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things to do in Melaka

Melaka (Malacca) Malaysia – 31 Things To Do Guide + Photos 2024

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Rich in colonial history and home to some of the best street food in Malaysia, Melaka should be on your Malaysia must-do list.

A UNESCO World Heritage city with incredible coastal views and Portuguese stylings, there are plenty of things to see and do in Melaka / Malacca.

An easy trip from Kuala Lumpur, there are many tours available to Melaka / Malacca from the Malaysian capital but we’d implore you to stay a few nights, enjoy the city and cool down in Melaka’s best cafes.

From the iconic Red Square and Stadthuys to the random golden body-building statue (do read on!), there are so many things to see and do in Melaka (but try not to get run over by the famous cartoon cyclos!)

Here is our guide to the best things to do in Melaka / Malacca in 2024:

You might like – 60 Things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia >

Table of Contents

How to get to Melaka

How to get to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur

You can visit Melaka as part of a day trip from Kuala Lumpur, or independently by taking a bus and staying a few nights in a hotel/hostel.

If you are short on time, a Melaka day trip from Kuala Lumpur will be the best option, but if you have longer, we’d recommend spending a few days in Melaka as there are many activities and attractions plus so much good food.

Day trips to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur

From Kuala Lumpur: Private Full Day Tour to Malacca >

From Kuala Lumpur – City Explorer: The ‘non-touristy’ Malacca Private Day Trip >

From Kuala Lumpur – Historical Melaka Tour with Lunch from Kuala Lumpur >

Taking a Bus From Kuala Kumpur to Melaka

The bus journey time from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka is around 2 hours from KL Terminal Bersepadu Selatan bus station (this Kuala Lumpur to Melaka bus station is located a bit out of the city so take a Grab taxi there).

The Melaka bus fare from Kuala Lumpur usually costs between RM10 and RM20. The bus arrives at Melaka Sentral station which is 3 miles north of the city (so again you will need to take a GRAB / taxi to your accommodation for about RM15 to 20).

Read our detailed guide (with step by step photos) of how to get the bus from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka here >

Kuala Lumpur to Melaka bus

You can also reach Melaka by bus from Singapore (it is a good stopping off point if you are travelling from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur or vice versa).

Buses also go to and from other Malaysian cities such as Genting Highlands, Ipoh, Penang, Kota Bahru, Johor Bahru, as well as Hatyai in Thailand.

Use 12Go Asia to find the best fares for your trip to Melaka:

Powered by 12Go Asia system

Tip: There is a direct bus service that goes from Melaka to KLIA or KLIA2 airport in Kuala Lumpur if your next port of call is a flight to Penang, Langkawi or somewhere international.

You can also book a private car charter from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka for either 1, 2 or 3 days. Check out the package options on Klook >

Planning a trip to the Cameron Highlands after? Treat yourself to a chauffeur driver car from Melaka to Cameron Highlands >

You might like – How to get from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the City with bus, train and Grab taxi fares >

Getting around Melaka

Melaka is fairly compact so getting around by foot is no problem (70% of the major Melaka things to do and attractions are within 1km radius).

Alternatively, or you could pay to take a sightseeing ride around Melaka old town in one of the famous cartoon character trishaws (rickshaws) – more on this later.

Some Melaka hotels offer bicycle rental for their guests, and there are a few places in town where you can hire bikes.

To get to and from the Melaka bus station to your accommodation, and also to visit places a bit further out of town such as the floating mosque and the Melaka Skydeck you will most likely be needing a taxi.

We recommened you download the Grab taxi app – they are widely used by both tourists and locals in Melaka, and their fares are really cheap!

Things to do in Melaka / Malacca, Malaysia in 2024 map

1. Jonker Street Weekend Night Market

Our number one thing to do in Melaka! The Malacca Jonker Street weekend night market runs every Friday to Sunday from the river to the far end of Jonker Street.

We highly recommend you try to coincide your stay in Melaka during a weekend as it is hands down one of the best night markets we visited in the whole of Asia.

We revisited Jonker Street Night Market in December 2023 and it is still lots of fun plus has cheap, tasty street food in abundance.

Jonker Street Weekend Night Market melaka

We know Penang and Ipoh are increasingly touted as the ultimate food destinations in Malaysia and that might be true, but the sheer character and number of the sublime street food stalls available at Jonker Street Night Market take some beating.

We also really loved the Heeshan Turkish style coffee baked in sand – very strong and a good brew!

