Malacca / Melaka historical places

Malacca?s appeal lies in its rich and colourful past. Its 600 years of history is reflected in its ancient buildings, intriguing streets, delectable cuisine and unique cultural heritage.


In the 16th century, Malacca enjoyed a reputation as the foremost maritime trading centre in the region. Merchants came from as far as Arabia, China, India and Europe to conduct trade in silk, spices, gold and porcelain. So coveted was Malacca by the European powers that it was ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British until the Federation of Malaya was formed on the 31st of August 1957. Come visit Malacca and take a nostalgic journey into its glorious past.




Colorful history - Malacca / Melaka


Malacca?s history began in 1403 with the arrival of Parameswara, an exiled Hindu Prince from the Kingdom of Sri Vijaya in Sumatra. He assumed the title of Raja Iskandar when he embraced Islam and became the first ruler of this new kingdom which marked the early beginnings of the Malacca Sultanate. In time, Malacca gained prominence as a vibrant maritime trading centre and was coveted by several foreign powers. The Portuguese led by Alfonso D? Albuquerque conquered Malacca in 1511 and colonised it for 130 years. The Dutch then came in 1641 and ruled for 154 years. They were followed by the British in 1824 who ruled until the country gained its independence. Malacca also experienced Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945. After World War Two, nationalistic sentiments began to spread culminating in the proclamation of independence on the 31st of August 1957. Some parts of the city still retain an old-world charm in the legacy of buildings and architecture left by Malacca?s past rulers. The local population reflects an engaging inter-cultural heritage of customs, cultural practices, festivals and variety of cuisine. Modern Malacca set on a course of industrial development about two decades after independence and forges ahead in its vision to be a fully industrialised state by the year 2010.




St. Paul?s Church - Malacca / Melaka


The city of Malacca is divided into the new and old sections. The older part of the city is fairly compact and has many historical attractions tucked into the nooks and crannies of its narrow streets. Much of the remnants of Malacca?s glorified past lie within the Town Square and waterfront area near the river which are an easy walk. Just above the Town Square is St. Paul?s Hill (Bukit St. Paul) which is the site of the original Portuguese fort of A? Famosa and St. Paul?s Church. There is a sign-posted heritage trail which one can follow to visit all the historical places in the older sections of town. The new section of Malacca lies across the Malacca River, and is mostly built on land reclaimed from the sea. It contains modern shopping centres like the Makhota Parade and is a food and entertainment district. Outside Malacca town, there are a few beaches, offshore islands and the Air Keroh district close to the North-South Expressway which has many recreational theme parks.




Malacca is 149km from Kuala Lumpur, 216km from Johor Bahru and 90km from Port Dickson. The Kuala Lumpur to Malacca trip by road takes about two hours. While the trip to Johor Bahru takes about three hours. Several tour agents and hotels in Kuala Lumpur offer packages to Malacca for weekend or day trips. Taxi and express bus services are easily available. One can get around Malacca by taxi or bus. The local bus station, express bus terminal and taxi stations are all located around the same area on Jalan Hang Tuah.




The airport is located at Batu Berendam about 10km from the town centre. Most top class hotels have limousine or taxi airport shuttle services available. The MAS office (06-283 5722) is in the City Bayview Hotel but MAS does not fly to Malacca.




There are a number of bus companies that service the Kuala Lumpur/Malacca route daily, as well as between Malacca and other towns and cities. To get to Malacca from Kuala Lumpur, you can take an express bus at the Puduraya Bus Terminal in Kuala Lumpur. Tickets can be purchased at the terminal but during festive seasons it is advisable to book ahead. Outstation taxi offices are also located in the terminal. Taxis normally wait for a full-passenger load before they proceed.




Malacca has no railway station of its own and the nearest station is on the main north-south line at Tampin, 38km north of Malacca. Visitors travelling by rail would have to disembark at Tampin. From there one can continue the journey to Malacca by taxi or bus.






Taxis leave from the taxi station just opposite the local bus station and operate to Kuala Lumpur, Port Dickson, Johor Bahru, Seremban and Mersing. Rates are between RM20.00 - RM30.00



  • A useful service is the No. 17 town bus from the local bus station which runs to Taman Malacca Raya and on to Portuguese Square and back.

  • To get to Tanjung Kling take Patt Hup bus No. 51 from the same station.

  • Bus No. 19 goes to Air Keroh. To get to the airport at Batu Berendam, you board Batang bus No. 65.




Express buses to Singapore leave hourly from 8.00am to 6.00pm but it is advisable to book in advance. The journey takes about four hours.

  • Buses to Johor Bahru leave every half hour.

  • To Muar (one hour) buses depart every half hour throughout the day.

  • There are also buses for Butterworth and Penang at about 8.30pm

  • The bus for Lumut and Ipoh leaves about 9.30pm.

  • There are two buses to Kuantan which leave about 2.00pm daily.




Daily high-speed ferries operate between Malacca and Dumai in Sumatra. The journey takes about two hours and tickets costs less than RM100. You can get tickets at booths located at the river wharf past the Samudra Museum. Boats are operated by Madai Shipping (Tel: 06-284 0671) Tunas Rupat Utama (Tel: 06-283 2506) and Masamas (Tel: 06-281 8200).




Boats go from Umbai to Pulau Besar and Pulau Upeh on demand. On weekends there are plenty of boats, but during the week you may have to hire the whole boat. A speedboat costs about RM80 while a fishing boat is about RM50.00