dutch Governor and officers. This historical building was the centre point of a few governments, including Dutch, Portuguese, British and more for a lengthy period of 300 years up until 1980. Two years later, the Stadthuys became a museum, displaying its classic Dutch colonial architecture as well as housing a wide array of historic artefacts.
2. Sail Along the Melaka River
Taking the River Cruise is one of the compulsory things to do in Melaka. Ticket prices vary as there are student and senior discounts available, but it’s a small price to pay for a relaxing ride with gorgeous scenic views of Melaka’s landmarks and bridges.
There is also a 45-minute journey to opt for, where the cruise covers famous sights like the Red Building, Church of St. Francis Xavier and the colourful murals at Kampung Hulu Mosque. Don’t worry if you miss out during the daytime as the cruise will be available until 11.30pm and you can admire the iridescence of the city at night.
3. Have Dinner by the Riverside at The Street Kitchen
After taking a refreshing boat tour on the Melaka river, nurse your hunger at The Street Kitchen, a quaint little hipster-sque cafe by the riverside. This eatery is relatively new and is situated in an ideal spot near many other tourist attractions. The Street Kitchen maximises recycled material for their decor, making it a unique hangout scene where you can take plenty of pictures perfectly tailored to your hipster aesthetics.
They serve a fusion of asian and western foods, ranging from Thai Style Pasta to Asam Pedas Ikan to scrumptious desserts. Not only will the food satiate your appetite, you can also enjoy your meal rest assured that your pockets don’t feel too light as the prices are affordable.
4. Have Fun at Melaka Thousand Tales of Adventure
Looking for a little fun outside of heritage sites and filling your stomachs? Melaka Thousand Tales of Adventure is a simulated indoor escape challenge that combines the latest 7D technology. Embark on an adventure with your friends and family in these themed escape challenges and solve puzzles to complete your missions.
Only a 10-minute drive from A’Famosa, Melaka Thousand Tales of Adventure is also mere steps away from the famous thousand layer cake store so you can grab a snack after all that action.
5. Indulge in Chicken Rice Balls
Most people go to Melaka to feast on their delicious chicken rice balls, which is kind of a staple in the city. These soft rice balls paired with a plate of steamed chicken and chilli sauce will be hard to resist, keeping you coming back for seconds.
A few famous places to go for their chicken rice balls would be Hoe Kee Chicken Rice and Chop Chung Wah, both situated around Jonker Street. There is usually a long line of hungry customers waiting to be served outside of Chop Chung Wah, but the wait is definitely worth it!
6. Visit A’Famosa Fort
Built in 1511, A’Famosa is one of the oldest remains of Portuguese architecture constructed by Alfonso de Albuquerque. It is one of Melaka’s greatest attractions located just downhill from St. Paul’s Church.
Despite its decay, this whitewashed fort remains a graceful site for mandatory tourist pictures during a Melaka visit.
7. Visit the Upside Down House Melaka
The Upside Down House Melaka is a relatively new exhibition space in Malacca City, where visitors can take wacky pictures in the inverted modern Malaysian houses.
This gallery comes with all the spaces of a normal home—a living room, kitchen, master bedroom, bathroom and playroom—except the furniture is tightly screwed to the ceiling.
8. Watch a Performance at Encore Melaka
If you are into the theatre scene, Encore Melaka is the perfect place to go for a show. Learn more about the locals and their culture as they put together a captivating performance about the life stories of their ancestors. Their story reflects a society in which diversity and inclusiveness are readily embraced.
The theatre is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will be up and running in no time. So be sure to put this on your list of things to do when you come to Melaka!
9. Visit the Shore Toy Museum
Summon your inner child as you step foot in The Shore Toy Museum, home to all kinds of toys ranging from Star Wars to your favourite Marvel Superheroes. Relive childhood memories and rejoice in bittersweet nostalgia in this fascinating toy museum located at The Shore Shopping gallery.
10. Stay at Dicky’s Leisure Farm
Dicky’s Leisure Farm is the perfect place for longer stay in Melaka, as opposed to typical day trips. Located 20km from the city of Melaka, immerse in nature at this cosy lodge equipped with wooden design resembling original Kampung houses.
The chalets are set on a beautiful 4.5 acre orchard where mixed local fruit, herbs and vegetables are organically grown. There are also various species of birds residing along the farm, completing the tech-free experience.
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