Just a 3-hour drive away from Singapore, Malacca (or Melaka) is home to a host of delicious food and numerous heritage sites.
Malacca was previously colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, which explains the mix of cultural influences in its architectural buildings, food and language.
Malacca is also home to the Peranakan, which has led to the Nonya culture which is a mix of Malay and Chinese influences that have resulted in the formation of Nonya cuisine (which is absolutely delicious!)
Take a trip down the scenic city in a quaint river cruise that runs down the city, giving you a chance to admire the cherry red buildings that have been up since the colonial periods.
Malacca is definitely a place to be if you want to be somewhere different from the city, such as Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru.
What to do in Malacca?
Now that you know Malacca’s history and how convenient it is to go there, let’s take a look at the TOP 5 things we can do there!
#1 Snap Insta-Worthy Pictures at Padang Pasir Klebang
If you’ve never heard of this place before, you should definitely check it out. Filled with white powdery sand dunes, snapping a picture here and posting it online would make your friends think you’ve gone to Dubai!
In fact, this beach of white powdery sand can be reached with just a 15-minute car ride from the city centre. It is actually an area of reclaimed land that is located beside the ocean.
If you are on the lookout for adventure, you may want to come here in the wee hours of the morning (5am-6am) to catch a glimpse of the stars!
Headed to Genting Highlands? Click here for the Top 5 things to do there!
#2 Go Shopping at Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village
Love Shopping? Well, you’re in for a treat! Here at Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village, shop to your heart’s content with over 70 International Brands in store for you!
Some brands sold here include Cotton On, Espirit and Nike! (psst! some of the items are going at a 70% discount!)
Prepare yourself and stay updated with the latest promotions available by visiting their website here!
Address: Freeport A’Famosa Outlet, Jalan Kemus, Simpang Empat, 78000 Alor Gajah
Opening Hours: 10 AM-10 PM Daily
Telephone: +60 6-552 8961
#3 Eat and Shop along Jonker Walk Night Market
Located at Jalan Hang Jebat, the Jonker Walk Night Market is somewhere you’ve probably heard before at least once in your life. This night market is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and locals alike, as it is home to a variety of goods and food on sale. This is where you may pick up antique items, unique art pieces, souvenirs and most importantly, some delicious food!
Jonker Street is open during the day too, whereas the Night Market is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday Nights. It is just a short walk from the restaurants and bars along the Malacca River.
Get ready your stomachs for delightful delicacies such as Fresh Coconut Ice Cream, Deep Fried Ice Cream (the ice cream isn’t deep-fried, they’re just placed in bread that is deep-fried), Special Jonker Walk Quail Eggs (shaped like Takoyaki Balls) and the all famous Peranakan Popiah.
Address: Jonker Street Night Market, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Fri – Sun | 6 PM – Late
#4 Visit the Multiple Heritage Sites around Malacca
Just driving by the streets of Malacca will not do the heritage sites located here any justice. Here are some of the TOP Heritage Sites that you should visit to make your trip to Malacca all that better!
Christ Church Malacca
This Church was initially built by the Dutch when they colonised Malacca. This building is easily spotted due to its bright cherry red colour and prime location, being located in Church Street, near Malacca’s Chinatown Center.
You may wish to visit this in conjunction with Jonker Street since it is just a bridge away!
Location: Jalan Gereja, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia.
Contact: +6 06-284 8804
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 5:30pm
Admission Fee: Free
Maritime Museum & Naval Museum Malacca
This one is a must-visit. The Museum takes the shape of a HUGE 34 metre high Portuguese Ship, which sank hundreds of years ago near Malacca.
Do visit this museum if you love history, ships and the sea. There is a wide collection of ship models that are on display in the museum and multiple exhibits of seamen’s essentials in the past.
Location: Jalan Merdeka, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia.
Monday to Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Friday to Sunday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Malaysian: RM5 (adults), RM3 (children)
Non-Malaysian: RM10 (adults), RM6 (children)
#5 Try out Uniquely Malacca Food!
What’s Malacca without trying out some of the famous and unique food they have to offer? Here are 4 local eateries and restaurants you should definitely check out to have a taste of Malacca you won’t forget!
Chicken Rice Balls at Hoe Kee Chicken Rice
Don’t be fooled! Those are not Fish/ Sotong Balls, but are in fact very delicious and unique Chicken Rice Balls!
This is a must-try when you visit Malacca. Hoe Kee Chicken Rice puts a twist to the way you eat chicken rice by forming ping-pong shaped rice balls. The rice is cooked with Chicken Stock and pairs really well with the Steamed Hainanese Chicken which is tender with smooth Chicken Skin.
It is widely popular amongst locals and tourists alike, so arrive early if you don’t wish to be disappointed! Prices are reasonable and you can order according to how many people are eating in your group. If in doubt, be sure to ask the helpful staff there!
Address: 468, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Nyonya Chang (Glutinous Rice Dumplings) at East & West Rendezvous
Singaporeans should be familiar with the sight of this triangular Rice Dumpling. Famously known in Singapore as a “Bazhang“, this particular one in Malacca has a Nonya twist to it, originating from the Melaka Peranakan Ethnic.
As you can easily see, there is a distinctive patch of Blue Glutinous Rice which is flavoured by a Bunga Telang (Butterfly Pea) Flower. The inside of the Glutinous Rice Dumpling is stuffed with Minced Pork, Mushrooms, Candied Winder Melon and a variety of Spices.
Address: 60, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia.
Daily: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Popiah and Nyonya Laksa at Poh Piah Lwee
Singaporeans will definitely be no stranger to this delicious dish called Popiah. Here at Poh Piah Lwee, their Popiahs are filled with Shredded Vegetables, Jicama (Turnips), Carrots and Beansprouts.
To make it more delicious, the Fragrant Pork Lard is added in and the Turnip is stewed in Soy Sauce.
If you love spicy food, then the Nonya Laksa is a must-try too! The broth is slightly sweet and tantalizing, topped off with Spicy Nonya Chilli, this bowl of noodles really packs a punch and is definitely worth returning to Malacca for.
Address: 14, Jalan Kubu, 75300 Melaka, Malaysia.
Daily: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Closed on: Monday & Tuesday
Indulge in Aunty Koh’s Home-Made Cendol
If you love Cendol, you’ve got to come down to try this one that’s made by Aunty Koh yourself. It is claimed to be the best in Malacca, and it sure is popular. It usually runs out within an hour of the shop opening, so the early bird gets the worm! (in this case, the worm being the delicious Cendol!)
Aunty Koh’s Cendol is made with Creamy Hand-Squeezed Coconut Milk, Cendol ‘Noodles’ flavoured from her very own pandan grove, and a drizzle of mild Gula Melaka. The Cendol comes in 2 sizes, priced at RM4/5 accordingly for the small and big one. This simple, cheap and delicious dessert will definitely put a smile on anyone’s face.\
Do note that almost everything here is self-service! This includes looking for your own change as well as cleaning up your bowl and utensils after you are done with your dessert!