Top Melaka Attractions

What are the top Melaka attractions? The state of Melaka (Malacca) is one of the smaller states in Malaysia and it does not have lofty mountains or the best beaches but it more than makes up for this with its rich history and wealth of tourist attractions.

The founding of Melaka is usually attributed to an exiled Sumatran prince called Parameswara who arrived around the year 1400AD having earlier been ejected from Temasik (Singapore).

Melaka's strategic position at the narrowest part of the Straits of Melaka, together with the sheltered estuary of the Melaka River, meant that a thriving trading entrepot was soon established with a lucrative spice trade.

In due course the success of Melaka attracted the Portuguese who conquered the state in 1511 and held it until the Dutch took over in 1641. The British in turn ruled Melaka from 1826 until Malaysia's independence in 1957.

These layers of invaders left their marks on the city of Melaka and there are a few other colonial remnants elsewhere in the state.

Melaka city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and to add to the area's allure, the state government and private enterprises have created many newer tourism attractions around Melaka state.

Here are my suggestions for the Top Melaka Attractions based on those that I have visited so far. I may add more to the list as I explore further.

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Click on the photo or link for further information on each attraction.

Melaka Heritage Trail

1. Melaka Heritage Trail

A lengthy walk around the heritage sites in the heart of this historic city. Highlights include Christ Church, the Stadthuys, St. Paul's Hill, Melaka Sultanate Palace, Sam Poh Kong Temple, Kampung Kling Mosque and the famous Jonker Walk.

Melaka Islamic Museum

2. Melaka Museums

Melaka is crammed full of museums, most of them in close walking distance of each other. Favourites include the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Maritime Museum, Islamic Museum, the Stamp Museum and Governor's House.

3. The Shore Melaka

This recent retail, hotel and residential development on the edge of the historic core of the city contains a number of new attractions such as Shore OceanariumSky Tower Malacca, Toy Museum (opening soon) and 3D Interactive Park (opening soon). Also a shopping mall with a branch of the famous Lot 10 Hutong Food Court.

Melaka River Cruise

4. Melaka River Cruise

A 45 minute, 9km river cruise down the historic Melaka River opens up vistas of the city that cannot be seen from the road. A comfortable and inexpensive way to see the sights.

Menara Taming Sari Melaka

5. Menara Taming Sari

Calls itself the 'First Revolving Gyro Tower in Malaysia'. Located in the city centre it provides a panoramic 360 degree view of Melaka.

Kuala Linggi Fort

6. Dutch Fort

The Dutch built a fort on the northern edge of Melaka state on a headland with views overlooking the Straits of Malacca and the River Linggi. Some of the original walls still stand.

Cape Rachado

7. Cape Rachado

Cape Rachado (Tanjung Tuan) is a small promontory of Melakan territory surrounded by Negeri Sembilan state. After a pleasant walk through a forest reserve you can see an old lighthouse and take a steep flight of steps down to a secluded beach.

Portuguese Square

8. Portuguese Settlement

Descendants of the Portuguese settlers can still be found in a small community in Melaka and they strive to maintain their cultural heritage. At Portuguese Square you can visit a small museum and sample some of their cuisine.

Japanese Cemetery, Melaka

9. Japanese Cemetery

This is a rather quirky choice for a Top Melaka Attraction - a small cemetery containing 36 graves dating from 1911 to 1944 of former Japanese residents of Melaka (and one dog). Seldom visited and little known. Read about it on my blog.

Floating Mosque, Melaka

10. Melaka Straits Mosque

Masjid Selat Melaka is a modern mosque in a hybrid Arab/Malay style on a reclaimed island (Pulau Melaka) close to the town centre. At high tide the mosque appears to be floating above the sea and it has been nicknamed the Floating Mosque.

A Famosa Resort Map

11. A Famosa Resort

This place promotes itself as a 520 hectare integrated resort. Highlights include A Famosa Water World, A Famosa Safari Wonderland and A Famosa Cowboy Town. The Water World has some exciting slides and we enjoyed the other two attractions.

St.John's Fort

12. St. John's Fort

St. John's Fort Melaka is a small white 18th century fort built by the Dutch on a low hill with views over the city of Malacca.

Melaka Zoo & Night Safari

13. Melaka Zoo & Night Safari

Melaka Zoo is one of the best zoos in Malaysia. Read my review here and see details of entrance fees, opening hours and directions.

Chitty Village

14. Chitty Village

The Chitty Village is home to a unique hybrid community of Hindu Peranakans, descendants from Tamil traders who settled in Melaka over 500 years ago.

Pulau Besar

15. Pulau Besar

Pulau Besar is part beach resort and part Islamic pilgrimage site. There are also legends of elves, goblins and strange rocks. Worth a visit.

St. Peter's Church

16. St. Peter's Church

St. Peter’s Church in Melaka is the oldest functioning Roman Catholic church in Malaysia. You can read about on my blog.


British Graveyard Alor Gajah

17. British Graveyard, Alor Gajah

Find out how a British soldier came to be buried with his dog and horse in this quiet corner of Melaka state. Details on my blog.

Al Khawarizmi Astronomy Complex

18. Al Khawarizmi Astronomy Complex

Al Khawarizmi Astronomy Complex is an astronomy museum with 3D movies and an observatory located at Tanjung Bidara in Melaka. Quite interesting.

19. Masjid Tanah

The small town of Masjid Tanah contains this picturesque mosque and a modest clock tower and is surrounded by scenic countryside. Read about it on my blog.

Hang Tuah Mausoleum at Tanjung Kling

20. Tanjung Kling

The coastal village of Tanjung Kling, just outside of Melaka city, hosts a mausoleum for Hang Tuah, Malaysia's legendary warrior hero. Read more on my blog.

Megalithic Stones

21. Megalithic Stones

At various spots around Melaka state and neighbouring Negeri Sembilan can be found ancient megaliths of uncertain origin. Read my theory here.

Tanjung Bidara Beach

22. Tanjung Bidara Beach

This pleasant beach close to Melaka City is popular with locals looking for a place to escape the heat.

Dutch Graveyard Melaka

23. Dutch Graveyard

Not many cemeteries in Asia can claim to have had a real Saint buried in them but this is one of them! Read details here.

More Top Melaka Attractions Coming Soon

Other Top Melaka Attractions include:

Ayer Keroh Recreation Attractions:

  • Melaka Wonderland Theme Park & Resort
  • Melaka Butterfly & Reptile Sanctuary
  • Mini Malaysia & Mini ASEAN Park
  • World's Bee Museum
  • Ayer Keroh Lake
  • Ayer Keroh Botanical Park
  • Orang Asli (Aborigines) Museum
  • Crocodile Farm
  • Ayer Keroh Extreme Motorsports

Jasin Museum

Traditional Melaka House

Alor Gajah Museum of Traditional Customs

Dol Said's Grave

Auyin Hill Resort & Durian Tunggal Recreational Lake

Pulau Upeh

Tun Teja's Mausoleum

Gadek Hot Spring


There are too many of these Top Melaka Attractions to cover in a day trip so you will need somewhere to stay.

I recommend you stay in a hotel which matches the city. This means not a boring tower block managed by an international hotel chain but a distinctive local hotel with charm and character, possibly quirky, definitely with a bit of history.

See my suggestions here.

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