History, tradition and culture are always on the mind when you venture to a beautiful city like Malacca, Malaysia.
How could it possibly be avoided? It can’t.
Malacca City brings out the best of the old stuff and throws in a dose of the new for good measure, and any tourist who visits will not leave disappointed.
When you venture to the city during your hectic Malaysian tour for a couple of days, a thought-out Malacca Itinerary is required to assure you see all the best places.
Therefore, grab a pen and paper, jot down these fantastic things to do in Malacca and have your itinerary updated for your visit to the old town.
A two-day Malacca Itinerary: A Walk through the Old and New – Malaysia
Malacca or Melaka
Malacca or Melaka, it is the spelling which even confuses me, even after having a Malacca City tour.
I know it’s the same place and even when wandering the streets, the Melaka name will appear more often, which is the locals spelling of the name.
Although for foreigners, Malacca is more common in spelling and I know it’s what I have always used, even if I am wrong.
Therefore, I’ll stick with Malacca spelling in this article, even though the Melaka spelling appears also.
Getting Around Malacca
The most famous Malacca Sightseeing Attractions are within a stone throw of each other, so getting around by foot is a convenient path to take. Especially for those gorgeous river walks.
The trishaw is set up at the most popular tourist attractions with many located at the famous Stadthuys. For a small fee, the driver will take you on a short Malacca tour and make the day even more straightforward for you without breaking a sweat.
A River Cruise is a great way to sit back and take in the best sights along the Malacca River and it can drop you off at various Jetty stops along the way.
Another way to embrace your Malacca day trip is to hire a bicycle and pedal to several Malacca sights, alternatively, hire a GRAB driver or taxi for places further away.
Malacca Itinerary – Day one – Visiting the best Malacca Tourist Spots
Day one of your Malacca Itinerary will give you the most fulfilment of your Melaka trip.
Excitement will be the overwhelming outcome once you wander into the heart of the city, and spend the day taking in the fun places in Malacca.
Therefore, let’s begin your hectic Malacca day tour, which will keep you busy deep into the night, while visiting the traditional and modern attractions.
A Walk-through old Melaka
Any trip to Malacca will include a walk-through Old Melaka, visiting heritage buildings made long ago and discovering the rich history of the city by visiting various museums.
Throughout this Malacca one day trip, you’ll see a few famous Malacca attractions from the Stadthuys, AFamosa and the Maritime Museum.
So, let’s start of day one precisely the same way I did, by doing a gorgeous river walk that leads to the best places to visit in Malacca.
This famous tourist attraction is visited by all who travel to Malacca and has been an iconic landmark in the city since 1650.
Established by the Dutch, The Stadthuys is recognised as the oldest Dutch-designed building in the Southern Hemisphere.
The vibrant colonial building stands out in its terracotta red colours and was once known as the residence of a Dutch officer, and the successive governments of the Portuguese and the British.
It’s at the front of the Stadthuys where the tourist gathers and enjoy the buoyant atmosphere, take photos in front of the I love Malacca sign.
There is also a row of tricycle, market stalls with local souvenirs and the boutique Christ Church Melaka nestled next to the star attraction in the same Terracotta colours.
Ruins of St. Paul’s Church
From the Stadthuys, you continue the Malacca tour for a short walk and ascend the stairs to the old wreckage of the Ruins of St Paul’s Church.
St Paul’s Church is a historic building which was built in 1521, making it the oldest church in Malaysia, and also, Southeast Asia.
It’s quite lovely to walk through the hollow hall of the church and view the architecture of a heritage church and the ruins that lay before you today.
The church that was partly dismantled when invaded by the Dutch in the year 1641 is part of the Malacca Museum Tour and situated on the summit of St Paul.
From the ruins, it’s time to head to another heritage building as your Malacca itinerary really steps up, but not before you descend the steps and walk through a marketplace that leads the A Famosa.
A Famosa, means “The Famous” in Portuguese, is a former fortress and is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains in the Far East.
It’s one of the hottest Malacca tourist spots in the city, and everyday people are gathering in numbers for a photo opportunity, before leaving by trishaw or foot to the next stunning Malacca attraction.
Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum
The Sultanate Palace Museum Melaka is a wooden replica of the 15th-century Palace which belonged to the Sultan Mansur Shah, with the modern-day building completed in 1985.
From the moment you pay your RM2 entrance fee to the ancient Malay Kingdom, you’re fixed on the fascinating architectural structure and the stunning gardens surrounding the building.
Inside the three-storey Museum, the main focus is to showcase the knowledge of the Malays side of Malacca’s history, which dates back to many centuries.
The Palace also displays the traditional costumes, historical replicas of past times, the weaponry used in the day, ancient drawings and musical instruments.
From the moment you see the stunning replica of the 34-metre-high and 8-metre-wide ship stationed next to the harbour. You’ll be hooked to pay the entrance fee and see the marvellous relics inside the Maritime Museum.
The Museum’s primary focus recognises the long history of Malacca city as an international trade route, and you’ve left in awe the model ships on display.
Inside, are beautiful paintings portraying the role of Straits of Malacca for early traders, the maritime history, and the golden age of the Sultanate when known as the Emporium of the East.
Dhataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall
Throughout the day wandering the city, you’ll want to escape the heat and visit a shopping mall for relaxation and retail therapy.
The Dhataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall is ideally located from the Sultanate Palace Museum and is the ideal midway point to browse retail outlets, dine in fantastic restaurants, and enjoy the entertainment on offer in the mall.
Menara Taming Sari Tower
It’s the home to the best views in Malacca.