Jonker Street Weekend Night Market melaka
Jonker Street Weekend Night Market melaka

The entertainment on offer during the Jonker Street night market is usually also very entertaining. For instance, on our very first visit, we saw dozens of old ladies doing synchronised dancing and cartwheels in unison. So cute and super cool to see (although the last time we went in late 2023, it was mainly the odd singer or musician).

As of 2024, the Jonker Street Night Market opening hours are 6pm until late, Friday to Sunday. Note that the Sunday night market on Jonker Street is on a smaller scale than the market on Friday and Saturday.

Read our Jonker Street night market blog post >

Jonker Street Weekend Night Market melaka

You might like – Malacca Night Tour with River Cruise and Trishaw Ride from Kuala Lumpur >

2. Melaka Red Square / Stadthuys

Probably the first image you see when you do any form of search for Melaka online, this iconic red square (not Russia!) is home to the Stadthuys (the former town hall built by the Dutch in 1650).

Melaka Red Square / Stadthuys

Here at Melaka Red Square, you will also see Christ Church, an 18th century Anglican church that was actually painted red later in 1911 to match the rest of the distinctive square.

These days, it is also the meeting point for Melaka’s cartoon cyclos (see below) plus a ubiquitous ‘I love’ sign. As you’d expect, the sign says I LOVE MELAKA – these seem to have popped up in every major Asian city including Malaysia and Seoul.

A steady stream of gift-shop stalls can also be found in Melaka’s Red Square, in the shadow of the Melaka History and Ethnography Museum.

Melaka Red Square / Stadthuys I heart Melaka sign
Melaka Red Square / Stadthuys windmill and cow

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3. Melaka River Cruise

A Melaka River Cruise is a great and relaxing way to see many beautiful historical buildings and interesting sights in the old town. The round trip with commentary takes 45 minutes and the boat trips run daily from 9am to 11pm.

Melaka River Cruise

The Melaka River Cruise ticketing counter is located next to the tourist information centre opposite the Red Square buildings.

Prices for foreigners are 30 RM per overseas adult (12 years over) and 25 RM per foreign child (2 to 12 years), or 25 MYR per Malaysian adult. Melaka River Cruise prices are correct as of March 2024.

You might like – 40 epic things to do in Ipoh, Malaysia >

4. Take a ride in a colourful and kitsch Melaka trishaw (rickshaw)

We’ve all seen cyclos around Asia, but here in Melaka, they really make a special effort in terms of how they dress and design their cycling contraptions.

There are hundreds of trishaws / rickshaws cycling around downtown Melaka city, all with movie or cartoon character themes; Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Pokemon, Squid Game and Marvel characters. Spiderman, seemed to be the most popular.

Melaka trishaw (rickshaw) Doraemon

You also don’t need to worry about getting run over by the cartoon trishaws / rickshaws in Melaka, as they all have incredibly loud stereo speaker systems blaring out cartoon tunes plus have bright flashing lights and glitterballs at night (kinda like a mobile disco really).

Head to the Stadthuys area in the evening to see them in action (or by the Jonker Street Night Market riverside entrance at the weekends).

Melaka trishaw (rickshaw) pokemon

One of our favourite activities and things to do in Melaka was to sit in the bars overlooking the main streets and watch the cartoon cyclos whizz past, watching tourists giggle with their selfie sticks.

A note – the cost of cartoon rickshaws / trishaws in Melaka can vary but generally shouldn’t cost more than 25 MYR to 35 MYR. If a price isn’t displayed, make sure you agree the fare in advance.

It should be noted that many tourists have been ‘ripped off’/ scammed by Melaka drivers and the local Government office is very keen to overhaul and better licence the trishaws – so be alert!

If you like cute cartoon themed things, check out these cute themed 7-Elevens in Taiwan including Snoopy and Hello Kitty >

Try this – Malacca Night Tour with River Cruise and Trishaw Ride from Kuala Lumpur >

5. Visit the Church of St.Paul in Malacca

High on a hill overlooking Melaka, the Church of St Paul was originally built in 1521 and is supposed to be the oldest church in Malaysia and the whole of South East Asia.

Church of St.Paul in Malacca

Now partially ruined after being used as a military store by the British in the 19th century, the Malacca Church of St Paul sacred site offers fantastic 360 degree views overlooking Melaka (the stray cats also seem to love it there!)

