Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, Malacca (or ‘Melaka’ in Malay) is best known for its glorious food and Peranakan (Straits Chinese) roots. Teeming with tourists over weekends especially, Malacca has since transformed from a fishing village to a bustling vibrant city. You’d be surprised, but there is plenty for kids to do in this charming, culturally-infused destination. Time to pack those bags, grab sunscreen (yes, walking along the streets can be seriously hot), and embark on a weekend getaway with the kids, alongside our go-to guide to this city. Malacca, here we come!
For a quaint little city, Malacca has tons of hotels to choose from. Holiday Inn Melaka has always been a fav for families as it's located along the coast and right behind the cluster of shopping centers - Mahkota Parade, Hatten Square, and Dataran Pahlawan. If affordable options are what you're looking for, check out Hotel Puri, TheBlanc and Jonker Boutique Hotel, that are all situated right in the heart of the Jonker Street district where all the action is. Comfortable and wallet-friendly, these accommodations are great especially if you're only visiting for a few days. The newly-opened Hatten Place and DoubleTree by Hilton are also worth considering!
Malacca will never be short of good food and in order to eat like a local, you've to live it up like a local. Devouring on chicken rice balls is a must when visiting Malacca and Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball serves up the best that the city has to offer. Throughout their opening hours, you'll see eager patrons queuing patiently in line to get a table or order a takeaway. Wanton mee is another favorite and we love the nondescript stall that has been around for more than 70 years! Gao Lao Wan Tan Mee is easy to miss so look out for Low Kong Jong Ice Cafe and you'll find it! For a caffeine fix, head over to San Shu Gong Lao Qian Ice Cafe - we recommend their ice-cold white coffee that's so comforting in the sweltering heat.
Want more? A must-have in Malacca is chendol! Bibik House is a nice place to take a break from the blistering sun and relax as you savor their chendol. We love it that you can even add as much gula melaka (palm sugar) as you want to the dessert. You can't miss having dim sum at Loh Yong Moh Restaurant, one of the oldest places serving up tiny plates of delight since the 1930s.
For Peranakan food, there are many restos to choose from and each of them will serve up the same dish that tastes entirely different in each of the restaurants. This is because each Peranakan household cooks their dishes according to their own family legacy. Check out Nancy's Kitchen, a family-run restaurant serving up authentic Peranakan delicacies.
For a more contemporary feel, head over to The Daily Fix for a dose of waffle and salted gula melaka coffee! You can't leave Malacca without experiencing the Jonker Walk Night Market over the weekends, which is a gastronomical feast on its own. Yums!
Heng Huat Coffee Shop - Wanton Mee
Jonker88 - Chendol
Restoran Tong Sheng - Cheese Prawn Bee Hoon
Teo Soon Loong Seafood Restaurant - Top Teochew dishes like black oyster noodle and pork rib bitter gourd.
Nadeje Cafe - Millie Crepe Cake
Calanthe Art Cafe - Get your coffee fix here!
What's in it for the kids you say? Tons! Malacca has a lot to offer for the little tikes. Take a tour around the city to see the sights in an iconic, vibrant, purposefully decorated, one-of-a-kind trishaw blaring your kids' fav tunes. From the theme songs of Frozen and Baby Shark, these trishaws riders are super hip and trendy.
Not to be missed is the Mamee Jonker House along Jonker Street. Did you know that this childhood noodle snack originated from Malacca? At the Mamee Jonker House, you can purchase merchandise, dine at the cafe, and even customize your very own Mamee cup noodles! The kiddos will love it! The newly opened indoor playground at Elements Mall is worth a visit. Jumpers Land spans over 17,000 sq ft and offers a whole range of play facilities for kids of all ages.
Expose the kids to Malacca's rich history by visiting the Maritime Museum of Melaka. The Maritime Museum or the Flor de la Mar is a replica of the Portuguese ship which sank in the coast of Malacca while on its way to Portugal. The highlight of the museum is the maritime history of Malacca and the golden ages of Malacca’s Sultanate as the Emporium of the East. Kids who love ships will be fascinated by the collection of ship models on display. If they can't enough, you can head over to the Melaka Submarine Museum.
If your kiddos love waterparks, they'll be delighted with Melaka Wonderland. Smaller than the Legoland Water Park but no less fun, Melaka Wonderland has all the essentials - slides, lazy river, and wave pool. It's a half an hour's drive from Jonker Street, but worth a visit if you're in town for a few days.
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