Malaysia

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

When nearly all of Malacca best attractions are almost within minutes of walking distance to one another, what more can a tourist ask for? Malacca is a place where a tour guide is not needed!

Malacca is a historical city, to understand the place better we need to know ‘a bit’ of Malacca history.

Malacca started as a tributary city to China, until the Portuguese conquer the city in 1511. In 1641, the Dutch (Holland) defeated the Portuguese and ruled the city till 1800’s. In an Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1824, Malacca was ceded to the British.  During Second World War, Malacca was under the Japanese Occupation. After the war, it became part of Malaysia in 1963.

With a history as rich as this, it is no wonder that Malacca is listed as a UNESCO  World Heritage Site in 2008.

The listings of the following attractions are in no preferences order, rather it is written with the way I travelled from one attraction to another.

You may want to read also 3 days in Malacca

1. Christ Church Melaka

Top the list of Malacca top 10 Attractions  has to be the iconic Christ Church Melaka. It was built by the Dutch in 1753 after 12 years of construction to commemorate their occupation of Malacca from the Portuguese Empire in 1641.

Christ Church Melaka Originally a Dutch Reform Church, it was later consecrated as an Angelican Church when the British took over Malacca from the Dutch in 1824.

Malacca Christ Church

Originally painted in white, the red coat came in 1911, and had since became the hallmark of Malacca, recognized around the world.

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

 Christ Church Malacca

The church interior:

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

Christ Church Malacca

Malacca Attractions - Christ Church Malacca
Plenty of souvenirs to choose from.

Malacca To 10 Attractions

 In the  2 days I was there, I saw at least 7 couples enjoying their wedding photo-shoot.

Malacca To 10 Attractions

Queen Victoria’s Fountain

Another side-show of Christ Church is the vintage Queen Victoria’s Fountain. It was built in 1901 by the British to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty’s reign. The fountain is a photography delight for many. The exquisite architectural design would have many visitors realize that it must be a significant structure.

 Queen Victoria's Fountain

Malacca Attractions- Queen Victoria's Fountain

Malacca top 10 Attractions- Queen Victoria's Fountain

 Queen Victoria's Fountain

Red Clock Tower/ Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower

Do not missed out the Red Clock Tower, or Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower, steps away. It was erected in 1886 in honor of a Chinese tycoon Tan Beng Swee, who generously contributed land for a Chinese cemetery and the nearby bridge surroundings. The clock is an import from England.

Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower

Malacca To 10 Attractions  

2. Stadthuys

Since it was just beside Christ Church, you just can’t miss out this one. For over 300 years, the Stadthuys, commonly known as Red Square, was the official governor and officers of the Dutch and British,  likened to today’s City Hall. Today it is being converted into a museum.

Malacca To 10 Attractions

The museum, however, is usually overlooked by tourists who either came on their own or guided. The focal point is still the Christ Church. Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower   Stadthuys The fun at the Red Square is interesting, the fun gets even better if you hop onto a trishaw for a ride, when a one hour trip would probably cover Malacca top 10 attractions. The trishaw can sit two passengers. The ear-breaking hip-hop songs they play from a mini hi-fi hidden at the back of the trishaw are the jam. Most passengers were seen laughing and snapping pictures all the way from one attraction to another. Malacca top 10 Attractions- Stadthuys

3. A’Famosa

The Christ Church serves as a very good starting point for touring Malacca. From here, you can easily take a 5 minutes walk to Jonker Street (Chinatown) or A’Famosa.

A'Famosa

A’ Famosa is probably the next iconic historical structure in Malacca after the Christ Church. The fortress was built by the Portuguese commander Afonso de Albuquerque after he lead and defeated the Malacca Sultanate in 1511.

A'Famosa

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

When the British took over the control of Malacca from the Dutch, the fort was ordered for complete destruction. Today we get to see the Porta de Santiago, a small gate house, which is the only remaining part of the fortress still standing.

Malacca A' Famosa

The fort, if not destroyed by the British, was extensive and huge, it housed offices and ammunition storage rooms.