One of the most visited attractions in Melaka, we preferred to visit later in the evening, to coincide with the sunset and the departure of all the Melaka cruise-ship masses (much quieter to visit in the evening).

Melaka’s Church of St. Paul is free to visit, accessible only by steps.

Church of St.Paul in Malacca

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6. Melaka’s Street Art Scene

Although not on par with say Georgetown for its street art, it is fun to stumble across Melaka murals in the most unusual of places.

Melaka Street Art

The best way to explore the Melaka street art is to simply explore the streets with no fixed plan. Although if this isn’t to your liking, concentrate your search along the river and surrounding side-streets for the highest volume of street art.

Travelling around Malaysia?
Check out our blog posts for Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Ipoh and the Cameron Highlands!

7. Melaka local snacks and dishes

There are many reasons to visit Malaysia, and sampling delicious Malaysian food is one of them. Melaka has some amazing local dishes known as Nyonya cuisine (a unique blend of Chinese, Malay and other Southeast Asian cultures).

Below are some of the local foods we ate during our short stay. Look out for them at the Malacca night markets or at any of the traditional Nyonya restaurants.

Chicken Rice Ball
This is a dish of Chinese origin and not really found anywhere in Malaysia except Melaka. Rice is boiled in a chicken soup, and once cooked is rolled into balls, then served with steamed or roasted chicken and a homemade sauce (a mix of red chillies, garlic, ginger and lime).

There are several restaurants in the old town serving Chicken Rice Balls but the best place to try this dish is at Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball.

Top things to do in Melaka / Malacca Malaysia | blog post | chicken rice balls
Chicken and rice balls

Nyonya Laksa
This spicy dish is a rich and creamy coconut-based noodle soup with broth made from chicken and prawns. It is usually topped with sliced cucumber, a boiled egg, sambal, fish balls and fish cake slices. We tried a tasty version of Nyonya Laksa at Poh Piah Lwee restaurant.

Nyonya Laksa Melaka Malaysia

Pineapple Tart
This is a very delicious bitesize snack, made from flaky and buttery pastry and filled with a zingy pineapple jam.

You will find shops all over town selling these, and locals love to buy boxes of them as gifts for family and friends during the festive seasons, especially Chinese New Year.

Pineapple tart Melaka Malaysia
Left; Nyonya Laksa; Right: pineapple tart

YOU MIGHT LIKE: What to eat in Penang – the best foods in Penang guide >

8. Sip a delicious coconut shake

We’re (coco)nuts about this Melaka thing to do!

The coconut shakes were one of our favourite drinks during our Asia travels and are a refreshing concoction of coconut water and flesh, ice cubes and vanilla ice cream blended together.

coconut shake Jonker street night market melaka

In Melaka, there are a few stalls around town selling them but the best ones we tasted were from the stalls at the very start of the Jonker Street Night Market (the sellers were also very entertaining – juggling coconuts to entertain the crowds).

One cup costs around 4 RM in 2024 (equivalent £0.70 / $0.85 USD) and you will definitely want more than one!

coconut shake Jonker street night market melaka

9. Head to the Melaka Straits floating mosque

We’ve all seen floating markets before but how about a floating mosque? A little out of town (so getting a GRAB taxi is essential), a trip to the Malacca Straits ‘floating mosque’ is a rejuvenating experience.

While the main Melaka Straits floating mosque dome is Islamic in design, the four corner turrets are topped with typical Malaysian rooflines. Built on a man-made island in 2006, with glorious ocean views, you are free to visit the floating mosque inside (it doesn’t sway or anything!).

Melaka Straits floating mosque
Floating Mosque taken on our DJI Spark drone

We’d say this is easily one of the best free things to do in Melaka; just remember it is a place of worship and to visit in accordance with their rules.

A change of clothing is provided at the entrance to Melaka Straits floating mosque in the outside changing rooms to ensure you totally cover your body. Just be careful not to step on the large prayer carpet / mat inside as you’ll be politely prompted not to by one of the helpful but assertive staff inside.

Melaka Straits floating mosque

10. Visit Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

The oldest functioning temple in Melaka (founded in 1645), Cheng Hoon Teng Temple (also known as the ‘Temple of Green Cloud’), this temple was awarded a UNESCO award in the early 2000s for its outstanding architectural restoration over the years.

It is free to visit and pleasant to wander around, although a little underwhelming compared to other temples we’ve visited in Malaysia, like Kek Lok Si.

