Firmly rooted as Malaysia’s historical city, visiting Malacca is like a journey back in time to witness the adventures and discoveries during Malacca’s golden age.
Today, there are many historical sites to visit that give you a glimpse of Malacca’s glorious past. This is balanced with other modern attractions such as water theme parks and cultural parks.
’Famosa is more than just quick photo stop opportunity for tourists. Built in 1511, the settlement used to sprawl across a whole hillside but now only a lone gate (Porta de Santiago) remains. One of the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Asia; it is set beside the Istana ke Sultanan on Jalan Kota.
A’Famosa is perhaps Malacca’s best known sightseeing spot. Originally constructed by Alfonso de Albuquerque (who led the Portuguese invasion on the Malacca Sultanate), the remains of the fort is now a crumbling whitewashed gatehouse and is located downhill from St. Paul’s Church.
Christ Church Melaka
Christ Church built by the Dutch when they took possession of Malacca from the Portuguese, it’s one of Malacca’s most defining structures. Situated along Jalan Gereja (also known as Church Street) it is an instantly recognizable brick-red building with a huge white cross at the top. Sitting opposite the Stadhuys, Christ Church was built in 1753 to celebrate a century of Dutch occupation. The interior of the cathedral has 200 year-old handmade pews, decorative fanlights and plaques that honour Dutch soldiers and locals.
D Paradise Malacca
D-Paradise is a concept tropical fruit and aboriginal village cum retreat in Malacca. This park has a host of attractions, while being conveniently located near the highway. While most would visit Malacca for a historical lesson and culture, a visit to D-Paradise promises an education of a different sort – a look at the plantation industry of Malaysia as well as its fauna heritage.
Some of the attractions here include the world’s largest collection of pumpkins, cactus and ‘monkey cups’; which are pitcher plants, a dragon fly sanctuary, anteaters; a unique furry mammal that has a nose-like appendage to suck up termites and ants for food, a biscuit hut; where delicious local pastries are made and much more.
Make a trip to the D-Paradise for a unique experience of a lifetime!
Dutch Square in Melaka
Dutch Square Malacca is the most picturesque along Jalan Kota. It’s also a colourfull trishaw pickup point, it is distinguished by a group of bright, terracotta-red colonial Dutch buildings, built between 1660 and 1700, with louvered windows and chunky doors with wrought iron hinges.
A central fountain dominates the area: it is an ornate Victorian marble addition, erected in 1904 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. One of the oldest surviving parts of Malacca, Dutch Square’s most prominent building is the Stadthuys. Presiding over the entire south side of Dutch Square it was completed in 1660 and is said to be the oldest-existing Dutch building in the East.
Melaka Maritime Museum
Melaka Maritime Museum is a replica of the Flor de la Mar, a Portuguese ship said to have been carrying loot plundered from Malacca when it sank off the coast of Malacca on its way back to Portugal. Opened to the public in 1994, this unique museum is an enlightening trip back into Malacca’s past.
The 34m-high, 36m-long and eight-metre-wide structure is located at Quayside Road (right beside the. Set 10 minutes away from the Dutch Square, the Melaka Maritime Museum is divided into the different eras that Malacca has gone through, from the Melaka Sultanate period, to Portuguese, Dutch and British rule.
Melaka Bird Park
Melaka Bird Park, hailed as the first open aviary bird park in Malacca, is built on a 1.8 hectare site at the Botanical Garden in Ayer Keroh, Malacca. It has the largest aviary in Malaysia and will be the only bird park to house such a large collection of Malaysian bird species. With nearly 700 bird species calling the lands and waterways of Malaysia home, the bird park aims to protect every species and educate the public by hosting a number of educational and recreational programmes.
The exterior of Melaka Bird Park is impressive: it resembles a downscaled stadium with plenty of greenery and a massive model of a parrot perched on a welcome sign. A pond and mini river (with a few fish swimming inside) is also built with wooden bridges leading to the entrance.
Melaka River was once dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’ by European seafarers. These days, it is a popular tourist attraction primarily because of the 45-minute River Cruise that takes you all the way to Kampung Morten, past Malacca town and the settlements and bridges along the riverbank.
All in all, the Melaka River spans a distance of ten km. It is said to be the birthplace of Melaka because the Sumatran prince Parameswara founded Malacca sultanate here and built his palace on the east-bank of the river (at the foot of St. Paul’s Hill) in the 1400s.
St. Paul’s Church in Melaka
The ruins of St. Paul’s Church are at the summit of St. Paul’s Hill. Built on the site of the last Malaccan sultan’s istana (palace), it was constructed by Portuguese fidalgo (nobleman) captain, Duarte Coelho, in gratitude to the Virgin Mary for saving his life during a storm at sea.
Roofless and covered in ferns, it was originally called the Nossa Senhora da Annunciada (Our Lady of the Annunciation). Though it has been in ruins for more than 150 years, it is a beautiful, breezy sanctuary (reached after a steep flight of stairs) set near the remains of A’ Famosa fort.
Melaka Menara Taming Sari
Melaka Menara Taming Sari (Taming Sari Tower) officially opened for business on the 18th of April 2008, Menara Taming Sari is the first and only gyro tower in Malaysia so far. Measuring 110 metres in height, its revolving structure offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Malacca town and beyond.
Located in the popular district of Bandar Hilir on Jalan Merdeka, only 3 minutes’ walk from Mahkota Parade Shopping Complex and Dataran Pahlawan Megamall, the tower is named after the Taming Sari keris, a mythical weapon said to possess mystical powers belonging to the legendary Malay warrior, Hang Tuah. Even the structure’s design follows the shape of the keris, with the peak of the tower resembling the its hilt.
Melaka Sultanate Palace
Melaka Sultanate Palace is a wooden replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s 15th-century palace. Set at the base of St. Paul’s Hill it was painstakingly constructed in 1985 using traditional construction techniques and materials, based on accounts in the 16th century, Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) text.
According to the annals, Sultan Mansur Shah’s seven-tiered palace was built entirely without nails and supported with carved, wooden pillars and featured a copper and zinc roof. The most elaborate royal palace ever constructed in the world in 1459. According to the annals it was destroyed the year after the sultan ascended the throne when it was struck by lightning.