The Menari Traming Sari Tower is 360-degree revolving ride which raises to 80-metres in height and allows you to capture a birds-eye view of a remarkable city.
The Tower is opened every day of the week from 10 am to 11 pm, with extended opening hours on weekends.
The entrance fees for international visitors go at 23RM for an adult ticket, and there are other packages and prices available to the public.
It’s at the base of the Menara Taming Sari Tower where the atmosphere shines as you browse through various marketplaces of souvenirs and food stalls which serve the tastiest of local cuisines.
The hustle and bustle of Jonker Street, Chinatown, and the place to go to experience the real Melaka.
The lively atmosphere of Jonker Street from early afternoon to deep into the night is electric as the crowds gather to this hotspot.
The famous street, desired for shopping in retail outlets, delicious fruit flavoured ice-tea, cold beer from a local bar, a local’s favourite of Chicken & rice and enjoy an excellent coffee in a café.
Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple
While browsing the back streets of Malacca, the Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple is an ideal quick stop when desiring to appreciate the articulate design of a beautiful temple.
The Hoon Teng Temple practices the three Doctrinal Systems of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism and many worshippers come daily for prayer and candle lighting.
Tourist are also welcome free of charge to partake in their worship and to take pictures of the incredible relic and structure.
A Gorgeous Malacca River Walk
A riverwalk will frequently happen throughout your Malacca trip, for the experience of a charming stroll by the water is unforgettable.
A walk along the river is the best way to view the elegant heritage buildings, experience riverside restaurants and cherish the remarkable street art seen throughout along the banks of the river.
In the morning, the calm is around as the businesses are shut, the people are away, and the riverbanks are much more peaceful.
Through the evening, when the sun is setting, the river looks at its best in its glowing light, and the tourist takes advantage of their Malacca sightseeing experience.
At night, the lights coming from the buildings and the bridges take over and provides the ideal setting for lovers with the ultimate romantic stroll in the perfect setting.
Riverside dining for the ultimate romance experience
Throughout the early part of the day most of the restaurants are closed but come late into the afternoon, they open for business and for many tourists the evening plan is set in stone.
There is no better place in Malacca to enjoy an excellent meal at dinner time, an ice-cold beer and the watch the boats cruise past while sitting back and enjoy the cool evenings in a cultural city.
Melaka River Cruise
Why walk the river when you can enjoy the best views on a Melaka River Cruise throughout any part of the day or night.
It’s what you can do in Malacca to pass the time away and get off your feet.
With the added audio commentary of each fascinating Malacca attraction down the stretch of the river, sit back, unwind and enjoy the sounds and sights of the river on a laidback cruise.
Malacca Itinerary – Day 2 – The best of the rest
The second day in Malacca is going to be less hectic and away from the crowds as you prepare to leave Malacca for your next destination in Malaysia.
On day two, you’re going to head to a different direction and spend a reasonable amount of time in the Shore Shopping Gallery, including lesser places of Bukit Cina and Villa Sentosa.
Let’s get stuck into it, and if you have kids, their excitement will go up another notch.
The Shore Shopping Gallery
It’s not only a place for shopping; the Shore Shopping Gallery is an action-packed centre to visit with kids with many fun attractions for the whole family.
While the Shopping Gallery has the essential retail outlets, a Starbucks for a coffee hit and various dining options of international cuisines, it’s the fun attractions which will occupy your time for hours on end.
Each attraction does require an entrance fee and the convenient way is to purchase a package pass to three or four different venues at the ticket station on the first level.
You’re sure to have a whole lot of fun!
Oceanarium: The Shore Oceanarium: An Aquarium on the 4th floor of a shopping mall, how cool is that?
I can assure it’s not your everyday aquarium with only the basics.
It’s much more than that which you’ll see because the Oceanarium has many species of the ocean, plenty of fun stuff to do with kids and a cool 3D show the kids will adore.
Whether you’re travelling with kids or not, this is a must-see attraction for any tourists who love the ocean and to learn about marine life.
Kidzania: We all know the famous kids’ attraction of Kidzania, a prominent place where the children can learn about different careers in the workforce.
It’s an environment where your children can learn the craft of being a baker, a mechanic, perhaps working in an office or even a fireman.
They are only a few of the careers to roleplay in Kidzania.
Sky Tower: Go to great heights again and see the very best of Malacca City from the Sky Tower at the very top of the Shore.
Other exciting attractions inside the Shore Shopping Gallery include 3D Park, AV VR, HIPPOPO and the popular Toy Museum.
If you want to spend time in the outdoors of Malacca, visit the fascinating cemetery for the old Chinese Settler at Bukit Cina.
The hillside attraction, which overlooks many parts of the city, is an ancestral burial ground of the Chinese community with over 12000 graves.
Among the graveyards for the Chinese settlers, there are also 20 Muslim tombs inside Bukit Cina, which is seen by walking the pathways inside Bukit Cina.
Located in the Kampung Morten of the city along Malacca River, Villa Sentosa is a traditional house, turned into a living-history museum and depicts the life of an early 1900’s home for the wealthy.
You’ll only spend a short time at Villa Sentosa, but it’s fascinating to wander inside and around the house and check out the furniture, antiques and the layout of a traditional Malaysian house.
That wraps up your two day holiday in Malacca, so why not add this city to your travel plans when desiring to see the very best of an extraordinary Malaysian destination.
If you want to expand your Malacca itinerary for a further day or two, you won’t be disappointed either, because there is so much more to see while you spread your wings beyond the city limits.