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Melaka

You might like – the best temples in Chiang Mai, Thailand >

Viewing Decks in Melaka, Malaysia – view Melaka from above

We love a good observation deck here at CK Travels and there are 3 different spots in the city to view Melaka from above:

11. Melaka Skydeck @ Hatten City (Gale’s) – temporarily closed

2024 update – Melaka Skydeck @ Hatten City is currently closed

The first viewing deck we visited was the Melaka Skydeck @ Hatten City. We weren’t particularly impressed by the set-up and we were the only visitors at the time. In fact, the entrance is in a nearby abandoned mall and it looks like this is another tourist attraction that has never quite taken off (we saw a lot of this across Malaysia).

The viewing deck itself is OK (the views in Melaka are quite ‘flat’) and the entrance fee includes a voucher towards drinks in the Aroma Cafe on level 43 (sadly the views were facing the wrong way, overlooking wasteland). As such, we’d only recommend a visit here if you have lots of time to kill.

Views from the Melaka Skydeck @ Hatten City

12. Taming Sari Revolving Tower

The second viewing deck is the Taming Sari Revolving Tower which has awesome 360 degree views of the city.

Inside the Taming Sari Revolving Tower

The views here are much better than the Melaka Skydeck (currently closed) as it is located in the city centre.

The ride only lasts 7 minutes and costs 23 RM per foreign adult if you book in advance online or 27 RM per adult on the door – Taming Sari Revolving Tower prices are correct as of March 2024.

We would recommend visiting the Taming Sari Revolving Tower for the best aerial views of Melaka and the fact it is much easier to access from most hotels in Melaka compared to the outer city observation decks.

Book your discounted Menara Taming Sari Ticket with Klook >

Views from the Taming Sari Revolving Tower

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13. Shore Sky Tower Melaka

With 43 floors, the Shore Sky Tower is now Melaka’s tallest building, with an observation deck on the top floor offering a bird’s eye view of the city and the sea.

Head up over 160 meters above street level and see panoramic views of Melaka. If you dare, walk across the glass floor skywalk (just don’t look down!)

Prices for the Shore Sky Tower are 25 MYR per person (£4 approx) Monday to Thursday and 35 MYR Friday to Sunday as at March 2024.

Book your discounted Shore Sky Tower ticket via Klook >

There is also an escape room here; the Breakout Escape Room Experience in The Shore Melaka >

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14. Take a stroll along the river to Kampung Morten / Melaka Morten Village

A relaxed stroll along the Melaka River (or tourist boat) brings you to the rustic setting of Kampung Morten village, one of the few remaining traditional villages in the area.

Set amidst various skyscrapers and hotels (e.g the huge Majestic hotel is just next door), Kampung Morten Village is a charming place to explore, as residents wave to you from their impeccable and lush gardens.

The vast majority of households at Kampung Morten Village (mainly descendants of the first Melaka settlers) have now tapped into the tourist market, turning their homes into traditional home-stays – there are also several houses that have small restaurants and cafes located in their front gardens.

If you are walking along the Malacca River boardwalk to Kampung Morten / Melaka Morten Village, look out for the huge monitor lizards on the river banks who can be seen in the daytime sunning themselves – many of the Malacca River Cruise boats also stop to let tourists onboard take snaps of the monitor lizards.

Top things to do in Melaka / Malacca Malaysia | blog post | Kampung Morten

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15. Enjoy some dinner and drinks by Melaka River

Drinks along the Melaka River (once dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’) is a fun way to wind down in the evenings. There are several bars all next to each other along the river, with various competing happy hours.

Melaka River bar

Go early so you can grab an alfresco spot by the Melaka river and watch all the tourist boats glide by, brightly lit by various neon lights and LED strips (sunglasses optional – beer essential).

Melaka River bar

16. Relax at one of Melaka’s hipster cafes

There are several charming cafes in Melaka old town that are great for a quick coffee or smoothie pit stop.

One of the cutest Melaka cafes that we visited (and a pioneer of the Melaka coffee scene) is the The Daily Fix cafe located at the back of a souvenir shop on Jonker Street, which had a very trendy interior and served some really yummy lunches.

Mods Cafe

Check out our guide to the best cafes in Melaka including the vintage stylings of Heesan Kopi, the incredible VW campervan interior of Mods Cafe and the fantastic French Brown with their oh-la-la sweet treats and patisserie section.

