Things to do in Melaka with Family
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By Alana | 5th November 2018; Updated 3rd December 2019
What to do in Melaka? Luckily, we have compiled the ultimate list of things to do in Melaka. We have focused on all the fun things to do in Melaka. There’s a giant list of stuff to do in Melaka to keep your kids entertained.
Traveling to Melaka with Kids
We loved our time in Malaysia. It was one of our favorite places to visit during our extended family gap-year. The great thing about Malaysia is it makes traveling with kids relatively easy.
One of the best places in Malaysia to go with kids is known by two names; Melaka or Malacca. In the West, it is most often referred to as Malacca. It is known as Melaka in Bahasa, Malay language. Malacca and Melaka are used interchangeably throughout this document.
What to do in Melaka with family? Melaka is somewhat touristy, so going with kids is super easy. Melaka! We lived near Kuala Lumper for two months. We stayed at an Air BnB in Batu Caves. It was not a touristy area. During our trip, Malaysia was our first stop. During this time we went to Melaka, and in short, we loved it!
Where is Melaka?
The state of Melaka is located in a southern region of the Malaysian Peninsular (mainland Malaysia). Melaka is the third largest state in Malaysia situated off the Strait of Malacca. The state of Melaka is known as the historical state due to its extensive colonial and Malay history.
The capital city of Melaka has the same name. Melaka City is approximately 120Km (75miles) from the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. The population of the city is nearly 480,000 people.
Melaka is a UNESCO World Heritage city. It has a beautiful mix of architecture, given its colonial history.
Melaka is one of the best places to have a family trip in Malaysia with kids. It makes for an ideal a cheap family holiday location. It should be on every Malaysia family holiday Itinerary.
Best day trip to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur
Melaka Itinerary 1 day
There are many ways to experience Melaka. 1-day trips
If you want to experience the wonder of Melaka but do not have time to go for an extended trip. Never fear, there are great options for day-trips from Kuala Lumpur that will show you many of the following activities in Melaka.
See one of the best trips here for Melaka, 1-day trips
What to do in Melaka for 3 days?
- Ensure you see the historical areas
- Visit Harmony Street
- Shop in Jonker Street
- Eat Chicken rice
- Go on a river cruise
The best family activities in Melaka
What to do in Malacca? Activities! So many activities!!
St. Pauls Church & Hill
Location: Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir – top of the hill
Open Hours: Always; during the daytime.
The St. Pauls Church sits high on a hill and offers beautiful views of Melaka. Inside the church, there is a glorious yet eerily feeling.
There are numerous headstones, and some have pirate symbols. My kids thought it was cool. It is one of the oldest churches in Malaysia.
A’Famosa St. Paul’s Hill (A’Famosa)
Jonker Street | Jalan Jonker
Location: Jonker Street, Jalan Hang Jebat
Open Hours: Shops and restaurants opening hours will vary; however, like the rest of Malayasia, shops will not open until 10-11 am. They are open late into the evening.
The most famous street in Melaka is Jonker Street. It is in the heart of the old town. There are beautiful narrow streets filled with buildings from the colonization periods. The shops are full of antiques and souvenirs.
Jonker Night Market
The markets are only Friday-Sunday + public holidays, 6-11 pm.
There is a Jonker Walk Night Market. Markets are always fun to experience in Asia, and this filled the ticket.
Encore Melaka Impression Series
Watch the 70-minute show that features 200 local performers. Once seated, you will move 360-degrees and see a visual display.
Get your seats to the Encore Melaka Impression Series to ensure you get a prime position!
Dutch Square, Christ Church, Melaka Clock Tower & The Stadthuys
Location: Dutch Square Or Red Square, Jalan Gereja
Open Hours: Always open
The Dutch Square is also known as the Red Square. It is a picturesque part of Melaka City. It is a group of historical buildings that are all painted bright brick red. The Stadthuys was the administrative center for the Dutch and housed the governors. It was built in 1660 and is the oldest surviving Dutch building in Asia.
The Christ Church was established there in 1753 and is the oldest Protestant church in the entire country of Malaysia.
