The state of Malacca is recognized for its rich culture and traditions. You will come across many heritage villages and colonial monuments built by the Portuguese, Dutch and British centuries ago. The mix of cultures can provide a distinctive experience that you won’t find elsewhere. You can take part in activities like taking a boat ride along the river and tour a plethora of UNESCO-listed sites. Here’s a list of 10 things to do on your visit to Malacca:
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10 Best Things to Do in Malacca (Malaysia)
1. Appreciate the Dutch architecture of Stadthuys
Established in 1650, Stadthuys is one of Malacca’s earliest Dutch colonial buildings. This historic landmark resembles the Stadhuis in Hoorn, Netherlands. On the exterior, this building is embossed in crimson paint and can be recognized from great distances.
Back in colonial times, this building used to be the town hall where the governor of Malacca lived. At present, it has been restored to a History & Ethnography Museum.
2. Gawk at the beauty of the Sultanate Palace
The famous emperor of Malacca, Sultan Mansur Shah, lived in a wooden palace during his reign between 1456 and 1477. At present, you will be able to explore a replica of this well-known wooden palace in Malacca, called the Sultanate Palace.
This magnificent palace houses a museum with a beautiful garden next to it. Much like the original palace, no nails were used in the construction of this museum. The structure can stand in one piece because of innovative engineering implemented by its designers complemented by the use of several wooden grooves and slots.
3. Check out Villa Sentosa and its surrounding village
Only a short distance from Malacca lies the vibrant village known as Kampung Morten. Some consider the entire village to be a living museum, because of its rich history and cultural significance. As you traverse the village, you will eventually stumble upon the well-recognized Villa Sentosa which was originally built in the 1920s.
The museum showcases a variety of historical objects and relics from the Ming Dynasty. Besides that, you will also notice several aged family photos and a century-old copy of the Holy Quran.
4. Learn the history behind St. Paul’s Church
The spectacular St. Paul’s church was originally built in 1521 by Portuguese settlers, and it is one of the region’s most popular churches. Before 1567, this church had been a fortress but was converted to a church after the Dutch successfully occupied Malacca.
Next to this church lies a graveyard where several Dutch immigrants were buried. Because of the church’s position on top of a hill, you will be able to observe the entire city from above.
5. Visit the dilapidated A’Famosa Fortress
The fortress called A’Famosa is one of the last remaining remnants of the Portuguese colonists after being conquered by Dutch invaders. Roughly 500 years old, this fortress was once occupied by Alfonso Albuquerque and featured several houses, a watchtower with multiple levels, and five separate churches.
At present, only Porta De Santiago gate remains, while all other structures have been heavily damaged from the invasion.
6. Cruise the beautiful Malacca River
The Malacca River flowing through the city was once a popular trade route during the 15th Century. As you take a boat cruise along this majestic river, you will come across plenty of colonial landmarks on both sides of the river, including the Malacca Sultanate, religious buildings, and so on.
Other than that, you will also spot many bars and restaurants positioned alongside the riverfront. You can take this amazing ride at all times of the day, and you have to reach either Muara Jetty or Taman Rempah Jetty to start the 45-minute long journey.
7. Dig into the street food and local cuisine of Malacca
Some consider Malacca to be the food capital of the country, because of its enormous selection of tantalizing street food. As you stroll past the food court, don’t forget to try the mouth-watering local delicacy called Cendol.
You can also try the Indian, Chinese and Malay cuisines served at the different restaurants throughout the state at affordable prices. You can even try fusion restaurants if you want a blend of Chinese and Malay food.
8. Traverse the outstanding Malacca Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary
Spanning roughly 11 hectares, the Malacca Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary is home to a variety of species such as butterflies, insects, reptiles, and much more. In the outskirts of Ayer Keroh City, this wonderful sanctuary features a dense jungle and several controlled habitats for sheltering these species.
This is the best place to become one with nature and take amazing snapshots of exceptional flora and fauna.
9. Get a beautiful view of the surroundings at Shore Sky Tower Malacca
There is no better place of getting a view of the entire city than the observation deck of the Shore Sky Tower. The viewing platform is on level 43 of the massive skyscraper and this is an ideal place to take Instagram friendly pictures of the city.
If you visit this place on a day with a clear sky, you can easily glimpse the Straits of Malacca and several cargo ships on the distant waters. Thrill-seekers will even be allowed to walk on the glass bottom ledge to see what’s beneath you!
10. Explore the liberal Temple Street
Jalan Tokong Besi is perhaps one of the most tolerant places you will find in all of Malaysia. Although this place had been given many names in the past, it is commonly referred to as the Temple Street of Malacca due to being home to many religious buildings of different faiths. In this district, you will find the earliest Buddhist temple called Cheng Hoon Teng and the Kampung Keling Mosque. Finally, you will also find the much-revered Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Hindu Temple which dates back to the 18th century.
In short, Malacca has plenty of exciting places for locals and tourists to visit. This place is praised for its blend of cultures and lifestyle. You will discover landmarks defining different centuries throughout the region’s past. If you’re interested in the region’s history, you should consider coming here on your next vacation.