The Stadthuys

The Stadthuys

The red building

More on Melaka

The Stadthuys (pronounced stad-haus), stately and conspicuous with its Indian red exterior, has been a landmark on Melaka’s cityscape since the mid-17th century.

Travelfish says:

Once a powerful seat of colonialism, Melaka’s former Town Hall is one of the oldest surviving Dutch buildings in Southeast Asia. Terraced over four levels of Saint Paul’s Hill, this fine example of colonial architecture features typical Dutch thick brick walls, exposed beams, large shuttered windows and hefty wood and iron doors with intriguing double openings.

Interestingly, much of the building materials were shipped from Europe and used as ballast in the large trading ships of the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company). The Stadthuys’ history as an administrative centre continued from its Dutch beginnings though British colonial rule and post-independence Malaysia until 1979 when it was later converted to a History and Ethnography Museum. During conservation works, an underground drainage system and wells from the Portuguese era were discovered, along with secret rooms and passageways.

Today several museums are within the complex, and though they are rather dry are worth a look at least for the architecture. Don’t forget to look up—one gallery has a magnificent barrel-vaulted ceiling. On display are artefacts, dioramas and paintings covering Melaka’s history from its early beginnings. Join the free guided tour on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 or 14:30 to breathe some life into the walls.

Contact details for The Stadthuys

Address: Jalan Gereja, Melaka
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º14'57.6" E, 2º11'38.99" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: Adults 10 ringgit , children 4 ringgit

Reviewed by

Tours in Malaysia


These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.


Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Melaka

Colonial district walking tour
Colonial district walking tour

Historical remnants

Three days in Melaka
Three days in Melaka

A blueprint to get you going

Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum
Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum

Fine living, Peranakan style

House of Museums: Old Trades Gallery
House of Museums: Old Trades Gallery

Excellent collection of memorabilia

Cheng Ho Cultural Museum
Cheng Ho Cultural Museum

Epic journeys, vast museum

Christ Church
Christ Church

The red church

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

Malaysia’s oldest Chinese temple

Chinatown walking tour
Chinatown walking tour

Melaka’s most popular spots

Maritime Museum
Maritime Museum

A shipshape museum

St Paul’s Church
St Paul’s Church

Atmospheric ruin with ancient tombstones