Photo: Cheng Hoon Teng Temple.

Transport



Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Melaka.


Air

Melaka Airport (MKZ), ten kilometres north of the city centre, may be “international” but it only offers one route to Pekanbaru in Sumatra, Indonesia (1 hour, 5 minutes), and one domestic route to Penang (1 hour, 20 minutes). Infinitely more options are available at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) two-and-a-half hours away by public bus.

Panorama bus No.1A runs between Melaka Sentral bus terminal and the airport.

Xpress Air flys to Pekanbaru, Indonesia http://www.xpressair.co.id/
Malindo Air flys to Penang, Malaysia and Pekanbaru, Indonesia http://www.malindoair.com/id/
Melaka Airport; Batu Berendam, Malacca; T: (0631) 75 860; http://www.malaysiaairports.com.my/index.php?m=business&c=business_about&id=1

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Train

As much as we love the Malaysian railway system, the train is not the most practical way to reach Melaka. The nearest train station is about 40 kilometres north in the little town of Tampin and a taxi to Melaka city will cost 70 ringgit (which is probably more than the price of your train ticket).

Panorama bus No.12 runs between Melaka Sentral bus terminal and Tampin.

Train tickets can be booked and paid for online at http://www.ktmb.com.my/

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Bus

Melaka Sentral is (as you may guess by the name) Melaka’s central transport hub for buses with destinations all over Malaysia and to Singapore and Thailand as well as local buses and taxis. Located four kilometres north of the historic centre, the modern terminal is divided into two sections, one for local destinations, and one for further afield. A helpful information counter will point you in the right direction. The busy terminal is teeming with services including a left luggage counter, ATMs, money changers, phone shops for local SIM cards, a supermarket and loads of shops and restaurants. If you’re caught in a downpour, they even have an umbrella vending machine!

The most useful local bus service from Melaka Sentral is the Panorama Melaka route No. 17 which takes a 20 kilometre circular route to Ujong Pasir (where Kampung Potugis is located), passing Little India along Jalan Bendahara, the Dutch Square (Bangunan Merah) historical district (jump off here for Chinatown) and Mahkota Parade Shopping Centre. The fare is 2 ringgit and the service runs every 20 to 40 minutes from 06:00 to 21:15. Melaka Sentral to Dutch Square takes about 40 minutes. Look for bay 17 marked “Ujong Pasir". Panorama Melaka; T: (0628) 26 466; http://panoramamelaka.com.my

Taxis to town use a voucher system and the rate we were quoted is 25 ringgit, however a Grab taxi is about 10 ringgit (you’ll need to download the app).

Numerous bus companies ply the popular routes north to Kuala Lumpur and south to Johor Bahru and Singapore. Luxury coaches to Singapore depart from the big city hotels including Hatten Hotel, Casa Del Rio, and Equatorial Hotel, and while these services are pricier, they may be more convenient (and comfortable). Tickets are best purchased online, however many ticket counters tout for business. For popular destinations it’s not necessary to book in advance except for weekends and holidays.

Departures from Melaka Sentral include:

Butterworth: 08:00; 09:30; 10:30; 13:30; 21:30; 22:00 (57 ringgit; 6.5 hours)
Genting Highlands: 10:00 (50 ringgit; 4 hours)
Hat Yai (Thailand): 20:00; 21:00 (88 ringgit; 10 hours)
Ipoh: 08:00; 8:45; 10:00; 13:45; 16:50; 21:00 (44 ringgit; 4 hours)
Johor Bahru: 08:00; 08:45; 10:30; 12:00; 14:00; 16:00; 18:30; 20:00 (27 ringgit; 3 hours)
Kota Bahru: 20:00 (63 ringgit; 9 hours)
Kuala Lumpur: Every 30 minutes 05:30 to 20:00 (20 ringgit; 3 hours)
Kuala Terengganu: 09:30; 20:00 (53 ringgit; 8 hours)
Mersing: 08:00; 12:45; 18:15 (31 ringgit; 5 hours)
Penang: 08:00; 10:30; 13:30; 22:00 (57 ringgit; 7 hours)
Singapore: 08:00; 09:00; 11:00; 14:00; 17:00;19:00 (32 ringgit; 4 hours)

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Boat

The Straits of Melaka remain an important waterway and Melaka can be used as a transit point between Malaysia and Sumatra, Indonesia. If you require an Indonesian visa, the nearest Indonesian Embassy is in Kuala Lumpur. Ferries depart from Kompleks ICQS, the modern terminal south of Casa Del Rio Hotel. At busy times you’ll need to book one week in advance. Plan to arrive at the terminal at least two hours before departure time.

Two companies, Tunas Rupat and Indomal Express depart daily at 10:00 to Dumai in Sumatra (350 kilometres east of Bukittinggi; 500 kilometres south of Medan). Adult 110 ringgit (+20 ringgit tax); Child 55 ringgit (+20 ringgit tax) (2.5 hours).

Tunas Rupat: T: (0628) 16 107; (0628) 032 506; http://www.tunasrupat.com/flight01.html
Indomal Express: T: (0628) 32 506

The MV Mulia Kencana (Anta Services) departs Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 13:00 to Benkalis, Sumatra (1.45 hours). Adult 130 ringgit (+20 ringgit tax); Child 75 ringgit (+20 ringgit tax).
T: (0628) 20 833; (0176) 021 033; (0176) 283 033

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Getting around

Melaka is manageable on foot, but there are some interesting alternatives for getting around this historic city.

Bus
Panorama Melaka operate the local buses, older buses have been retired and reincarnated as local food trucks at Pantai Klebang, a beach area ten kilometres west of the city.

Useful routes include:
No. 17: Melaka Sentral - Little India - Dutch Square - Mahkota Parade Shopping Centre - Portuguese Settlement (every 20 to 40 minutes from 06:00 to 21:15; 2 ringgit)
14: Melaka Sentral - Melaka Zoo - Mini Malaysia
12: Melaka Sentral - Tampin (nearest railway station)
1A: Melaka Sentral - Batu Berendam (Arport)

Panorama Melaka; T: (0628) 26 466; http://panoramamelaka.com.my

Trishaws
Bicycle rickshaws are an omnipresent sight around Melaka, usually blinged out with fake flowers, flashing lights stuffed toys and blaring pop music. On average, the drivers are very knowledgeable of the city's history and will take you on a loop of the main sights at a fixed rate of 40 ringgit per hour (100 ringgit for 3 hours). If you're looking for a ride the drivers tend to congregate around Dutch Square, but odds are they'll find you first.

Bicycle
Bicycles are a good option for visiting the historical sites on the outskirts of Melaka, but you'll need to be an experienced urban cyclist to tackle the traffic downtown. Many guesthouses and hotels offer bicycle rentals, but rarely offer helmets. Prices are variable, expect 3 ringgit per hour or 20 ringgit per day with a 100 ringgit deposit.

Tours
For a change of scenery and a little exercise, sign up for the Melaka On Bike tour. It's a three-hour off-road bike ride past the villages, farms and beaches of Melaka's countryside. A half-day ride costs 100 ringgit including a bike, helmet, drinking water and guide. Full day trips and even cycling/camping excursions can also be arranged. Mr Alias has been offering bike tours since 1999 and is highly recommended.
Melaka On Bike: 117 Jalan Tiang Dua, Melaka; T: (0626) 71 539; (0196) 525 029; http://www.melakaonbike.com/home.html

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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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