There is a beautiful fountain in the center of Dutch Square erected by the British in 1904. There is also yet another museum in Dutch Square called the Malaysia Youth Museum. The building was built in 1784 and was formerly a school in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Menara Taming Sari | The Melaka Tower
Location: Jalan Merdeka, Bandar Hilir
Sky Tower Melaka Price: Menara Taming Sari tower ticket price is between AUD 5-10
Open Hours: 10 am-11 pm
The kids loved the excitement of going so high up in the sky. You get a complete 360-degree view of Melaka from 80 meters above the ground as the tower slowly spins.
The Shore Sky Tower Melaka
Location: Tower 1, 42&43F, The Shore Shopping Gallery, 193, Pinggiran @ Sungai Melaka, Jalan Persisiran Bunga Raya
Cost – Infant 0-2 are free; Child ticket 3-12 16 MYR; Adult 22MYR
Open Hours: 9 am – 11 pm (Sun-Thurs); 9 am – 12 am (Fri-Sat). Last admission 30 minutes prior to closing time.
We are did not go to the Shore Sky Tower but it looks like a great place to see the skyline in Melaka. You climb 163m above ground level and walk on the glass-floored sky deck.
Click here to get your tickets now:
Flora De La Mar Melaka Maritime Museum
Located: Jalan Quayside, Melaka
Open Hours: 9 am-6 pm
The museum in Malacca is built as a replica of a Portuguese ship called the Flor de la Mar, a boat that sank off the Strait of Malacca. The replica ship is an impressive 34 meters high, 36 meters long and 8 meters wide. You get to climb aboard the ship and go to each section of the ship. The museum itself is built below deck and extends into the lower ground.
It is a fascinating place to visit, and my son enjoyed it immensely. It is highly educational. You will learn about the different periods of colonization, from the Portuguese occupation (1509-1641) to the 150-year rule of the Dutch rule (1641-1795) to finally British rule in the 1800s.
The historical significance of Melaka is due to its location. It is halfway between India and China. It formed a critical port in the spice trade.
The museum has many artifacts from each of the distinct eras. There is an extensive collection of pottery, sunken treasure, textiles, and spices.
Although young kids would love the boat, the actual museum would be better suited for families with kids that are at least 6-years old.
In the same complex, there is a museum with small replica ships and a museum about sea life. It was well worth a short visit.
Visit Harmony Street
Harmony Street in Melaka has three places of worship of different religions within a mere 50 meters. The Chinese Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the Sunni Muslim Kampung Kling Mosque, and the Hindu Sri Poyatha Vinayagara Moorthy Hindu Temple. It is pretty street, and it is a remarkable feat that shows the tolerance of religious freedom in Malaysia.
Cheng Ho Temple (Cheng Hoon Teng Temple)
Location: 25, Jalan Tukang Emas| Harmony Street
Simply put, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is the oldest functioning Chinese temple in Malaysia. The temple was constructed in 1673.
The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is gorgeous, vibrant and ornate. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy.
The temple is devoted equally to Chinese-Buddism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
Kampung Kling Mosque
Location: 17, Jalan Tukang Emas | Harmony Street
Built in 1748, Kampung Kling Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Malaysia. The architecture is of Sumantran design. It is unlike any other mosque we have seen. There is no dome and an impressive pagoda.
Sri Poyyatha Temple
Location: 5 to 11, Jalan Tukang Emas | Harmony Street
Built in 1781, Sri Poyyatha temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Malaysia. The land was “donated” by the Dutch during their occupation.
Malacca Straits Mosque – Masjid Selat Melaka
Location: Jalan Pulau
Built on a human-made island, the Masjid Selat is beautiful, particularly at sunset. It is quite far from town with little else in the area.
Walk Tour of Colonial Houses in Melaka City
Location: Malaka city
Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum in Malacca
Location: 48-50, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
Open Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am-5pm; Fri-Sun 10am-6pm
Peranakans are a hybrid culture. This unique heritage started in the South East of Asia from the 12th. Essentially, when a male Chinese merchant trader stopped at a port, married a local woman, and ended up staying.
The Straits-born Chinese Peranakans are specific to Malacca Straits. This new subpopulation started around the 15-16th century.
The best place to visit to learn about it is the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum. The museum shows the original family home of Chan Cheng Siew.
