Located on the Malay Peninsula’s southwest coast, Melaka is a Malaysian state and an area of serene beauty. Its patchwork forests, golden sandy beaches and shimmering azure ocean views astound visitors from all across the globe. This is coupled with a rich colonial past and the region’s fascinating history shines through its many attractions and top tourist spots.
With the centre of Melaka City being recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site back in 2008, you’ll be fascinated by the ancient architecture and landmarks that stand proud here. That’s not all. The bustling night markets, delectable dining and welcoming hotels have catapulted Melaka as one of Malaysia’s most irresistible tourist destinations.
Where to Eat in Malaka
Discover delicious flavours, from Indian to European and vegetarian specialities, all available in the masterful menus across Melaka’s restaurants and eateries.
Man Yuan Fang
Offering quite possible the best vegetarian/vegan food anywhere in the city, Man Yuan Fang is a gorgeous mix of Chinese and Malaysian cuisine, all cooked to perfection. The menu is incredible extensive so you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes here. There’s even some western and Thai cuisine on the menu, all of which keeps to their incredibly high standards. But they’re probably best known for their mock meat meals, which even include a delicious meat-free KFC. This is a restaurant that seems to always be coming up with great new surprises.
Address: No G35 & G37 Jalan PM 4, Plaza Mahkota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka | No G35 & G37 Jalan PM 4, Plaza Mahkota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Melaka, Malaysia
The Baboon House
Sounding like a kind of makeshift mini zoo, The Baboon House keeps its mysterious edge in its exterior as well as its name. It’s beyond low-key: the signage barely peeking through the roof in a quaint area. You’d be forgiven for not noticing it when you pass by. But don’t let that fool you. Inside the décor and atmosphere is warm and energetic, but the reason everyone is here is for the food. This includes some of the best burgers in the city and a whole host of other meat treats, homemade drinks and more.
Address: 89, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Kampung Bukit China, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan Restaurant
The winner of several online awards, the Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan Restaurant has cemented its reputation as one of the best Indian restaurants in all of Melaka. The taste here is absolutely world class and comparable to far more exclusive, expensive restaurants. You’ll be amazed at how cheap you can get these five-star authentic dishes. Not only that, but the portions here are exceptionally generous, so be careful not to order too much. Having said that, you may find it too delicious to resist and end up eating the lot anyway!
Address: 58, Jalan Kota Laksamana 2/3 & Jalan Kota Laksamana 2/4, Taman Kota Laksamana, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Image source: stu_spivack
The Daily Fix
Easily one of the top contenders for the title of the best restaurant in Melaka, The Daily Fix is a dining experience like no other. It features a plethora of unique European fusion dishes, which really push the envelope in terms of what you can get out of your taste buds. Probably most loved for their stunning padan pancakes, this is a restaurant that puts just as much effort into its ambience as it does its incredible menu. Even its décor is a kind of fusion: a heady mix of the best of a café and a high-end restaurant. It’s a little more expensive than other eateries around, but considering the queues on a weekend, it seems most think it’s worth it.
Address: 55 Jalan Hang Jebat, Melaka 75200, Malaysia
Image source: Geoff Peters
- Melaka dates back to 1402: It was founded by Paramesawar, the last king of Singapura. He ruled from 1389 to 1398.
- Melaka has a long history of invasion: In its long history it has been under the control of the Portuguese, Dutch and British.
- Melaka is a diverse and culturally rich place: As an ancient port, Malacca has a diverse population, with 63% Malays, 25% Chinese and 6% Indians.
- Avoid changing money in banks: You will save more money in private exchange offices; these can be found in busy tourist spots and major shopping centres.
- Tipping is generally not accepted in Malacca: In some large restaurants service charge is included in the total score; it is usually 10% of the total. Everywhere else, do not live a tip.
- Tourists should be careful: Malacca is one of the quietest and safest places to visit in Malaysia, but criminals do operate. Tourists should take care not to walk down remote areas alone, or walk around with valuables.
Getting Around Melaka
Melaka is a large city so there’s certain places you’ll probably struggle to get to on foot. However, if your journey is short enough then this is a very pedestrian friendly city, due to well enforced traffic laws, so walking around can be a fun way of exploring all the city has to offer. Alternatively, if you have a little further to go, you can hire a bicycle for 24 hours for MYR 10.00 plus MYR 250 (estimate).
Despite the roads being relatively safe, the roadway system of Melaka is generally one way and can be confusing and difficult to navigate due to narrow roads. Traffic can also get extremely heavy, especially during weekends. If you do take a car, you should therefore make sure you plan your route meticulously to avoid issues.
Flagging down a taxi in Melaka tends to be very easy and you shouldn’t have to go far to find a metred vehicle around the city. There’s also chartered taxis but, if you opt for one of these, make sure you decide upon your fare with the driver before you begin your journey.
There’s a fairly comprehensive bus service in Melaka. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s available:
- Melaka Town Bus No 17: This service begins at Melaka Sentral Bus Terminal and goes to the Portuguese Settlement through Jalan Taming Sari and Tun SrI lanang, Mahkota Parade and then to Ujong Pasir, which is the final destination of this route.
- Melaka Town Bus No 18: This service begins at Melaka Sentral Terminal and goes to Plaza Hang Huang, Jalan Tengkera and Pokok Mangga.
- Melaka Town Bus No 19: This service starts its journey at Melaka Sentral Terminal and goes to Ayer Keroh through Melaka Zoo and Taman Asean/Malaysia.
- Melaka Town Bus No.50: This service begins at Melaka Sentral Terminal through Mahkota Parade shopping centre
- Kanderaan Aziz: This service begins at Melaka Sentral Terminal to Muar through Pedang Temu.
- Panorama Melaka: This is a hop on/hop off service that takes tourists through town attractions for a flat fee of MYR 5 for its red bus service or MYR 2 for the blue bus.
There are three Bikeshare stations around A Famosa. This is a new service, having only opened in September 2016 but offers a fun way to traverse the city streets in the fresh air.
This traditional mode of transport is famously glitzy in this part of the world and have proved a favourite amongst tourists. The general rate is MYR 40 per hour but it is always advised that you agree on a price before setting off.
Getting to Melaka
It is advised that you avoid taking the train when travelling to the centre of Melaka, as there are no direct routes available. Train services will stop at JASIN, which can be found on the other side of the state. Instead, it is recommended that you choose one of the many bus companies that service Melaka.
If you’re departing from Kuala Lumpur, you can choose between a variety of services that depart from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan. These run from early morning to late at night, with buses departing as frequently as every half an hour. The most popular bus brands are KKL Express and Transnasional, who have gained fans thanks to their punctuality and comfortable conditions. The fare is affordable, costing around MYR 13 for a ticket, and the journey takes around 2 hours to arrive at Melaka Sentral, depending on traffic.
Image source: Brian Jeffery Beggerly