Photo: Melaka cafe scene.

Things to see and do

Melaka’s Portuguese Village (Medan Portugis)

Every visitor to Melaka explores Chinatown and sees the Malay settlement of Kampung Morten from the river cruise, but the Portuguese Village on the outskirts of the city receives few visitors. Make the trip out to learn more about the descendants of Melaka’s first colonisers, or at least to enjoy a delicious seafood dinner by the ... Read more about Melaka’s Portuguese Village (Medan Portugis) .

Melaka's best Museums

The long-term plan authorities have for the historic city of Melaka is for it to offer a whopping 21 museums. Unfortunately the emphasis is on quantity over quality, and has resulted in some spectacular bores. Read on to learn which museums are worth your ... Read more about Melaka's best Museums .

Christ Church
Jalan Gereja
T: (06) 284 8804

This salmon-red church is one of Melaka's iconic heritage buildings found at Dutch Square. The architecture is classic colonial Dutch and the bricks were imported all the way from the Netherlands -- no easy task in the 1740s. Originally a Dutch Reformed Church, when the British took over Melaka they converted it to an Anglican church and it remains so through till today. You can go ... Read more about Christ Church .

The Stadthuys
Town square

The interior has been converted into a sprawling, if rather dull, History and Ethnography Museum with antique porcelain, keris swords and creepy mannequins wearing Malay wedding costumes. Admission also includes entry to the Education Museum, Literature Museum, Admiral Cheng Ho Gallery, Governor Museum and Democratic Government Museum up the hill behind Stadthuys. Join the guided tour ... Read more about The Stadthuys .

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
25 Jalan Tukang Emas
T: (06) 282 9343

The materials used to build it were imported from China, and its lacquer work and carvings of mythological creatures make it one of Chinatown's most impressive buildings. The impeccable restoration work even earned it a UNESCO award. The main prayer hall is dedicated to Guanyin, the Chinese Buddhist goddess of mercy, but elements of Taoism and Confucianism are also incorporated in the ... Read more about Cheng Hoon Teng Temple .

Jonker Walk
Jalan Hang Jebat

Most of the Chinese shophouses have been converted into antique stores or cafes, but a precious few carry on as bicycle repair shops and tailors. Though it's easy to get distracted by eating and shopping, don't miss the museums and temples on adjacent streets. From 18:00-00:00 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jonker Walk is blocked off to become Melaka's best night market with ... Read more about Jonker Walk .

Baba & Nyonya Heritage House
50 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
T: (06) 283 1273

This ancestral house showcases many of them, from carved hardwood furniture to beaded slippers. Don't miss the bridal chamber and the black and white photos of stone-faced young brides and grooms seated in their thrones. You'll get a lot more out of the experience if you join the guided tour -- it's included in the ticket ... Read more about Baba & Nyonya Heritage House .

A'Famosa (Porta de Santiago)
Jalan Kota

All that survives is the gate house and a few antique cannons have been placed in front for touristy photo-ops. Before it was destroyed, the fortress passed from the Portuguese to the Dutch, and you can still make out the bas-relief logo of the Dutch East India Company. Free ... Read more about A'Famosa (Porta de Santiago) .

St. Paul's Church
Bukit St. Paul

The church itself, built in 1521 was visited on a number of occasions by the Jesuit missionary St Francis Xavier and following his death in 1552 his body was buried here for a period before being shifted to Goa in India. The statue of the saint – who is credited for spreading Catholicism to Asia – was added in 1952. Today St Paul's isn't much too look at, but it's worth the hike ... Read more about St. Paul's Church .

Kampong Morten
Jalan Kampung Morten

Many were built in the 1920s, but have been beautifully restored if a bit tackily decorated (picture roofs tiled to resemble the Malaysia flag). You can get a glimpse from the Melaka River Cruise, or walk over for a closer look and a chat with the friendly residents. One house known as Villa Sentosa has been turned into a living museum with cultural relics like Malay wedding chairs and ... Read more about Kampong Morten .

Maritime Museum Complex
Jalan Quayside
T: (06) 283 0926

Inside there's a collection of antique maps, model ships and old sea-faring devices, but admission is worth it just to climb aboard the ship. There's also an extension building with maritime art, dioramas of pirate life and information about Malaysia's sea creatures. ... Read more about Maritime Museum Complex .

Melaka Sultanate Palace
Jalan Kota
T: (06) 282 6526

The palace was built based on written descriptions in the Malay Annals texts using only materials and techniques available at the time, such as wooden pegs instead of nails. The palace houses a Cultural Museum with traditional Malay art, weapons, costumes and musical ... Read more about Melaka Sultanate Palace .

Cheng Ho Cultural Museum
51 Lorong Hang Jebat
T: (06) 283 1135-6

Its 13 galleries give exhaustive coverage of the history of the Chinese in Melaka as well as Chinese art, tea culture, religion and sea-faring. There's also a short film and a classical Chinese puppet show of Chen Ho's life. This one's recommended for serious history buffs, but you can walk around the lobby and view some art without paying the admission ... Read more about Cheng Ho Cultural Museum .

Church of St Francis Xavier
12 Jalan Banda Kaba
T: (06) 282 4770

The impressive building was completed in 1856, having taken nearly seven years to complete, and still functions as a Catholic church. It is named in honour of St Francis Xavier, the 16th century missionary who brought Catholicism to the Far East and was a regular visitor to Melaka. Free ... Read more about Church of St Francis Xavier .

Kampong Kling Mosque
17 Jalan Tukang Emas

It's not just notable for its age, but also its unique architecture that blends Sumatran, Indian, Malay and even Chinese elements. The minaret looks a lot like a pagoda and if you look closely at the wooden carvings inside you'll spot Chinese lucky symbols. If you hear the Muslim call to prayer it isn't coming from here but from Kampong Hulu Mosque on the same street. Free ... Read more about Kampong Kling Mosque .

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Melaka? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Malaysia.

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