Bookmark this itinerary to experience the best of the Malaysian coastal state, from heritage sites to its booming food scene.
Malacca,Â a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to a fascinating blend of cultural sites spanning Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences.
Once a thriving port, the capital of its namesake state is now one of Malaysia’s most sought-after holiday destinations. It boasts night markets and cafĂ©s, peppered with various heritage attractions like the Aâ€™Famosa ruins and Jonker Street.
Got a day to spare? Hereâ€™s a suggested itinerary to make the most of your time here.
9 a.m. Start the morning right with freshly brewed coffee, toasted home-made granola, and fluffy pancakes at The Daily Fix CafĂ©. Rustic walls and vintage artefacts give the cafĂ© a nostalgic touch. Located in the town center, the cafĂ© is easily over-looked as itâ€™s slyly located inside a souvenir shop called Next KK. Aim to arrive by 9 a. m. as itâ€™s easily one of the most popular breakfast spots for tourists and locals alike.
10 a.m. For a glimpse into Malaccaâ€™s rich colonial past, which is steeped in Dutch and Portuguese heritage, embark on a walking tour of its big-ticket historical attractions. Begin at Dutch Square and see the red-brickÂ Christ Church, which was built in 1753 to commemorate a century of Dutch rule in Malacca. From here, take a stroll to the ruins of Porta de Santiago (A Famosa) and marvel at its irregular structure. Finally, spend some time at St. Paulâ€™s Church, a breezy sanctuary built on the site of the last Malaccan sultanâ€™s istana (palace).
12 p.m. Go for a stroll along the Melaka River and starve off the heat with a cup of refreshing fruit juice from the many stalls set up across from Dutch Square. Photo opportunities are aplenty here, thanks to the various street art murals painted on run-down buildings.
1 p.m. For a laidback lunch, head to Sidâ€™s Pub along the riverside for hearty British pub food. You wonâ€™t miss the monochromatic pub front along the river. Popular menu items include salted vinegar chips, beef, Guinness pies, and scotch eggs. Pair one of these dishes with an ice-cold Guinness and youâ€™ll be ready to take on the rest of the afternoon.
3 p.m. Spend the afternoon at Melaka Straits Mosque and admire its massive golden dome with blue trims. Built between 2003 and 2006, the mosque is known for its prominent 30-metre-high minaret, which also functions as a lighthouse for boats and ships. The building incorporates Middle Eastern architectural style with Malay decorative elements such as bamboo as part of its structure and a beautifully-carved pulpit made out of teak wood. Situated 20 minutes from the city center, the mosque is a spectacular sight both by day and at night.
5:30 p.m. If it’s a touch of glamour you’re after, head to The Hatten Hotelâ€™s rooftop bar, The Alto Sky Lounge. Offering great views of the town center, the bar is a picture-perfect spot to relax and watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand. Go for the Espresso Martini, which is an aromatic pick-me-up thatâ€™s perfect before hitting the night markets.
7:30 p.m. Known for restaurants serving chicken rice balls and durian chendol by day, Jonker Street in Chinatown is equally alluring when night falls. A contrast to the relaxed vibes of daytime, the street comes alive at night with a bustling night market hawking local delicacies, and various arts and crafts. Must-tries include the piquant Nonya assam laksa (hot and sour noodles), pandan pancakes, and pork lard popiah (spring rolls).