Malacca A' Famosa

Upon driving out the Portuguese 1641, the Dutch fortified the fort even further. On the gate arch has a line of inscription which read “ANNO 1670”, it was a result of their renovation works. Malacca top 10 Attractions - A FamosaSome said A’ Famosa is just a photography stop. Well, they probably has no one guiding  them on the history of Malacca.

Malacca A' Famosa

Inside the fort, some buskers provide entertainment for the busy crowd.

A'Famosa

4. Dutch Graveyard

At the back of A’ Famosa lies a hill which houses the St. Paul’s Church. On the way up to the church hides the Dutch Graveyard which is usually by-passed by tourists, probably due to its eerily quiet environment. The graveyard is in a very pathetic state, laid almost in ruins.

Malacca Dutch Graveyard

Malacca Dutch Graveyard

 5. St. Paul’s Church

See the stairs at the back of A’Famosa on the right of the picture? St. Paul Church is located at the summit of St.Paul’s Hill. There are 2 routes to access it, one is through the back of Stadthuys, the other is behind A’Famosa.

Malacca St. Paul's Church

Which ever route you opt for, an uphill task is inevitable. A long flight of stairs of more than 200 steps (estimated) uphill usually scares off most tourists. As such the guide will usually leave the group on their own at A’ Famosa.

Malacca St. Paul's Church

St. Paul Church began as a chapel, it was built in 1521 and was later fortified with guns. The Church was badly damaged during the invasion by the Dutch in 1641, but the Dutch continued to use it as a Protestant Church for the next hundred years. When the Christ Church at Red Square was completed in 1753, St. Paul Church was disused and deconsecrated.

Malacca St. Paul's Church

Interestingly, in 1924, a burial vault was found and opened. The many tombstones lying by the side of the wall are the results of the excavation.

Malacca St. Paul's Church

Malacca St. Paul's Church

Francis Xavier

Francis Xavier (1506-1552) was a Roman Catholic missionary. His mission was to spread Christianity among the Portuguese settlers. It was estimated that he had successfully converted more than 30,000 to Christianity, an astronomical figure indeed, even by today’s standard.

Malacca St. Paul's Church

In 1952, the statue of St. Francis Xavier was erected at the front of the ruins church in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of his stay in Malacca. The following day, however, a falling tree broke its right arm.

Malacca St. Paul's Church

By the side of the ruined church were rows of stalls retailing the usual souvenirs. Canned drinks and mineral water was the most saleable. Most visitors would stay there to enjoy the scenic view from St. Paul Hill.

Malacca St. Paul's Church

Malacca St. Paul's Church

Overlooking the A’ Farmosa from St. Paul’s hill.

Malacca St. Paul's Church

There are animal charmers as well to add some entertainments.

St. Paul's Church

This guy probably has no time for his lunch, the queue for a chance to be photographed with his pet never ends.

St. Paul's Church

6. Melaka Sultanate Palace

Down the hill of St. Paul Church, and by the side of A’Famosa is another interesting attraction, Melaka Sultanate Palace. It is actually a replica of the 15th century palace based on records from the Malay Annals. The Sultanate of Malacca was the ruler of the city before it fell into the hands of the Portuguese in 1511.

Melaka Sultanate Palace

It was said that the grand palace was built without using a single nail.

Melaka Sultanate Palace

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

The Sultan and his court followers.

Melaka Sultanate Palace

I thought the exhibition was excellent, being informative with many pictorial, audio and visual effects. But the many who came here were already worn off by A’Famosa and going up the St. Paul Hill, especially under the simmering weather, leaving little interest for very good exhibits like these.

The cost of admission is RM$2.00 per entry.

 7. Proclamation of Independence Memorial

Again, steps away from A’ Farmosa is another important chapter in Malacca history. The Proclamation of Independence Memorial was officiated by Malaysia first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1985, some 38 years after Malaysia Independence. The original house was actually a British colonial building used by the British administrators for social activities.

Malacca Top 10 Attractions The exhibits have so much details of Malaysia’s route to Independence and are displayed in chronological order that one feels like being brought back to the turbulent years of yesterday.

