Much of the attractions are situated around St. Paul’s Hill. Some of the highlights and not-to-be-missed places of interest are Stadthuys, Christ Church, Dutch Square, Clock Tower, Porta De Santiago, Art Gallery and Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum. Stadthuys painted in deep red is the best example of unique Dutch architecture completed in 1660. It was once the official residence of Dutch Governors of Malacca. Today, the building is preserved in its original structure and has become a Historic Museum and Ethnography Museum. Meanwhile, Christ Church built in mid 1700s is the oldest protestant church in the country. You’ll see some sacramental silverware on the altar. But bear in mind no photography allowed here.
Next stop of the day, pay a visit to the impressive Dutch Square located somewhere nearby Christ Church and Stadthuys. Remember to take some pictures of the historic Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower. Porta de Santiago is located right at the feet of St. Paul’s Hill. It was the gate for A Famosa fort. Take a trip down memory lane when you visit Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum as you’ll get to see for yourself Peranakan culture in this heritage town house. Led by a guide, feel free to ask questions to find out more about this culture. Again, strictly no photography. For shopaholics, head over to the shopping streets right across the river such as Jonker Walk and Heerenstratt and bargain your way through for some inexpensive souvenirs.
The third smallest state in the country, Malacca has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage since 2008 because of its cultural and physical significance. Unlike other states in Malaysia, Yang di-Pertua Negeri acts as the head of state governing the Malacca. Located in the southern region of Malay Peninsular and bordering Negeri Sembilan, there is no train station in the state. Hence, visitors or tourists can only take a bus or drive to the city. With an estimated population of over 750,000, more than 50% of the people are Malay descendants. Do expect a diverse culture because there are large number of Chinese, Indians, Kristang and Dutch Eurasians in Malacca.
Since Malacca is considered a small city, adventurous travelers should definitely travel on foot and experience the harmonious mixture of cultural diversity. Perhaps, you can even rent a bike if you are planning to explore the city in a day. In fact, getting around the city is not a problem because visitors can always take a bus; hire a cab or a trishaw that will bring you to some famous tourist spots. Local buses are on time and it will take you to the historic core of Malacca city, Town Square, Portuguese Settlement and Mahkota Parade.
Malacca is known as the historical state of Malaysia as it is where the country is said to be born. Its capital is located in the central part of the state known as Malacca City. Here is where the major tourist attractions of the state are located while there are several main commercial centers as well as the administrative buildings. Malacca City is one of the top tourist attractions in Malaysia with a rich historical heritage and strong cultural elements and is one of the cities listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As Malacca City is a tourist city, it offers a wide range of entertainment options. The most popular one here is shopping for goods and souvenirs where there are shops located at most major commercial centers like the Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall in Jalan Merdeka, the Plaza Melaka Raya at Bandar Hilir as well as the AEON Bandaraya Melaka Shopping Centre in Jalan Lagenda.
The nights are when places like Jonker Street comes alive with antique and art shops welcoming visitors on both sides of the road. In Lorong Bukit Cina is where the infamous Capital Satay Celup is located with endless stream of customers throughout the night.
In recent years, Malacca City has seen developments in the education field with new institutes building their campuses here. The most recent is the Malacca Manipal Medical College which is located not far from the city center. In Telok Mas, there is the Henry Gurney Prisoners’ School which is a center for juvenile convicts while there is the Melaka International School along Jalan Siantan Taman Siantan. Other institutes here include a branch of the Open University Malaysia and Multimedia University in Ayer Keroh, among others.
When it comes to rental for rooms and apartments, the city center might be quite costly while the more popular locations are towards the outskirts like Ayer Keroh, particularly around the MiTC areas. You would mostly find places like Garden City Serviced Apartments within the city center while those looking for middle to long-term options are advised to head further out with rooms starting from RM350 per month.
The main activity in Malacca City is tourism and because of this, there are practically thousands of visitors coming into the state each day. On school holiday breaks and peak seasons, Malacca City’s traffic flow could almost come to a complete standstill. The main commercial areas here are around the Dataran Pahlawan vicinity along Jalan Merdeka and the surroundings. Here, there are rows and rows of shoplots and retail stores which are operated by banks, eateries and other businesses.