Baba refers to a male, and Nyonya refers to a female who is born from the ancestral descendants of the Straits-born Chinese Peranakans people.
The photo above is not of the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum. Photos are forbidden.
Jonker Street Photography & Malacca Street ARt
Location: Malaka city
Like Penang, Melaka has such beautiful street art. It is fun just to see what you can find on your wanders. We found two massive cockerels, this decorative wall, and many other pieces of street art.
River Cruise or Riverside Walking Tour
The river is beautiful in Melaka. There is a nice walking trail, and there are boat tours on offer.
One of the best Malacca tourist attractions is the river cruise.
Eat Chicken Rice Balls
It would be remiss not to mention in a “Malacca things to do list” the fantastic experience of eating ‘Chicken Rice Balls.’ YUM!!
Illuminated Trishaw Bike Taxi Tour
Location: Dutch Square or The Melaka Tower
Cost: AUD 8-15 (Price will increase with the number of people)
It is very garish and over the top to get on these illuminated and loud bikes. The kids loved it. The men and women who own the trishaws will congregate around the famous red buildings in The Dutch Square or near the Melaka Tower.
The main tour route goes from Christ Church past the Menara Taming Sari (Melaka Tower), around the A’Famosa area, then back again to Christ Church.
Air-conditioned Mega Mall Playgrounds
Location: Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall, Jalan Merdeka. Across the road from Hatten Hotel
Open Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
This monstrous megamall is all the things we often try to avoid. It has the standard offerings of international brand-name shops and a massive selection of food.
One of the most fun things to do in Malacca involves visiting the mega-malls. The real joy to be had by escaping the humidity and heat for a while. The kids, and I, enjoying spending a few hours here when we stopped for lunch.
Did I mention it is in air-conditioned comfort?
There are small rides for the kids in the Lower Ground Floor and a small playground. You can pay a few dollars, and the little kids can hire a car to “drive.” There is apparently an aquarium somewhere, although we were unable to find it. For the older kids also on Lower Ground Floor, there is a virtual-reality game area.
The cinema is on level 5. As an Australian, it is great to see the movies and not have to sell a kidney. The prices are very affordable. There is also an arcade game area.
To be like a local in Melaka, you can always try out some family karaoke. We passed on that one!
If you are a worldschooling family, it makes for an ideal destination, given its extensive history with colonization. Your kids would be learning without even knowing it!
Melaka is one of the best family holiday destinations in Malaysia.
There are so many places to visit in Malacca and so many things to do that are specifically aimed at kids. It easy to travel to Malacca with kids. It is touristy enough to be very safe to travel with kids in this area.
The food in Melaka, like the rest of Malaysia, is cheap and delicious. It is easy to get cheap and good food in Melaka.
Accommodation is well priced in Melaka. It is more expensive than other areas of Malaysia as it is a touristy area. We stayed in a 2-bedroom apartment for $80/night that we found on Airbnb.
Meals in Melaka are cheap; you can get a fantastic meal for a few dollars.
How to get from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka?
Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Melaka Bus
You can book here to get the cheapest bus tickets to get from KL to Melaka Sentral bus terminal. Bus is the most affordable way to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka.
Private transfer From Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Melaka
Book your private van for up 12 passengers. Get your ticket here:
Car Rental | Melaka
Hire a car from Melaka airport, Melaka Sentra Bus Terminal, or the Melaka office.
You can hire a car and pick it up between 7 am-11 pm every day! Check for the best prices below:
Singapore to Malacca | Bus
Travel from Singapore to Malacca in an air-conditioned express bus. Book your bus ticket here: Another budget option is to book the cheapest bus from Melaka to Singapore or vice versa here.
Where to Stay in Malacca?
We didn’t have a car so we had to walk everywhere. We chose an area near Jonker Street in Melaka. Walking is the best way to see Melaka so you need to stay near the action.
Malacca Hotel Near Jonker Street
We stayed near Jonker Street in a 2-bedroom. 2-bathroom apartment above a set of shops. We used Air BnB to get a place that was big enough for us. It can be very challenging to get a hotel or resort that allows for 4 people in the same room! And even if they do, you are often very uncomfortable. I recommend using Airbnb for larger families for that reason.
Click here to see the best properties you can rent in Melaka with AirBnB.