Making the Most of a Day in Malacca

Bookmark this itinerary to experience the best of the Malaysian coastal state, from heritage sites to its booming food scene.

Malacca, 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 cafés, peppered with various heritage attractions like the A’Famosa ruins and Jonker Street.

Got a day to spare? Here’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 Café. Rustic walls and vintage artefacts give the café a nostalgic touch. Located in the town center, the café is easily over-looked as it’s slyly located inside a souvenir shop called Next KK. Aim to arrive by 9 a. m. as it’s easily one of the most popular breakfast spots for tourists and locals alike.

A Famosa.

10 a.m. For a glimpse into Malacca’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-brick 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. Paul’s Church, a breezy sanctuary built on the site of the last Malaccan sultan’s istana (palace).

The red bricked Christ Church.

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.

Street art murals along Melaka river.

1 p.m. For a laidback lunch, head to Sid’s Pub along the riverside for hearty British pub food. You won’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 you’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.

View from the Alto Sky Lounge.

5:30 p.m. If it’s a touch of glamour you’re after, head to The Hatten Hotel’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 that’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).

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