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

Malacca Attractions

Witness the many manuscripts, video shows and audio playback, some of which are not seen or shown before. The place is fully air-conditioned, and there are no admission charges.

A' Famosa

That’s how near the museum is to A’Famosa. That’s the beauty of Malacca, being able to see an attraction after another without being on any mode of transportation. Just walk!

8. The Malacca Fort

A 5 minutes walk from A’ Fomosa brings you to another recent discovery, The Malacca Fort. Malacca, seems to be a place where you can find treasure anywhere. Perhaps I should start to dig.

Malacca Top 10 Attractions A 5 minutes walk from A’ Fomosa brings you to another recent discovery, The Malacca Fort. Malacca, seems to be a place where you can find treasure anywhere. Perhaps I should start to dig.

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

Compare to A’ Farmosa, where there is still a ‘gate’ to see and photograph with, this is even worse- only the ruins of a once heavily fortified fort remains. Interestingly, the site was discovered just not long ago in 2006.

The fort exhibits today is a reconstruction of how the fort looks then, based on historical data.

Malacca Attractions  Malacca Attractions

9. Jonker Street, Chinatown

From the Christ Church, take a 3 minutes walk through the bridge, and you’re in Chinatown or Jonker Street, probably the busiest street in Malacca.

Malacca Top 10 Must-See Attractions - Jonker Street

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

One thing to note is though the street and shop houses is open daily, but the night market only operates on Friday and Saturday, from 6pm till midnight. On Friday and Saturday nights, the street is transformed into the Jonker Walk Night Market – a lively bazaar with hawker food stalls and tourist-friendly stalls.

Malacca Top 10 Attractions

The entrance to Jonker street stands tall a replica boat of Cheng Ho, the famous Chinese Eunuch who led seven expeditions with several hundred ships between 1405-1433 to setup trading posts and showcase China’s Ming Dynasty mighty naval power to as far back as Africa. It was said that he had visited Malacca 5 times. There was even a temple in Malacca named after him. Read also 3 days in MalaccaMalacca Top 10 Must-See Attractions - Jonker StreetThe peddlers sells almost everything, from toys to clothing, handphone accessories, antiques, post cards, shoes, stamps etc. But do not attempt to find any pirated products here, you’d be disappointed. Malacca government has very strict laws governing copyright products. Jonker Street This stall holders are making big bucks with the snake-long queue which never seems to end. And what he was selling was the simplest dessert of all, coconut water, fresh from the coconut itself. Jonker Street

Jonker Street There are so many eateries along the busy street, be it in-house or street peddlers, but it’s certainly hard t get a seat, unless you have the patience and time to wait. Jonker Street If that many local foods and desserts are not your cup of tea or you just want to idle the time away while enjoying the busy street, then take a seat at the few western pubs along the street.

Jonker Street

Get a mug, enjoy your beer! Jonker Street Sight and sound are aplenty at Jonker Street, the presence of many clan associations provide some entertainments to the intriguing crowds.

Jonker Street

Watch aerobic dancing and karaoke singing by some. You could even hop-in to join in the fun.

Jonker Street

Jonker StreetFeeling tired? Get a drink and have a seat at the Jonker Stage to enjoy local performances.

Another thing to note in touring Jonker street, beware of pickpockets, the congested street makes anyone an easy target.

10. Baba & Nyonya Museum

Again, a street across Jonker Street, or a 15 minutes walk from Christ Church would bring you to the famous Baba Street, where most shop houses owner are Peranakan, or Baba and Nynoya. These house owners are so wealthy that the street is aslo known as Millionaire Street

Malacca Top 10 Must-See Attractions - Straits Chinese Jewelry Museum Malacca

But, wait, along the same street exists 2 museums showcasing Baba & Nynoya heritage. The entrance fee for both is the same, RM$15.00. To make a good comparison, I went to both. Kindly read

Who are the Baba & Nynoya? Kindly read Malacca Baba & Nyonya Museum

Straits Chinese Jewelry Museum Malacca

Straits Chinese Jewelry Museum Malacca

Straits Chinese Jewelry Museum Malacca

Straits Chinese Jewelry Museum Malacca

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