Things to do in Melaka and Best Restaurants to Visit: The Complete Guide
There are numerous tourist destinations in Malaysia that attract tourists from all over the world. This Southeast Asian country remains on the radar of visitors from not only Asia but also Europe and America.
One of the dilemmas that most tourists (including me) face is which region of Malaysia to visit for the ultimate experience. While travel is highly subjective, there’s one part of Malaysia that I had the pleasure of visiting, and I truly enjoyed every moment of my stay. The place is Melaka! A beautiful travel destination, which, I believe, offers the best in food, culture, and shopping. It is perhaps the strategic location of the place or the influence of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonization that Melaka has a unique flavor that you will remember for a long time. So, here’s the lowdown on what to do in Melaka, best places to eat, and planning an itinerary that leaves you feeling relaxed. It is also important to check out requirements and process for visiting Malaysia on a travel visa. Thanks to online Malaysia visa application centers, the whole process has now become smooth.
One of the most impressive buildings I have seen in my lifetime! The Stadthuys is on my must-visit list because it is more than just a building. It took nearly 19 years to complete this beautiful red building. The Stadthuys was the administrative center for over 300 years, and has remained a landmark of Melaka. After Stadthuys was converted into a museum, it has become one of the most visited tourist destinations in Melaka. The museum has impressive exhibits that showcase the history of Melaka – right from the time of the Great Malay Sultanate to the present day.
Visiting the Jonker Walk, especially during the during weekend nights, is a must-do activity. Flanked on both sides by heritage homes, the Jonker Walk is the go-to shopping destination for locals and tourists alike. While the place is well-known for shopping, there is an underlying emotion and vibe that’s hard to miss.
I highly recommend shopping for antiques, handicrafts, and souvenirs, as Jonker Walk has some great collection at affordable prices. The place does get very crowded during the weekends, but it only adds to the charm of the place.
Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
Just a short walk away from Jonker Walk is the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum. A visit to this famous museum is inspiring as well as educative. The museum is of cultural significance, and tells the story of Baba Nyonya. The museum, which was once a house for the Peranakan Chinese family, is well-maintained. Keeping that in mind, I wasn’t surprised with the entry fee, which may seem to be on the higher side to many tourists. There are tour groups at regular intervals, but guess are also welcome to enter on their own. I was a part of the tour group, and will recommend taking this option, as it is important to know how this family came to live in Melaka.
St. Paul’s Church
Another spiritual, yet aesthetically pleasing tourist attraction in Melaka is the St. Paul’s Church. Built by a Portuguese as a mark of gratitude to Virgin Mary, the church has now become a popular tourist attraction. The church has been in ruins for over a century and half, and its searing ruins tell a story of how life would have been at that time in history. Of particular significance is the Armless Statue and Graveyard within the compound of the church.
Best Restaurants in Melaka
Reading till this point, you may get a feel that Melaka is all about culture and heritage – which is true – but being a tourist point of attraction, options abound when it comes to eating the food of your choice. There are a number of renowned restaurants in Melaka that will not only satiate your taste buds, but also make you remember the food for a long time. Here’s my pick of the best restaurants
(Note: I haven’t been to every restaurant mentioned here – the list has been compiled on the basis of word-of-mouth of my fellow travel nomads and online ratings)
Nancy’s Kitchen is one of those restaurants I had the pleasure of visiting on my trip to Melaka. The specialty of Nancy’s Kitchen is Nyonya Peranakan food, which is made in special Nyonya dip sauce. Must-have dishes at the restaurant include Chicken Candlenut, Fish in Tamarind Sauce, and Rendang Chicken.
Capitol Satay Celup
In my personal opinion, one of the best satay celup restaurant in Melaka. The fame of the place can be gauged from the long queues that seemed to be permanent at the restaurant. Food to try at the restaurant includes chicken, fish balls, mushrooms, and cockles.
Geographer’s Café is an award-winning restaurant pub that is a favorite among both locals and foreign tourists. A visit to the pub and you will be in the zone as the ambience, drinks, and food make for a heady cocktail.
In addition to these, other notable restaurants (which I haven’t visited personally) include The Baboon House, Salud Tapas, The Daily Fix, Kocik Kitchen, and Kadai Kopi Chung Wah.
This was our travel guide on best places to visit in Melaka, and top restaurants to visit. Let us know about your Melaka experience and add to the discussion on why Melaka remains such an immersive experience.