French Brown

You might like – Guide to Ipoh’s colourful Concubine Lane in Malaysia >

17. Gravy Baby Melaka

As the huge sign says outside, Melaka’s Gravy Baby is famous for its cocktails and pies – now that is our kind of big night out in Melaka.

Gravy Baby Melaka

Gravy Baby has several locations in Malaysia (including Gravy Baby in KL’s Changkat Bukit Bintang)  but this set-up beats them all as some of its tables look out over the Malacca River. Gravy Baby often has live music and live sports on TV with a happy hour most nights.

Gravy Baby bar serves pub grub style food like pizzas, chicken and nachos (including vegetarian versions).

It is also one of the bars with the longest opening hours, starting at 8am daily for brunch and closing at 1am Friday to Sundays (midnight the rest of the week).

You might like – Guide to Kuala Lumpur at Christmas >

18. Mamee Jonker House

The home of oodles of Mamee Noodles in Malaka, the Mamee Jonker House is part fun-house, part cookery school where you can try your hand at making noodle dishes in the ‘Lil Monster Kitchen, or even create your own noodle cup design (we think they’ve ‘borrowed’ the idea from the Cup Noodles Museum in Japan).

Mamee Jonker House

Mamee Noodles are a famous Malaysian instant noodle brand which features the famous blue Mamee monster on its packs. The gift shop at Mamee Jonker House is super cute with noodles, magnets, tote bags, stickers and more and more all featuring the Mamee Monster.

Entry to the Mamee Jonker House is free but fees for the workshops and classes apply – there is also a nice cafe and coffee shop inside with a courtyard setting that sells several instant noodle dishes.

Mamee Jonker House
Mamee Jonker House

19. Get cultural at Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum

This is in fact a recreation of Sultan Mansur Shah’s 15th-century palace, built in 1985 using traditional construction techniques and materials.

The painstaking palace recreation contains over 1,300 artefacts, prints and photographs detailing the Malacca Malay Sultanate’s history (plus lots of rather creepy looking mannequin dummies, which we found rather off-putting!).

Also make sure you check out the Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum gardens before you leave as these were equally as impressive.

20. Eat like a local at Jonker Street Hawker Centre / Jonker Street Kopitiam

A few minutes walk from the main lodgings in Melaka, we’d recommend you visit Jonker Street Hawker Centre during the week when the Jonker Street night market isn’t on, to get your fill of cheap street food.

There are around 10 to 15 street hawker / food stalls located at Jonker Street Hawker Centre, across two ground floor rooms, with lots of outdoor seating.

Top things to do in Melaka / Malacca Malaysia | blog post | Jonker Street Hawker Centre

Wander round the stalls, choose and order your food from the respective stalls (make sure you have a table number) and then pay them when they bring it over.

The food here was inexpensive and delicious – there was lots of choice but we eventually opted for some yummy char kway teow and some seafood noodles.

Jonker Street Hawker Centre is open daily until midnight. Note when we last visited, Jonker Street Hawker Centre was closed on Thursdays but Google says different so check ahead!

You might like Traditional Nyonya Dessert Cooking Class in Melaka >

21. Visit the Melaka Bodybuilding Statues – Datuk Wira Dr. Gan Boon Leong

Malaysia’s most successful bodybuilder and Melaka’s answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger, there are four enormous statues dedicated to Datuk Wira Dr. Gan Boon Leong (who sadly died in 2022 at the ripe old age of 84).

Top things to do in Melaka / Malacca Malaysia | blog post | Melaka Bodybuilding Statues - Datuk Wira Dr. Gan Boon Leong

Born in 1937 and known as the ‘Father of Bodybuilding in Malaysia’, Datuk Wira Dr. Gan Boon Leong got involved in local politics and owned a gym in later life. The several statues of him dotted around Melaka were erected in his honour and have now become a curious tourist attraction and lasting tribute.

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22. The Cat Palace (Melaka Cat Cafe)

A little way out of the Old Town, Melaka’s cutest cat cafe – The Cat Palace is well worth a visit. We’ve been to a few cat cafes in our time and this is the best of the bunch.

The cats are well looked after, appear happy and well fed, plus all the cats have been rescued from the streets. There are even several blind cats that they care for too.

The Cat Palace cat cafe in Melaka is very cheap compared to most other cat cafes – you can have unlimited time with the cats and a hot drink for only 25 MYR per person.

