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If you’ve decided to take a day trip to Melaka, you’re in luck. You can see the main sites and attractions in Melaka in one day.
You could always book a tour to Melaka like this one with Get Your Guide. But looking at the itinerary, it’s pretty meh. If you have a little bit of independence you’re better off doing this trip on your own. This Melaka day trip itinerary gives you the details on all you need to know, step by step, to maximise your day.
Note: There is some confusion as to whether Melaka and Malacca are the same places. They are. In 2017 local Government said everyone should use Melaka in all scenarios.
Getting To Melaka From Kuala Lumpur
The two ways to get to Melaka are via car or bus.
If you’re taking a car, use Google Maps, it works great in Malaysia.
If you’re catching the bus, you’ll need to get to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) a.k.a. Tandar Basik Selatan to get the buses to Melaka Sentral.
How To Get To TBS:
Option 1: You could take an Grab here for 10 RM in most places around the city.
Option 2: Catch one of the two trains.
The KTM Commuter train is useful if you’re in the Little India/Brickfields/KL Sentral area. Aim for the 6.43 am or 7.25 am train departing KL Sentral. Cost: 2.50 RM. Cost: 2.50 RM.
The Rapid KL Sri Petaling Line (in the direction of Putra Heights) is the best for those staying in Bukit Bintang/Chinatown. If you catch it from the Jamek Masjid stop, it’ll cost you 3.20 RM to TBS.
Now That You’re At TBS: It’s time to get a ticket to Melaka.
Option 1: If you like to have a plan (which is why you’re reading this?) you can buy bus tickets in advance online using Easybook. The price is close to what you’ll pay when you buy a ticket at the bus terminal. If you have purchased a ticket you can head straight to the appropriate gate.
Option 2: If you need to buy a ticket, you’ll find lots of ticket booths. And they all sell tickets to all destinations (yay for convenience).
There are lots of buses running to Melaka throughout the day (from 8 am onwards). You shouldn’t be waiting more than an hour (at most, 30 minutes) if you turn up and buy a ticket for the next bus. Most tickets ranges in the 10-15 RM price range.
Plan to catch an 8 am bus as it takes 2-2.5 hours to reach Melaka Sentral.
How To Get From Melaka Sentral To Melaka Town
Note: If you haven’t booked a return ticket via Easybook, you could get one from the bus counters now if you’re confident you can make it back to the terminal in time (I recommend 8 pm).
From Melaka Sentral, you can get a Grab or local bus to the Dutch Square.
The local bus costs 1.50 RM and you’ll want to catch bus #17 (from gate #17). The only sketchy part about this is you could be stuck waiting at the bus station for 30 minutes or so.
The Grab won’t cost more than 6 RM, so unless you’re on the tightest of budgets this is your best bet (put Dutch Square into the app).
Given we’re at Dutch Square, part of the historic centre we may as well start playing tourist right here.
You can find all of the places mentioned in this post pinned on this map.
The Itinerary For The Day Trip To Melaka
Dutch Square: With the bold terracotta buildings greeting you, they certainly don’t look as old as you might think. Built in the Dutch colonial era , the 17th century! Pretty crazy huh. If you need a trishaw in Melaka, this is the place to find them. Otherwise, take in the history of the buildings with the Stadthuys, Christ Church, and the fountain the main attractions to check out.
After Dutch Square it’s time to walk up the hill to St. Paul’s Church (great views) and back down to the other side to Al Famosa.
St. Paul’s Church: Built in 1521, it is the oldest church building in Southeast Asia.
Al Famosa: The Portugese built this in 1511, with only a small part of the Fort remaining.
Next time, a museum visit.
There are several right next to each other in the cities museum complex which is next to Al Famosa. Choose one that captures your attention the most and enjoy.
- Malay and Islamic World Museum
- Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum
- Buddha Relics Museum
- UMNO Museum
- Governor’s Museum
Walk towards the bridge that crosses the river to Jonker Street and get some lunch from somewhere around here (you can choose what captures your eye) as we’ll be walking along the river after lunch.
A walk along the river (heading inland) may seem like a waste of time when you’re hustling on a day trip, but this river walk is worth it. Along the river (you can walk on either side), you’ll come across lots of cool cafes, restaurants, street art, and locals doing there thing. Walk all the way up past Villa Sentosa (go in if you like), to the Melaka River Cruise Boarding Port you’ll be able to catch the boat back down to Jonker Street.
Time to see Harmony Street
Melaka has a cool street called Harmony Street, officially Jalan Tukang Emas Street. Along here you’ll find three sites you can visit:
Cheng Hoon Teng: Malaysia’s oldest traditional Chinese temple (and it’s functioning).
Sri Poyatha Moorthi: Malaysia’s oldest Hindu Temple.
Masjid Kampung Kling: A colorful functioning mosque with detailed architecture.
Now, depending on how you’re doing for time you’ve got a couple of options. Both options are great for sunset and I doubt you’ll have enough time for both of them, if you have time at all.
Sunset Option 1: Melaka Straits Mosque
The Melaka Straits Mosque was unlucky to miss out on one of my favourite viewpoints in Malaysia. I only got to see the place in the middle of the day as I ran out of time on my last day to go for sunset. Located on Pulau Melaka, you could walk here in about 45 minutes, but due to time constraints it’s easy to get a Grab. You could even ask the driver to stay in the area if you wanted. You can enter the mosque, but the views from the outside are epic as you’ll see below.
Sunset Option 2: Bukit Cina
Your other sunset option is to head up to Bukit Cina, a 20 minute walk from Jonker Street. This is actually a Chinese graveyard, but it’s the least creepiest graveyard I’ve experienced so don’t feel awkward walking around the hillside trails. You’ll find other sunset watchers and people even doing yoga up here. Before you climb up the stairs, check out the famous Seven Wells next to the Poh San Teng Temple.
After you’ve finished up with sunset, it’s time to head back to Jonker Street for dinner.
If you happen to make this day trip on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, then you’ll want to catch the early part of the Jonker Street Night Market. The Jonker Street Market is crazy busy after 7 pm (it starts at ~6 pm) and isn’t exactly unique but some of the food areas have some interesting stuff! Fried radish cake is super tasty, who would have thought. You won’t need to spend long at the market to get an idea of what it is.
After a long day, trying to catch the public bus to Melaka Sentral is a pain as it goes in a big loop before going to Melaka Sentral. Jump in a Grab at about 7.30 pm with the plan to catch an 8 pm bus back to Kuala Lumpur.
Is Melaka Worth Visiting?
Yes and no. It’s a long day trip, and honestly, if you have run out of things to do in Kuala Lumpur after two days then you should dig harder. But if you have a specific reason for visiting Melaka, then I’m all for it.
I would only go to Melaka if you have a deep interest in a particular type of cuisine they specialise in their or love history and/or architecture.
Just don’t go to ‘tick another city’ off.