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In Melaka (or Malacca), you will see ancient ruins, colonial architecture and beautiful street art set along a peaceful river. The charming city is steeped in culture, and there are many opportunities to learn about its Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, Portuguese, Dutch and British Heritage. To discover this diverse list of things to do, travel 2 hours south of Kuala Lumpur, on the Malay Peninsula, to this World Heritage listed city.

Top Things To Do in Melaka - Street Art





We personally love a street art walk, and Melaka offers plenty of beautiful sites to discover.

My Kiehl’s Heritage is one of the most well-known murals in the city. It was created by Kiehl's along with artist Fritilldea in recognition of 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites listed for their history and diversity of culture. It is easy to find, located at the end of Jalan Tukang Besi.

On the street corner opposite this site is The Orangutan House, a gallery and shop, also easy to find from the giant orangutan mural featured on the building.

Not far from these sites, along the Melaka River, are beautiful murals covering the buildings on the other side. One of the artworks is of four women representing the different cultures within Melaka.

There is one alleyway in the centre of town that is home to an abundance of street art locations. Off Jalan Hang Kasturi, running parallel between Jalan Kampung Juli and Jalan Tukang Besi, is the narrow laneway featuring well-known art like The Well along with some lesser-known gems.

Street Art in Melaka - Melaka River


The Dutch Square is one of the most iconic sites in the city. Melaka was occupied by the Dutch for around 183 years; the longest foreign control Melaka experienced. These red buildings have become symbolic of Melaka’s Dutch era, although they were initially painted white until 1911. Inside the square, there are many notable buildings and museums, as well as the Melaka Clock Tower and Queen Victoria Fountain.

The Christ Church is one of the most recognisable and photographed buildings, situated at the centre of the square. Inside this protestant Church, completed in 1753 after 12 years of building, you can admire the beautiful architecture, Dutch ceiling beams, brass bible and a frieze of The Last Supper.

To the right of the church is The Stadthuys. This red building is believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. It was the administrative centre of the Dutch Government in Melaka, but nowadays, the building is a museum.

The Christ Church is open to the public outside of mass times and is free to enter. The Stadthuys is open from 9:30 am-5 pm, and the admission fee is 20 MYR for an adult (not a citizen of Malaysia).
Top Attractions in Melaka - Dutch Square


Perched atop St Paul’s Hill, initially named Malacca Hill, are the ruins of the Church of Saint Paul. Built in 1521 by the Portuguese and originally known as Nossa Senhora de Outeiro (Our Lady of the Hill), this church is the oldest in Southeast Asia. When the Dutch took control, the building was damaged, repaired and reconsecrated as St Paul’s Church. It was the main church of the area until the Christ Church was built. After the British invasion, the site lay unused, except as a burial ground for dignitaries. In modern times, efforts have been made to restore and preserve the site, making it a popular tourist destination.


Down the steps from the Church of Saint Paul are the ruins of A Famosa – the fort built around St Paul’s Hill by the Portuguese. This ancient fort was built in 1511 by Alfonso de Albuquerque. The only remaining part of the original fort is a gate called Porta de Santiago. This last remnant is easy to find and relatively small. You can circle the outside, walk through the curved gateway, and admire the detail left from the original structure.


Running through the middle of town is the Melaka River. There are a lot of things to see and do along either side of the river. Here are a few of our recommendations ...

As the sun begins to set, find a seat at one of the many bars along the river to enjoy a drink, a pre-dinner snack and watch the boats stream past. We stopped at two bars – Reggae on the River and Ram Café, the latter being our favourite for the peaceful atmosphere.

Strolling along the river, keep an eye out for water monitors. We were not aware that this species of lizard, which can grow up to 3 metres, lived along the waterways of Malaysia. We were especially unaware that they would be in the waterways right in the heart of town. Sure enough, walking over the Tan Kim Seng Bridge, we looked over into the water, and there was a lizard swimming past.

Also located along the river are a few historical sites, including the Sultanate Watermill and the Bastion Middleburg, as well as the Tourist Information Centre.


One of the most popular streets in town is Jalan Hang Jebat, also referred to as the Jonker Walk. This street is lined with cafes and restaurants, with a range of cuisines available, as well as shops selling everything from clothes to arts and crafts, homewares, souvenirs, drinks and snacks. Once the sun goes down, the Night Markets bring the street to life with stalls offering all types of delicious street food, desserts and handicrafts.

Things To Do - Jonker Walk Night Market


Another iconic landmark in Melaka is the Melaka Straits Mosque (Masjid Selat Melaka). This stunning mosque, which opened in 2006, is located on the man-made Malacca Island (Pulau Melaka). Built with a modern Islamic design, the building features stained glass windows and an amazing gold dome. It sits on stilts over the water, with a backdrop of the Malacca Straits, making it appear as though it is floating on the water, and at night, the building lights up.

Visitors can enter the Mosque during visitor hours and outside of prayer times. Admission is free and appropriate dress is required. We arrived after 6:30 pm, so we could not enter the mosque, but we were able to admire the grounds.
Must See - Melaka Straits Mosque


When planning our travel destinations, we pin our bucket list of sites to see and recommended places to eat and drink on Google Maps. We are then never lost for ideas, and can easily share these lists for our friends and family to use too.

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