Alternatively, you can enjoy 30 minutes with the cats for just 8 MYR but you must buy a hot drink – for instance, we had an Americano and a latte plus 30 minutes with the cats for 32 MYR (just over £5 / 6 Euros / $6.80 USD).

Cat treats are available for around 4 MYR and we liked that the owners were always on hand to ensure the cats were being looked after and not scared by visitors.

The staff at Melaka’s Cat Palace were so friendly and most importantly, the cats seemed very chill and at ease with the attention.

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23. Ming Sate Hut (Satay)

A personal foodie recommendation in Melaka – we discovered Ming Sate Hut (Satay) in Melaka hidden in the side-streets near to Moty Hotel Melaka, where we stayed on our most recent visit.

This sublime satay restaurant was simple in its set-up, but the flavours were incredible and the staff so lovely – they even remembered our order by heart after our first visit.

Ming Sate Hut (Satay) Melaka

Ming Sate Hut serves pork satay and chicken satay which we loved and came back for a couple of times (plus they also serve liver, gizzard, intestine versions which we didn’t try.)

Their satay is sensational as they put a secret dollop of pineapple in it giving it a slightly sweet tang plus the satay is smoked out the back – prices were really cheap (for Melaka) as it is away from the usual tourist routes. Highly recommended.

You might like – Guide to Kuala Lumpur’s KLCC district >

24. Jaya Mata Knife Museum

Of the newest attractions in Melaka opening in October 2022, the Jaya Mata Knife Museum is easy to spot – it has the biggest knife in Malaysia out front acting as a ‘sharp’ signpost (it is even bigger than the knife in Crocodile Dundee!).

Jaya Mata Knife Museum Melaka

The museum traces back the history of knife making both in Malaysia and world wide across five themed zones (a small admission fee applies) plus has a free shop you can visit and also a cookery workshop.

Whilst this Melaka knife museum isn’t exactly ‘cutting edge’ (like all good knives should be…sorry not sorry), the entrance fee is very small and some of the kitchen knife sets look spectacular.

Book your Jaya Mata Knife Museum in Melaka entry ticket with Klook >

Jaya Mata Knife Museum Melaka

25. Xiang Lin Si Temple

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is perhaps the best known and most visited temple in Melaka’s Old Town – however, be sure to also visit the Xiang Lin Si Chinese Temple next door.

Xiang Lin Si Temple Melaka

Often overlooked by the Melaka tourist hordes, this is a much tranquil Buddhist temple which was built in the 1980s (on the site of a former wooden villa owned by a monk that was constructed in the 1950s)

When we visited Xiang Lin Si Temple, other than three locals playing cards downstairs, we seemed to be the only visitors.

Head on up to the second floor and take a step out onto the outdoor balcony for aerial views of Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and watch all the trishaws whizz by outside.

Xiang Lin Si Temple Melaka

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26. Makan Avenue Food Hall

One of Melaka’s most popular food courts with around 20 or so food stalls selling everything from ‘Teacher’s’ Char Kuey Teow to ‘Tacosta’ Mexican, Makan Avenue Food Hall is a little way out of Melaka’s Old Town, around a 10 minute along the Melacca River walkway.

Makan Avenue Food Hall Melaka
Makan Avenue Food Hall Melaka

Not only is this a pleasant walk, but the Makan Avenue Food Hall also has a large seating space and riverside terrace – here you’ll find the famous Cendol Kampung Hulu shaved ice stall which is well liked by local families.

Makan Avenue Food Hall is open daily from noon until 11:30pm – conveniently located across the road from Makan Avenue, you can get spooked at one of Melaka’s newest activities – the Melaka Ghost Museum.

CK Travels tip – we loved coconut shakes in Melaka – they are very cheap and so cooling. We thought the Coconut Shake Kampung Hulu kiosk just across from Makan Food Avenue (next to 906 Riverside Hotel) was one of the best coconut shakes in Malacca.

Coconut Shake Kampung Hulu Melaka

Try this – Cendol Kampung Hulu voucher >

27. Go on a free walking tour of Melaka (currently suspended in 2024)

2024 update – the free walking tours were suspended when we last visited Melaka in late 2023 but please visit the Melaka Tourist Information Office downtown to make sure.

We didn’t have time to do this but there is a free 2 and a half hour walking tour which starts at 9.30am every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday* from the tourist information office near Dutch Square.

Aim to arrive at 9.15am to sign up for it and guarantee a place. *Times and days are correct as of January 2019.

