Ah Malacca, the home away from home for Singaporeans. Strategically located not too far from Singapore and more importantly, with delicious food at every corner, it is no wonder why Singaporeans flock to Malacca. We are not spared from the Malacca craze. For the past 10 years ever since we owned a car, we had visited this city so many times that I could get a permanent resident status if we tried.
So, let’s say, you just got that car and feel the urge to drive to Malaysia, get onto the open road and let the wind rush through your hair. In that case, you’ve come to the right place!
Malacca is just 3-4 hours away from Singapore so it is great for even a newest of drivers. If you feel you can’t make the stretch, there are rest stops along the way. Malacca is also relatively safer than some parts of Malaysia because it is a tourism industry based state. Just don’t take safety for granted and you should have a worry-free stay. There are hotels at every turn and you don’t even have to book in advance in the event that you are just stopping over.
More importantly to most Singaporeans, the food is very pleasing to our palates and tastes; Char kway teow, Assam fish head, pineapple curry, fresh seafood, cheesecakes, satay and more!
Here’s my typical 3 Day 2 Night Malacca Itinerary:
Day 1: Singapore to Malacca
Set off real early at around 6am to beat the causeway jam. I suggest having a really light breakfast if you are really hungry but I prefer to dine in Malacca.
Arrive in Malacca around 10am for brunch. Malacca has so much good food like Calanthe Art Cafe or this little coffee space with no name.
Calanthe Art Cafe
Address: 11 Jalan Hang Katsuri, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Whatever you do, get a seat inside or go in for a tour. Walk around and you will find it very interesting! No wonder it is called an Art Cafe.
The specialty of this cafe is that it offers coffee from all the Malaysian states with their respective unique traits.
Little Coffee Space with No Name
Address: 56 Jalan Hang Katsuri, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
This little shop opens from the very wee hours and sells homemade kueh, beehoon and nasi lemak. It is a very nostalgic little place. Although the food is nothing to shout about, but it represents a part of historic Malacca, and it is cheap!
After breakfast you likely have a bit of time to walk around, or you can go to your hotel and check-in and take a short rest.
There are a large number of hotels to check out and I recommend Hatten Hotel, Bayview, Estadia, and Hotel Puri.
Malacca is really hot so stay indoors and have fun in the many indoor attractions! We have been to Oceanarium, Mamee Jonker House and the 3D art museums which are all good attractions that I would recommend.
Address: The Shore Shopping Gallery, Jalan Persisiran Bunga Raya, Kampung Dua, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia
Do not judge a book by its cover. Although this aquarium isn’t as large as Singapore’s SEA Aquarium, it is equally as fun and for less the price!
3D Art Museum
Many people find this rather lame, I thought so too until I visited the first Art Museum in Singapore and it turned out to be very fun for young and old, even if you don’t usually like taking pictures. I had to convince my family members to join us but I believe we all had a good time. Just look at all the smiles!
There are a few 3D art museums in Malacca and I believe any of them is fine but we went to the one at The Shore because it was conveniently next door to the Oceanarium.
After all that activity, I bet you are now hungry!
Dinner at Bull Dog Cafe
Well we chose this place because it was really close to our hotel and there were really good reviews. I love their Chicken Pongteh and Fried wings!
Nightlife in Malacca
Malacca is a place of late mornings and late nights. There are plenty of attractions to go at night like shopping or clubbing but the most famous has got to be Jonker Walk.
Don’t even bother waking up early in Malacca. Everything opens after 11am and that’s when you will find life in this place. After a light breakfast and perhaps taking a shower or exploring Jonker Walk in the day, hunt down some awesome Nonya cuisine for lunch!
We highly recommend Nonya Suan and their Assam Fish!
Address: Jalan Merdeka, Taman Costa Mahkota, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
After a full and delicious lunch, it is time for more touring!
Afternoon: Exploring History
One of the most interesting things to do in and around Malacca is exploring their history. They also have a large number of museums in the city to act as a memoir to their rich history.
We personally have been to nearly all the museums and historical places in Malacca like The Stadthuys/Christchurch area often dubbed as Red Square, A Famosa, St. Paul’s Church, Baba Nonya Heritage Museum etc but this time we went to the Cheng Ho museum around Jonker Walk.
On first looks it was rather drab but the history contained in this place was so rich that I found myself staying there for more than 3 hours and reading everything.
Cheng Ho Cultural Museum
Address: 51 Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
After Cheng Ho you might want to go shopping because Malacca is great for shopping! Mahkota Parade and Dataran Pahlawan is still the best place for shopping year after year.
Seafood or Chinese Dinner?
Portuguese Square could be a challenge to get to if you don’t have a car but since this post is for Singapore drivers to Malacca, then it is easy to get to!
It is a great place to hang out because it is by the seaside.
If seafood isn’t your thing, I recommend this chinese restaurant which we discovered by mistake.
Address: 147, Jalan Melaka Raya
This vegetable dish is the best! I think they call it Emperor Veg or something. Anyway, try it!
Very fresh stir-fried beef and steamed fish.
This tofu is one of the top 10 tofu I have tried. Highly recommended!
Finally there’s the buttery rich Curry Chicken which we wolfed down so fast I didn’t even had a chance to take a photo!
After the heavy dinner, you can walk it off at one of the night spots mentioned earlier.
Day 3: On the Way Home!
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, prepare to checkout and head for home. But wait! Along the highway in the Ayer Keroh area, there is an attraction that I would highly recommend.
Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary
Address: Lebuh Ayer Keroh, 75450 Melaka, MalaysiaWebsite: butterflyreptile.comThis place is FASCINATING! Considering that our own crocodile and reptile park has closed down (yes I have been there) this park is wonderful. Even if you are a non-reptile lover, the park is rather large and well-designed so you might have a good time anyway. The only tip I have is slather on loads and loads of mozzie repellant.
They have animals of all sorts from butterflies, crabs, fishes, birds, crocodiles, lizards and more fishes!
I did not regret walking into this place and would be back there again. In fact, it deserves a post by itself so I’ll write a full review on it when I find the time. Meanwhile, here are even more photos!
After that, you can leave Malacca and head home on a high note! If you time it right, you will be back in Singapore before nightfall.
Hope this guide has been helpful!