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28. Abandoned Melaka

Fans of URBEX and random abandoned buildings may also found several things to enjoy in Melaka, Malaysia including:

Abandoned Melaka Monorail

Look up whilst walking along the Melaka River and you’ll see the remains of a now mothballed monorail system that really never took off after its launch.

Several mechanical problems coupled with a comparatively expensive fare (too much for locals) meant this looks like a huge white elephant.

There is often talk of relaunching the Melaka monorail (money seems to be an issue – or the lack of it), but nothing has happened since and the Monorail was still closed and boarded up as of late 2023.

Abandoned theme parks and ‘ghost’ shopping centres

We also noticed several abandoned small-scale theme parks whilst in Melaka including a pirate inspired park next to the river, plus several shopping centres that seemed to be nigh on vacant. This seems to be a thing in Malaysia, as also experienced at the Sky Deck at Hatten City.

You might likeLagenda Langkawi, an abandoned theme park in Malaysia >

29. The People’s Museum / Muzium Rakyat

We first heard about the People’s Museum from an article on the Atlas Obscura website. In essence, it is a museum that charts the people’s history of Melaka as seen through their eyes (located in the Kite Museum).

All in all, we found the People’s Museum a bit of an oddity, with dated exhibitions on subjects like kite-flying that rarely seem to get changed. Cheap as chips though as it less than $1 entry so maybe treat this an alternative rainy day activity?

You might like – Guide to Jalan Alor Night Market in Kuala Lumpur >

30. Melaka Theme Parks and Water Parks

Melaka is a very family friendly destination and fun for kids of all ages. There are many theme parks to enjoy in Melaka including:

Our final thing to do in Melaka, Malaysia

31. Other Traditional cultural Activities in Melaka

From dessert making classes to Malaysian pewter making workshops, there are several ways you can create your very own unique souvenir to bring home:

Traditional Nyonya Dessert Cooking Class in Melaka

Pewter Keris Workshop in Melaka

Bear Brick Workshop in Melaka

Tufting Workshop in Melaka

Where to stay in Melaka

We stayed at Hotel Puri – the location was amazing and just a few minutes walk to Jonker street weekend market, the river and many restaurants. The rooms were a little tired looking but there was a fairly decent free breakfast every morning.

Hotel Puri foyer

Here are some other suggestions for accommodation to suit all budgets:


Here are some cheap hostels that come highly rated on Hostelworld:

Ringo’s Foyer Guest House
Budget accommodation ranging from family and double rooms to single and dorm rooms, with rooftop and cycling tours. Check out prices and availability for Ringo’s Foyer Guest House

Mid range

If you are looking for something mid range then these hotels have great reviews:r

Rosa Malacca
Modern hotel featuring contemporary-industrial decor. Check out prices and availability for Rosa Malacca 

Timez Modern Heritage Hotel
Boutique hotel located in a side alley just off Jonker street. Check out prices and availability for Timez Modern Heritage Hotel

RC Hotel Melaka
Boutique hotel located just beside the Malacca River with rooms featuring different unique themes. Check out prices and availability for RC Hotel Melaka

Treat yourself

Alternatively if you are looking for something more special then treat yourself to a stay at one of these seriously beautiful hotels in Melaka:

The Majestic Malacca 
Boutique hotel set along the banks of Melaka River featuring elegantly decorated guest rooms and spa and outdoor pool. Check out prices and availability for The Majestic Malacca 

Casa Del Rio 
Riverside hotel featuring an infinity pool, fitness centre, spa, 3 restaurants and rooms with a private balcony. Check out prices and availability for Casa Del Rio 

Sim cards and pocket WIFI

Having data on your phone whilst travelling is almost essential these days – from planning your route around the city, booking a Grab taxi or for staying connected with friends and family back home.

SIM cards are pretty cheap in Malaysia with generous data allowances and are available to purchase from airports, malls and convenience stores (bring your passport along for identification purposes).

You can also prepay online and collect a SIM from KLIA2 airportJust remember to make sure your phone is not locked to your local network provider before purchasing one.

Alternatively if you do not want to change your sim card then renting a pocket WIFI device might be for you. We’ve used them multiple times and love that we can both connect our devices to it, however the downside to the Malaysian ones is that there is a data allowance of 1GB per day.

Pre-order one online with Klook for collection when you arrive at either KLIA or KLIA2 airport in Kuala Lumpur. 

Other Malaysia blog posts you might like

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Things to do in Melaka / Malacca, Malaysia

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